Earlier this week I got a great email from the NetApp United team to say I had been accepted for a second time into the team. This followed on from a similar email from the VMware vExperts the week before. Being included as a member of these advocacy/influencer groups has meant I’ve completed the trifecta along with last months Cisco Champions inclusion. I’ve spent the past number of years working with technologies from all three companies and it’s nice to be recognised as a contributor to the community.

Being part of these groups means a huge amount to me. They have all, in particular the vExpert group, been something I’ve aspired to being a part of over the past couple of years and I’m overjoyed about being accepted into each program. Each of the influencer programs is different in their approach but there’s some commonalities too. The common things among the programs are:
* Being able to network with peers across the globe.
* Having access to NDA information before it gets released to the general public.
* Ability to interact with engineers and in some instances leadership within those companies.
* Dedicated comms channels for easier interaction (Slack for vExpert and NetAppUnited and Spark for CiscoChampions)

In the case of the vExpert program it provides license keys to the VMware product set so you can run the products and test them out in your home lab which is a fantastic offering and is super useful.

One of the things I do find with all the programs is there’s a sense of community and belonging. We all like to be part of a larger tribe and I feel that I’ve found mine. It’s a tribe that’s full of people way way smarter that I am but that can only ever be a good thing. I try my best to partake within each program as much as I can. It’s not always possible to commit as much as I’d like due to timezone issues (Australia is hard to organise around) and general familial commitment but I try to make sure I give as much back as I can. Being a part of the programs is a privilege and an honour and I’m looking forward to giving as much as I can this coming year. Thanks to all those that run the programs for all the work and effort they put in to ensuring the programs are as good as they are.

Here’s hoping I can complete the trifecta again next year to complete a triple trifecta.

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