The annual Melbourne VMUG UserCon takes place this Thursday, 25th February. It’s also an important day for me as it’s my wedding anniversary. I know which one my wife is more interested in! But, for the IT community in Melbourne all eyes will be on the VMUG. This years event has moved location from the old Hilton on the Park to Crown on Southbank. I think this is a good move and makes the VMUG even more accessible than in previous years. Last years guest speakers were excellent with Chad Sakac, Vaughan Stewart and John Troyer and this year it’s been lifted another notch again. This year the enterprise IT giants include Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe), Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor), Brad Tompkins (@VMUG_CEO) and my own personal IT hero Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl). There’s also going to be vBrownBag sessions being hosted by Alastair Cooke (@demitassenz). If you’ve been following twitter you’ll have seen that Scott’s been having issues with flights and has had United basically crap all over his plans. Hopefully things work out for him and he can make it on time to the Sydney VMUG on Tuesday 23rd but it looks like it’ll be a close call. I wish him safe travels from here on.
VMUGs are all about the community. It’s the primary reason it exists and we’re incredibly fortunate to have the organisers volunteer their time to put on such a great event. Melbourne has some of the finest at its helm and that has been recognised globally. If you haven’t attended before I’d highly recommend fitting it into your calendar. You’ll be glad you did and your employer will be glad you did too. It’s really worth getting to the keynotes at the UserCon as unlike keynotes at other events they are not strictly vendor focused and they can provide some real insight into your industry as a whole and even your career path. But the main focus should be the community speeches. Hearing from others out in the field about the trials and tribulations they’ve had with specific technology is where the real learning takes place. These contribute a shorter part of the agenda and it’s something I’d like to see more of in future events but I also appreciate that it’s hard to get speakers for such sessions. For me this year that’ll be my focus outside of the keynotes. There are a number of vendor based sessions as well throughout the day that delve into new technology .
There’s a lot of information and knowledge to be gleaned from this event. I’d also recommend working out your agenda before attending and have a ponder over what you’d like to get out of the event. The sessions I’m planning on attending are:
- Keynote – Adding A Business Skill to Your Tool Belt – Keith Townsend
- vBrownBag Tech Talk: What’s All This Flash Stuff About Anyway? – Craig Waters
- Mastering PowerShell to Call RESTful API Endpoints – Chris Wahl
- vBrownBag Tech Talk: Giving Your Career the 1-2 Punch – Keith Townsend & Scott Lowe
- VSAN: Technical What’s Latest, and “An Administrator’s Daily View” – Greg Mulholland & Ramon Valery
- Bring Visibility to Any Cloud, Any App, & Any Device – Paco Cañive, ExtraHop Networks
- vBrownBag Tech Talk: How the Sausage Machine Works to Bring You IT News
- vSphere Troubleshooting Methodology and Best Practices – Donovan Durand
- VMware Keynote: The Future of Network virtualisation with VMware NSX – Scott Lowe
Unfortunately the community sessions clash in times but if they didn’t I’d attend the following. As I can only be in one place at one time I’ll be at the Chris Wahl session.
- The Power of the Community – Open Conversation about VMUG, VMware and the Digital Business Landscape – Brad Tompkins
- The Price is Wrong: Why Projects Run Late, and People Buy Cloud – Jusin Warren
- Picking Up New Skills – Tips and Tricks to Build Your Technical Tool Chest – Chris Wahl