With the new year upon us, it is time to lift the vale on the next chapter in the Belgian VMUG endeavor. I am very happy to say that I can call myself officially a VMUG Leader for the Belgian community as of today.
But first, we want to thank Erik Schils for the fantastic job he has done over the last 15 years building out this amazing platform. We have a big responsibility to make sure that we fill the void that you have left behind.
Why did I want to become a VMUG leader
As a Senior Consultant and architect at my consultancy company, my daily job is talking to people about solutions and products. I’m really passionate about being able to help them design and create solutions that better meet the business needs, by understanding the technology and product.
But everyone needs to start somewhere. I still remember my early days of trial and error homelabbing, browsing /r/datahoader and /r/homelab on Reddit, and finding some webinars on a specific product, I thought that was cool!
Platforms like VMUG were very important to me when I started in the Virtualization industry in Belgium. It was one of those events I was looking forward to all year, to meet new like-minded people and learn about new topics. It was just a super nice day talking to many folks and enjoying a nice pint of Belgian Beer (a must-have for us Belgians!) 🙂 Also it was my first event where I had the opportunity to have my first session and practice my public speaking skills. Super stressy moment but memorable, you can rewatch the recording here.
This is what drove me to continue the VMUGBE work and why I joined the new VMUGBE leadership, together with my good friends and co-leaders Maarten Van Driessen ( blog / twitter) and Kristof Asaert ( blog / twitter).
We are committed to making our vCommunity here in Belgium even bigger and better than before!
What is VMUG / vBeers?
Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.
In Belgium, this is an annual VMUG event that was hosted in Mechelen. Providing a space for partners, vendors, and customers to meet, network and attend sessions hosted by industry and community experts.
On the other hand, we have the concept of “vBeers”, which is a community-based initiative that focuses on connecting like-minded people that have a passion for technology & virtualization. This is a monthly event (every 3rd Thursday of the month) with 1 or 2 short sessions. These sessions can be technology-related but that’s not required. The goal of vBeers is to provide a low-entry platform for inexperienced public speakers to experience and test public speaking between similar vGeeks, but that doesn’t mean we never invite experienced speakers. 🙂
If you are interested in one of those, be sure to head over to the vCommunityBelux slack workspace for updates on events and meet the other vCommunity folks.
What are our goals for 2022?
Building on the existing foundations we have today, we want to fuse the VMUG and vBeers concepts into one. Creating an event like VMUG with the atmosphere and energy of a vBeers. We want to return to the basics of VMUG and that’s an event by Users for Users. Meaning, how you can get practical value out of the event. As leaders, we are just a small portion of how we see the VMUG concept grow in Belgium.
We also need YOUR input on how we can bring VMUG to the next level. You can help us with filling in a short survey. This will only take a few minutes and provide essential information on what we can do to make VMUG the perfect format for “you”.
We are currently working hard on getting things rolling and hope to host a Physical/Virtual VMUG, later on, this year in June!
We’re also planning to do an online pre-VMUG session. This will be a 2 hour event with lots of community speakers that will present some smaller sessions.
For the vBeers, I’ve already mentioned that we host this every 3rd Thursday of each month. We’re also thinking about organizing bigger vBeers twice or three times per year. We would then invite a partner that would dive deeper into a specific area.
Stay tuned and looking forward to seeing you soon on our next vBeers or VMUG!