VMworld 2009 Final Thoughts

29 10 2009

(Sorry for the extreme lateness of this content…I had some pretty serious career changing activities lately that precluded posting…)

I left my heart in San Francisco!… Ok…yeah…I had to resort to the corny reference…I just couldn’t resist. I actually did have a great time in San Fran, and being my first time there…I can understand some of the attraction to the area.

On a scale of 1 to 10…with 1 being the most worthless waste of time my life’s ever seen and 10 being time so well spent that I would have sold my first born for it…I give VMworld 2009 a…


It was a valuable few days. Perhaps not for all of the reasons that I would have wished…but in general…the things that I felt were lacking were somewhat made up for by gains in areas that I’d not fully planned for.

Best of show:

  • Solid, but not spectacular, instructor-led sessions.
    • I did not (nor did a HUGE number of other folks) get into all of the sessions that I wanted, but I got into quite a few. The sessions appeared generally well organized and for the most part hit on exactly what I expected out of them. I felt some of the sessions were a little light on high-level technical details even though they were listed as being for the advanced track, and many times they attempted to cover topics that they had no reason to believe could be given proper credence in the time allotted. You know…I can’t speak for everyone else…but I’d prefer if a conference would provide the option of letting you pick “quality” over “quantity” and would thereby offer “true” deep-dive type instruction on a few specific topics for once.
    • In the sessions that I attended, the stations were generally ready to go and there were not a lot of technical issues during the session, although I did hear from many other attendees about major issues in other sessions.
    • Marketing to Content ratio was hit and miss…some sessions were almost entirely marketing poo…while others were dead on technical. Generally speaking…the VMware-led sessions = Most Direct Content vs. the Third-party sessions = Majority Marketing Spin/Gibberish
  • Superb Networking Opportunities
    • Met some great folks that I know will become lifelong contacts.
    • Super opportunity to interact with others from industries outside of your own to share and develop ideas and possibilities.
    • Super parties, tweetups, and other extra-curricular activities…Mucho props to J Troyer and co. For setting up several of the tweetups.
  • Schwag, shcwag, and more schwag…
    • So many shirts…I think I could have flown into town with just shorts and slacks…and still come back with enough pairs to make the week plus some.
    • My kids greatly enjoyed the NetIQ flying monkey. I can’t say that I appreciated it much after listening to it for hours on end after I returned home…but at least it’s cheap entertainment right?

Overall, I had a good time and I felt it was a worthwhile experience. I agree with many other bloggers and commenters though…very anticlimactic in general and there was certainly no huge “Wow”-type moment. Oh well…here’s hoping next year will have enough of those types of moments to make this year’s VMworld a distant memory!




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