At a recent Veeam event, I wore my Veeam Vanguard badge with pride, having been in the fortunate position of being awarded the role since its inception back in 2015, and one of the attendees at the event noticed my badge and asked:-
” Where can I get one of those? What exam do I need to pass to get one?“.
Initially, it annoyed me, as the comment was made in an “I want one now” kind of statement. I told the attendee the badge is for Veeam Vanguards only and this badge is earned and not simply given away at the drop of a hat. The reply was “ok, what do I need to earn one?“
This got me thinking, what knowledge/tips could I impart, as a current Veeam Vanguard, to those wishing to apply and ultimately be accepted into the Veeam Vanguard Program?
Community and Contributing
Put it simply the Veeam Vanguard is a program that recognises those individuals, who have contributed to the online and offline community, sharing their knowledge and experience using Veeam products and advocating the use of Veeam products. It’s really that simple.
So now you’re probably saying to yourself “Ok, I have lots of experience with Veeam products, where are the best places to share my knowledge and experience?“.
Let’s take a look at the number of places you can do this.
This is the day and age of cloud computing and social media, so where better to spread your knowledge and experience than online.
Given its limit of characters, you’re going to be hard pushed to explain and detail your Veeam Cloud Connect Replication infrastructure in 280 characters. However, you can help others, looking for help and assistance on Twitter, by recommending links to KB articles and/or blog posts. Actively parting in online conversations with other Veeam users is very much encouraged.
A fellow Vanguard, Jim Jones, made an excellent Twitter list containing this year’s Veeam Vanguards, highly recommend you add the list to your Twitter feed.
As if it was planned, here you are on my blog, so it must work 😉 Blogging is going to be one of your main weapons in your arsenal. Given the ready availability of blogging platforms for up and coming bloggers, you’re really are spoiled for choice. These days it is easier than ever to spin up a hosted WordPress site or if you’re really down with the cool kids these days applications like Hugo are on the up. See Christian Mohn’s excellent article vninja.net/2018/07/19/hello-my-name-is-hugo
This is another online community where you can share your experience/information and offer help to your peers. http://www.reddit.com/r/Veeam is the place where all kinds of users and experts take part in discussions and offer assistance. This also a good place to share your blog posts, to help spread your work to a wider audience and help get your name noticed.
Two of the main online forums regarding Veeam are Veeam’s own forums:-
Both offer a wealth of information, but forums.veeam.com is really where it is at. You can find a plethora of information about all Veeam products and where some of the developers and product managers are actively engaging with the Veeam community. Highly recommended you create a free account and dive in.
Top tip for the forums, If you read a feature request or post you agree with please don’t just reply with a simple ‘+1’, help the developers and product managers understand why this new feature or product will help you in your day to day job, it really does help them too.
Those are just some of the online resources and information points you can contribute to.
Now it’s not necessarily all about the online community, you can just as easily partake in the offline Community.
There are a number of Veeam User Groups worldwide that are more than willing to accept new community members. Check out https://go.veeam.com/user-groups.html. Now I will say this is one area that I can say Veeam need to improve on. There is a noticeable disjoin between the North American market and say the EMEA market when it comes to User Groups.
Fortunately, this has not deterred all users from setting up groups. I myself have helping set up the Veeam User Group UK **cough** shameless plug**cough (www.veeamug.uk) and can vouch for the excellent experience and help to share information/experience.
The User Groups are always on the lookout for new speakers to present. Now if that sounds particularly daunting then don’t worry, I think I can safely say every leader at each User Group is there to offer help and support. So go search out your local group and if there isn’t one locally, how about setting one up?
And it doesn’t have to be just a Veeam User Group you talk/attend. Given Veeam’s wide spread of partner technologies, you could just as easily share your experiences/knowledge at other user groups such as VMware User Group or Microsoft User Groups to name a few. Who knows you could even end up presenting at Veeam’s own global conference, VeeamOn.
By now hopefully, you have taken the decision to contribute and share with your fellow Veeam users. You are now wondering “what can I write/talk about?” Well, talks and posts usually fall into a couple categories:-
How to articles
How to set up and use a product. Or how product X helped solve a particular issue.
**Note** Remember even if you feel someone has covered the topic before, it’s your story that people want to read/hear about. That’s the interesting part.
How Veeam’s decision to do X or Y and why it is a good/bad move. You are allowed to disagree, so long as it’s not an attack and it’s a well-structured argument.
News and updates
Upcoming products/events coming from Veeam and alliance partners.
It’s worth pointing out that a lot of the points/information above equally apply to the other numerous Vendor Community programs, for example, VMware vExpert, Microsoft Valuable Professional, Nutanix Technology Champion etc
Hopefully, this post has given you some pointers and inspiration to go out an start contributing to the Veeam Community at large, and this is quite a timely post, as Vanguard nominations, applications and renewals are due to take place December/January.
So get out there and start contributing. I look forward to reading or hearing what you have to share. Who knows, we may meet at the next Veeam Vanguard conference.
Going the extra mile will, more often than not, take you further than a mile.
Good luck, you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.