Calling latin americans and africans to the vBB stage in VMworld us 2016!

Hello everyone and thank you for reading this post. Please help spread this link and don’t hesitate to contact us through twitter – @arielsanchezmor for Latin America and @GreggRobertson5 for Africa, and as always the @vBrownBag @vBrownBagLATAM and @vBrownBagEMEA handles.

If you are attending VMworld and you are Latin or African, you very well know you are a minority and an incredible exception. These two regions, which 1.7 billion people call home and have 20 and 54 countries each, are nevertheless the regions with the least VMUG participants and meetings.


In one of the VMUG Compass issues earlier this year, some advances were reported, but it is still nowhere near the levels of North America, Europe or Asia. There were 50% more memberships in the Latin American region; however, reading the fine print, we find there were only 4 meetings with a total of 58 participants – that was the total from all 20 countries. Africa was statistically added with the EMEA region (which takes into account Europe and the Middle East), but our sources tell us for the past year there have only been meetings in South Africa (although we see a Ghana meeting scheduled). This was the only upcoming meeting in the calendars for both regions.

Latin America calendar

EMEA calendar

However, both regions are home to bright, hard-working people that attend VMworld US and Barcelona, in an effort to become better and stay up-to-date.  They attend VMworld because they know the value of learning and then passing that information to others in their companies and native countries, but sometimes may feel lost when trying to navigate the seas of such a big conference or may now know how to get an introduction to the people they hope to meet. Without a doubt, it’s also home to VMUG leaders that are looking for more participation from their communities.

In vBrownBag we believe we can help with this situation. We are a popular, global and well established user-driven virtualization and infrastructure management community – and we strongly believe in the power of people helping each other in good faith. VMworld is the premier event for gathering VMworld administrators and we want to take advantage of this opportunity to help administrators in these regions connect and grow with their communities.

We know this model works. In VMworld US 2015 we had two small Spanish panels were vBrownBag LATAM talked about how nice coming to VMworld is, what interesting news we had just heard, and how nice it is to be able to share experiences and tips with others in the vCommunity, even if it’s only in virtual form. This vBrownBag LATAM community has grown in spite of borders and has frequent and active participation both from people in their countries, as well as from those who are Latin but now live in other regions. Even so, we know there are many more latin VMworld attendees that we are missing and that can be brought in!

For 2016 we are going to expand our efforts and do things a little differently, and we need your participation.

  1. We are making a public list of all the Latin and African VM administrators (that want to be included), with the twitter handle and a short note of interest so all administrators can see who will be around. You may even find other people from your same country that are attending which you didn’t know about!
  2. We are encouraging Latin and African administrators to present in vBrownBag TechTalks in their native language, English, or both!. These 10 min talks are “teach me something technical” in style and will be recorded and posted in our vBrownBag YouTube channel. If you have never done such a talk, we will happily coach you into selecting a topic and making a presentation you can be proud of. Sign up here!
  3. We will make the vBrownBag space in the community hangout at VMworld (this year called the VMvillage, in what is called Community Tech Talk Theater) a meeting point where you can find others. Whether a minute or the whole day, you are sure to find a friendly face here, and Ariel and Gregg will be recording videos, so they are bound to be around. There is seating, so you can assist live to the TechTalk recordings, plus it’s always one of the best places to mingle with other awesome vNerds (vExperts, VCDXs, and VMware employees frequently stop by). Just approach anyone and say hi! Let us know you will come on twitter if you want somebody to be expecting you. The best time to arrive is when you don’t have anything else to do, or lunch time, or when your day’s sessions are finished. If you’ve never attended TechTalks, there is a lot of “meat” in these fast presentations. Check the schedule, which is being updated as more talks come in!
  4. We will be doing recorded “VMware enthusiast spotlight” interviews where anyone, no matter where they are in their IT journey, can share with the vCommunity some of their time and tell us about their experiences. These are informal interviews that will be shared in the respective YouTube channels and a great way to introduce yourself to the vCommunity, make new friends and preserve memories, and send to loved ones back home (here are some demos in Spanish taken during the NYC VMUG; we’re planning on making them using the VMworld backdrops). We can tailor the content of these completely to your liking.

Whether it’s supporting each other when studying for certifications, helping others get accustomed to public speaking and creating material that supports vExpert applications, or providing a network of highly knowledgeable contacts, this is your vCommunity, and you get out what you put in. vBrownBag is global but regional at the same time, thanks to the magic of the internet. Help your own region grow by reaching out, being friendly and participating!

List of Latinos attending VMworld US 2016 (alphabetical)

If you are on a tight schedule, of particular importance is the vBrownBag LATAM panel, which spans two sessions on Tuesday at 4:15pm local time. Please note we already have some Spanish sessions, attend and support your fellows! Speaking for the Spanish speaking vBrownBag crew members, we always get very excited when we run into another Latino and try to get their contact info so that we can introduce them into the vCommunity and vBrownBag in general. We know how difficult it sometimes is to meet others in the same country that have the  same excitement over VMware technology. We also appreciate having peers with which we can discuss the latest in infrastructure management!

Name Twitter Country/Residence Note Doing a TechTalk?
Alberto Carrion @accarriona Panama VCAP5-DCA/DCD MCSE 2012 (doble), NPP TBD
Ariel Sanchez Mora @arielsanchezmor Costa Rica/US/NYC vBB crew, vExpert, NYC VMUG leader 8/30 16:15
Ivan Raul Camargo @ivanrcamargo Colombia (Bogota) vExpert, NetApp/HCI/Nutanix 9/1 11:45
Kyle Murley @kylemurley US/Costa Rica/SD vBB crew, vExpert, SDVMUG leader, VMworld Official Blogger 8/30 16:15
Larry Gonzalez @virtualizecr Costa Rica (SJO) vBB crew, vExpert, CR VMUG leader 8/30 16:15
Luis Concistre @LuisConcistre Cuba/Australia VCIX 9/1 12:15
Patricio Cerda @patote83 Chile VCI, vExpert, VMworld Official Blogger TBD
Sergio Muñoz @mrserch Mexico (DF) vBB crew y muchas letras mas 8/30 16:15
Stalin Pena @stalin_pena Dominican Republic/NYC VCIX-NV, VCAP5-DCA/DCD 9/1 12:30
Valdecir Carvalho @homelaber Brasil (Sao Paulo) vExpert, VMworld Official Blogger TBD
Wences Michel @wmichel Mexico&Brasil/US/DFW vBB crew, DFW VMUG leader 8/29 13:45 14:15
William Cheng @wcheng22 Panama SRM/NSX VCP-NV VCAP5-DCA/DCD TBD

List of Africans attending VMworld US 2016 (alphabetical)

vBrownBag EMEA is always on the lookout for participants and friends old and new – please contact @arielsanchezmor and @GreggRobertson5 to be added to this list!

Name Twitter Country/Residence Note Doing a TechTalk?
Gregg Robertson @GreggRobertson5 South Africa (UK) vBB crew, VCDX, Vmworld Official Blogger 8/31 4:45
Firoze Bhorat @Firozeb South Africa (Durban) VMUG Leader, vExpert and VCP 8/31 4:45
Johan Marais @Pinballas South Africa (Johannesburg) VMUG Leader, vExpert 14/15/16, VMware CTAB 8/31 4:45