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In support of #VMworldHackathon @vmwarecode and @carlcapozza #PGHLittleHack

@arielsanchezmor here again. Humor me while you read this long post. I wanted to share some of our internal discussions and mindset here at vBrownBag ๐Ÿ™‚

 

TL:DR

vBrownBag is excited with what VMware Code has achieved with the Hackathons and we want to help keep the energy flowing by helping local hackathons happen. We see the Hackathon spirit as similar to what we do in vBrownBag. The vBB crew will try to foster local Hackathon events as much as we can!

 

Long version:

It’s no secret most of us in vBB crew are tied to the hip with VMware. Several of us are employees, but for most, our careers owe a lot to VMware. No matter where we work, VMworld is probably the one IT event where most of the crew actually can see each other’s faces and “meet in meatspace” as @mistwire puts it. I would even venture out to say most of our frequent viewers work with VMware technologies in their day to day.

vBB has stated that we focus on helping others who want to learn or share what they know (see our about page). What that also means is we don’t set ourselves technology limits, such as focusing solely on VMware tech. If people show interest in learning X, we will try to find a presenter who can cover X, and our video catalog and TechTalks schedule reflect that.

Back in 2014 when DevOps really became a thing, vBB had presenters on it. The first Commitmas was a gateway for many VMware admins who were interested in learning Github but didn’t know how to start. The Return of Commitmas focused on 200-level issues for those that had already started using Github, and the 3rd year was all about contributing to a project. Tip of the hat to Cody, JFrap, Josh, Kyle, Alastair and many others in our team who had vision, but if you ask them, they will tell you it’s also a product of following a feeling, not hard rules.

In a way, you can use vBrownBag as a barometer of what admins want to learn. Truly, if you attend our webcasts, you at least have a good finger on the general pulse of the IT industry. Public cloud and massively scalable deployments have changed the industry these last few years. VMware wisely realized that their role had to shift from the premier private cloud technology seller to a strategic provider that can help any company achieve anything they want with private, public or hybrid infrastructure.

For the last two years, arguably the best events in VMworld have been the Hackathons. Championed by @vmwarecode, William Lam and Alan Renouf (and many more behind the scenes like Tim Bonneman – they have done a truly remarkable job) these events really challenged the VMware admin into getting out of their comfort zone and adopting the new breed of technologies. It has been wonderful. People of all skill levels have found a space to just geek out. They learned something they didn’t know, met others, maybe rubbed elbows with people they admire, and formed lasting connections. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen without some solid hours of screen time where people can talk, try to collectively achieve something, and in a judgement-free setting. Ok, the beers may have also helped – the point is, it’s been rewarding and FUN! The participation in the VMware Code Slack has skyrocketed as a product of this as well, and code.vmware.com is now a known super useful resource for lots and lots of people.

This year was my 2nd VMworld Hackathon – in both I’ve been a cheerleader. I live in Pittsburgh and pushed two very smart local friends into forming an Ansible focused team, even if it was their first VMworld (we learn to voluntell here in vBB). In particular, Carl Capozza loved it – and he wanted more. We talked and talked about it and finally decided we wanted to keep this energy going and for that we needed to step up.

Sure, it would be easy to say “I hope someone organizes one here” … but I’ve been around the block a few times and know that this type of community magic doesn’t just happen – you have to commit and invest the time. And the more I thought about it, I remembered how many times vBrownBag has discussed internally doing local meetups with this same vibe – a spirit of helping others and all of us collectively getting better. I talked to Cody et all in our Slack and they said “do the thing” – this is something vBB can get behind! It fits right in with our latest series, API Zero to Hero ๐Ÿ™‚

We reached out to the VMworld Hackathon founders and told them what we want to do, asking for their blessing – we definitely don’t want to cause any conflict with any other plans. Carl published this excellent blog post and we promoted it on twitter. Immediately we got good feedback on other people thinking about the same thing. We don’t know exactly how this will look in the future, so expect changes, but for now, a local version of the VMworld hackathon will happen in Pittsburgh this 9/15!

So, this blog post serves to announce that

vBrownBag is excited with what VMware Code has achieved with the Hackathons and we want to help keep the energy flowing by helping local hackathons happen. We see the Hackathon spirit as similar to what we do in vBrownBag. The vBB crew will try to foster local Hackathon events as much as we can!

There are no plans to stream or record this – we’ll probably just do a recap post. The point is helping in any way we can to keep this peer sharing going. There’s lots of paths this may take, and we hope we inspire other cities into doing the same ๐Ÿ™‚

You read all the way down here? I owe you a beer, bless your soul. What do you think? Tweet us. See you soon in a hack!