October 1, 2013

What is #vBrownBag?

vBrownBag is a community of people who believe in helping other people. Specifically we work in tech and we help other people in the tech industry to be better at their jobs by learning and growing. The most frequent activity is producing the vBrownBag podcasts and we also produce TechTalks at conferences.

The vBrownBag Video Podcasts

The vBrownBag crew host video podcasts where community members present on topics that will help others in the community. Some podcast series are aimed at helping people achieve certifications. For example: VMware’s VCP and VCAP certifications, AWS Solutions Architect and AWS DevOps Certifications. Other podcasts help community members learn an entirely new subject area like the Couch to OpenStack series. Other podcasts cover areas like storage or automation without a lot of vendor spin and with a lot of passion for the technologies. Some podcast sessions use slides and most provide demonstrations, some even set hands on homework for the viewers. The content is produced by the community members who present the podcast, ensuring that we’re learning from real world experience.

The US podcast has been running weekly since 2010, it is a wide ranging podcast covering may different topics in It infrastructure. The APAC Edition started in early 2012 and focuses on design and VDI. The EMEA and LATAM (Spanish language) podcast started in late 2012 as appetites grew for more local or native language content. In 2013 the OpenStack vBrownBag begun, reflecting Cody’s move from VMware focus to OpenStack focus.

vBrownBag also produce occasional sponsored podcasts, these are clearly marked as sponsored and provide an opportunity for an interesting vendor to present their product to the vBrownBag audience. The sponsored podcasts essentially record the presentation of the product to some of the vBrownBag community, complete with the questions we have about the product.
All vBrownBag podcasts are available through iTunes or your favorite podcast application, as well as appearing on Vimeo.

The vBrownBag TechTalks

The vBrownBag crew love IT conferences, the only place where we actually see each other, the awesome people who are our presenters and the community members who follow the podcast. The conferences are also a great place to generate some more community learning content. Since time is limited we have a lightning talk format, ten minutes for a community member to present the core of an idea or method. The short talk format allows us to get a dozen talks into a day without taking people away from the conference sessions. The tech talks sometimes have a place for a live audience, are usually live streamed and always posted to YouTube and Vimeo. TechTalks are a great way to share how you solved a problem or show a cool way to solve a problem. Like all vBrownBag activities TechTalks are a friendly place where the community supports and learns from it’s members.

TechTalks are a great way for a conference to engage it’s community more closely and allow a lot more presenters than the usual 45 or 90 minute conference presentation format allows. Due to the travel and equipment requirements TechTalks only happen with the support of sponsors. The vBrownBag crew, presenters and community really appreciate the support of vBrownBag sponsors. If your company would like to support vBrownBag then take a look at the Supporting vBrownBag page for the ways we have thought of or contact us to suggest new ways.

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