VMworld: Day 1

The 10th anniversary rendition of VMware’s flagship tech conference is officially under way!

I’ve been a user and fan of VMware for about 8 years, thus making it a mega techie sin that this is only now my maiden voyage.  I’ve never been lucky enough to make it out west for VMworld until now, and being a VMworld rookie is already an interesting experience. There is SO much to do that the entire experience is extremely overwhelming, especially for a first timer.

  • Hundreds of breakout sessions, hands on labs, and keynotes
  • Hundreds of presenters
  • Afterparties, meetups, tweetups, and vendor receptions
  • One of America’s coolest cities to explore

My first strategy for making the most of VMworld was to concentrate on being a savvy traveler.  I don’t travel much, so this is kind of a big deal for me.  I got electronic boarding passes, I put my hotel, flight info, and VMworld agenda into a synced Evernote notebook, and finally I planned out routes to/from my hotel via both hotel shuttle and Frisco’s impressive public transit system (http://tripplanner.transit.511.org is very helpful).  This all worked out pretty well, leaving me with a smooth travel experience.  It’s also really nice to  have a couple of free/low cost methods of getting around this city.  The first thing I did after checking into my hotel was to ride a cable car, which I found to be a really fun way to get around.  The Powell Street cable car was especially impressive because it provided some spectacular views of the city.  At Powell/California, for example, I could see all the way out to the bay bridge down a street luge’s dream of a hill.   All together, this planning and preparation left me feeling ready to hit the ground running when arriving in SFO.

My next strategy was to not worry too much about my sessions and labs.  Sure, you want to get into some of these things that are relevant to your interests and career, but you have HUNDREDS to choose from.  You could go over, over again, and still be making changes on your 5th time through schedule builder.  Sign up for the ones that make sense and then don’t worry about it anymore.  VMware makes them all available for download afterwards anyway.  Ultimately I forced myself to stop making changes and focus on making the most of the ones I picked.

Day 1 for me was designed to be registration, check in, and getting my bearings in the city.  It has been a success, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this experience.