Announcement

A Little Family and #vCommunity Fun

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Updated on 30 March 2020: We have postponed this event until April 7. Please continue to share with, encourage, and be kind to one another. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

By now, most of you have been cooped up at home for several days. It’s been pretty amazing to see the number of community calls popping up all over the place to keep us connected to one another. VMunderground even hosted one last week that was fun for connecting with old friends and meeting some new ones. But while it was cool to hang out for a couple of hours together, we felt it was missing something. It honestly kind of felt a bit like an extension to our work day, since most of our work day is spent talking to people through a video screen. We also felt like we weren’t using our time wisely by cutting our families out of that time. So we decided to do something different and fun that can bring us together with our #vCommunity friends AND our families at the same time.


Introducing VMunderground Trivia Night!


We decided to put together a free family-friendly trivia night that we can all participate in together across the globe, and with the people we’re sitting next to on the couch. Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Everyone joins a single Zoom session
  • Open up a web browser to provide your answers
  • 10 questions per round (don’t worry, they won’t be focused only on tech)
  • 6 rounds with short breaks in-between
  • Participate by yourself or as a team with your family/housemates
  • One sponsor that will provide prizes to the top scorers (they will receive a list of emails for all participants)

We’re still working out a lot of the details, but we are hoping to do this every other week…

Starting Tuesday, March 31 April 7 at 8pm EDT (5p PDT)

Want to participate? GREAT! Go ahead and mark it on your calendar. Between now and Tuesday, we’ll send out the Zoom link and the information to register to participate. Keep an eye out for updates on this site and @vmunderground on Twitter.

Sponsor Guest == VIP

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Although we already think there are plenty of good reasons for you to talk to our sponsors, here’s another one: sponsor guests will be treated to special “pre-game” access to the party from 7:30pm to 8pm, after which the “main party” begins and anyone with a ticket may be admitted.

That’s right: get cozy with one of our sponsors and not only do you save $10, but you get 30 minutes of private access to the eats, drinks, and conversation before the place gets crazy.

T-minus One Month

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Well, we’re one month out from the start of VMworld 2019 US, as well as Opening Acts and VMunderground.

Probably a good time to get the tickets & such out there, eh?

Your wish is my command…

Opening Acts Reservations: https://vsquaredb.ticketleap.com/opening-acts-2019/
VMunderground Tickets: https://vsquaredb.ticketleap.com/vmunderground-2019/

As in previous years, we’re limiting the number of tickets any person can acquire at one time. If you want more rules & blah-blah-blah, then scroll back through previous yearsticket release info. TL;DR: Don’t bogart the tickets; buy one for yourself, and let others fend for themselves.

Let it be known…

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Opening Acts and VMunderground will be held at

Tabletop Tap House

175 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
http://tabletopsf.com/

If that seems like a new location, but you recognize the address, you’re not wrong: the last time VMworld was in San Francisco, the space was a restaurant called “Jillian’s” and was the site of VMunderground back in 2012. It has been rebranded as a tap house, and some remodeling has been done, but it’s still well within the “walking distance” circle for the Moscone-area hotels.

2018 Opening Acts—Live Stream

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YouTubeOf course, the best way to experience Opening Acts is live-and-in-person, joining in on the interaction with panelists and peers. But if you’re unable to come, either because of conflicting meetings at VMworld, or you’re unable to join in the fun in Las Vegas, we’ve got you covered: we’ll be recording and live-streaming the panel sessions for “place- & time-shift” content consumers.

We’ll post links to the recorded content at a later time, but the live stream will be available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJJJ_9C_vkE

Opening Acts 2018—Why Are There So Many Clouds in My Infrastructure?

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If there’s one word that sums up the current state of IT, it would be “complexity.” With so many moving pieces needed to support a company’s applications and data, it’s no wonder there are so many companies aiming to solve this mess. But we’re not going to get into that (there’s plenty of marketing messages already covering this).

The topic we’ll be discussing during the Tips for Multi-Cloud Success panel at Opening Acts 2018 is a relatively new wrinkle in the IT complexity puzzle: having to manage multiple clouds. We’ve all heard the stories of shadow IT: marketing departments swiping their credit cards for Software as a Service applications and developers running up tabs on AWS, but now we have official uses of public cloud infrastructure: VMs running in Azure, email being hosted by Office 365, and backup/DR to the cloud solutions. And all of this is on top of our on-premises virtual infrastructure and/or private cloud.

But is this multi-cloud future inevitable? What does the future of IT look like with multiple clouds running our applications and data? Our panelists will discuss how we got into this situation, what it’s likely to mean to all of us, and how we get our arms around all of these different and disparate extensions to our infrastructure.  Any well-run infrastructure is built on solid management tools and processes, so they’ll also discuss how our tools and processes will need to change in order to properly manage these extended IT components.

Other questions we expect our elite group of panelists might discuss:

  • Are there particular cloud providers that people have had greater success with? Which uses cases are each best suited for?
  • What if our migration to the cloud fails? What does it take to move back or to another cloud?
  • How are VMware and other traditional on-premises vendors helping to ease this new paradigm?
  • What skillsets should we all be focusing on building/improving to best equip ourselves for this?
  • What about security and cost?!?

Speaking of panelists, here’s who we’ll have on stage to help answer these questions:

Whether you fear the cloud or not, this is a topic I expect many people will have to deal with in the next several years. Bring your questions and experiences, and join this information packed session.

 

 

Opening Acts 2018—Beating IT Burnout

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goenglish_com_burningthecandleatbothendsThe last Opening Acts panel of 2018 will be the Beating IT Burnout panel, to help you handle some of the challenges of working in an IT organization. The panel is formed with a mix of expertise, people working in IT who have suffered burn out and people who teach skills to avoid burn out. We will address questions like:

  • What causes IT burnout?
  • How is stress different from burnout?
  • What are the early (and late) symptoms of IT burnout?
  • How can I handle the causes better?
  • Is my job really sending me mad?
  • How do I help my partner understand my stress and burn out?

Moderator:
Alastair Cooke, I have been self-employed for the last twelve years, you might think that burn out and stress are a thing of the past, nothing could be further from the truth.

Panelists:

  • Eric Lee, the title of the panel came from Eric’s presentation at the Indy VMUG and the accompanying blog post that outlines how Eric has dealt with his IT burnout.
  • Kat Troyer, a career coach and organizational development consultant who teaches leaders how to build strong teams and constructive cultures. She is the founder of Gently Moving Forward and co-founder of The Influence Marketing Council.
  • Alicia Preston, along with Sonia Cuff, was the instigator of the mindfulness and IT burnout efforts at VMworld. Alicia is the founder of Mindful Roots, who specializes in applying mindfulness techniques to help youth & adults reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Thom Greene, a member of the vBrownBag crew and has recently taken on a couple of new roles in quick succession, learning a lot about what does and doesn’t make him happy along the way.
  • Lindy Collier-Grady, the founder vLadies and has a podcast called Hello from My Home Lab. She does speaking engagements all across the US in regards to women and technology.

Opening Acts 2018—Do you have the skills?

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A technology career has multiple stages that one goes through from their first internship or admin job to senior technical positions or into the executive ranks, but each stage has its own special skillset.  During our 1pm panel on 2018 Skills for Engineers/Architects/IT Executives at Opening SkillsActs 2018 we will talk through what it takes to grow your career. Equally important, we’ll discuss why sometimes you have to evaluate if the next level is right for you or if a change of perspective (to sales, to product management/development, or to a different specialty) is the next step in your career.  Learn from the group if more education has mattered, or if it has been mentorship or some other form of growth that has helped their career.

Join a star-studded group of panelists that have done everything from running their own companies to being in sales to product management to hands-on technical, and everywhere in between.  I have the pleasure of moderating this panel and will weave in a little of my transition from system admin to sales to product to executive ranks, and we will compare and contrast each of our stories. Take a look at the amazing list of panelists below and if you have questions you know you want asked please click the link below to submit questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ticketing 101

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Howdy, folks! We’ve kicked Eventbrite to the curb, both due to increasing costs as well as some problems many have expressed with their terms of service. In 2018 we’ll be using TicketLeap to handle registration and ticketing for the Opening Acts and VMunderground festivities at VMworld 2018 US.

Due to some of the ways TicketLeap differs from Eventbrite, we’ve set up the two events as… well… individual events. It may sound weird, but in previous years, we’ve done the reservations for Opening Acts and tickets for VMunderground under the same umbrella event, and while it seemed to have worked well for most people signing up/purchasing, we still had a little bit of confusion, plus the organizer reporting tools were a disaster.

This year, with individual events, our reporting will work, but TicketLeap also allows for a “shopping cart” experience, so you can get tickets & reservations in the same transaction: just select from multiple events and checkout using your shopping cart!

We’ve already posted the access to the free reservations to Opening Acts; we really want those more to get a headcount than any sort of restrictions, so opening them up now isn’t much of an issue. (Yes, we know it defeats the purpose of the shopping cart, but you can always wait if you want to get it done in one visit)

The party tickets will become available on Monday, July 23, 2018 at noon Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7).

I think.

This whole timezone thing for event planning is often unclear in how they’ll be applied…but that’s the plan.

At any rate, just head over to https://vsquaredb.ticketleap.com/vmunderground-2018/ to buy tickets when they become available.

Finally: as in previous years, we’re limiting tickets-per-transaction. There’s limited space in the venue, and if we run out of general admission tickets before you get a chance to buy one, there’s always our amazing sponsors who will have the bulk of available tickets for distribution. Hit them up; they’re the reason we’re able to do this at all.

We’re also asking some additional information to give to our sponsors. As always, we DO NOT divulge contact information, but we’d like to let them know—in aggregate—who attended by providing employer type and what sort of role you play in relation to VMware/VMworld attendance.

To wit: we’ll be asking you to select a role (decision-maker, influencer, user, etc) and provide a free-form answer for your employer’s industry when purchasing VMunderground tickets. Please take the questions seriously: good data makes it easier for us to sell sponsors on the value of putting their money into these activities.

Thanks, and we’ll see you in Las Vegas at the end of August!!!

Hello 0x7E2

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As of this writing, it’s only seven (7) weeks until VMworld 2018 US? Seems like seven (7) weeks is still plenty of time before we need to pack our kit and head to the airport…

But by other metrics, it’s going to get here faster than anyone wants…including the team here at Underground Central. We’ve got our homework still cut out for us: finding additional sponsors, announcing committed sponsors, finalizing session topics, populating the panel membership, coordinating with the venue for catering and audio-visual, etc.

But no worry…we’re veterans at this (this is our twelfth year!) and plan to have everything ready & in place for you when you arrive at Beerhaus on Sunday afternoon.

That’s right: We’re essentially “reverting to snapshot” from last year, doing pretty much the same venue and timing. Like last year, we’ll be starting the Opening Acts sessions at 1pm, running them back-to-back until 4pm. The kitchen & bar at Beerhaus will be open, but remain unsponsored for the panel sessions: you’re on your own to pick up the tab. If you’re not interested in eating there, best plan is to do lunch prior to arrival…and there are many, many options in the vicinity of New York New York Resort and Casino, the major landmark near Beerhaus.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Opening Acts: 1pm — 4pm PDT
VMunderground: Evening PDT
Beerhaus (at the Park)
3784 S Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109

The evening VMunderground party will start after the staff resets the venue space from the panel sessions; we’re still coordinating the exact time for the doors to open, but you can plan on it being after 7pm and no later than 8pm…

As mentioned in the first paragraph, we’re still seeking sponsors, so we aren’t planning on being able to commit to a zero-cost ticket for the party (as always, Opening Acts is a free event for all participants, but we’ll be requesting you to register for free reservations to help us get an idea of how full the venue will be). Like the last few years, we’ve needed paid tickets to “get us over the finish line.” so we’ll be selling party tickets once we’ve been able to finalize the sponsor slate.

And on that note, we’ll also begin announcing our committed sponsors this week; they’re the ones that really make this all possible, and will be an alternative option to purchasing party tickets. Keep an eye on the @VMunderground Twitter feed for new announcements–as well as the 2018 Sponsors page on this site–for more news on sponsors.