2014 vExpert Group, By the Numbers

First, I want to thank everyone who helped me gather the information used for the stats below.  Thank you to Corey Romano and John Troyer for the core list, and thank you to each and every vExpert who took the time to update the rest of their information.  An especially large thank you goes out to Jim Millard and Geoff Wilmington who took time on a weekend to help me research and update the blank entries on the list.  Without their help, this would have taken much longer, and the data would have many more holes!  Thanks guys!

The vExpert group has grown every year, but this year was pretty significant.  With 766 new and returning members, the group grew by 185 members, or 32% year-over-year.  With 274 new members, that means that 99 vExperts from 2013 were dropped or did not re-apply for 2014.

As always, the numbers below are 100% unofficial, and have been collected from the vExperts themselves, and from other public sources, primarily Twitter, their personal blogs and LinkedIn.  If there are any errors or omissions they are unintentional, and every vExpert has access to the source data and can update it at any time!  If there is additional data you’d like to see collected (I’m working on vExpert/VCDX overlap and on adding a “Specialization” column based on requests), please let me know in the comments below!

  • The vExpert group remains focused primarily in the US with 330 of the 766 members based there, or 43%.  This is up from 40% in 2013 when 233 of 581 vExperts were from the US.
  • Per-capita, the country of Luxembourg added its second vExpert and shot to the top of the list, displacing last years top country, Iceland.
  • In the US, we can break down geography a little more granularly.  As expected, California and Texas (the largest of the US states) have the largest number of vExperts, but North Carolina is somewhat of a surprise at #3.  Overall, there are vExperts in 40 of the 50 states, and 36 states have more than one.
  • As in past years, Twitter usage has become a standard form of community enabler, with the percentage of vExperts who have accounts climbing from 90.3% to 92.3%.  Not all of those accounts are active, and some are even protected, but the vast majority of the group participates there regularly.
  • 538 of the vExperts (70%) list some form of online presence, like a blog or website.  Again, not all of these are full on blogs, but the majority of the group is active.
  • 61 vExperts have been in the program all six years it’s been in existence!
  • 40 vExperts have been in the program for five years
  • 75 vExperts have been in the program for four years
  • 117 vExperts have been in the program for three years
  • 199 vExperts have been in the program for two years
  • One of the more eagerly anticipated part of the statistics deals with employer.  It’s always interesting to see which companies grow and nurture participation in community groups like the vExperts, and which companies become destinations for people in the group.  There were 713 people in the group (93%) who had publicly available employer information.  The sizable increase in the group meant that almost everyone added vExperts in 2014.  Between the popularity of the group and the benefits it provides, the amount of energy that VMware expends in managing it, the continued success of VMware in the market and the increasing awareness that employers have as to it’s value, it appears the vExpert brand has never been stronger.
  • VMware easily leads the way with a total of 103 vExperts, or 45% 14.4% of the total group and 45% of vExperts employed at the top 15 companies on the list, up from 41.6% in 2013.  Interestingly, while VMware certainly has some more well-known names in the community, they also have the largest number of “non-social” vExperts.  More than 10% of the VMware members have no online presence or Twitter account.  It would be interesting to find out from Corey and John what the thinking is around the contributions these folks make to the larger team.  Since VMware has created a separate path for inclusion that’s specific to VMware employees there’s certainly no controversy, but I’m curious as to whether making up 45% 14% of a ~700 person group is sustainable in the long term. (Thanks to Mads Fog Albrechtslund for pointing out my denominator error!)
  • VMware (103/+46), EMC (26/+7) and Nutanix (11/+6) were all companies who increased their number of vExperts on staff this year, with  HP (11/+2), Xtravirt (11/+4), Varrow (10/+2) and IBM (9/+6) rounding out the top of the list. (Thanks to Calvin Zito for pointing me at his recent blog post that helped us find his final, wayward HP vExpert!)
  • VCE (8/-4) and Veeam (7/-1) were the only companies in the top 5 in 2013 to have lost vExperts in 2014.
  • 52 companies have more than one vExpert on staff
  • Over 400 individual companies have at least one vExpert on staff.

As always, the vExpert program remains a model for these kinds of groups in it’s attempt to meld outreach, community building and evangelism.  I’m excited to be a member for the fourth straight year, and can’t wait to meet everyone at VMworld later in the summer!