Wow, the response to the “2014 vExpert Group, By the Numbers” post has been overwhelming. With over 1,000 visits from 81 different countries, and another 466 visits to the accompanying “The Practical Marketing of Yourself, A How-To Guide”, along with 300+ instances of someone sharing those two posts on social media, it’s been a busy few days over here, at least by this blog’s standards. Sure, it’s not Yellow-Bricks or Wahl Network busy, but I’ll take what my meager content contributions will support!
The conversations and feedback have also been fun, with lots of additional questions being asked about the group. I’ve added a couple stats below, and will look at adding more data points in the future. If you have suggestions, please chime in with a comment and we’ll see what we can do.
Changes Over Time
The first question I got, and the one asked most frequently, was around how vExperts changed over time, especially with respect to employer. It’s a powerful question, one that sheds light on the intrinsic value of belonging to the group. The sense is that the vExpert designation has been good for creating new opportunities, but there’s no evidence to back that up.
Unfortunately, this isn’t going to be easy information to report. If there were one master database that held all the vExpert information, where each member was tracked by a unique ID, and each year there was a record created that was a snapshot of where that member worked, it would be easy to query. What actually happens is that I cut and paste the vExpert list off of the website after it gets posted, and then filling in the blanks on the rest of the spreadsheet. I would imagine it possible that VMware has historical data for the vExpert teams, but they’ve never shared that with me or anyone else that I know of. The best we can do right now is a manual comparison across the 2012, 2013 and 2014 spreadsheets, but that’s not very easy to do in bulk.
So, I’m working on creating the master database. I have decent, if incomplete, data from 2012-2014, and I’m hoping VMware can help provide me whatever data they have from the early years. We can then assign each vExpert a unique ID, and allow them to edit their current and previous data from the same interface If anyone is interested in helping please reach out and let me know. I’m reasonably comfortable with SQL and front-end forms, but I’m sure some of you do that stuff in your sleep. Any help would be appreciated!
While “employer” is the most recognized sub-group within the vExpert group, there are folks who belong to many other industry and community groups. Let me know which sub-groups you’d like to track (VMUG leaders, analyst groups, independent consultant…) and I’ll get them counted. Here are a couple examples:
- #vDB (12 vExperts, 100% of group)
- The Virtualization Practice (6 vExperts, 40% of group)
- #vBrownBag (13 vExperts, 100% of group)
I think it’s interesting to look at the folks who have been in the program the longest, and where they are employed. Again, it’s a good bell-weather for the value of the program.
There are only six companies that employ more than one of the the 61 people who have been in the program all six years.
There are only four companies that employ more than one of the 39 people who have been in the program for five of the six years.
This seems really low to me. The folks with 5 and 6 years of service comprise 13% of the entire vExpert pool (100 of 766), and yet only 24 of those people work for companies who employ more than one. Add in that 10 of those 24 work for EMC or VMware directly, and I wonder why the concentration isn’t higher. Maybe, since it’s a community program, a single vExpert can represent an entire company, where as with a certification like a VCDX there’s value in having many on staff. What do you think?
If you have suggestions for other stats you’d like to see pulled, or if you have other sub-groups you’d like to track, please leave a comment below! Thank you all for your interest in these stats, it’s a lot of fun for me to do as well!