The first day of VMworld is largely a day of logistics. After stashing my laptop behind the microwave (my motel room was not particularly secure) and double-checking Google Maps, I began my half mile trek to Moscone Center. After several days of blistering temperatures in Austin, the cool breeze of San Francisco was a welcome relief. The check-in process went much more quickly than last year in Vegas, and I was soon back on the street heading for Moscone West to get my VMworld backpack and water bottle.
First on the agenda was Opening Acts, put on by VMunderground at a nearby venue. The event brings together technologists to meet and talk. Opening Acts also put on several panel talks with industry experts and veterans, who discussed topics pertinent to IT careers, including pay, equity, benefits, certifications and education, and work-life balance.
After a quick lunch, I proceeded to the Hands on Labs area, where I was able to access VMware’s virtual labs to work on virtualized labs to learn and experiment. While not as permanent as a homelab, it’s a great way to get guided help on specific topics, and since these labs are not locked down to the topic at hand, they allow users to experiment or try out the installed software and virtualized hardware without permanently breaking anything.
As evening drew near, I headed to the VMUG Member Party at SPiN!, a local taphouse. Snacks and drinks were provided, and we were treated to not only VMware COO Sanjay Poonen making an appearance, but Michael Dell himself showed up to thank the VMUG membership for our support. After everything settled down, I headed back to Tabletop Taphouse for the VMunderground 2019 event. There I played tabletop games with some new friends.
The cool breeze had turned sharp and cold by the time we left the venue, and I grabbed a Lyft back to the hotel, double-checked the next day’s schedule, plugged in all of my technology to recharge and drifted off to sleep.