As a technical professional, it’s easy to get lost in the fray of the tech community. There is so much going on and so many tech pros out there that it’s hard to know where to go to get the best advice, how-to, or troubleshooting guidance when traversing the web or even in person. Over the past 10 years or so, the tech community has grown exponentially. Think back 10 years ago: VMware was still pretty young, Nutanix was just getting off the ground. There weren’t many good communities that you could rely on like you do today. Now there are countless helpful and supportive technical communities that you can interact with online or in person. Let’s take a look at some of the best.
VMware Technology Network (VMTN)
VMTN or VMware Communities offer a large space in which you can find your niche depending on the VMware product. This community is near and dear to me, as I got my start with VMware back in 2010, I relied heavily upon VMTN. There are so many VMware gurus out there and this community is a gathering place for most of them. What’s so great about VMTN is anyone will reply to you, regardless of their status or yours. Everyone is willing to share what they’ve learned – whether it’s an experience taking a certification exam or standing up a new NSX implementation, you can find it on VMTN. Being active in a forum like this is a good way to give back to the community and share your knowledge with everyone. Visit VMTN when you get a chance and see for yourself.
If you are a networking nerd, it’s likely that you are already a member of the Cisco Community. Cisco has an amazing network of tech pros in their community with over 761,000 members and 818,506 discussions going around you can really dive in and find what you want. Some members put up blog posts, some share discussions around the latest and greatest technologies that Cisco has to offer, and others share and compare switch configuration issues and solutions. Cisco has a sub community called “Small Business Support Community” where as a small business you can find help with your issues as they relate to a much smaller scale than the enterprise. Other subcommunities are Services, Network Architecture, Security, Collaboration/Voice/Video, Data Center, and Wireless. Head on over to Cisco Communities to learn, share, and collaborate with other network gurus.
Microsoft Tech Community
Obviously we all know where Microsoft stands in both the history of technology, as well as the tech that we use every day. There is so much related to Microsoft such as Active Directory, .NET, IIS, Windows Server, Windows 10, Surface laptops and more that we deal with on a regular basis – it’s good to have a solid community of tech pros to support it all. On Microsoft’s Tech Community site you can read through blogs, engage in the tech community threads, and check out upcoming events and more. The Tech Academy site which branches off the community site is a place where you can learn from several different tech paths such as: Office 365 Deployment and Management, OneDrive for Business, Developing with Microsoft Teams, and many other paths. The Microsoft universe is vast and the Tech Community site is a great place to dig in and find something to pique your interest.
Nutanix is quickly staking it’s claim to be the best solution available in the hyper-converged infrastructure space. Created by Dheeraj Pandey in 2009, Nutanix has grown to be a global presence. With an ever-growing user base and annual Nutanix .NEXT conference, Nutanix’s NEXT Community brings it all together. Whether you are a beginner or expert, you can find ways to contribute and/or pose questions to the group collectively. One of the posts on the site’s blog is titled, “I’m new here, how do I get started?” Other posts range from “Let’s build the future together – submit your product ideas” to “Nutanix Object Storage service.” If you are currently stuck on an installation of Nutanix, you can read up in the thread “Installation and Configuration,” or if you want to know more about their management product PRISM, there’s a thread for that too. Next time you have a question about Nutanix, go visit their Nutanix NEXT Community.
But Wait, There’s More…
I’ve really only scratched the surface when it comes to community forums. There are other forums like SolarWinds Thwack Community, SpiceWorks community, and Dell Technologies community. Fortunately we live in a world today where there’s a community or forum for just about anything you are working on or want to know more about. That being said, these communities don’t exist on their own. They wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for the people in the community that are sharing and giving back. Get out there and do your part to give back to an tech pro community and reap the rewards you’ll get from doing it.