VMware’s annual VMworld US conference is upon us again starting August 24th, 2019 in San Francisco, CA! For those of you technical individuals that have attended previous years, you most likely know about the main attraction at the conference. The main attraction at the conference every year is the (HOL) Hands On Labs!
Our Hands-on Labs demonstrate the real value of VMware solutions in real time. As a VMworld attendee, you’ll gain special access to our latest technologies and explore a wide range of today’s most exciting topics. You can use a VMware-provided machine or your own device; either way, product experts will be available to provide one-on-one guidance. Hands-on Labs will be located in Moscone West, Level 3.
I have been a part of the Hands On Labs staff for the last six years and it has been an incredible ride! It has been hard work, but has been the most rewarding experience in my IT career. I started out as a proctor the first few years, then became a lab captain and have been one for three years now.
As a lab captain, we take what features/capabilities our content leads want to showcase in the lab, then we put it all together. We figure out what VMware solutions we need in the lab environment and what use cases, features, etc. to show. Then it all comes together into the lab manual that we build from scratch. The development cycle for us takes months of work, but again it is very satisfying!
This year I am the captain of the “HOL-2001-01: What’s New in vRealize Operations 7.5” lab. So if you are interested in learning about what’s new in vRealize Operations 7.5, take my lab and let me know how I did. Feedback is always greatly appreciated! We create these for you and want you to get the best experience out of them, so feedback is important to us and we act on all your feedback.
Hands On Labs – VMworld 2019 Information:
At this years conference, attendees will have a variety of options in the Hands On Labs. Below are the optional experiences that we will have to offer. I have also provided tips for each one of the below options to enhance your experience and maybe walk away with a cool prize or two!
Self-Passed Labs: This is our popular service where you can interact with the latest VMware products at your own pace at a traditional workstation. Many product experts are in the room ready to assist. These flexible labs have 15- to 60-minute consumable modules that you can take incrementally throughout the week at VMworld. You can complete an entire lightning lab in just 30 minutes. Self-paced labs are delivered on a first-come, first-served basis and do not need to be scheduled in advance.
Self-Passed Tip: Make sure you complete the survey after you finish taking a lab. That is how we continually improve the customer experience. Not to mention, for every so many surveys taken (e.g. 100), we give away cool prizes (Echo Dot, wireless headsets, etc.)
(ELW) Expert-Led Workshop: These sessions are presented by the VMware product experts who develop lab content, creating an engaging, instructional environment. Workshops require advance sign-up through the VMworld US Content Catalog, now available online. Join us to get your questions answered and discuss solutions in a group setting.
ELW TIP: Even if the ELW is full, get there early and get on the waiting list. Many attendees register for the ELW and don’t show up, so there is still a good chance you can get into one!
Lab Tour: These 30-minute tours provide a behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to run our labs. The tour covers both business and technical topics focused on VMware products and solutions. You will meet lab creators and engineers running our multiple clouds.
TOUR TIP: At this point, many of the tours are already booked up. But we sometimes add additional tours as needed, so keep checking for availability!
(NEW!) VMware Odyssey: We are taking Hands-on Labs to the next level by adding gamification elements to the labs you know and love. Cheer your favorite team as they showcase their expertise across the VMware portfolio and compete to be the grand prize winner. Visit VMware Odyssey™ in Moscone West, Level 3 to learn more and enter for a chance to win prizes.
Odyssey TIP: The teams have already been selected, but come and support the teams anyway. They are giving away some prizes to viewers as well!
There is one final tip I would like to share with you, especially for those who are unable to attend the conference. In case you didn’t know, there is a “public-facing” Hands on Lab environment (https://labs.hol.vmware.com) that you can access from anywhere at any time.
Prior to the VMworld conference, you can access last years content which will have the versions of our solutions at that time. Within a month or so after the conference, we will start to release the brand new labs with the “most recent” versions of the labs to the public-facing HOL site. They get released little by little, so if you don’t see the one your looking for, keep checking back.
The first two digits of the lab numbers are the fiscal year they were developed for. So last years lab which you will see on the public site today start with “19**-00”. The new labs that will be showcased for this year start with “20**-**”. So that is how you can tell which labs are this years as they slowly get released to the public site.
Hopefully this post was helpful in providing you some basic information on what the Hands On Labs are, the benefits, what’s available this year, and helpful tips for attendees.
If you are attending the conference this year, take in all the information that is available to you in the sessions, take some of our labs, but most of all have some fun while you are there!
See you there!