It's no accident that one of VMware's core cultural values is "Community". It may sound twee, but I try to embody it every day in my working week as well as when I'm away from the keyboard.

It's that sense of community, of sharing and of learning that drew me in to technology user groups over a decade ago. I've benefitted greatly from them and I've always sought to give back. Sometimes that comes in the form of amplifying or sharing messages, other times it's sharing knowledge and experience. Once in a while you find an opportunity to help form or shape a community so that it can grow.

Rewinding back to late 2020 (I promise not to stay there too long!), Mark Brookfield and I were having one of our lengthy evening chats on Zoom. We talk about technology, share our plans, help each other in our home labs and, more often than not, sip a glass or two wine. One of our talking topics that evening was around user groups and communities. The idea of an automation-focussed user group was floated and we agreed to look in to it.

By chance I spotted a tweet some days later from my colleague, Robert Jensen:

Tweet from @rhjensen advertising an Automation User Group meeting

Definitely don't sit on your ideas too long or someone else will have them! It turns out that Robert had been running these events in Denmark for over a year at this stage, but Mark and I got in touch anyway. Robert was keen to grow the event beyond Denmark and so AutoUG is now becoming a bigger thing.

You may well wonder about VMUG. We're not aiming to replace VMUG at all. Two of our number have been VMUG leaders. All three of us have presented at VMUG events and I'm certain that we will many more times. Our motivation is just to focus on automation and provide a community where people with such interests can share and learn.

Our first international event is fast approaching. In fact it's just one week away, on Thursday 28th January at 5pm GMT. As well as presenting, we've been busy in the background standing up a broader presence.

  • Our website - This will evolve over time.
  • Twitter - For those bite-size nuggets and news about future events.
  • Events - Register on EventBrite for our events.
  • More, coming soon

We're also keen to get other people lined up to share. Please get in touch if you've done something or learned about something automation related and would be willing to present for 30 - 45 minutes about it. Infrastructure, applications, processes, even home automation!

For the agenda and registration, head straight to the event page. We look forward to seeing you there.

“Together, we create!” on brick wall
Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" / Unsplash