The announcement was made this week that applications for the 2017 VMware vExpert program was open. There are three paths open to individuals for applying to be considered a vExpert — Evangelist Path, Customer Path and VMware Partner Network Path. I have been fortunate to be part of the vExpert program for the past two years and have felt honored each time the award has been announced. My goal has been to give back to the community that has provided so much to me in my career over the past several years.

The program has grown considerably over the past few years, with larger numbers of vExpert being including in the award program. There are now additional tracks for NSX and Virtual SAN technologies. Like certifications, these type of community-based awards are good for your career path and are an outward expression of an inward commitment to always improving your skillset.

If you are passionate about VMware technologies, enjoy talking about these things either privately within your company or externally at conferences and other digital mediums, I encourage you to apply for the vExpert program or to nominate someone who has helped you within the community. Applications and nominations are open until midnight PDT December 16th, 2016, so you have just over a month to apply.

Don’t procrastinate!