The Expert2Expert Virtualization Conference (E2EVC) just celebrated its 20th birthday! Established back in 2003, it’s one of the longest-running virtualization events in existence, connecting seasoned end-user computing experts from around the globe for deep-dive virtualization and cloud computing discussions and information-sharing.
E2E Berlin last month was no exception – it sold out fast and lived up to all expectations and then some. It was yet another epic meeting of the best & brightest IT minds catching up in person and openly sharing their seasoned expertise and individual perspectives for the benefit of the 200 attendees; the worldwide end-user computing (EUC) Community; the organizations that they advise, support, and contribute to; and ultimately, the evolution of the IT industry.
So… Tell Us More about E2E!
This 3-day virtualization and cloud extravaganza is billed as, “a series of worldwide, non-commercial virtualization community events. Our main goal is to bring the best virtualization experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections.” This couldn’t be more accurate, as anyone who has attended would agree.
E2EVC is a long weekend chock full of tech presentations, master classes & roundtable discussions. Over 50 virtualization and cloud community experts presented on a variety of topics – from technology deep-dives to business-level skills, openly sharing the latest and greatest content, recommendations, and tips & tricks for success, in addition to their insights on the current and future state of our industry.
A Selection of Conference Highlights
E2E Berlin kicked off, as it usually does, at the Networking Reception on Thursday evening – only this time it felt different. The EUC Community had been physically apart for so long because of the pandemic, the experience was reminiscent of a super successful high school reunion, complete with warm embraces and a renewed appreciation of each other’s company. It’s true we are now in an era of working from anywhere and that is a wonderful thing, but there is still something very special about being side-by-side with your peers now and again. Spending time in each other’s company was invaluable to us all.
The workshops and sessions themselves contained some amazing content. From the now traditional welcome by E2E creator, Alex Cooper, where every new attendee is made to feel welcome – through to a true master class in automating Microsoft Active Directory Reporting by long-standing community contributor and industry awardee, Carl Webster.
There were numerous updates from across the EUC industry on new features and upcoming trends from both seasoned and new virtualization and cloud-native companies, and of course, a variety of interesting community sessions, ranging from how do you your job from inside a Tesla (René Bigler and Sacha Thomet) through to the real-world lessons learned from not thoroughly considering the business impact of the design decisions you make and why this step in the product development process is critical, by Adam Cooperman. …And then then was Geek Speak @ E2E Berlin (see below)!
All in all, an amazing collection of people talking about a rapidly changing industry. All with one thing in common: the desire by each presenter and attendee alike to share with the community and learn from each other.
Geek Speak @ E2E Berlin was EPIC
In true community fashion and as I’ve done since 2008, I moderated a lively, 2-hour, unfiltered Geek Speak session to close the conference! This unprecedented open discussion session allowed attendees to wind down from 3 days of back-to-back intense learning, have some fun, and deep-dive into passionate conversations about the topics we care most about.
We transformed the room into a large circle, and had a non-stop, hours-long all-in conversation about many hot industry topics. Here’s a taste of what we discussed:
What’s Been Top of Mind for Attendees?
- The evolution of the cloud, and transition from traditional on-prem to public cloud solutions
- Tips & tricks for simplifying desktop and app virtualization, and VDI solutions for customers
- Strengthening IT security in a remote & hybrid work world
Personal/ Career Topics
- The new necessity to expand skillsets to include business-level skills
- Evolving career paths – where to go next
- Personal growth – communication skills are key
What hot topics resonated the most?
- The critical nature & evolution of IT security
We discussed how a significant number of the conference sessions, either wholly or in part, considered the security of the end-to-end workspace. Security has always been a hot topic and major consideration, but along with the evolution of cloud computing, more stringent security requirements across industries, and the widespread shift to hybrid and remote work, especially considering many organizations still have a hybrid environment that includes on-prem datacenters, security is an increasingly critical factor that applies to every facet of an organization’s IT environment, from cloud provider – to desktop solution – to endpoints.
- How community events are shifting to meet the changing industry
We had an in-depth conversation about how and why community events have been organically changing from mostly structured technical sessions to also include business-level learning and even self-growth. Many of us didn’t even notice it at first, but it became readily apparent after the event hiatus during the pandemic. Some of the most popular sessions at this and other community conferences have been focused on non-technical topics, toward the business end of the spectrum. Why? One reason we agreed on is that roles across many organizations have been shifting, departmental silos are present, and cross-team communications are not always effective enough, and in some cases, not happening much at all. To be successful in our careers, we’ve been looking outside of our immediate skillset to make sure we better understand other functions in an organization, so that we can communicate more effectively, understand their priorities and processes, and connect the dots to help create a more collaborative work environment that leads to faster and more successful project completion.
- Emerging career opportunities that community members are considering
There was a lot of interest in discussing the many opportunities we have career-wise to pivot and level-up during the industry-wide evolution to the public cloud. Many of the opportunities mentioned were cloud-related roles – individual roles, such as cloud architect, cloud admin, and cloud developer; as well as company-wide opportunities, such as becoming a cloud partner / integrator, or cloud-native solution partner.
We are thrilled to continue supporting and participating in this unique, game-changing community conference, and I’m looking forward to seeing y’all at the next one!
Head of Community