"For fate has a way of charting its own course, but before one surrenders to the hands of destiny, one might consider the power of the human spirit and the force that lies in one's own free will" - LOST/ The Final Chapter-2010

My contest submission (07/26/17) - I truthfully felt I had NO CHANCE:

Good Afternoon All,

I'm going to submit my comment but in reality due to the costs of hotel and airfare (on short notice), I most likely will not be able to attend. Some may ask why should I even bother submitting my comment? If I didn't do so, I would regret it and I dislike living in regret. I'd prefer to share my story and not win instead of wondering WHAT IF? With that being said…

Thanks for granting us the opportunity to win such a fantastic prize. I'm relatively new to VMware products (1-2 years) but I'm fascinated by its potential as it applies to both the company I currently work for and my career going forward. In 2016, I made a commitment to myself, family and colleagues that I would pursue each of the VCA6 certs and pass them successfully. With the proper study materials, HOL's and the support from everyone around me, I am happy to report that I successfully passed each of the exams (5) in 2016. This was only the beginning and my goal for this current year is to pursue and successfully pass the VCP6-DCV certification. With advice from folks in the industry (Dave Davis & Josh Andrews) and VMware employees (William Lam, Prabhu Barathi & Jad El-Zein) whom I've gotten to know via Twitter and their respective blogs, I decided to enroll in a VMware approved training course (ICM 6.0) which began in May and concluded on July 19th. I was able to successfully pass the Foundations exam shortly thereafter and I’ve now moved onto pursuing the professional (VCP6-DCV) exam with hopes of receiving a passing score before the end of this year.

Why am I entering a contest for a free VMworld Pass? Simple answer, why not? It never hurts to learn and if it's provided free of cost, it would be foolish not to enter the contest. This would also provide me with a great learning opportunity while also networking with others in the same boat as well as seasoned veterans of previous VMworld conferences. I mean c’mon, who doesn’t want to take a selfie with William Lam & Jorge Torres at VMworld in Vegas?

I never stop, my motor keeps moving and I'd like to take advantage of this opportunity to expand my VMware knowledge. My work experience is limited but my desire to learn and grow is unlimited. Unfortunately, training costs money and unfortunately money is thin at this time and this offer will be greatly appreciated if I win and I assure you I intend to take full advantage of it. In life, we all start somewhere and the same applies to our careers. A little help never hurts and it can only build a relationship to last for many many years.

With that being said, I'd like to thank you for this offer and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Al Rasheed

On August 1st, the contest was narrowed down to the "Selected 7" - see below:

On August 2nd, the winner of the VMworld 2017 Pass is.....please pardon the shaky video

The purpose of this site is to provide a everyone some perspective about my journey during VMworld 2017. This will include a how I arrived at VMworld and a daily breakdown that includes the sessions and HOL's (Hands on Labs) I attended, the relationships I formed and beyond.....

What is VMworld? The official description provided by VMware can be found here but I'll do my best to describe in the format of a list:

1. Empower your career! - Take on the challenge of learning something new that could potentially reinvent the future. This can be accomplished through breakout sessions that could potentially create new possibilities.

2. Tear down the walls! - This includes networking, sharing ideas and forming relationships with individuals in the industry you would have never imagined meeting.

3. Listen! - Get a taste of what is to come, which includes current and future technologies\trends.

4. Test Drive! - There is no better time to get your hands dirty and this can be accomplished with the HOL's (Hand On Labs), sessions and discussions.

5. Apply the Knowledge! - Take the lessons learned through training, HOL's, networking and apply them towards a certification. This could potentially lead to improving your IT infrastructure while also leading to a decrease in costs.