VMware {code} Connect 2020…Recap

This post is the 2nd in a series for #blogtober 2020 – more info about this challenge can be found here.

If VMworld 2020 was not enough for you, the VMware {code} Team came up with the unique and cool idea to have their own virtual conference specifically for the developer and coding community.

In their own words, the purpose of the conference was:

“Bring the VMware {code community} together with power sessions, code on the fly livestreams and a hackathon for two days of awesomeness”

VMworld {code} connect 2020 ran for 2 days right after VMworld ended – Oct 01 + Oct 02 and each day had a theme.

  • Day 1 was dedicated to a keynote from Kit Colbert, CTO, VMware and a single track of sessions.
  • Day 2 started with a keynote from Pat Gelsinger , CEO, VMware, a multiple track of sessions and finally a Hackathon.

Since the conference was running during PDT hours this was both good and bad, good because I was able to attend a lot of the sessions as it was after my working day but bad as it meant I had some late evenings and with family commitments this proved a bit challenging to completely stay focused and some sessions were missed as a result. Nevertheless this was a useful conference and I definitely learned some new techniques and skills which I will apply in my day to day role.

Another positive was that all sessions were LIVE on Zoom and not pre-recorded like VMworld so there was extra incentive to attend as it was a more realistic feel which provided more opportunity for interactivity.

Key Sessions

Here are some of the sessions I attended and wanted to highlight:

CODE4214 – Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) Clusters-as-a-Service with Sam McGeown: In this session, Sam showed how by using vRealize Automation you can easily automate the deployment of Tanzu Kubenetes Grid to provide TKG-as-a-Service. I am keen to learn more about Tanzu and vRA and this ticked both of the boxes.

CODE4105 – vSphere and VMware Cloud on AWS Automation Live Coding with William Lam: This was a 90 min session with the automation legend William Lam and he answered questions around vSphere, VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) and APIs. Where applicable he interlaced his answers with live coding. This was a cool session and it’s always good to hear William’s insight in the automation space. I have been working with scripting and querying API’s for some time now to meet customer requirements as well as internal projects so any tips I could pick up was a benefit.

CODE4226 – PowerCLI Code on the Fly with Kyle Ruddy: This was another 90 min session similar to William’s Q&A however this time Kyle was purely focused on PowerCLI and automation which I found especially useful as my primary scripting language is Powershell. I also need to give a shoutout to Kyle’s beard which is legendary in itself…LOL!

CODE4213 – Skills modernization for the Virtual Infrastructure Admin with Patrick Kremer: This session detailed Patrick’s 6+ month journey working with VEBA or VMware Event Broker Appliance and how he went from zero dev skills to actively contributing to the VEBA project and becoming an open source contributor whilst learning new skills such as containers and Git.

All sessions from Code Connect 2020 (except the Day 2 Keynote from Pat Gelsinger) can be viewed on the VMware {code} YouTube channel so I would encourage you to go check these out.

Conclusion

Given the pandemic and the switch to virtual conferences, CodeConnect 2020 was a great idea and it gave an alternative to VMworld which for me was a good opportunity to switch my brain to a more developer focused conference.

In previous VMworld’s it has not always been the easiest to attend VMware {code} sessions as they were included in the main VMworld program and I would tend to view breakout sessions and catch {code} sessions on demand after the conference.

I liked the fact that these sessions were not pre-recorded and this provided easier and more interaction with the session speakers which felt more personable than other events.

I also liked the wide range of topics as well from PowerCLI and APIs to Packer, Terraform and Tanzu etc. In this day and age it is especially important for traditional vSphere admins to broaden their horizons and skill set and CodeConnect was a great starting point to achieve this.

Kudos goes to all of the VMware {code} Connect team for organising the event especially Kripa Sitaraman and also for supplying the #CodeConnect swag as seen below!

I hope there is a CodeConnect 2021…either in person or virtual…fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment or message me on twitter (@lukaswinn) if you found this article useful.

— Lukas

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