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VMware’s Partner Ecosystem: Developers Wanted

Pat Gelsinger

Pat Gelsinger

As Dell works to acquire EMC and VMware, both Michael Dell and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger are working hard to communicate their vision — while also gathering partner and customer feedback. That’s where VMUG — the VMware User Group — and developer messaging for customers and partners is becoming so darn critical.

Indeed, Dell and Gelsinger attended the VMUG Leader Summit earlier this month in Palo Alto, Calif., according to TechTarget. During the gathering, VMUG attendees pressed Gelsinger about VMware’s developer tool strategy, according to Steve Athanas, the Boston VMUG leader.

And therein resides the challenge and opportunity for VMware: The company is striving to attract developers to its ecosystem. But in some cases, apparently, the massive VMware User Group (VMUG) organization is devoid of developers. As Athanas told TechTarget: VMUG membership has been 90 percent IT operations over the years, with few developers joining the user group.

Attracting Developers: What History Tells Us

Part of the challenge involves messaging — and simplicity. For instance:

  • Sun rallied developers around a single mantra — Java: Write Once, Run Anywhere — in the 1990s.
  • Microsoft rallied its developers around the Win32 API in the 1990s, and around .NET for most of the Internet and cloud computing wave.
  • For the mobile revolution, Apple focused developers on iOS and the App Store, while Google pulled developers onto Android and the Google Play store.
Steve Athanas

Steve Athanas

And what of VMWare? Athanas, recapping that group meeting with Gelsinger, told TechTarget:

“VMware has made this big push to move into more than just compute virtualization. One of the areas they’ve been doing a lot of work in is developer tools: Photon, Lightwave, containerization, Docker support [and] VMware Integrated OpenStack. From the perspective of VMUG leaders — who are 100% IT ops — VMware keeps coming out with developer tools, but none of us has any idea what they do. So, Pat was pressed on, ‘What does this mean for us?’ Because over the past few years, VMware has gotten louder at saying the word developer. In keynotes now, you’re hearing developer. I don’t even know what Cloud Foundry is. I think the questions primarily centered around, ‘What does VMware see five to 10 years out?’

No doubt, Athanas has pointed out a lengthy list of emerging VMware-related technologies — some of which may appeal to delivers. But where should developers start their potential journey with VMware?

VMware Developer Center

The simple answer is VMware Developer Center, an online portal that outlines developer opportunities, certifications and software development kits. The overall goal: Empower partners to develop applications for software defined data centers (SDDC).

A simple four-step engagement process points developers to VMware’s (1) partner programs, (2) developer tools, (3) SDKIs and APIs and (4) associated communities. Get up to speed, and you can promote applications or software you’ve written in the VMware Solution Exchange.

Still, novices could become overwhelmed by VMware’s list of SDKs across various use cases — including management and orchestration, platform and compute, storage, networking and security and end-user computing.

Of course, you can always turn to the VMware Developer Community for various discussions and online guidance from industry peers.

And once the holidays wrap up, we’ll be sure to ping VMware for deeper information about its 2016 developer strategies.

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