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Nutanix User Groups 101

By Rebeca Kinslow

It’s no fun to nerd out over IT alone. So don’t! Do it with the NUGs. 

Nutanix User Groups (NUGs) began in 2016 with the goal of creating opportunities to bring together passionate IT professionals and cloud builders to engage in meaningful conversations and build friendships in their community. Today, NUGs are all over the world, with 55+ chapters meeting a few times a year (typically 2-4 times) to discuss and learn from best practices and use cases, experience product demos, and share good company. 

If you’ve thought about joining a NUG but weren’t sure exactly what you’d be getting into, or don’t know much about NUGs but are eager to learn more, keep reading. Let’s talk about what really goes down in NUGs.

NUGs in 3 Words

All NUG chapters have a “NUG Champ,” or group leader. We asked our champs to share the 3 words that come to mind when thinking of leading their NUG meet-ups. 

“Learning, Understanding, Sharing.”   - Renny Lui, Singapore NUG Champ

“Best networking. Relevant agenda. Awesome Local SE.” 

- Faisal Jawad, Calgary NUG Champ

“Networking, Content, Socializing and Beer … (oh wait, that’s a fourth!)” 

- Scott Osborne, Omaha NUG Champ 

Read more NUG Champ answers here

What goes on in NUG meetings?

Demos

NUG meetings often give participants the opportunity to see new IT technology in action with the help of a Nutanix product expert. Some past demos NUGs have run are: 

  • Desktop-as-a-Service with Xi Frame

  • All-in-one data protection solution with Nutanix Mine with Veeam

  • Best practices for one-click storage with Objects 2.0

  • AOS deep-dives and updates 

Have a demo in mind that you’d love to see? NUG leaders want to provide members with relevant and engaging content, so they're always open to new suggestions for demos or discussions. 

Q&A on IT challenges

Chances are, if you’re facing an IT challenge, another NUG has been through a similar situation and knows how to help. 

NUGs also continue their conversations by contributing to monthly spotlights. Recently, we asked our NUG Champs to share their favorite tips & tricks for working from home. Check out one Champ’s nuggets of wisdom below. 

“Essential equipment: bluetooth headset, dual monitors, comfortable work area, collaboration tools.  My company uses MS Teams, a conference bridge line for meetings that don’t require video or presentation, and Softphone on the computer to allow clients to use company lines while remote.  

I use a standing desk at home but for those with a standard desk, periodically get up and stretch or walk around to keep the blood flowing. Take a walk during lunch. Try to keep in contact with team members throughout the day. If you have kids like me, develop a protocol so others in the house know when you are on a call.” - Paul Johnson, Charlotte

Read more here

Socializing

Wondering where this all takes place? NUG meetings venues are always exciting. NUGs get together at breweries, hotels, restaurants, and activity centers like Dave & Buster's and Topgolf. In 2019, the Omaha NUG was awarded bragging rights for the most unique meeting venue after having met at the Axe & Archery Games of Omaha! 

“The Omaha NUG had a great time playing dodgeball (with archery) and throwing axes...Had our largest turnout to a meeting yet. We celebrated 2 years of Omaha NUG meetings. It was a great time for everyone. The archery was a hit!” - Steve Elgan, Omaha NUG Champ

Check out this blog to read more about some end of 2019 NUG highlights. 

It goes without saying that recently NUG meetings have gone virtual. This has meant hilarious virtual backgrounds, and lots of shared advice on how to tackle common “WFH” challenges. Mike Ewanic, Chicago NUG Champ, recently shared how his chapter has adapted to having online meetings. 

“With COVID-19, it was a very natural progression into talking about EUC and the Nutanix technologies around that. And it didn’t hurt having a mini happy hour at the end of the meeting!”

Read the rest of Chicago’s NUG spotlight here.

What are the biggest takeaways? 

In our monthly chapter highlights, we asked members to share what they’ve gotten out of their experience being in a NUG. Here’s what they had to say: 

“I have been a member of the Nutanix User Group going on two years now. It has been an amazing experience of being able to discuss similar or new situations with like-minded professionals in the field.” - Michael Cao, Huston NUG Champ 

“I have been a NUG member for about 2 and a half years. The community is great. I really enjoy getting to meet lots of other people that share my interests in technology, both from Nutanix and other companies. Also, I am a naturally shy person, so having a platform to step out of my comfort zone and do some public speaking has really helped me open up.” - Jarod Hallmark, Dallas NUG Champ

Signing up for NUGs + Becoming a Champ

Ready to join this community of global influencers? Start by taking a look at the full list of regional groups here.  If you don't see a chapter in your local area, send a request to nug@nutanix.com

And, since meetings are run by our very own valued customers, we thought it was important to ask our Champs what inspired them to lead. Here’s what they had to say: 

“Besides believing 110% in the product and the brand, for me, it’s about bringing like-minded users together who believe the same thing and want to learn and connect with each other. Nutanix is doing great things and always bringing in new features. Having our local NUG allows us to keep all of the customers in the loop and aware of everything that happens on a quarterly basis.” - Scott Osborne, Omaha NUG Champ 

“Nutanix changes my professional work life in a good way through ease of management, better performance and by providing work/life balance. I thought, ‘Why not spread this goodness and make other people’s lives easy too?’ For me, this is community service and giving back to my city and its people.” - Faisal Jawaid, Calgary NUG Champ

Read more Champ answers here

Thinking of becoming a Champ? Find out more about applying to be a Champ through the application here

We hope to see you (even if it has to be virtually) at a NUG meeting soon! And, don’t forget to continue the conversation in our NUG Forums and follow us on twitter. (@nutanix_ug) #NCUG #WhereYouBelong

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