This year has produced many dynamic global challenges that changed the way people work and, especially, interact. Now, we’ve found ourselves more cut off from our friends, family and co-workers than ever before as we reside in an increasingly virtual world. As necessary restrictions around travel, social gatherings and work from home endure for the foreseeable future, individuals are craving a way to fill these new voids, discover new passions to focus their attention and replace so many missed connections within a new reality. In particular, people are reevaluating what they truly want out of life both personally and professionally, and sometimes the resolution comes from satisfying a little bit of both.

While the road ahead may feel overwhelming, getting involved in an engaging remote culture can enable us to make progress, and hopefully even prosper, in a new working paradigm. For our many customers that are passionate about Red Hat and our products, I’d encourage you to apply to join the Red Hat Accelerators community. It has become a meaningful, established way for enthusiastic Red Hat customers to find a sense of belonging while being productive in their careers and exploring uncharted areas of interest. 

While your takeaways from joining such a program are going to be uniquely personal, here are a few reasons why our members have become such advocates for the program and how it can serve as a supportive community amidst a changing landscape:

One-on-one interactions mean connecting more deeply

While video conferencing capabilities have skyrocketed in the last year, it can be nearly impossible to talk in depth on calls with 20, 30 or even 40+ members. While you can gain a lot from the group takeaways, there needs to be an additional opportunity to share your opinions and dive deeper into topics of discussion, or even just have the opportunity for the occasional witty banter and personal rhetoric, one on one. Not only do practitioners have this opportunity to connect directly with other customers, but there are also a plethora of Red Hat subject matter experts and leaders across product lines and business units that are available for you to pick their brains and access candid, unfiltered information. This individualized communication enables Accelerators to share their insights so they can engage in meaningful, personalized conversations.

Influence the products you already use and get exclusive access to upcoming products 

As part of the Red Hat Accelerators, the program provides a forum to discuss real business problems effectively and get solutions that you actually need to do your job better. Not only does it enable Red Hat to deliver the outcomes that customers really want, but customers can provide feedback for the technology they already use. The ability to make a meaningful impact on products based on an authentic customer experience is a two-way advantage. Accelerators also get exclusive sneak peeks into strategy and the chance to help influence future releases; it’s not only enabled them to plan ahead by incorporating upcoming capabilities into their pipeline, but also to delve into how new features will make an impact on a broader industry scale.

Be a part of something larger than yourself to explore new ideas 

Now more than ever, we need to come together to support each other and forge ahead. That support can look like many things - a friendly audience to express frustrations or a flock to strive toward a specific goal together - and this range is exactly what an authentic community can provide. It advances a paradigm of converging like-minded individuals while creating space for people with diverse interests. Some members will help foster your existing passions by eagerly diving in deeper, while others could expose you to foreign concepts that pique your interest. If the winds of the community want certain types of content, the program is malleable enough to make it happen. While learning opportunities like virtual speaker sessions, discussions and events are regularly scheduled, there is also ample opportunity on the networking side to expand your circle of contacts and build camaraderie.

At the end of the day, you will get out of the program what you give in. It is always our goal to create an innovative space for the many technology enthusiasts within our incredible community of customers, and we’d love to have you be a part of it. If spending your personal time learning, exploring the Red Hat ecosystem and voicing your experiences to both Red Hat and the greater market sounds exciting, you can apply to join or simply learn more about the Red Hat Accelerators program here.

About the author

Brendan McErlain is Vice President, Portfolio Product Marketing at Red Hat. Portfolio Product Marketing drives the overall go-to-market strategy and messaging framework for Red Hat’s portfolio of products, tools and solutions aligned to the company’s open hybrid cloud vision. Under Brendan’s leadership, this group serves as an overlay across all business units, product lines, and services offerings, as well as a bridge between product and corporate marketing. Brendan has over 20 years international marketing experience in the enterprise software sector and joined Red Hat in October 2013.

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