Are you looking to join the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) program? Here is everything you need to know.

You only have until October 31 to submit your application for the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) program for 2018.

For those who are unfamiliar with this program, it is the equivalent of Most Valuable Professional (MVP) program from Microsoft, but on a human scale. Microsoft’s program has over 3,500 members, while Citrix’s one is capped to 50 members. Positions in the CTP program are intended for Citrix professionals who contribute to the communities and share knowledge freely.

 

I am fortunate to be a member of the CTP program this year, and this is my story. Hopefully it will help you understand the program and make you want to be part of it!

When I applied in 2016, I was not sure what to expect and I was thrilled to be accepted. The few days when you had to keep the news on the down-low were exciting. The first thing that crossed my mind when I joined the CTP program was how nice the team was. I received many congratulatory messages from people I knew, but also from people I did not know at the time. You also get to know the leadership team of the program, which at the time comprised Perrine Crampton and Paul Dobson. I quickly learned that being a CTP was a lot of work, and that the next challenge would be to maintain my CTP status over the years.

 

Once the onboarding process started, I received access to the gold mine of the program: the CTP Slack channel. It allows you to contact product managers, fellow CTPs and many Citrix employees. There are hundreds of channels so it can be overwhelming to follow all of them. (I’ve found it is helpful to mute most of them to avoid an overload of information and notifications.) Citrix also delivers pre-releases via these Slack channels, so if you have time to be a beta tester, you will have plenty of new early versions to play with.

 

I also got access to MyCitrix to download Citrix software and licenses. Extremely helpful for those who have labs. You can have some sort of access to Citrix Cloud when you are a CTP. Additionally, there are a few discounts and perks for CTP members on things like VMware licenses, SSL certificates, and third-party Citrix tools.

 

The program hosts monthly meetings where product teams share their roadmaps and demo new features prior public release. These meetings are also the best time to provide feedback.  The CTP program is lucky to have Perrine Crampton who always does a great job getting the right people together and redirecting our questions to the right people within Citrix. In my case, attending webinars during the day is pretty much impossible with my job. Thankfully, most of the meetings are recorded and you can catch up afterwards if you’d like to.

 

“Time” is the keyword of being a Citrix Technology Professional. You need a lot of it and you also need dedication. 77% of members are employed by partners who understand the value of participating in the community. Unfortunately, I am part of the 23% who work for customers of Citrix. That’s a real challenge because customers don’t necessarily want to give you time to work on community-related tasks. On my side, all my work for the community is done during my free time. That’s something you need to check with your boss and your family before joining. Being a CTP is like having a second job with co-workers all around the globe. You need to prepare yourself for long nights writing articles, working on your lab, parsing the documentation and preparing presentations—but you are most likely already doing that if you are thinking about joining the program!

 

Part of your duties as CTP is to be active within the Community. Either with blog posts, webinars , conferences, social media (LinkedIn and Twitter), etc. But most of all you need to be willing to share your knowledge without expecting anything in return. It is important for me to share my passion for Citrix technologies, pass along my experiences, and dig into the limits of Citrix products—limits that are most of the time not clearly mentioned on the official website. With that in mind, I wrote a few in-depth feedback articles about my analysis of LTSR program and the newly released Local Host Cache available since XenDesktop 7.12.  I also released a new version of citrixguru.com to celebrate its 2 years. 

 

CTP Meeting during Citrix Synergy 2017
CTP Meeting during Citrix Synergy 2017

 

Meeting all the CTPs in person at Citrix Synergy 2017 was the most exciting part of the year, as most of our meetings are on the phone or via Skype. There were 46 CTPs present at the conference, and 26 even had sessions, including 5 of the top 10 sessions this year.  As a CTP, you are asked to come a few days before the conference begins to attend an exclusive, two-day, face-to-face meeting with Citrix product teams and engineers.

 

When you are new in the program, it can be scary to be with some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. But quickly, you are building friendships and feel part of the family.

 

My self-assigned job at Synergy 2017 was to share my vision of the event, inspire people, and to help them get the most out of it. To guide visitors prior the event, I published an extensive guide for Synergy 2017 which was also featured on MyCUGC’s website. For those not able to make it to the conference, I shared my Citrix Synergy 2017 experience live all week, followed by thousands of readers. To help visitors, I shared sessions, events and parties on Twitter that were, in my opinion, worth attending. Many of my tweets were quoted on the Social Board at Synergy and even prior the Keynotes.

 

As a CTP, the conference is extremely busy, you want to make to most of it and share as much content as possible about the event. I wrote articles about:

CTP group hug
CTP group hug

 

Shortly after the Synergy, Citrix changed its CEO again, replacing Kirill Tatarinov by David Henshall on July 10.  This type of news directly impacts the program as customers are asking us about it and are worried about any change in strategy regarding main products.  I had doubts and questions following this news, and reached out directly to David Henshall to learn about his vision for the company. We talked about the recent changes at Citrix and discussed Innovation, Cloud and the challenges facing the company right now in a two-part exclusive article posted on this website. The CTP program allows you to be heard by Citrix executives and if you have a constructive feedback, they will always listen to you. 

 

In a year full of changes, Citrix also laid off about 10% of its workforce in October, changed its strategy regarding XenMobile, ShareFile and prepared the end of Octoblu. Lays off are unfortunately part of working for big corporation. As a CTP, it was sad to see great people leaving that worked with us. Few fellow CTPs were also deeply invested in Octoblu and Citrix preparing the end of the product is clearly is bummer for them.  A second major reorganization in three years that brought back rumors of an acquisition of the company. I’ve been very vocal all year long about a potential sale of the company

 

At the same time, Citrix made some changes in the Citrix Community leadership.

Ron Oglesby

Ron Oglesby was appointed new Community Lead for all communities, including Citrix User Group Community (CUGC), Citrix Technology Associates (CTA) and Citrix Technology Professionals (CTP). It was kind of amazing to see Oglesby taking over the same program of which he was one of the first 11 members back in 2006. I had the opportunity to interview Ron shortly after this announcement, a popular article that was featured on MyCUGC website and even on Citrix’s official website.  

 

 

 

Part of being a CTP is also working on conferences/webinars, and as part of the New York leadership team for the past two years, I helped organize and host a few meetings this year with as many as 100 attendees for our event in March 2017 with Ron Oglesby (he was literally everywhere!). We worked with partners such as Liquidware Labs, EG Innovations, Microsoft and nVidia to deliver high quality and acclaimed events. But it is not enough: my goal for next year is to speak at more events and, if I am lucky, speak at Synergy.

Citrix User Group Community
Citrix User Group Community

 

During the year, we also lost few of our members who moved to new endeavors. Shawn Bass, Ruben Spruijt, and Andrew Wood all left the program because of their new jobs, which are not compatible with the program.

 

Ultimately, the CTP program offers many benefits and gives you the right resources and contacts to deepen your knowledge of and enthusiasm for Citrix technologies. 

 

Still interested in joining the Citrix Technology Professional program in 2018?

Go to this website and complete your application by October 31. Make sure to fill everything in the form and provide references to be taken into consideration. It is critical that every question in the application is answered fully!

 

The decision process from Citrix takes around 3 months, as the new class is announced early in February 2018.

Here is a look into the timeline of the program:

 

  • Oct 31 : Applications close for 2018 CTP class
    Deadline for current CTPs to submit their annual “CTP Contributions” spreadsheets for peer review
  • Nov 6 : CTP candidate application reviews begin
    CTP Peer Reviews begin
  • Nov 20 : CTP candidate shortlist identified and validated
  • Jan 22 : Email invitations to 2018 CTP finalists
  • Jan 29 : Receive acceptances, NDA and Code of Conduct confirmations from all CTPs (new and current)
  • Feb 1 : Public announcement of 2018 CTP class
    New CTP onboarding begins

Apply here.

You only have until October 31 to submit your application for the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) program for 2018.

Good Luck!