Microsoft MVP Award 2018-2019

I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2018-2019

While on vacation I received some excellent news. I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2018-2019. I’m an Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in the Cloud & Datacenter expertise for another year!

Dear Didier Van Hoye,
We’re once again pleased to present you with the 2018-2019 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in recognition of your exceptional technical community leadership. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in the following technical communities during the past year:

  • Cloud and Datacenter Management

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It’s a moment of appreciation of our work in the global community. I feel both proud an humble to be part of this select group of experts chosen to be recognized by Microsoft and be awarded the Microsoft MVP Award 2018-2019. Basically it puts a smile on my face.

What does this mean?

I have another year to look forward to as a Microsoft MVP. I’ll be sharing, teaching, discussing, designing and implementing the best possible solutions. I blog, write articles, engage in webinars and speak at conferences. I also help out fellow IT professionals and MVPs when and where possible. The community exist because we contribute, not just take. But I do know I can ask for help when I need it. A big thank you to all Microsoft employees I engage with. Your patience and willingness to listen to us, even when it might be “constructive feedback” and not always praise, helps us all. I appreciate the opportunity. One very nice success this year of such collaboration was to get ReFS support extended to many more use cases.

Every year I try to make it too some of the best and most interesting conferences to learn, exchange experiences, discuss and share knowledge as both a presenter and attendee. That take a bite out of my personal time budget and sometimes even my financial budget. Both of those have limits. But that is the investment I make in myself and the community. You cannot solely depend on your employer or job for your professional advancement. They have different agendas that don’t always align.  To broaden you horizon, prevent tunnel vision and (deadly) echo chambers you need to step out of your workplace cocoon. Luckily I’m blessed with the opportunity to attend & speak at conferences where travel and expenses get paid by the organizers.  That helps a lot.

Thank you for reading, for attending my sessions, for listening to the webinars I join as a subject matter expert. You help me be a better me. Being an MVP allows me to interact with very smart people around the globe. It lets me contribute to and learn from very interesting challenges and  projects. That exposure helps me grow as I help others. It allows me to provide even more well founded feedback to Microsoft. This mutual beneficial relationship is the core of community and what being a MVP is all about.

 

 

Attending the Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2018

Attending the Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2018

Once more I’m flying to the USA (Bellevue/Redmond, in Washington) where I’m attending the Microsoft MVP Global summit 2018. I’ll be spending my week at the Microsoft campus in Redmond and the offices in Bellevue. I feel grateful and honored to be part of this community and of the chances it offers to learn, connect and build a network world of class experts.

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The Microsoft MPV Global Summit is always a very busy week with both official and unofficial, planned and unplanned meetings. From breakfast till nightcaps we’re talking tech with peers from all over the world. The amount of expertise, experience and knowledge that descends on and near the Microsoft offices that week is nothing but amazing. Especially when you consider that MVPs are not Microsoft employees. They are independent experts who care enough about the technology to share what they’ve learned with Microsoft and each other. We provide feedback, the good the bad and the ugly.

I feel very lucky and privileged to get this opportunity once more that comes with being an MVP. As such I always try to attend by freeing up the time and the budget. It’s an investment. It also provides for an opportunity to meet up with many of my fellow MVPs and Microsoft employees we talk to, collaborate with and provide feedback to on a regular basis. Feedback is a dish we server with care and respect. Likewise, we expect Microsoft to listen and when possible, act. Our feedback is meant to be constructive and help, not to insult or cause pain.

If anyone still doubts the viability of remote teams spread across the world you should see a bunch of MVPs interacting, troubleshooting, assisting each other, create presentations and deliver results. All while spread around the globe.

Flying high above it all

I am and remain in the trenches because I don’t think you can design great solutions in the isolation of an ivory tower and without being in touch with reality. But I do tend to make frequent journeys and fly high above it all regularly to keep perspective.

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Yes, I’m even flying above the clouds. That’s because “Cloud” has become a polluted word that means whatever a vendor/ISV/VAR/OEM wants it to mean as long as it helps them sell whatever it is they are selling. But hey, nothing new there, sales will be sales.

In order to make sure we talk about usable and valuable solutions that put customer needs first we literally have to rise above it. We need to look at the needs of the customers and find ways to serve them with the solutions we build and offer. Too often today customers are offered cookie cutter services that are designed to meet the profitability of the provider and whatever politics that are at hand and not primarily the needs of the customer. I see “cloud” projects last for years and fail to deliver as much or more than they used to so in the client/server era. The failures of bad ideas, politics over customers, lack of context, bad designs and architectures are still blamed on technology or companies. Nothing new there. Customers or employers are not resources to be mined for every penny. And because I pride myself in not playing that game to make money I keep investing in myself. Getting out of the echo chambers that projects and organizations tend to become is key in achieving that. Way to often the focus is on “a can-do attitude” and “loyalty”. People, voicing concerns, discussing issues and speaking one’s mind are key to achieving success. Conformity and compliance are not, those are measurements, that’s all.

So, what is it I go and discuss for a week on end? Well, I cannot tell you, my employers or customers. Luckily, I get to discuss a lot with my fellow MVPs. It’s always a blast to see so many of them again.

Forging valuable solutions

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I can tell you that it helps me make better decisions. It enables me to provide the excellent advice, great designs and functional architecture. These are forged in the fires of reality with my knowledge and insights for a hammer. My context and situational awareness are the furnace and the technologies Microsoft and partners provide are the resources that are turned into valuable solutions. Those are built, not bought. If that’s something you’d like, we can help get you in touch with many MVPs that have a wide variety of skills and are able to assist you.

Our regular schedule resumes after the summit

Anyway, while that week will be busy and while we’ll be anything but quiet over there within our Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

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That means you won’t hear about anything under NDA and as such we’ll remain silent on what we see, hear, learn and discuss at the MVP Global Summit 2018. See you after “The Summit”!

Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask”

Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask’’

I’m proud to be recognized once more as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in 2017 for the Cloud and Datacenter Management expertise. It’s fantastic to be part of that community and I enjoy the feedback, discussion between my fellow MVPs and Microsoft. So what’s all this about Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask’’ you might wonder?

Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask’'

Many readers have reached out for help lately.  I hope that, at least, I have guided you towards the information and knowledge to find a solution. Please understand that I cannot help out everybody out there individually. With a job to do, community efforts, a life and only 24 hours in a day, there is a limit.. So yes, it’s a big ask, but I also enjoy the learning and the interaction. So don’t get me wrong on this. I love doing it.

I hope I can keep learning, growing and sharing in this industry for many years to come. I’m looking forward to some “out of the box” solutions based on Microsoft technologies in 2017-2018. The aim is  to offer the best possible solutions fast, good & affordable. These will be shared via this blog and the community for the benefit of you all!

Thank you reading!

Happy New Year & Microsoft MVP 2017 Renewal

Happy new year to all of you. May you and your loved ones enjoy good health, happiness, prosperity and interesting work and studies in 2017.

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While I enjoy the time off around new year and appreciate the comfort of a soap stone wood stove on a cold winter evening I also enjoy IT work.Luckily, as I cannot retire yet to enjoy road trips for sightseeing and hiking for the remainder of my time on this planet.

Designing, building, deploying, supporting & troubleshooting high available on premises, hybrid and cloud infrastructure is what I love to do. Today that means ever more a software defines approach. That doesn’t mean you have to work at Amazon, Google or Microsoft. That means you have to investigate how PowerShell, DSC, JSON & Azure Automation can help you achieve your goals. That also doesn’t mean you don’t have understand clustering, networking, storage or virtualization anymore yet. Trust me on that.

This afternoon I also received my renewal e-mail as a Microsoft MVP in the Cloud and Datacenter Management expertise. This is my sixth award and I’m as happy, honored and proud to be one as ever.

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2017 will be filled with many Windows Server 2016 projects on top of our already strong start in 2016 after it became generally available. These projects will be tied to some new cloud efforts in Azure, efforts that surpass IAAS alone.

The IT world evolves and moves fast but technology doesn’t disappear over night. Keeping things tied together, moving forward to the new, leveraging new capabilities, enabling new opportunities and staying up to date takes a serious effort. Sharing what we learn with the global community is what the MVP program recognizes and stimulates. We all learn together and advance by sharing experiences and knowledge. We also help each other out and this year I’ve seen and participated in a number of cases where community members and fellow MVPs came together when needed to solve some serious problems.