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.

Blue ring to celebrate 5 years as a Microsoft MVP

A week ago I got a package in the post. It contained a smaller box with in it a blue ring to celebrate 5 years as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). First in the Hyper-V expertise and now in Cloud and Datacenter Management.

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To all the people and organizations that have given me opportunities, that supported me and trusted me, I’d like to say thank you. It’s been a blast to be able to learn, test, design, build ad support so many solutions over the years. Sharing those experiences and insights helped me grow as much as anyone else. I’m convinced that every Euro or Dollar spent on my growth has had a ROI much greater than it ever cost. The mission for the years ahead is to keep learning and evolving. The job is for paying bills but all the effort and time spent is another occupational level, one I hope every one finds to have fun  whilst working.

Thank you!

A MVP once more in 2015 – happy New Year from a renewed MVP

Happy New Year people! May 2015 bring you happiness,  good health,  and good jobs/projects/customers with real opportunities for growth & advancement. Don’t forget to step out of the office, away from the consoles once in a while to enjoy the wonderful experiences and majestic views this world has to offer.

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Being an January 1st MVP (my expertise is Hyper-V) means that every year on new years day I might get an e-mail to inform me I have been renewed, or not. Prior to that our MVP lead will contact us to make sure we have updated our community activities and they’ll decide on whether we’re MVP material, or not.  Today I received this e-mail awarding me the MVP award for 2015.

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It remains a special feeling to receive the award.  It’s recognition for what you’ve done and it means that I can enjoy the benefits that come with it: the MVP Global Summit and the interaction with the product groups at Microsoft. The summit is very valuable to me and if I knew the dates I would already book my flights and the hotel right now.

Some people think it makes us fan boys but I can assure you that’s not the case. Microsoft hears the great, the good, the bad and the ugly from us. And yes, they appreciate that as they cannot and do not want to live in an Ivory tower. So they need feedback and we’re a part of the feedback loop. We MVPs are a good mix of customers, consultants, partners & businesses working with their technologies & helping out the community to make the best use of them. Microsoft puts it like this:

“The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is our way of saying thank you to exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others.”

The fact that we are independent is an important factor here. It makes us a valuable resource pool of hands on experience to mix in with other feedback channels. As Aidan Finn wrote in his blog post, Feedback Matters Once Again In Microsoft, it does indeed matter. Again? It always did but they listen more and better now Winking smile. They don’t need an "echo chamber" they value opinions, insights and experiences. The MVP award is for the things you’ve done and do. Sure, there is a code of conduct but that doesn’t mean you cannot voice your concerns. "Independent" means that what we say doesn’t have to be sugar coated marketing. Our value is in the fact that we help out the community (their customers, partners and Microsoft itself) in the better use and development of their solutions base on our real world experiences. Microsoft discusses that here.

It opens up doors and creates opportunities, and for that I’m grateful as well. For my employers/customers it means that when you hire me you get access to not just my skills and expertise but to the collective knowledge and experience of a global network of passionate experts that have a proven track record of engagement and are recognized internationally for that. Not too shabby is it Winking smile.

I’m an MVP–What a Great Start Of 2012

Microsoft presented me with the 2012 Microsoft® MVP Award under the Virtual Machine expertise. If you’d like to know a bit more about the MVP Program and the Award you can take a look here http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/gp/aboutmvp

This is special to me, and I’m honored by it. It’s very nice to get such recognition both from your peers in the community and from Microsoft for sharing your experiences and knowledge for the better good. This doesn’t mean I’m an "know all, end all" guru, far from it. No one knows everything or never makes mistakes. To me it does mean my peers think highly enough of me so that they are willing to nominate me and serve as a reference for my skill set and contributions. That by itself is a huge compliment but I’m grateful to have the opportunities to learn a lot and for that I owe some thanks. I learn a lot from participating in a world wide community that shares experiences & knowledge. The amount of skills that these people bring to the table and the wealth of information that is shared by all is enormous. ”The community” is a varied group of experts in their own areas of excellence.

  • Some are (sometimes long time) MVPs like Aidan Finn, Hans Vredevoort, Jaap Wesselius, Jetze Mellema, Kurt Roggen, Mike Resseler, Kristian Nese, Carsten Rachfahl.
  • Naturally there are the Microsoft employees, both locally and abroad, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working on support & business cases and who’ve probably vouched for me when asked to do so.
  • Then there is the interaction with community members like Ronnie Isherwood, Jeff Wouters, Dave Stork, Peter Noorderijk, Maarten Wijsman, Rick Slager and my blog readers , and a lot of the  people who follow me on twitter (Ronny Pot, J. Wolfgang Goerlich, Kevin Ball, Kenneth, …) and so many other I’m probably forgetting to mention Embarrassed smile. Some of these I’ve had the privilege of meeting in real life and those occasions have always been both educational & fun. Sometimes these meetings turned into an international distributed testing/troubleshooting effort where we all learn something like at TEC 2011.
  • On top of that I have the luck to work with some really nice people both colleagues (Tom, Peter, Karel, Ivan, Sabrina, Jeff – you rock – and thanks for sticking with us through all the sometimes challenging projects). Some are consultants and people I know at other companies that work for or with us.

Together we learn a lot through the need to answer sometimes complex questions and find solutions for the problems at hand. This makes for a great learning school and ongoing education until that day arrives you’re recognized as an expert while you realize more and more how much there is to learn.