Microsoft MVP in .NET!

MVP Notice

Today I received the best news in that I was selected to be a Microsoft MVP for the .NET Platform. I feel honoured to have my efforts in the developer community recognized by Microsoft. When I started working with developers, it was because I wanted to give back. This award is the icing on the cake.

This congratulatory email made my day, my week, and my month:

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in .NET technical communities during the past year.

For those that do not know about the award, Microsoft explains it like this in their welcome letter:

The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with users and Microsoft.

With fewer than 4,000 awardees worldwide, Microsoft MVPs represent a highly select group of experts. MVPs
share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others.

MVPs’ efforts enhance people’s lives and contribute to our industry’s success in many ways. By sharing their knowledge and experiences, and providing objective feedback, they help people solve problems and discover new capabilities every day. MVPs are technology’s best and brightest, and we are honored to welcome Ken as one of them.

To give you an idea of what I have done to earn this award, here is a sample of some of my efforts over the past year:

  • Spoke seven (7) times at various user groups and conferences.
  • Ramped up my participation in the TechNet Wikis and MSDN Forums.
  • Helped facilitate local Azure and IoT camps.
  • Continued my volunteer commitment to my local user group (@CTTDNUG).
  • Wrote over 15 blog posts.
  • Tweeted and re-tweeted tons of times.
  • Completed a technical review of an Azure book.
  • Plus, multiple other activities.

So, thank you to Microsoft for the award and to everyone on the Canadian MVP team for facilitating this process. Special thanks to my two nominators to whom I am especially grateful. (You know who you are.)

Now, onto a new 12-month adventure as a Microsoft MVP!

Microsoft MVP Logo

Microsoft Azure Technical Guru – May 2015

The Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards! (May 2015) have been announced. For the third straight month I have been selected as a winner and this month my articles have been chosen for two medals.

In May I contributed two articles to the TechNet Wiki. The first was Custom Telemetry Events with TrackEvent in Microsoft Application Insights and the other was Azure PowerShell cmdlets version updates. I then entered them into the Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards.

These two articles were awarded the silver and bronze medals for May 2015 in the Microsoft Azure category:

Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards (May 2015)

Thanks to the judges for all their hard work and kind comments. And thank you to everyone at TechNet Wiki who makes this competition possible.

Related Articles:

TechNet Featured Article for May 2015

The TechNet Wiki announced their Featured Articles for May 2015 and it was a very nice surprise to see that the second article I wrote for them on Application Insights was selected as one of the four document links.

As the blog article states:

When an author has an TechNet Wiki Featured Articles selected among the best Nominated and TechNet Guru winners articles, has achieved high recognition for excellent contributions to our TechNet and MSDN Communities.

The featured wiki entry is an in-depth look at Using Microsoft Application Insights in an MVC application. The article went on to win the silver medal in the TechNet Guru Competition making me a Microsoft Azure Technical Guru for April 2015.

Thanks to the English Featured Article Team for selecting my post and thanks to the Wiki Ninjas blog for the article!

TechNet Wiki Featured Articles May 2015

Related Articles:

Write Once, Publish Anywhere

This article was also published on the Canadian Developer Connection blog under the title Write Once, Publish Anywhere.

Developers love to write code and a great many also like to write blog posts. However, it can be hard to find time to publish blog articles and to keep your site updated. I want to use this space to share an idea that I have been trying recently to motivate myself to put out more content.

I have often said that every developer needs a developer’s blog. As Scott Hanselman eloquently states, Your Blog is The Engine of Community. The benefits of having your own site can be immense:

  • It is a place where you can share your opinions on technology.
  • You can showcase your skills and display your side projects.
  • Demonstrates that you can learn on your own time and that you are abreast of current technologies.
  • That you care about the developer community and you want to give back.
  • All of your posts are searchable and your work is easily accessible to future employers.
  • It shows that you can communicate your thoughts in a professional manner.
  • Serves as a portal to all your social media profiles.

I have been blogging more lately and I have recently adopted the theory of “write once, publish anywhere”. Based on the developer’s axiom of “write once, run anywhere”, it is the idea of producing one item but being able to use it at least two times. Another analogy that I can relate it to is simulcasting in TV. The television episode is created once and then it is distributed to multiple TV stations.

My blogging activities are trying to replicate this philosophy as I want to reuse my articles in several places. First I look for third-party sites that I can submit to initially. Once it appears on the site I then take the same piece and re-blog it to my own site several days later. This way I create content for two sites. I get the benefit of my work being listed on another’s site, RSS feeds, Twitter announcements, etc. and they get fresh material for their pages. As well, I am still providing new content to my own blog.

The nice thing is as .NET developers and Microsoft technologists there are a lot of places where you can contribute articles. The following links are sites you can use to post content to:

In addition, if you search for the term “Write for us” (in quotes) combined with the topic you wish to talk about you will generally find a blog or magazine looking for submissions. Granted, you do not want to author for just anyone so vet the site first. Read a few excerpts and see if the items are of value.

If none of the links above appeal to you then reach out to your favourite website or blogger and ask if they accept guest pieces. They just might surprise you and say yes. Then, once you have found the one you want — go for it! Work with the editors to get it just right for their audience. Even if your content is rejected in the end you will still have a post you can use on your own site.

Do you know of other sites that accept Microsoft-based articles? If so, feel free to add them in the comments!

Azure book I technical reviewed now available

Microsoft Azure IaaS Essentials book coverThe Microsoft Azure book I recently technical reviewed for UK publishers Packt Publishing is now in print.

The book is entitled Microsoft Azure IaaS Essentials by Gethyn Ellis (ISBN 13: 9781782174639). It “is intended for system administrators and other IT professionals who need to both design and implement an Azure-based cloud solution. With the help of this book, you will soon master the basic tasks needed to build a cloud-based solution.”

It covers how to:

  • Deploy both Windows-based and Linux-based virtual machines to Microsoft Azure.
  • Utilize SQL Server Azure to build a robust, highly available solution that can be recovered in the event of disaster for your important business applications.

It also serves as “A practical guide to configuring and creating a virtual network that expands your on-premises network into a cloud-based infrastructure.”

Related Articles:

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