Happy New Year everyone! To kick off the new year I’d like share with you what happened in 2018, what it meant to me, and where I plan on going in 2019.

I started 2018 off on the home stretch towards my first Microsoft MVP Award for the Azure award category. I was getting close and my mentor Sim said I needed to get out into the community and do more speaking engagements in. In 2017 I started to speak at local user groups when I started on my Microsoft MVP journey. So in 2018 I needed to go all in with lining up more speaking engagements, and in total for the year I managed to do 13 technical talks that covered all things Azure, Azure DevOps, Serverless, Azure Functions, Logic Apps, Event Grid messaging and finally a little AI with Microsoft Cognitive Services. I also participated at not one but two Global Azure Bootcamps (Mississauga and Kitchener/Waterloo). I won’t lie, it was tiring sometimes and in one month I squeezed in 3 talks. However it was a lot of fun to work on this part of my professional development, and I made a lot of new friends and expanded my professional network and I learned a lot!

I also got to attend my first Microsoft Build conference. This was a conference I’ve always watched from my desk at work and/or in the evenings at home to catch up on the recorded sessions, and I’ve always wanted to go their in person and take in the experience first hand. Sure you can watch it for free from home or at work, but its the experience and the people you get to meet in person that make all the difference. This year work decided to send me to Build and it was a dream come true. I travelled to Seattle with my son and met up with my Dad. While I was at the Build conference, my dad and son got to spend some quality time together and the three of us got to have fun in the evenings. After taking in the keynotes I went directly to the technology hall and engaged with the product teams to soak in as much as I could. I got to talk to my “super heroes”…the people I’ve always looked up to and admired for their passion in technology, who work at Microsoft and love what they do, and are just cool and down to earth.

Crunching the Numbers

I published 69 posts and have at least 11 drafts that never made it out.

I had 34,232 views by 26,430 visitors.

My most popular day for views was Wednesday and the most popular time was at 1:00 pm.

My top post was “How to Enable Dark Theme for SQL Server Management Studio”.

My top referrers were through Google search, Twitter and Medium.

My visitors came from all parts of the world. The top 10 in order were the United Stated, United Kingdom, India, Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Netherlands, France, and Poland.

My Twitter followers grew from 221 to 680.

I also setup another blog on Medium where I re-blog my posts to expand my reach. What’s interesting is that Medium is a great place to write articles, and they bring in a lot of traffic. So my tip to anyone setting up a blog in 2019…take a look at Medium. You may still want to go and create your own website or host your blog on, but I would seriously consider incorporating Medium into your portfolio of services to use.

Top Moments of 2018

2018 was an awesome year for me and if I had to pick my top 3 moments for they year they would be…

  1. Attending Microsoft Build conference and meeting people like Scott Hanselman.
  2. Being awarded my first Microsoft MVP award in Azure and meeting other MVP’s.
  3. This one is not technology related, but it was special for me. I purchased my first Harley-Davison, a 2018 Fat Boy 115th Anniversary Edition, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and I rode it almost every day from April to October – except for the rain days. What a beauty and I can’t wait to ride it in 2019!

What’s to come in 2019

I see 2019 as a year of exciting opportunities and challenges. I will be looking to take some Azure certifications and expanding my knowledge deeper into Azure. I will continue to speak at user groups and at least two conferences…the first is the Microsoft Ignite Tour in Toronto (Jan 10-11), and the the next will be at the Global Azure Bootcamp (Mississauga) in April. There is also a Global DevOps Bootcamp later in the year I will checkout and considering speaking at.

I’m also planning on attending the Microsoft MVP Summit in March, and somewhere between January 1 and March 31, I’ll be looking to do some more presentations around Azure and Azure DevOps towards my Microsoft MVP renewal that happens July 1.

Although I would love to attend the Microsoft Build conference this year if work would send me, I have other activities at that time so I will have to settle for watching it remotely. I will definitely look at going back sometime in the future, possible in 2020? Only time will tell.

Happy New Year, and may you all have a fantastic year!

Posted by Callon Campbell [MVP]


  1. Wow! Congratulations for you MVP!


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