Happy New Year everyone! To kick off the new year I’d like to share with you what happened in 2020, what it meant to me, and where I plan on going in 2021.
- Microsoft Ignite Tour – Toronto
- I spoke with my good friend Ehsan on Windows IoT and Azure.
- My family tagged along with me and we got a hotel downtown Toronto. The kids always love doing this and they were nice and close had I needed to go see help.
- Got to see lots of friends at the event, in the speaker room, and at an Microsoft MVP social dinner.
- Was planning on attending my second Microsoft MVP Summit in Redmond, Seattle…then the lockdown and cancellation happened with respect to COVID-19. The summit was cancelled from an in person event to an online virtual summit. I was sad to not travel out to Redmond and be on the Microsoft campus but was thrilled that they moved it online and I absorbed every minute of it. It’s truly incredible to be part of an amazing community of people that have a passion for this stuff and you get to interact with the various product teams from Microsoft and hear about what’s coming.
- Presented at two Global Azure events, one in Toronto, Canada and the other was in the UK.
- Because of COVID-19, all social gatherings and community events stopped and moved online. I was thankful to keep busy and continue to present at various meetups around the GTA.
- Speaking of meetups I took on the organizer and user group leader role for CTTDNUG in Kitchener, Ontario.
Like most of you, I’ve been working from home since March. I like it as I get to spend more time with my family and with 3 young kids, I get to see more of them during the day and have those special moments that I would have otherwise missed had I been in the office. On the other hand, I do miss the social setting and engaging with my co-workers in person. It seems like now I spend half my day on Teams calls.
What didn’t happen
2020 was an interesting year that really went sideways and threw off the plans I had. I didn’t get around to working on my certifications, but funny enough I managed to start two colleagues on their own Azure certification path.
I missed out on a lot of blogging in the second half of the year that I had planned to do. I was and still am working on a large Azure migration for a client. I’m helping them move to Azure API Management, building new applications with Azure Functions, Cosmos DB, Storage, Event Grid and so many other Azure services. Plus there is the on-prem to Azure migration for the data center and consolidating their CI/CD processes into Azure DevOps. I had started on a number of these posts but the reality is working from home is different and it truly requires a good plan for work/life balance. I think I spent most of the second half of the year figuring that out.
What’s to come in 2021
I see 2021 as a year of exciting opportunities and challenges. I will be looking to finally tale some Azure certifications and continue to expand my knowledge deeper into Azure. I will continue to speak at user groups and conferences. I already have a few speaking engagements lined up for January, February and March. My first conference to submit a talk on will be for the Global Azure Bootcamp (Mississauga) in April.
There will be no in-person Microsoft MVP Summit this year but it will be online and virtual again, so I’m excited for that event to connect with the MVP community and to learn what I can from the Azure product teams.
I doubt there will be a Microsoft Build or Ignite conference this year in person, but that would be a conference I would look forward to attending in 2022 if possible. Only time will tell.
Happy New Year, and may you all have a fantastic year!