Month: January 2021

Personal DevelopmentYear in Review

Year in Review 2020

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!