Being a Microsoft Azure MVP
By David O'Brien on November 7, 2018
IT is not my job it’s my passion
They say if you find a job you love, you don’t have to work another day in your life.
After my first passion didn’t work out as a career (I intended to become an Air Traffic Controller as I love aviation) I discovered my passion for IT.
Over ten years ago I started off as a consultant for a company in Germany and soaked up all the information like a sponge. From day 1 I had to learn something, literally, that I had to learn, constantly and continuously. It never stopped.
I worked on projects such as a large scale Windows 7 upgrade for an insurance or a centrally hosted (you could call it Private Cloud) Citrix XenApp environment for tens of thousands of users at a banking group.
I worked with tools like Windows PowerShell, every time I clicked something that I could’ve done with a script somebody figuratively slapped my hand. I grew into this industry with an “automation first” mindset.
I worked with customers in the insurance, banking, travel, retail and government verticals. All of which have their own challenges that they face and I always enjoyed helping those customers that asked for guidance.
Over time I had collected quite an extensive knowledge base of script snippets (some nowadays call them gists), workarounds, hacks, fixes, etc that I had all locally in a OneNote. When my manager back then proposed that I should maybe publish all of those as blog articles I did just that and ever since I’m probably still my most frequent visitor to my own blog.
You don’t have to know everything. You just need to know where to look.
Community engagement and Microsoft MVP
I enjoyed being able to help more people through those blog articles even those beyond my direct reach through my day to day work. My network grew and I started gaining an interest in local user groups, events and conferences. Eventually my attendance to those resulted in me agreeing to speak at the E2EVC event in 2010 in Vienna/Austria. A terrifying but very rewarding experience. I was hooked on public speaking and being able to directly talk to members of communities worldwide, not just via social media.
After five years of a lot of late night learning and engagement within the community I got awarded my first MVP Award – Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Enterprise Client Management. In 2016 I was awarded the MVP for Cloud and Datacenter Management and in 2017 finally the MVP for Microsoft Azure.
A very proud moment in my career as hard work does pay off.
An MVP Award cannot be purchased, you can’t sit an exam for it, and you don’t just keep it once given – it gets (re)awarded every year. Microsoft makes sure to only give the awards to the most engaged individuals, and this is the reason why there are only around 3200 MVPs globally across a number of award categories.
In the Azure category there are only 390 worldwide and 15 in Australia.
Constant change is good
My day 1 lesson, that I need to continuously learn, still holds true. Standstill means falling behind. This is why throughout my career I changed and adapted to industry changes and stayed relevant. A lesson that organisations, no matter which vertical they are in, need to also learn.
I take this approach into every single customer engagement and it is one of the core values here at XIRUS: Constant sensible change is good.
A great partner on your journey will guide you through the rough times, will connect you with the best people and make sure that all parties will arrive to the end of the project in the best way possible.
If you want to know more about how we work, what the MVP program is or how to get involved in the IT community, please reach out via our contact form or our social media channels.