Alistair Pugin - MVP and Ignite Community Reporter
A timeless g33k and the ambassador of Quan.
I have been around for 21 years in the IT industry, starting out as a COBOL programmer, not that I actually got a job as one. Instead, I started off in computer wholesale which is where I found my love for all things IT.
Gaming caught my fancy initially, back in 1995 which drove my need to understand hardware. From there it morphed into infrastructure management and everything running on top of the tin, AD, Exchange, System Center, TMG, etc. Circa 2000 and Document Management became the next go to technology and it stuck with me, breeding full blown ECM and Knowledge Management. When SharePoint grew up around 2006, I cross-skilled from Livelink to WSS and the rest is history.
I am passionate about platform enablement, which can be seen through my speaking engagements at conferences across the globe as well as my podcast, 2 Guys and SharePoint. Helping organisations utilise technology to foster innovation and growth is my euphoria. This translates seamlessly into my community involvement, as mentoring up-and-coming experts by "learning through sharing" keeps me grounded and humbled by the enthusiasm people have for technology. The best feeling is to watch someone grow into their discipline, be it an end user, or community member.
My current role at Britehouse, a Dimension Data company is to drive strategy, innovation and growth within the Britehouse Digital space, covering the current Microsoft Consulting Services stack relating to Productivity Enrichment.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting their career in IT, what would you tell them?
Alistair: Find your passion, work at it, and the rest will follow
How do you stay up-to-date with changing technologies and updates?
A: I get asked this weekly. One of the reasons we created the 2 Guys and SharePoint podcast was because there is so much information out there, being produced on a daily basis that as consultants, everyone has been struggling to filter information pertinent to them. With the podcast, we have to research the latest releases across the productivity stack. It’s like gym but for Office 365 and Azure.
How has IT changed since you first started your career?
A: With technology becoming ubiquitous, the depth of understanding and methodology behind most tools have disappeared. No longer are you required to understand the underpinnings of how messaging solutions function or what the science behind Knowledge Management is. Skills are becoming commoditized through the creation of the companion app ecosystem.
What advice would you give to a first-time Microsoft Ignite attendee?
The Schedule Builder is your information bible. Plan your sessions
Get to know the floorplan. Being able to navigate the conference is pivotal to you getting to sessions on time and also so that you do not get lost
Stay on the social feeds for updates
SWAG. Need I say more. Pack lightly. You will leave with more than you brought to Microsoft Ignite.
What are you packing for Microsoft Ignite?
Trainers. The most important part of your kit. It keeps you fresh.
Comfortable apparel. Walking from session to session takes its toll.
Energy bars and Immune boosters. You do not want to be zapped with a cold.
Why should people follow you for Microsoft Ignite coverage?