Introducing Reza Rad – Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter

Reza Rad

Hi! I'm Reza Rad. Based in Auckland, New Zealand. I am passionate about data and seek to find ways to get insight from data everywhere. That passion gave me Microsoft MVP and RD recognition thanks to Microsoft. I do travel often, my suitcase is one of the primary furniture in my office :) When I'm not writing blogs, publishing videos, doing training, or consulting, I am travelling to conferences all around the world to speak about Microsoft BI technologies. 




I am originally from Iran but living in New Zealand for about 7 years now. I will have a long flight from Auckland to Orlando, which I'm looking forward to it very much.


I am a mentor, trainer, and consultant on Microsoft BI related technologies (Especially Power BI these days), and I'm very happy with my role because it gives me the exposure to lots of challenges in the BI world. It also gives me the opportunity to share my solutions with the world through blogging, videos, books, and conference speaking sessions.


I used to be a software developer right after finishing my university. I wrote VB6 code that time. As a usual process of every developer, I also worked with database, SQL Server 6.5 that time. And gradually I liked that part more, after a couple of years on database developer side, I found my real passion is with the data movements, transformations, analytics and visualization. I started to be a BI developer, and that is more than 15 years ago. I came long way through this career. Now I am still in the BI field and enjoying it more and more every day. The process of converting raw data to some useful insight and making decisions based on that, is what I love about this part of technology. You cannot believe that everything is possible to do with the data.


I like to share my knowledge and experience with the world. That is why I write blogs (every week), publish YouTube videos, write books, and speak in conferences. For me, knowing is all about sharing. A knowledge that cannot be shared is worthless.


I mentored a lot of people through a path like mine, and I'm glad that some of them are great community leaders these days.


I'm also founder of RADACAD, a consulting, mentoring and training company on Microsoft BI and Analytics based in New Zealand.


You can follow me on:

    • Microsoft Ignite
    • Microsoft Business Applications Summit/ Data Insight Summit
    • PASS Summit
    • Power BI Summit
    • Power BI World Tour
    • Tech Days
    • SQL Saturdays
    • Data Platform and BI user groups


If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting their career in IT, what would you tell them?

Follow your passion. Everything comes after that. If you really like what you do, then you don't look at it as work. You look at it as hobby. For me, stuff I do is not work, it is a hobby, that is why I do it sometimes 24 hours a day. I travel thousands of miles away from home, because of my passion. My passion gives me the power do hard work. If your passion is IT and you follow your passion, then nothing can stop you to achieve what you want.


How do you stay up to date with changing technologies and updates?

I read blogs, tweets, RSS feeds, books, and watch videos every day. Also, because I attend conferences almost every month, listening to talks keep me up to date with some information. Even If I miss a conference, I'll watch recording of sessions afterwards. We are in a industry that doesn't respect tradition. It is essential part of any IT career to stay up to date.


How has IT changed since you first started your career?

Changed significantly and extraordinary. However, the change is good. Lots of people blame this industry for the rapid pace of the change, but I don't. I like the change in IT. It helps us to become better and better. To have better and simpler life. Do you like to drive a Ford Model from the 1920s? It is enjoyable, but you will have lots of difficulties with many options that does not exists. New technology can help make your life much easier. Same for IT industry. Long time ago, you had to write lines of code, even pages to get a simple calculation done. Now that is a pre-defined function. You can spend your time on other important things.


BI and data analytics is also the same. It used to be very hard to get insight out of the data. You needed to write thousands of lines of T-SQL code to flatten your data into tables, and then get a static report reading from that table, and the whole process took months to complete, and it was slow report. Nowadays you can use technologies like Analysis Services and Power BI to have super-fast reports, and many data transformations are possible using Power Query without writing any lines of code at all.


What advice would you give to a first-time Microsoft Ignite attendee?

Be ready for the big run. Microsoft Ignite is like no other conference. Imagine you are in a conference with 30K people in buildings that are one-hour walking distance from each other. Make sure to select your schedule well in advance. And check which building those sessions are. You may be in a building in South, and then the next session starts in 15 minutes in North. That doesn't work. You have to choose wisely, otherwise you will be spending precious time just running between buildings and become exhausted at the end of the day. Sometimes it is better to stay in the same building and going to another session, rather than spending an hour getting to another building and missing the time to do anything at all.


Bring business cards, as much as you can. You will meet many people, and it is good to have a quick way to get in touch with them.


Don't stay in your hotel room. There are lots of other social events running for each technology group. Make sure you attend them all. Usually these are in the evening. That is where you get to know people who work in the same field as you do.


What are you packing for Microsoft Ignite?

My Surface Book of course, I will be writing blog posts hopefully everyday about what happens at Ignite – all the latest news and updates.


My camera, microphone and YouTube gear (lights, tripod etc). I will be shooting a lot of videos with everyone who is a Data Platform, BI, and Power BI enthusiasts.


I am a community reporter, so anything that helps me reporting things will come with me. If you are around come and say hi, and you can be part of video reports too :)


Why should people follow you for Microsoft Ignite coverage?

I will be reporting on Microsoft BI and especially Power BI space, new features, roadmap, and feedbacks. I will interview with Power BI team members and give you information about everything happening in the BI side of things. If you are around you may see yourself in one of my videos too.

Follow my twitter feed, blog feed, and YouTube channel to be informed about all my reports at Ignite.

I will be shooting videos and writing blogs all the time I'm in Ignite.

If you follow my report feed for Microsoft Ignite, you won't miss anything in the Microsoft BI world.

2 Replies

Congrats @Reza RadReach out if you need some help/pointers/etc from an alumni. :-)

Thanks Harjit. Would definitely need help :) thanks for the kind offer