Introducing Tracy van der Schyff - Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter

Tracy van der Schyff

Hi! I'm Tracy van der Schyff - Office Servers MVP | Disruptor | Blogger | Speaker | Evangelist | Lover of all things Microsoft, Tech & People.  





Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. I am now based in Johannesburg and will be taking the long road to Microsoft Ignite from Centurion, Pretoria.


I consider myself a Microsoft 365 Coach & Catalyst as I prefer to mentor teams to achieve great and wonderful things in their companies, rather than doing it for them. I focus on helping companies on a strategic level, move to the cloud and prepare their IT & HR Departments as well as the users for the change.


Facilitating the evolution of human capabilities, my passion is to empower people and therefore training and change management lie close to my heart. My Mission is to positively impact WHAT and HOW people create, as I believe that what we design / create, designs / creates us back (Ontological Design). It is about enabling others to serve themselves better, expand their possibilities, increase their capacity to learn, act more effectively and better design their future.


As a consultant in my own company, I believe that hard work begets passion, and passion throws you in front of the "lucky bus".


Was a bookkeeper, had a driving school, owned an art shop and gave art classes, designed and manufactured furniture and kitchens, clothes designer and made jewelry. And now for the last 12+ years – IT / Microsoft. You might wonder how that all fits together – but believe me – every single thing I have ever done added to my experience, empathy towards people and success in what I do. Keep in mind that I never had the opportunity or resources to study – so I promise you that hard work, passion and a lot of stubbornness goes a long way.


I ABSOLUTELY love Microsoft, I wrote 365 blogs in a year, two years in a row just to prove how incredible the product is. What excites me most is how it empowers people. I imagine I'm a Fairy Godmother and my job is to show people they have wings and teach them how to fly.


You can follow me on:

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

Don't be afraid to ask for help and do not try and do it on your own. No single person knows everything, as a collective we as a community stand strong and support each other. #Ubuntu.

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


I monitor the Twitter and FaceBook groups daily as well as the Office 365 Roadmap & What's New in Office 365 sites. Apart from that I'm surrounded by the most amazing people on social media, who share regular updates and cool features.


How has IT changed since you first started your career?

IT has absolutely infiltrated business, no longer a separate 'department'. Information Technology is now part of each and everyone one of our job descriptions and KPI's. Now every person can change and improve their environments with the Apps & Services available. Truly is an exciting time to be alive.


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

Don't try to do everything, you simply won't and it will put unnecessary stress on you. Aim to "underachieve" then surprise yourself by doing more. Don't forget that the chats with people between and on the way to sessions are just as important as the actual session.  Please rest enough, a tired brain will not consume information at optimum levels.


What are you packing for Microsoft Ignite?

  • My travel partner and #InternSheep #Braam
  • 7 x Pairs of #CrazyPants
  • 6 x SharePoint Saturday T-shirts
  • 1 x #NotLiz Tshirt so people don't confuse me with Liz Sundet
  • 2 x Pairs of crazy colorful Adidas Sneakers
  • 1 x Pair of Adidas Flip Flops
  • 1 x Pink, Red & Blue SunGod Sunglasses
  • 1 x Bathing Suit FOR SURE!
  • Enough Rehydrate powder, BCAA and supplements
  • Bags full of hugs and kisses for all my friends and community family I'll be seeing again

Why should people follow you for Microsoft Ignite coverage?

I'm very interested in and will be focusing a lot on the change that's happening in technology, the psychological evolution we're experiencing and how we can help companies not only overcome this, but thrive! I'm a trainer / mentor at heart and I simply cannot wait to share the cool stuff with my followers, clients and students.

2 Replies

Congrats @Tracy van der Schyff. You are going to enjoy this experience. Reach out if you need some help/pointers/etc from an alumni. :-)

Yay!! Such an inspirational choice. :)