If you have ever taken any training modules or learned something new by going through the official documentation, the material you used was probably written or co-authored by one or many contributors. These individuals often are volunteers who offer their time and expertise to cover knowledge gaps in our portfolio or to keep the existing content current.
In this series, we’ll be interviewing repeat contributors to the Microsoft Learn platform to get to know them better and to learn what motivates them to keep contributing.
Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to Mike Martin, an exceptional Senior Cloud Solution Architect and Technical Evangelist at Microsoft. With over two decades of experience in the IT industry, Mike is an expert in coaching and leading teams and architecting, designing, and training systems. As an Azure specialist for ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and partners, he is the go-to person for all things related to the Microsoft Cloud Platform and Application Lifecycle Management. Mike is known as the perfect hybrid solution with his unique combination of expertise in both development and IT Pro topics.
Mike Martin's involvement in the Belgian Microsoft Azure User Group (AZUG) dates back to January 2012, when he joined the group as a crew member. He has been an active contributor to the community ever since, regularly giving presentations and playing an integral role in organizing events such as ITProceed, Techorama, and the Global Azure Bootcamp (GAB).
Mike's extensive knowledge and experience in Microsoft Azure have earned him numerous accolades, including being recognized as a Microsoft Azure MVP five times since 2013, with his most recent award in July 2017.
He is also a Microsoft Azure Advisor, providing guidance and insights to others in the community. Beyond his professional achievements, Mike is passionate about giving back to the community and inspiring the next generation of technologists. He takes great pleasure in introducing young people to the world of Microsoft and technology and is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Mike is a regular contributor to Azure Architecture center, and here are the links to his recent contributions:
Sherry: Hi Mike, it's great to have you here today. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background and experience?
Mike: Of course! My career in IT started back in 1997, working in a local computer store doing small shop IT tasks like assembling PCs and troubleshooting. However, it wasn't until 1998, when I started working as an Enterprise Developer in Visual Basic, that my passion for Microsoft and its products really took off. As I moved into the .NET ecosystem and eventually Azure, I developed into the architect I am today. It's hard to believe, but I'm already coming up on my fifth year at Microsoft in March. It definitely took some persistence to get here, but it's been a fantastic journey.
Aside from my professional pursuits, I've also been heavily involved in the tech community as a co-organizer of user groups and events. While I don't participate in as many as I used to, I still help out with Techorama (which I've been involved with for almost 10 years!) and our local Azure user group (which has been running for over 11 years now). However, what I enjoy most is being on stage and sharing my knowledge and passion for Azure. Conference speaking is my life - I love networking, seeing other great speakers, and absorbing the new information they share. On the side, I also enjoy delivering guest sessions at colleges and universities because I believe in sharing my passion with the next generation of experts who will shape the future.
Sherry: First of all, let me congratulate you on your fifth anniversary at Microsoft, Mike. That's a significant milestone! Now, I know you've made significant contributions to open-source content. Can you share what inspired you to start contributing and what motivates you to keep going?
Mike: Thank you, Sherry! My journey into contributing to open-source content was actually accidental. I stumbled upon an outdated article, reached out to the author, and he encouraged me to submit a pull request. From there, I started contributing to more articles and even ended up rewriting an entire piece. What motivates me to keep contributing is the sense of community and the satisfaction of seeing my contributions help others.
Sherry: That's great to hear. Has contributing to the Microsoft Learn platform helped you advance your career or improve your skillset?
Mike: Absolutely. The way Microsoft organizes its docs collaboration is fantastic, and it has given me valuable insights into writing and using GitHub tooling. Contributing to the Microsoft Learn platform has allowed me to hone my technical writing skills, collaborate with others in the community, and stay up to date with the latest industry trends.
Sherry: That's wonderful to hear. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start contributing to open-source content?
Mike: My advice would be to start small and not be intimidated by the process. Find an area of interest, whether it's updating outdated content or fixing typos, and start making contributions. Remember that even the smallest contribution can make a difference. As someone once told me, "hey, it's only a pull request away, so don't hold back!" And don't forget to reach out to the community for guidance and support - there are always people willing to lend a hand.
Sherry: That's great advice for anyone looking to get started with contributing to open-source content, Mike. Thanks for sharing. Now, shifting gears a bit, can you tell us a little about your hobbies outside of work? What do you like to do for fun?
Mike: It's not as exciting as it used to be ;), but I enjoy a good walk and some climbing when I have the chance. I also like to travel when possible and enjoy game nights on my Xbox or PC. Additionally, I have a passion for movies, music, and my Batman collection, which still continues to grow.
Sherry: That's really cool. Can we see a picture of your Batman collection?
Mike: Sure, I'd be happy to share one with you. Do note, it's only a fraction of what I have :grinning_face:
Sherry: Wow, that's quite a collection! Thanks for sharing. Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences with contributing?
Mike: Yes, actually. As I've contributed more and more, I've developed a passion for the Azure Architecture Center. It's a Goldmine for anyone interested in Azure and architecture, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Sherry: That's great to know. Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences with us today, Mike. It's been a pleasure speaking with you and learning more about the person behind the contributions, just like you share your knowledge on Microsoft Learn.
Mike's top 3 contributions to Microsoft Learn:
Keep up with Mike by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Check out his show on YouTube called Unsung Heroes of the Cloud.
To learn more about contributing to Microsoft Learn, visit the Microsoft Learn documentation contributor guide.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.