Steef-Jan is a Microsoft Integration MVP, Microsoft Partner, and MCC. He has been a Microsoft MVP since 2010. He has over 15 years of experience as a technical lead developer and application architect, specializing in custom applications, enterprise application integration (BizTalk), Web services, and Microsoft Azure. Steef-Jan has faced integration challenges in a diverse range of industries, where he has done architecting, designing, developing, and supporting sophisticated and innovative software using many different Microsoft technologies and products. His certifications are: MCSD, MCSD.NET, MCSA, MCDBA, MCAD, MCTS: BizTalk Server 2006, BizTalk Server 2006 R2, and BizTalk Server 2010. Steef-Jan lives in Holland, in the Netherlands.
I'm an Architect at Ordina ICT in the Netherlands. Ordina is a specialist knowledge provider in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg) and predominately active in the public, financial, and industrial sector. My job involves working with customers on integration solutions with Microsoft Technology like .NET (WCF), SQL, and BizTalk Server. I architect, design solutions, perform audits, guide installation and configurations of BizTalk environments, and consultancy. Within the Business Unit Application Integration and Middleware (AIM), I lead a group of around eight professionals regarding knowledge management and am responsible for sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, planning meetings, and facilitating courses. Besides knowledge management I am also managing the Line-Of-Business (LoB) BizTalk for Ordina Microsoft Solutions in the Netherlands to create/maintain the LoB year plan, coordinate contacts with BizTalk community (BTUG) in the Netherlands and Sweden, and partnership with Microsoft for BizTalk.
How did you become an MVP of BizTalk Server? Do you have any suggestions for other community members who hope to eventually become MVPs?
I have a passion for technology and BizTalk/Integration in particular. I started working with the products in 2005, and after a year I decided to share my experience and knowledge through a blog. I started blogging on blogspot.com, where I created a blog called “SOA Thoughts, EAI Challenges”. SOA was a hot topic at that moment and Microsoft organized conferences like SOA & BPM, where BizTalk was featured as Microsoft's offering for SOA and BPM. BizTalk in my view can be a right fit as an enabler for SOA with Microsoft Technology. With every conference I visit, I shared my experience through blog posts and with my colleagues. Soon after the first conference in 2006 I started writing articles for Dutch magazines and did presentations, sharing my gained insights to fellow BizTalk professionals.
After writing articles and blogging I started helping people out in BizTalk and related Integration forums. In June 2010 I was nominated for MVP and July 1st I was awarded. Filled with joy, excitement, and appreciation, I became even more active on forums, writing more articles, and presenting nationally and internationally for BizTalk and Microsoft Integration User Groups. Being an MVP gave me a boost and more opportunities to share my knowledge and experience with the community. For instance, PackT publishing has given me the opportunity to review a BizTalk book, and even the opportunity to write one.
The great thing about Microsoft MSDN Forums, Blogs, Code Gallery, and TechNet Wiki is that you can share your knowledge and experience. Recently, I even started being active on Code Gallery and TechNet Wiki sharing code samples and writing Wiki articles. The general message that's coming from me is to share your knowledge with passion, dedication, and persistence. At the end of the day you will be appreciated for your efforts, and it can lead to becoming a well-respected community member like an MVP.
How do you write articles that complement the MSDN library of content?
A great benefit of creating articles for TechNet Wiki is that it complements and enhances the MSDN library in such a way that I can, for instance, point customers to these articles in case they need to know what BizTalk Server 2010 is and what it can mean for them. Articles in Wiki pages can reference the MSDN Library or vice versa, complementing each other. I can point co-workers to these pages if they need guidance or background information on certain topics, for example, what other tools for BizTalk are available besides the ones out-of-the box and how I can leverage them.
How do you use forums and wiki together?
In the last few years I have been very active on BizTalk Forums and noticed that some questions keep reoccurring. Answers of some of these questions are a great starting point for writing a TechNet Wiki article. In the article you can provide more (background) information as more effort and energy is put into it. Through Forums you can announce Wiki articles, and people will become aware that there are more resources available to aid in resolving their issues or to find guidance in delivering a solution. TechNet Wiki can complement forums in my view and vice versa.
Special thanks to Steef-Jan and all you've accomplished and contributed to in the Azure community!