Cloud Careers - MVPs around the world

Community Manager

This month, Microsoft hosted seven Tech Summits across the world. We caught up with MVPs attending the Tech Summits and asked them some questions about their careers in IT, their approach to the cloud, and most importantly—how they keep up with all the latest technology.

Special thanks to @Adnan Rafique @Chris Spanougakis, @Juan Carlos González Martín @James van den Berg, Peter Daalmans, @Robert Smit, @Jaap Brasser@Edward Bakker, @Sander van de Velde, @NarasimaPerumal Chandramohan and @Albert-Jan Schot for attending the Microsoft Tech Summits and sharing your insights with us


MVPs around the world.jpg


On what new skills are necessary...


“As customers today ask for more cloud services than in the past, we need to be informed as quickly as possible about all the options that we should offer them. An on-premises solution was rather static, meaning that we should just install it, configure it and let it do the job. If you want to be competitive, you should follow all these updates by studying, testing and implement these new features as soon as possible.” – Chris Spanougakis


My most valuable skill is being able to communicate, having deep technical knowledge is a great thing. By being able to communicate effectively, I can get to the root of a customer's problem or request. By doing so I am able to get to the source of a problem in a more efficient way and by understanding what is being requested it becomes easier to find the appropriate technical solution.” – Jaap Brasser


On what skill sets are most valuable…


“I easily adapt to new situations, products, tools, frameworks and business requirements which is critical if you work in an agile cloud world!” – Edward Bakker


“My most valuable skill is my choice to go for cloud development, at an early stage. There is great demand for developers who have experience with the elasticity, the measurability and cost of the cloud.” – Sander van de Velde


On how IT Pro communities help professionally…


“Goes beyond ‘How to fix Y?”…it has taught me a lot about different technologies used in scenarios I did not even imagine they would be used in. It has brought benefits to me as a person as well, I have made friends around the globe because of our shared passions for technology.” – Jaap Brasser


“A lot of other IT Pros are working for small companies and do not really have fellow IT pro’s as colleagues to learn from. The community is playing an essential role in sharing knowledge and learning from others.” – Peter Daalmans


“Tech Community is not just a simple question answer forum, here lot of Microsoft Product PMs actively engaging directly with the end users, make announcement of the features, shares the best practices, tips and tricks. Apart from Microsoft people, individual experts who works with several clients daily provides solution to the community users, shares there is knowledge, raises an alarm if there are any issues with the product. Sometimes, even Microsoft surprised to see how the users are customizing the products and using it. Personally, I feel, for the most of the posts in Tech Community the users get their viable solution.” – Perumal Narasima


On starting out a career in IT…


“Find something, a product, a platform or a service that you are enthusiastic about. Find and connect with others that share your passion and build your experience from that point onward. By having like-minded people around, you, it becomes possible to grow your knowledge faster and more efficiently, which will allow you to become an expert in your field.” – Jaap Brasser


“My career advice to others is to do what you love doing and be consistent. What I meant by is that, find your passion in your work, look for a career and not for the job. It is very important especially when you are starting your career. You want to achieve that day in your career in your life that when you get up in the morning and have to work for you don't feel like going for work rather make it your life style.”  -Adnan Rafique


On staying up-to-date with products…


I have a bunch of SharePoint RSS feeds from Microsoft SharePoint Team members and other very well-known SharePoint experts around the world that I regularly read” – Juan Carlos González Martín


“I have my daily process every day by reading and following Microsoft social Media, MSFT Product Team Blogsites, MVP NDA PGI sessions, joining Events, Free MVA Courses, and testing Microsoft solutions in our Test LAB ICT CUMULUS. My hobby Microsoft technology is my work, and my work is my hobby working for almost 14 hours a day on Microsoft Technologies 365 days a year.” – James van de Berg


“My motto is learn every day by doing it, making solutions, trying it out, doing PoC's and share and talk about knowledge in teams.” – James van de Berg


“I try to read a lot of blogs, articles and watch videos on platforms like Channel9. The Azure platform is huge, so I have to stay focused on a few areas that have my interested (PaaS). I can’t keep up to date with all other areas anymore, it is just too much!” – Edward Bakker


“As an MVP, I use a lot off my time on reading and testing new preview products and give feedback to the product teams and this is very awarding to me. Serving Microsoft and the Community and myself with the future knowledge I like to be a step ahead before anyone else have the product” – Robert Smit


Over the years, I accumulated quite a few different certificates. It all started when I started working in IT by completing the .Net 2.0 courses. It just never stopped; as technology keeps on progressing and new stuff is coming out so quickly I just decided to keep on track and tried to keep up with the new exams. Some projects or clients require you to have certain exams in order and Microsoft uses exams as a requirement for gold competencies; it just felt like a good way to prove you know the tech and it’s an easy checkbox to score.” – Albert Jan Schot


On the pace of change in the cloud…


“[Before] we delivered our software according to the waterfall methodology. It took a long time before we actually delivered something. Now we practice Agile and deliver business value every two weeks.” – Edward Bakker


I still remember grabbing the CD disk and start installing Windows Servers. At that time there was no virtualization, so every installation was a physical one…Today it’s a lot easier to create a new virtual machine on Azure in just a few minutes.” – Chris Spanougakis


“In this Cloud First, Mobile First world, Microsoft is introducing new features and products at faster pace, in order to cope with these changes, be active or at least watch the community forums regularly to get the solutions to the common issues and get expertise on the area of your choice. From community, you can learn collectively from others mistake. Of course, community is effective, zero cost, nil time travel to get the latest trends, expertise and solution. Finally, don't forget to contribute back to the community of what you have learned, that's important!” – Perumal Narasima


Read more on our feature on IT Career Paths and Skills during the month of March 2017 here.


3 Replies
Thanks Anna for your great support! :)

Interesting to read everyone's views on this, thanks for sharing the content @Anna Chu

Thanks Anna.