The MVP Global Cloud Skills Challenge: Career Stories
Published Sep 13 2021 04:30 PM 3,236 Views
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The MVP Global Cloud Skills Challenge required participating MVPs to complete 40 modules on the Microsoft Learn platform. In this blog, we’re looking at how three MVPs got to where they are in their professional careers and how they got started. 


From Sawmill to Sysadmin


Josh King: Geek, Father, Walking Helpdesk - and now an employee with Chocolatey Software, a dream job he’s always had on his list personal "drop everything to work for" list.


Having grown up in New Zealand in the era before interest-free student loans, King says it didn’t seem to make sense to him to go to university to “do” computer science. He ended up working in a kitchen out of high school, and later, at a sawmill.


“That sawmill was big on training and through them, I sat several national standards on "Solid Wood Processing" and "Wood Processing Technology" including "Demonstrate knowledge of tree growth and physical characteristics of wood" and "Handle, sort and stack timber,” King writes in a blog post on the subject.


His first tech job came at a local city council. 


“In the office was a copy of Windows PowerShell v1.0: TFM (2nd Edition). This book was the catalyst that set a fire under my career in tech. It was what taught me PowerShell and what made me realize automation was something accessible to even a junior like me,” he writes.


As the MVP Global Cloud Skills Challenge has come to an end, King wants to dive deep into all things configuration management and explore what other languages he should pick up to bulk up his automation toolbelt. His sysadmin collection is viewable here.


“But at the moment I'm taking a bit of a detour from that. Some of my fellow MVPs and I are having a little learning competition which has me branching out into the wider Microsoft 365 stack,” he writes.


A globally collaborative learning collection


René Modery began his career as a website developer with SORG Rollstuhltechnik in Germany, but as he climbed the ladder he followed a career path that would wind through Europe and eventually land him in Asia. 


After an 8-month stint in Singapore in the early 2000s, Modery was back in Germany, then to Singapore for a few years, working primarily with integrating Sharepoint and Office 365 applications, then to Switzerland, and then back to Singapore where he resides today. 


Having worked in both Central Europe and Asia Pacific, Modery has managed teams all around the world and understands the ins and outs of cross-cultural communication, and speaks Chinese, English, French, and German.


For his MVP challenge, Modery chose to focus on Dynamics 365, but also refresh and validate his knowledge of the Power Platform in general, and accessibility topics to improve inclusiveness.


If you would like to learn along with Modery, he documented his learning process on his website, which can be paired with his collection of learning paths


Pragati’s journey to Power BI Superuser


Pragati Jain is an Associate-Certified Microsoft Data Analyst and Microsoft Data Platform MVP with more than 10 years of industry experience. She is recognized as one of the Superusers on Microsoft Power BI Community.


Jain began her career with the Tata Consultancy in Bangalore, but after a few years, she found work in the UK. After earning her Master’s Degree in Data Science and Analytics from Royal Holloway, University of London, she accepted an internship as a programmer analyst/system engineer which later turned into a full-time data analyst role at D4T4. She is now a senior analyst with Trustpilot in London 


“Having a Masters’ degree in Data Science & Analytics has always kept alive my interest in Machine Learning and the practical application of Artificial Intelligence. Keeping this in mind, I challenged myself to take up “Azure Data & AI Challenge” and focused on learning as much I can in this one months’ time given to us,” Jain writes in her blog, Data Vibe


This passion for ornate data displays is reflected not only in her blog posts but also in the highly arranged mandala compositions she hand-paints and posts on her Instagram page


“Most of my blogs are focused around data visualization techniques using Power BI, but I will be writing about tools and analysis techniques as well. Learning and exploring new tools and technologies is the main motivation behind my passion for coming up with new content. Therefore I always say: Keep Learning, Keep Exploring!”

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