In just under 2 months (May 9-13, 2022), I have the opportunity to present several sessions the the Microsoft 365 EduCon Conference. I’m really excited to join this conference as we move back to more in-person events. As I have stated many times, I think the real value in conferences is networking at all levels: Business Partners, Speakers, Vendors, as well as fellow professionals and enthusiasts. Content is awesome, but meeting people that you can contact after the conference is key to advancing your skills and professional development.
This will be short, since I can’t talk about details without getting in trouble. Microsoft hosts an annual Hackathon for their employees and this year, for the first time, they allowed MVPs and RDs to participate. Since I had never participated in a Hackathon before, I was eager to see what the experience was like. One of the biggest challenges was just picking which project(s) you want to be a part of.
I recently was awarded the Community Contributor recognition badge from the Microsoft Patterns & Practices (PnP) team! While it is nice to receive recognition, my support for this open-community effort goes far beyond recognition. PnP has been a consistent part of my professional development for many years, and I credit the program with a large part of my growth as a developer. The “old” PnP was a Microsoft program where you could learn the “best practices” for building code in SharePoint, which has been my primary development focus for almost 15 years.
Conferences are slowing coming back and I am personally looking forward to talking to attendees, sponsors, and speakers in person again. First on the agenda this year is the M365 Collaboration Conference (formally the SharePoint Conference) in Orlando, FL, Jun 8-10. The “big” conference is still scheduled for Las Vegas in December, but this is a hybrid event that promises to be an exciting time as we transition from the virtual world we have lived in for the past year.
I am extremely proud to announce that I have been selected for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for 2021-22 in the Office Developer category. This journey has been long and while it is certainly a lot of work, I love being active in my tech community, from SharePoint to Azure to M365 to Power Platform. When I learned of the MVP program almost 14 years ago, it sounded like a group of ultimate professionals, so I started inquiring about how to become an MVP.
I’m always excited when I earn a certification, but some are more special than others. I have been working for over a year to learn all the skills needed to earn the Microsoft 365 Developer Associate certification. While I have been working as a SharePoint developer for almost 15 years, most of my work has been in very specific areas, like webparts or apps. Certifications normally require more skills than one person would have experience in, even someone doing this as long as I have.
I recently took my first vacation since the Covid-19 pandemic began. We travelled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and to be completely candid, I was nervous. For the last 10 years, I have travelled often for work and pleasure, but this is the first time in over a year that we have been on an airplane. While I think my health is pretty good, I fall into the high-risk category for Covid-19 based on the official guidelines.
As 2020 ends (finally!), I realized that I neglected to post about an acheivement that I am very proud of. Last month, I was confirmed as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for 2021. This is my 5th MCT certification and I even received a nice polo shirt for the 5-year acheivement. I am very proud to be counted among professional instructors in Microsoft technologies and look forward to more opportunities to use my certification help educate others.