I’ve been working in IT since 1990. I also just turned 40, so there’s a little bit of a crisis right there. The majority of those years I’ve spent on Microsoft technologies – I do have a dark past dabbling in Linux and different Un*x variants. Plenty of these years have included SharePoint, Office 365, and Microsoft Azure. Good times, challenging projects, and inspiring technical problems to crack.
One of the guiding principles for me has always been to share my knowledge and experiences with the community, both local and international. In 2014 I was delighted to receive my first nomination and acceptance for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) program. This was just on the trails of completing the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program, which was both demanding and rewarding. It was one of the ways for me to challenge my technical experience, and capability to absorb and digest massive amounts of information in a short period of time. During those long weeks in Redmond, and long nights back home trying to stay awake on Skype for Business conference calls I started thinking about what goals and dreams I still had that I wanted to pursue in my professional Microsoft career.
Later when I successfully passed the rigorous MCM exams, I think I went straight back to work after having a glass of bubbly the previous night. I figured this was it – and concentrated on building my business, international speaking experience, and writing for the years to come. Back in my head, I had a small itch that maybe I still had additional steps to find for professional growth.
In early 2017 I received a nomination for the Microsoft Regional Director role. I was not expecting this. I’ve always looked up with awe and respect for those who hold or have held the RD role in previous years. It might be the Finnish tendency of downplaying your own strengths and only later realizing that hey, maybe I’ve done some things I’m pretty proud of. After a few nerve-breaking months I got confirmation in early April that I have been accepted for the role!
A few people have contacted me to ask what being a Microsoft RD means. I think it’s worth underlining the fact that I am not employed by Microsoft, and continue to act as the CTO at Onsight Helsinki as before (note: this will also change later this year, as my company plans to do a full merger with another top Microsoft house in Finland, called Sulava). What this also means is that I am not replacing the current Finnish Microsoft RD, Mr. Jouni Heikniemi. He has my full support on all things the role entails, and I hope to pester challenge him just slightly that he will see the full benefits of ditching Slack and moving to Microsoft Teams ;-).
It’s still very early days for me in the role of RD, so I might need to revisit my thoughts later. For now, I seek to connect with the community even better and wider. I hope to relay opinions, thoughts, and experiences back to Microsoft, and also to act as a trusted advisor for developers and IT Pros on Microsoft technologies. You can read more on the role and find the current RDs here.
I’m weird in that way that I love all things Office 365 and Microsoft Azure – both in a developer and IT Pro capability. Expect to hear and see frequent outbursts on security, Azure Active Directory, SharePoint, Office 365 Groups, and similar topics.
Feel free to contact me over any means you have at your disposal on Twitter, my About.me page (email.. yeah), or Skype for Business. I’m also doing several talks this year at international events, so come say hi if you have a chance!