2019 Review – Blogs, Pluralsight, Speaking, Podcasts, Books, Promotion and more

2019 is at its end closing out the current decade beginning a new decade! The 2010s have been great with a lot of personal and professional growth. I am looking forward to and welcome what the 2020s will bring! Overall 2019 was a great year with lots of fantastic adventures and accomplishments. In this blog post, I am going to reflect on 2019. I am also going to try something new in this blog post. I will recount some failures from this year along with the successes. I typically don’t post about failures or even speak about them publicly but I think it is important to reflect on them as a learning opportunity and share with others as we all win some and lose some.

Ok. Let me briefly recount the losses from 2019. No so good events from 2019 are:

I failed a couple of certifications including the AZ-302 upgrade exam (should have studied more) and the Terraform beta exam. I reviewed an Azure book that did not publish. This one was out of my control but still something this year that I am not proud of but definitely learned to ask more questions about a project like this before saying yes.
In 2019 I was not accepted to speak at Ignite. It’s actually been several years since I have been accepted to speak at Ignite. That is the list. Again we win some things in life and we lose some. The important thing is to learn from any losses, roll with the punches and keep moving forward.

Now for the fun part of this post. Let’s move onto the wins! First off the #1 win of 2019 is that my family was healthy and happy for another year! Also, I was able to continue to focus on Azure and DevOps adding in Containers, Kubernetes and more open source in general. Here is a full recount of what occurred in 2019.

Microsoft MVP

I was renewed this year as a Microsoft MVP and moved into the Azure category. This is my 8th year as a Microsoft MVP.

Whitepaper

In the world of tech it is important to keep learning and expanding. In 2019 I explored many new technologies one of them being Blockchain. As a part of this I blogged about my experience with blockchain here: http://www.buchatech.com/2019/05/0-to-60-with-azure-blockchain-workbench and wrote a whitepaper on here: http://www.buchatech.com/2019/05/azure-blockchain-workbench-whitepaper. Not sure how much I will work with Blockchain in the future but welcome the opportunity.

Training

In 2019 I attended some training and also authored some training. I authored an online course for Opsgility.com. I am also proud to announce that I entered the ranks of the Pluralsight authors! Here are the online trainings that I authored:

Pluralsight

I published my first Pluralsight course. The course is titled: “Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer: Optimize Feedback Mechanisms“. Here is the link to it: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/microsoft-azure-optimize-feedback-mechanisms

Here is my Pluralsight author page: https://app.pluralsight.com/profile/author/steve-buchanan

Opsgility

Course: Deploy and Configure Infrastructurehttps://skillmeup.com/courses/player/deploy-and-configure-infrastructure

This course is part of the AZ 300 learning path for Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies.

Docker Training

I was able to attend a Docker JumpStart Virtual Workshop training by Microsoft MVP’s Dan Wahlin and Mike Pfeiffer. Here is the link to a blog post about it:

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/06/docker-jumpstart-virtual-workshop/

Blogs posts published on official Microsoft blog sites

I am very excited about this one. In 2019 I was fortunate to write 2 blog posts on official Microsoft blogs. Both blog posts are centered around Kubernetes and Microsoft’s cloud offering of it AKS. These blog posts are:

Why is Kubernetes exploding in the cloud?” on the Microsoft TechNet UK blog – https://bit.ly/2pDz00k

And

DevSecOps in Kubernetes” on the Microsoft Open Source blog – https://bit.ly/2YmUcqx

Author

This year I was honored to team up with two fellow Microsoft MVPs Janaka Rangama (@JanakaRangama) and Ned Bellavance (@Ned1313) and we published a Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) book. It can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1484255186

This books foreword being written by Brendan Burns (@brendandburns) Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and co-founder of Kubernetes. It was reviewed by Mike Pfeiffer (@mike_pfeiffer) Microsoft MVP, Author, Speaker, CloudSkills.fm podcast and Keiko Harada (@keikomsft) Senior Program Manager – Azure Compute – Containers.

Speaking

This year I was honored to be a speaker at multiple conferences and user groups. Here is the list:

#0 In January I co-presented “All About Coding! Real People, Real Talk!” to urban youth at the Minnesota STEM Partnership’s January 2019 STE[A]M Watch Party!. Link: Coding: Career Watch Party!!! 2019 01 – All About Coding! Real People, Real Talk!

#1 On June 26th I presented on “Azure Stack 101 in 45 minutes” at an Azure Virtual Day Camp for a D365 user group. – https://azurevirtualdaycamp2019.sched.com/event/PTQE/azure-stack-101-in-45-minutes?iframe=no&w=100%&sidebar=yes&bg=no

#2 In July I co-presented with Kyle Weeks at the Minnesota Azure User Group on Azure Management. The topic was “Scale Matters: Policy + Azure Management Groups”. https://www.meetup.com/Minneapolis-Azure-Cloud-Computing-Meetup/events/dtbmtpyzkbgb/

#3 In May I presented at MMS 2019! I presented 3 sessions and co-hosted 2 panels. Here are the details:

Monday, May 6 • 1:00pm – 2:45pm

Sessions:

Deploying Infrastructure as Code with Azure and Terraform – With fellow Microsoft MVP Ned Bellavance

https://sched.co/N6cC

Tuesday, May 7 • 8:00am – 9:45am

Improving your on-prem and cloud security with Azure Security Center – With fellow Microsoft MVP Ned Bellavance

https://sched.co/N6c9

Thursday, May 9 • 1:00pm – 2:45pm

Mastering Azure with Visual Studio Code. – With fellow Microsoft MVP Ned Bellavance

https://sched.co/N6d4

Panels:

Tuesday, May 7 • 3:00pm – 4:45pm

Azure Governance and Management Panel

https://sched.co/N6gD

Thursday, May 9 • 3:00pm – 4:45pm

Azure Stack Panel Discussion – (400)

https://sched.co/N6hE

#4 In October I organized a panel titled “Influencer Level Up Panel” with woman and men influencers in roles ranging from consulting, security experts, automation engineers, entrepreneurs, Salesforce and Microsoft MVP’s, software developers, authors, motivational speakers, tech evangelists, and even a CIO. I also presented a session titled “Azure DevOps + VS Code + Teams = Perfect Match“. More about these can be found here: http://www.buchatech.com/2019/10/influencer-panel-at-bitcon-2019/ and here: http://www.buchatech.com/2019/09/speaking-on-azure-devops-at-bitcon-2019/

#5 I traveled across the pond again to speak at Experts Live Europe 2019. This year I presented on mastering Azure with VS Code, participated in Ask the Experts as a cloud expert, presented during an experts session put together by Marcel Zehner alongside legendary MVPs and Microsoft staff, and sat on an Azure Stack Hub panel. Here is a link for full details: http://www.buchatech.com/2019/11/speaking-at-experts-live-europe-2019/

Here is the interview me and @jeroenniesen from @ExpertsLiveEU 2019 in #Prague discussing #VSCode with #Azure! – https://youtu.be/mnWmHyGrGUo

Podcasts / Videos

Something new for me this year was appearing as a guest on a bunch of podcasts and shows. These were fun and I enjoyed chatting with the hosts. Here is a list of them:

CloudSkills.fm is a weekly podcast by fellow Microsoft MVP Mike Pfeiffer that talks about technical tips and career advice for people working in the cloud computing industry. On this episode Mike and I talked about managing both the technical and non-technical aspects of your career in the cloud computing industry. We also discuss DevOps stuff around Docker, Azure Kubernetes Service, Terraform and cloud stuff around Azure management including my 5 points to success with cloud. You can listen to the podcast here: https://cloudskills.fm/015

Listen Here:

– Interview with @MichaelGWulf on @MnSTEMpartners #ALTITUDE video show (S1 E9). It’s a show about #tech for the youth! Check it out here: https://youtu.be/f1zsoC1plgk

-Was a panelist on Tech Marbles YouTube channel: Considering the HashiCorp Consul Service on Microsoft Azure Sep 19, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4EFdmme6Hg&feature=youtu.be

-Was a guest on the Teach the Geek podcast on October 21, 2019. We talk #IaC, #Cloud, #DevOps, #Blogging, #PublicSpeaking, #Careers in #Tech, & #Bootcamps vs a #Degree. Link: https://anchor.fm/teachthegeek/episodes/EP–26—Steve-Buchanan-e9d88t

-Was on the @TECHdotMN podcast December 17th episode #16 https://tech.mn/news/2019/12/17/the-tech-mn-podcast-something-in-the-water-with-steve-buchanan/

Promotion

2019 was also a year of growth with Avanade. Two milestones occurred in 2019 one being me taking on a plus 1 role and the other being a promotion. The plus 1 role I took on was becoming the Midwest Containers Services Lead. I also was promoted from a Group Manager to a Director, with the Cloud Transformation/DevOps team at Avanade, the Microsoft arm of Accenture. Over the year I spent time on a variety of projects both contributing and leading. Some of the projects included SAP on Azure, Cloud Foundations, along with Containers, AKS, and Azure PaaS. It is a very exciting time to be in IT and consulting has a great variety of working with cutting edge technology.

Key blog posts on my blog

I was pretty busy in 2019 but as always I did my best to keep up with new blogs over the year. Same theme with my blog topics being focused on Azure, DevOps, Containers, and Kubernetes. Some of my key blogs from 2019 are:

  • AZURE DEVOPS & TEAMS INTEGRATION = PERFECT MATCH

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/07/azure-devops-teams-integration-perfect-match/

  • WALK-THROUGH: USE AZURE POLICY MODIFY EFFECT TO REQUIRE TAGS

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/09/walk-through-use-azure-policy-modify-effect-to-require-tags/

  • DEPLOY RANCHER ON AZURE FOR KUBERNETES MANAGEMENT

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/03/deploy-rancher-on-azure-for-kubernetes-management/

  • ENHANCE AZURE ARM TEMPLATE AUTHORING IN VS CODE

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/05/enhance-authoring-azure-arm-templates-in-vs-code/

  • WHERE TO HOST DOCKER CONTAINERS ON AZURE (AKS, ASE, OR ASF)?

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/02/where-to-host-docker-containers-on-azure-aks-ase-or-asf-comparison/

  • AZURE VM VNET TO VNET MIGRATION SCRIPT

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/09/azure-vm-vnet-to-vnet-migration-script/

  • MONITORING AZURE KUBERNETES SERVICE (AKS) WITH AZURE MONITOR & LOG ANALYTICS

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/01/monitoring-azure-kubernetes-service-aks-with-azure-monitor-log-analytics/

  • DEPLOY MYSQL AND WORDPRESS ON AZURE KUBERNETES SERVICE (AKS)

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/01/deploy-mysql-and-wordpress-on-azure-kubernetes-service-aks/

  • REQUIRE MANY TAGS ON RESOURCE GROUPS VIA AZURE POLICY

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/03/requiring-many-tags-on-resource-groups-via-azure-policy/

  • GETTING STARTED WITH AZURE KUBERNETES SERVICE (AKS)

http://www.buchatech.com/2019/01/1-getting-started-with-azure-kubernetes-service-aks/

That’s the list of wins/activities. Now time to summarize all of this to put it in context.

In 2019 I was renewed as a Microsoft MVP in Azure, authored a book on AKS, wrote a whitepaper on Blockchain in Azure, developed 2 online courses, published 2 blogs on the official Microsoft blog sites, presented at 6 events across user groups/conferences, appeared on 5 podcasts/video shows, wrote 10 key posts on my own blog site and achieved a promotion to director at work! It was a full and good year!

I also have a couple of other projects/ventures in the works that started in 2019 and will grow in 2020. I can’t dive into the details now but more to come on these. Thanks for reading and we will see you in 2020!

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