Speaking at DevOpsDays Minneapolis 2021

I have been attended DevOpsDays Minneapolis for 4 years. Its always a great event with rockstar speakers and great content. I also always meet some great folks in the DevOps space.

This year I will be speaking at DevOpsDays Minneapolis! This is a huge honor for me as I have a lot of respect for the event organizers and its always world-class event! I will be speaking about Kubernetes and GitOps. My session can be found here: https://devopsdays.org/events/2021-minneapolis/speakers/steve-buchanan

The event is July 20th-21st. It will be a hybrid event (in-person & virtual). I will be speaking in person on the 20th.

Here is my session info:

GitOps and Kubernetes: a Winning Combo

GitOps is an emerging pattern for cloud-native applications. This operating model simplifies Kubernetes ops while simultaneously improving the developer experience. GitOps enables continuous delivery of configuration updates and application deployments to Kubernetes.

Through the lens of GitHub, Argo CD, and Azure Kubernetes Service, we’ll explore use cases and benefits, principles and practices, architecture and tooling, and what GitOps changes in our day-to-day.

Check out the full program for the event here: https://devopsdays.org/events/2021-minneapolis/program

For those that won’t be attending in person you can Live stream it on YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_L5NW8kmClZyYz-HFgKsKA

———-Update 7/21/21———-

Today I delivered my session on GitOps and Kubernetes: a Winning Combo. This was my first in-person event since the pandemic in the US started. I went on stage right after Ian Coldwater gave the keynote. Ian had an amazing keynote talking about community, how the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd impacted Minneapolis last year along with how the community came together. I presented to a crowd of a few hundred as well as another couple hundred online.

The online reach of this event was amazing. I even received a message that my session was watched by some folks in Japan!

In my session, we went on a journey through how companies should focus on being software businesses moving to digital, how the pandemic accelerated companies and consumers going digital as well as companies using Kubernetes and GitOps as a way to help power digital transformation.

The conference organizers did a great job pulling off another excellent event while ensuring everyone followed safety guidelines.

Here is the day 1 stream recording. You can find my sessions at 54:23:

NOTE: If you are interested in learning more about GitOps check out my Pluralsight course titled “GitOps: The Big Picture” here: https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/gitops-the-big-picture

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10th Year as a Microsoft MVP!

Happy to be a Microsoft MVP for the 10th year even though this is not like the other years. As always I never take this award for granted. It is not guaranteed. Every year when July 1 rolls around I never truly know if I will be back in the MVP program or not.

This is my third year as an Azure focused MVP. Again I am honored to be among the ranks of taltented Azure folks. I am looking forward to the 2021-2022 MVP award year full of exciting community stuff. I plan to do more speaking, podcasts, books, and of course Pluralsight courses. I also plan to pick up blogging again and getting a little more active posting blogs on here.

As always I am honored to remain a part of MVP program. I will continue to do all that I can in the Azure, Azure Arc, AKS, and GitOps/DevOps communities this year.

My Microsoft MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Steve%20Buchanan-4039736

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Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes: Getting Started – Pluralsight Course

Today Pluralsight published 1 of 2 Azure Arc courses I am building. This marks my 10th course on Pluralsight! This first course is Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes: Getting Started. Azure Arc is a key service in the Azure story extending Azure to the on-premises data center and or multiple clouds outside of Azure.

This course is just under 2 hours and packed full of information & demos to help you get started with the topic. I go into a deeper understanding of the multi-cloud market, Kubernetes in the enterprise, and Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes. Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes architecture. Setting up and using Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes. And using GitOps with Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes.

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I am excited about releasing this course for several reasons: #1 Azure Arc is a newer technology from Microsoft and I am happy to share my knowledge about it, #2 This one is a combination of Azure Arc, Kubernetes, & GitOps all technologies I have been working with regularly, #3 Azure is growing, Kubernetes is growing, and multi-cloud is growing all in the enterprise and this course covers all three of these.

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Here is the description of the course:

Managing Kubernetes clusters across on-premises and multiple clouds can be disjointed and overly complicated. In this course, Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes: Getting Started, you’ll learn to how to manage external Kubernetes clusters with Azure Arc. First, you’ll explore what Azure Arc k8s is and how to use it. Next, you’ll discover the features of Azure Arc K8s and how to use them. Finally, you’ll learn how to how to use Azure Arc K8s and GitOps to deploy applications. When you’re finished with this course, you’ll have the skills and knowledge of Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes needed to manage Kubernetes clusters across on-premises and multiple clouds.

Here are the areas and topics of the course:

Understanding Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes                

Intro and Topics                

Understanding Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes                

Understanding Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes Use Cases                

Understanding Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes Architecture                

Summary

 

Working with Kubernetes Clusters Using Azure Arc                

Intro and Topics                

Connecting Kubernetes Clusters to Azure Arc                

Demo: Connecting a Kubernetes Cluster to Azure Arc                

Monitoring projected Kubernetes Clusters with Azure Monitor and Azure Arc                

Demo: Setup Azure Monitor of Projected Kubernetes Cluster in Azure Arc                

Defining Authorization on Azure Arc Projected Kubernetes with Azure RBAC                

Protecting Azure Arc Projected Kubernetes Clusters with the Azure Defender                

Administering Projected Kubernetes Clusters with Azure Policy and Azure Arc                

Summary

 

Deploying Applications to Projected Kubernetes Clusters Using Azure Arc and GitOps                

Intro and Topics                

Understanding How GitOps Works with Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes                

Deploying Applications and Configurations to Projected Kubernetes Clusters with Azure Arc and GitOps                

Demo: Deployment of an Application to a Projected Kubernetes Cluster via GitOps and Azure Arc K8s                

Deploying Helm Charts to Projected Kubernetes Clusters with Azure Arc and GitOps                

Deploying IoT Workloads with Azure Arc and GitOps                

Understanding the Future of Azure Arc Enabled Kubernetes                

Summary               

Here is a preview of the Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes course:

Here is a link to the full Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes course on Pluralsight: https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/azure-arc-enabled-kubernetes-getting-started

This course is also a part of the all new Azure Arc path titled “Managing Environments with Azure Arc” on Pluralsight. There are other courses in the path already such as Azure Arc: The Big Picture, Azure Arc-enabled Data Services: The Big Picture, and Azure Arc and Azure Lighthouse: First Look and many more Azure Arc courses on the way.

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Here is a link to check out the new Azure Arc path: https://app.pluralsight.com/paths/skills/managing-environments-with-azure-arc

I hope you find value in this new Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes: Getting Started course. Be sure to follow my profile on Pluralsight so you will be notified as I release new courses including my second Azure Arc related course! 

Here is the link to my Pluralsight profile to follow mehttps://app.pluralsight.com/profile/author/steve-buchanan

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9 Pluralsight Courses

I recently published 2 new courses bringing my total Pluralsight courses to 9! These two new courses wrap up my time authoring courses for the SAP on Azure path. These 2 new courses are Migrating SAP Workloads to Azure and Designing an Azure Solution to Support SAP Workloads.

This brand new path is Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads (AZ-120). This path also has a course by Tim Warner as well as two more being developed right now! Also, I should mention this path also contains my SAP on Azure: The Big Picture course.

This new path will help you prepare to take the AZ-120 exam to earn your Microsoft Certified: Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty certification and ramp up on SAP on Azure in general.

Check out the path here: https://app.pluralsight.com/paths/certificate/planning-and-administering-microsoft-azure-for-sap-workloads-az-120

I hope you find value in this new SAP on Azure learning path on Pluralsight. Again these two new courses bring me to a total of 9 courses now published on the Pluralsight platform! Next up I will start working on some Azure courses. These new courses will cover managing servers and Kubernetes with Azure Arc. I am very excited about my next courses. Be sure to follow my profile on Pluralsight so you will be notified as I release these new courses! 

Here is the link to my Pluralsight profile to follow mehttps://app.pluralsight.com/profile/author/steve-buchanan

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Workforce for the Future of Work Tech Panel

Recently (April 2021) I was invited to be a panelist during an event for the Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County. At this event, we discussed how to leverage tech skills and the Ramsey County tech ecosystem to support a transformative workforce recovery. This panel was hosted by Tony Lusiba, WIB Tech Committee Chair.

The panelists included:

Some of the topics that were discussed

  • Trends to think about as we pivot our workforce post-COVID-19.
  • New skills that job seekers should have as companies move to hybrid models vs going back to the office 100%.
  • Technology enhancements employers should adopt to provide support for this new hybrid working model.

Here is a blog post about the event:

https://www.ramseycountymeansbusiness.com/workforce/workforce-news/p/item/34678/preparing-our-workforce-for-the-future-of-work-recording-now-available

Here is a direct link to watch the the recording:

Preparing our Workforce for the Future of Work panel discussion

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CloudSkills.fm Podcast: Cloud Native, Azure Arc, DevOps, GitOps, Kubernetes, and Azure

Recently I had the honor to be a guest on my friend and fellow Microsoft MVP Mike Pfeiffer’s Cloudskills.fm podcast again! This was episode is “106: Steve Buchanan on Cloud Native, DevOps, GitOps, Kubernetes, and Azure“. I was excited to be a guest again on the CloudSkills podcast and catch up with Mike.

On this new episode, we had a chance to talk about a variety of topics like leveling up your career, what I have been up to, diversity and inclusion in the tech, of course Azure, Azure Arc, DevOps, Kubernetes, GitOps, we even touched on SAP on Azure, among other insights.

You can listen to the podcast episode 106 right here on my blog:

Or you can listen to episode #106 here: https://cloudskills.fm/episodes/106.

Back in 2019 I was a guest on the Cloudskills.fm podcast on episode # 15. The past episode was a lot of fun with more of a focus on your career in the world of IT. If you want to check that out here.

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Speaking on “Containers in Azure” at Lagos State University (LASU) TechX conference

I will be speaking at the LASU TechX conference on Friday. I will be talking about the “Available Container Technologies in Azure”. I will go into what containers are, how they compare to VM’s, types of containers, things to consider before containerizing applications, what container service in Azure to use in what case, and more.

About The Event:

LASU TechX conference is an event that is aimed at attracting students and all tech enthusiasts within and outside the university (Lagos State University). This event is co-organized by Kazeem Adegboyega.

Speakers include:

Microsoft MVP – Samuel Erskine
Microsoft MVP – Isidora Kitanic
Chris Hoard
Microsoft MVP – Adnan Hendricks
Microsoft Employee – Holly Lehman
Microsoft MVP – Steve Buchanan
Ayodeji Folarin

Here is a flyer for the event:

For more details on the event and to register go here:

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2020 Year Review – Podcasts, Speaking, New Courses, & Certifications

2020 was an extraordinarily tough year with many downs for so many people all over the world. For me losing 3 people in a week and a half (not to COVID) along with all the funerals to follow was rough. Also, the injustice in my home city with the murder of George Floyd and unrest was unbelievable but not a surprise with injustice going un-noticed for so long. It was amazing to see the world wake up and acknowledge what has been happening for so long.

In spite of all of the bad stuff from 2020, there was a tremendous amount of good stuff happening and progress. I believe there is always an opportunity in the middle of chaos. To see the opportunity it is needed to take a step back, slow down, and analyze the board. In this post, I am going to recap the positives from this year as I have done in the past few years.

Let me start off with the fact that I was renewed for my 9th year as a Microsoft MVP! I was re-awarded in the Azure category for the 3rd year. I never take the Microsoft MVP award for granted as it is never guaranteed. I am honored to once again be among such a talented group of people across the globe!

The next thing I want to call out is a message I received from someone from my home city after listening to one of the podcasts I was featured on. In this message this upcoming tech star talked about how he was inspired by the episode and how he can relate to me. This message was inspiring to me as this is a huge part of what I want to do through sharing my story. I hope to see more of it in the future. Here is the message:

Ok, now lets get into the list of activity from 2020!

-Podcasts-

In 2020 I was honored to be featured on 7 podcasts! Some of the podcasts in the US, Europe, and Africa! Here are the podcasts:

Guest on “Lisa at the Edge” Podcast EP13: In the podcast episode Lisa and I talked about: Evolving your career as technology evolves, Transformation of IT dept to Strategic Business Partner, DevOps, Containers 101, Azure Kubernetes Service, Diversity in tech. Episode link here

Guest on Packet Pushers podcast Cloud Governance, Bringing Order To Your Cloud Chaos. Podcast episode here:

Guest on a #podcast by @blacktechtalent. The founder & I discuss topics such as: breaking into tech, finding black tech talent, black employee retention, racism, colorism & more. You can listen here: https://www.blacktechtalent.org/btt-discussions-ep-3-ft-steve-buchanan/

Was a guest on Tech Talk Wednesday podcast and radio show with Kazeem Adegboyega Topic: Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) in 30 minutes. Streamed online via Microsoft Teams and aired in Lagos, Nigeria on Lagos State University (LASU) radio (95.7).

10/31/2020 FEATURED ON BITTECHTALK EPISODE #127 – BITTechTalk ep. #127 Steve Buchanan – PC Tech to Microsoft MVP

Guest on Black Tech Talent podcast.

11/5/2020 Guest on the RunAs Radio Podcast

Guest on  Headinthecloud Heartinthecommunity a community show by Isidora Katanic and Holly Lehman.

-Pluralsight Courses-

In 2020 I developed 5 new courses for Pluralsight bringing the total to 6! This is an opportunity to continue sharing my knowledge with the world through Pluralsight’s global platform. You can find my Pluralsight Author page here:

https://app.pluralsight.com/profile/author/steve-buchanan

Here are my blogs about the courses throughout 2020:

One more highlight from my journey with Pluralsight in 2020 is that my AZ-900 course broke into the top 100 courses on Pluralsight! This actually stayed here for multiple months!

I am excited about the potential with Pluralsight for 2021!

-Speaking-

In 2020 I presented at some conferences and user groups. Here is where I presented in 2020:

Inside Azure Management event conference

I was a speaker during the “Inside Azure Management Summit” on 7/23/2020. This was a free community event. It featured Microsoft cloud experts from the authoring team of “Inside Azure Management” book, Microsoft MVP’s, and community experts from around the world. I presented on Azure Policy! My session can be watched here:

I was one of the experts in several Ask the Expert sessions during Microsoft Ignite 2020! Sessions included PowerShell on Azure, Kubernetes on Azure, and Azure Migrations.

Presented at an Azure User Group based in Ghana, in Africa on Terraform for Azure!

-Interviews-

I was featured on AzureCrazy.com in an article! In the Interview we discuss being a #Microsoft MVP, getting certified in #Azure, the positive impact #PowerShell can have on your #ITCareer, getting started with #AKS#AzureStackHub & more. Check it out here:

-Certifications-

Since 2020 was full of time spent inside at home I took some time to knock out a few certifications.

I took and passed the Docker certification! CKA will be in my future.

I decided to study for and passed an AWS certification!

I also gained a Terraform certification by contributing to the Terraform associate exam and helped out with a Terraform certification study guide!

-More-

I also spent time writing blogs, volunteering with some youth tech programs, as well as shared a couple of scripts on GitHub! Here are some posts about some of these:

2020 was a full year. I already have plans and stuff in the works to make 2021 an exciting year continuing with a focus on Azure, Containers, Kubernetes, IaC, Terraform, GitOps, and more! Please check back here often for new blogs, scripts, and more.

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SAP on Azure Course on Pluralsight

I am happy to announce that my latest Pluralsight course has been published. I am extra proud of this one because it is a first on the Pluralsight platform! The course is “SAP on Azure: The Big Picture“. This is the first SAP on Azure course to land on Pluralsight.

SAP is the #1 business software in the world. SAP is used by so many companies around the world. SAP projects are some of the largest projects in IT. SAP has a huge push for customers to move to its latest version SAP’s ERP solution S/4HANA by 2025. Even though you can buy extended support for current versions there is still a preference for customers to move to the new version. With this push to move most businesses and CIO’s view this as a chance to also move to hosting SAP in the cloud.

There is a shortage of IT professionals that know SAP and know cloud such as Azure. Having SAP skills can be a game changer for anyone’s IT career. Combine SAP and Azure skills and watch your career accelerate even further.

Both Azure and SAP skills can be hard to gain without someone taking a chance placing you on one of these projects. It is not easy to break into the world of SAP and part of that reason is a lack of starter courses.

I have held various roles on several SAP on Azure projects gaining key skills in this area. My goal with this course was to bring forward a starting point for those looking to get some training and break into this area.

This course will teach you a fundamental understanding of SAP, the various cloud hosting options, and core knowledge for hosting SAP on Azure.

This course is packed with 1 hour and 29 minutes of info for those wanting to get started with running SAP on Azure.

If one of these sound familiar:

-You have skills with Azure and want to learn more about SAP

-You have skills with SAP and want to learn more about Azure

-You want to get started with both Azure and SAP

-You want to pursue the AZ-120: Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads exam

Well this course is for you!

In this course, SAP on Azure: The Big Picture, you’ll learn to what it takes to host SAP on Azure. First, you’ll explore the different SAP cloud hosting options.

Next, you’ll discover why Azure is a good fit for SAP and gain an understanding of the Microsoft and SAP partnership.

Finally, you’ll learn how to learn about the different SAP components, get SAP on Azure architectural guidance, and learn the about the differences between SAP on Azure migrations compared to greenfield deployments.

When you’re finished with this course, you’ll have core skills and knowledge of hosting SAP on Azure needed to be an asset on SAP on Azure projects.

Check out the course here:

https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/sap-azure-big-picture

I hope you find value in this new SAP on Azure course. This new course brings me to a total of 6 courses now published on the Pluralsight platform. Be sure to follow my profile on Pluralsight so you will be notified as I release new courses! I will be releasing more courses soon!

Here is the link to my Pluralsight profile to follow mehttps://app.pluralsight.com/profile/author/steve-buchanan

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Speaking at a Ghana based Azure User Group on Terraform and Azure

I am happy to announce my last speaking event for 2020. Speaking at a Azure User Group based out of Ghana.

I will be speaking on Terraform and Azure! I will be diving into how to get started with using Terraform as your Infrastructure as Code tool for Azure.

This is a full event with 3 sessions. I will be joined by Microsoft Sr Cloud Advocate Thomas Maurer speaking on Azure Arc and fellow Microsoft MVP Lawrence Reddy speaking on Azure Sentinel!

The event Saturday, 5th December 2020. I hope to see you there. You can register here:

meetu.ps/e/Jygdg/FlL9h/a

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