💡 Starting the new year with another event! We kicked things off with a “Career in Cloud Panel” hosted by the Azure Community Enthusiasts (ACE) user group. Based in the UK, ACE brings together passionate individuals diving into the world of Azure.
This user group aims to create a community of enthusiasts and professionals passionate about learning Microsoft Azure. Their meetups are both online AND in-person (London or Birmingham). ACE can be found on Twitter here:
I had a blast being part of this Career in Cloud Panel with fellow panelist and long time friend Sam Ernskine (@samerskine) from the UK! Big shoutout to the hosts, friend and Microsoft MVP Kevin Greene (@kgreeneit) from Ireland, and the up and coming Nicholas Chang(@nick_cloudops), also an MVP from the UK. 👩💻👩🏿💻 It felt like a tech reunion! 🎉
We dove into some cool topics such as: what got us hooked on tech, the building blocks of tech skills throughout our careers, staying flexible by not tying the knot with one technology, whether cloud certifications are the golden ticket to landing a job, and more. Being on this panel was a total blast – a mix of fun and insightful vibes! 🌐
For those who missed it, you can catch the recording here:
Under the Computer Science Education Advancement Act (HF 759 and SF 757) (https://csforallmn.org/cs-ed-bill-2023/), the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has been charged to form a working group that will develop a strategic plan to improve Computer Science for k-12 education in the state of Minnesota. 🎓
🔄 There is an urgent need to elevate Minnesota’s computer science k-12 education position. Minnesota is currently last in the United States when it comes to computer science.
🔄I am thrilled to share that, among 80 applicants, I have been chosen as a member of this new “Minnesota Computer Science Education Working Group” by MDE! 🌟 It’s an honor to stand alongside esteemed technologists and educators from our state. Together, we are committed to crafting a comprehensive statewide computer science education program.
Our mission is clear: bridge the tech education gap in Minnesota’s schools through a plan for long-term and sustained growth of computer science education in all k-12 school districts and charter schools. The working group will develop a robust plan, slated to be presented to legislative committees overseeing education in the state. Upon approval, this plan will be set to improve computer science education statewide.
I am thankful to work at an organization such as Microsoft that supports employees to engage in initiatives such as this. This is a testament to Microsoft’s mission to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”.
I’m very excited to announce something that has been in the works for a little while now. I was fortunate to interview the legendary Andrew Shafer (@littleidea). We had a discussion about Platform Engineering. If you don’t know Andrew here is his BIO:
“Andrew Clay Shafer helped create the tools and practices that made DevOps a word. He is fascinated with the dynamics of high-performing individuals and organizations and has a reputation for improving outcomes at the intersection of Open Source, Cloud Computing and Software Delivery working on Puppet, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes before founding Ergonautic to focus on improving the way people work.“
Basically, he started this whole DevOps thing, was key in the DevOps Days events, has founded some high-profile companies, and more. He is the perfect person to chat with about Platform Engineering because if anyone knows it he does!
I chatted with Andrew in an episode of Pluralsight’s Expert Access. Expert Access is a YouTube series where we (Pluralsight authors) bring in some of the best minds in tech to hear how tech leaders are solving business challenges and their takes on what’s next.
The title of the episode is: “Pluralsight Expert Access: Andrew Shafer on platform engineering as an evolution, not a replacement“. In this episode, I interview Andrew, as he gives his take on what Platform Engineering is, what organizations are chasing to enable developers, and what’s keeping organizations from long-term success when it comes to their DevOps practices. In the discussion we tackle these questions and more:
Is Platform Engineering a result of failed DevOps efforts in organizations? Is it just a Service Catalog with the twist of it being geared towards devs?
Platforms are not a new concept in the software world. In one of your tweets, there is an interesting line “Continuous Delivery without a platform is malpractice.“ Is this highlighting that organizations have been doing DevOps without platforms? Can you break down this line for us? It seems like there may be a story behind this?
Some people may equate Platform Engineering to having an Internal Developer Platform, is this the core of PE or are there other technologies that are also core to it?
Watch the episode for more insights on the importance of changing practices–not just words–for achieving sustainable progress and seeing Platform Engineering as a holistic approach to DevOps and delivery.
Many organizations have embraced DevOps and adopted technologies like Kubernetes, cloud computing, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools like Terraform or Pulumi. Despite these efforts, they often face challenges in delivering on the promises of DevOps and cloud-native. Platform engineering has emerged as the next step in the evolution, breaking down barriers and empowering developers to bring software to the market faster and more efficiently.
Recently I have been working on content to help educate and share my knowledge in this space. I am happy to announce two new pieces of content on Platform Engineering including a new course and a new blog.
Course: Platform Engineering: The Big Picture
Last week my 22nd course was published on Pluralsight! I am really excited about this course because it covers something that has been really hot in tech lately. It is about Platform Engineering. Platform Engineering has emerged as the next step in the evolution, breaking down barriers and empowering teams. Being someone that works with Kubernetes and cloud native this course was right up my alley because I work directly in this space.
The course is titled “Platform Engineering: The Big Picture“. This course will help you explore platform engineering and discover how it can elevate cloud-native development, making developers’ lives easier while achieving new heights in software delivery. Platform Engineering unifies and centralizes toolchains & workflows for self-service making developers’ lives easier while achieving new heights in software delivery.
In this course, you will gain an understanding about Platform Engineering, its benefits, architecture, tooling, workflow and how to adopt it.
Some of the major topics covered in the course include:
A Platform Engineering overview and why it’s needed, how Platforms enhance DevOps and streamline cloud native.
A comparison of DevOps, SRE, and Platform Engineering.
You will learn about Platform Engineering Architecture, its tooling landscape, and Internal Developer Platforms.
Check out the “Platform Engineering: The Big Picture“ course here:
Blog: 8 tools every platform engineer should know about
I am also excited to announce my second Platform Engineering-related blog post on Pluralsight. This one is titled: “8 tools every platform engineer should know about”. In Platform Engineering there are a lot of tools that can make up a platform. It can be confusing and hard to know what tools to focus on in the Platform Engineering space. In this blog post, I list 8 tools that are a must-know when you are in the Platform Engineering space.
I am excited to announce my second ever blog on Pluralsight.com. This blog is about Platform Engineering. In this post I break down what platform engineering is, the business problems it solves, and how to know if your organization is ready to roll it out yet.
In the blog post, we explore why there is so much hype around platform engineering, if Platform Engineering is a replacement for DevOps, how Internal Developer Platforms help resolve the infrastructure gaps, and more. Be sure to check it out!
Onalytica just released their 2023 Who’s Who in Cloud? Top 50 Report. I am humbled and honored to be included in this list of 50 incredible people and thought leaders in the cloud space!
The report features the Top 50 thought leaders and influencers who have driven the most engagement around the cloud on LinkedIn and Twitter over the past six months. The thought leaders in the report are leading the charge when it comes to cloud computing, through our speaking, books, articles, as well as video and or audio content.
Onalytica has been creating influencer lists for the last 10+ years. These influencer lists span industries such as tech, finance, healthcare, education, and many more.
These Who’s Who reports are created using the Onalytica platform which has a curated database of over 1 million influencers. Out of 1 million influencers, it is not easy to land in the top 50. I landed at #41 on the list!
I want to give a special shout-out to my fellow Microsoft colleagues on the report including:
Onalytica Provides consultancy-led Influencer Marketing software for industry & B2B marketing and communications professionals looking to identify and engage with social media influencers.
Onalytica’s software enables brands to implement and run structured Influencer Relationship Management programs with large Influencer Communities to improve brand awareness, perception and demand generation.
Founded in 2009, and backed by Bebo founders Michael and Paul Birch, Onalytica have created over 5,000 B2B and B2C Influencer programs for global clients which include Microsoft, Google, IBM, Coca-Cola, Amazon, Centrica and British Airways.
Onalytica are striving for this report to be a One-Stop Shop for the Movers & Shakers of the industry so any feedback to further improve the lists is always gratefully received.
I was a guest on a very popular cloud podcast. This is one of the longest-running cloud podcasts around starting in 2011. It is the Cloudcast Podcast.
I was on episode #714 titled “Combining Kubernetes Community and Careers”. In this episode, I had a great time chatting with Aaron Delp about my journey in the Kubernetes community, building a personal brand through education and sharing, content creation, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Here are the show notes breaking down the topics:
Topic 1 – Today we are going to be talking about careers and Kubernetes. Steve, welcome to the show! You have a super fascinating career journey, can you give everyone a quick introduction?
Topic 2 – I heard you over on the Kubernetes Unpacked podcast. First off, it’s hard to keep up with everything you are doing in the community these days. What is your current focus and passion? Have you reached 20 courses on Pluralsight yet?!
Topic 3 – How do you balance the day job (Program Manager for AKS) and the nights and weekends (PluralSight courses, blogging, podcasts, etc.)? Besides learning and sharing, what benefits are you seeing with this approach?
Topic 4 – I believe your journey parallels our journey here. We started the podcast to learn and give back to the community. Prior to the podcast, blogging was the big thing (we are completely aging ourselves I know) but I think it is safe to say blogging isn’t a primary source today. How would you recommend folks new to the industry get started sharing their journey? Where is the most “bang for your buck” these days?
Topic 5 – Let’s talk about Kubernetes and specifically AKS, what are customers finding new and interesting? What are the leading solutions and integrations you see combined with AKS? How do you create a “stack” in AKS (GitHub Actions, Azure Container Registry, etc.)
Last week I published a new course on Pluralsight. This one is a milestone as it marks my 20th course! This course is titled “Getting Started with Drupal“. Startups, enterprises and more continue to adopt content management systems at a fast rate with Drupal being one of the top Content Management Systems used.
Drupal is one of the top choices for startups and enterprises. It is used for many uses from web apps, marketing tools, e-commerce, and even a company’s main website.
I have been working with Drupal and other content management systems in various aspects for over sixteen years. I have used Drupal for my own websites, hosted it for businesses, administered Drupal sites for customers, Drupal development for customers, and even managed the development of Drupal modules. With all of my history with Drupal, I was excited when the opportunity came up to build a course about it.
This course is ideal for bloggers, entrepreneurs, Product Managers, Marketing managers, Marketing executives, Marketing consultants, Marketing employees, web developers, project managers, business analysts, web designers, graphic designers, UX/UI, designers, and anyone interested in content management systems specifically Drupal.
This course will take you from little to no knowledge of Drupal to a place where you can be confident enough to get started. Whether you want to create a personal blog, a business website, or an online store, Drupal is a skill you should have and this course has you covered.
In this course,Getting Started with Drupal, you’ll learn its many uses, features, tech stack, and you’ll also explore hosting it. Next, you’ll learn how to install it. Finally, you’ll discover its user interface and general configuration.
Some of the major topics that are covered in this course include:
Core Drupal knowledge.
About its tech stack such as web servers like Apache, language PHP, Composer, Drush, & databases like MySQL & how these work with Drupal.
How to acquire a domain & hosting for Drupal.
& Finally, how to install and configure Drupal.
By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of content management systems, & Drupal itself, its uses, features, & tech stack. As well as knowledge of how to get a domain name, hosting, and install Drupal along with a tour of its interface and general configuration.
This course is the 1st in a Drupal Path named “Drupal Fundamentals” on Pluralsight. The 2nd course in the path is “Drupal 10 Site Administration”. You can check out the full path here: