Isn’t the technical Community great?!!

With everything that’s been going on in the world recently and all events being cancelled or postponed you might mistakenly think that people’s ability to learn and stay in touch would dissipate.  You couldn’t be more wrong.

User Group Meetup Hub

I am the UK Regional Mentor for PASS which means that I’m the go-to person for all things Community and User Group.  If someone wants information on where user groups are or a User Group needs a speaker I’m the person to call on and I try to help.  I run a monthly meeting with the User Group Leaders and we realized that whilst all the User Groups had their own meetup sites there was no central place for anyone to see what was going on.  There used to be a community site that User Group leaders could go to to enter their upcoming events but its use was a little sporadic and we still had to put our details on our own sites too.

As User Group leaders we wanted to try to reduce the amount of work involved so Phil Grayson (@databoffin) very kindly created us a site which scrapes data from all the meetup sites that we know about, and adds them to a central location.  This means that all we have to do is store the information on our own site and the rest of the work is done for us and anyone can go to one place and see what’s going on.  There is also a Virtual Meetup group for people to go to, to share news.  Please use the site  , if you are a user group leader of a group doing anything with the data platform or cloud related and you’d like to be kept up to date with news of other similar groups then please add your details here If you’d like us to add your meet up site to the website please email me at we’d really appreciate your thoughts on the site and what else we need to add to it.  Many thanks to Phil for putting the site together and Simon Whiteley (@MrSiWhiteley) for doing all the wordy bits that Phil and I struggle with.

Azure Global Bootcamp

I became an MVP in September – and yes I’m still recovering from shock – and was really looking forward to going to MVP Summit which was due to be held in March, but somehow the people from Microsoft managed to turn an in person event into an online event IN TWO WEEKS!!!  This was an amazing feat and showed everyone else what could be done.  I attended many sessions which I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt loads but I have to say, as good as it was, I did feel I missed out on the ‘chatting with colleagues’ part.

I was asked if I could record one of my sessions as part of the MVP Programme which I did, a 20 minute session ‘The What, Why and how of Unit Testing’ which was then used as part of the Azure Global bootcamp using a mix of recorded and live sessions which enabled them to put on a huge amount of content to meet the demands required by people from all over the world.  Details of the event are here


Then a bunch of geeks from all over Europe decided to put on DataWeekender which happened on Saturday 2nd May.  This event was all live but online sessions, they had 5 tracks that started at 7.45am and went through til 5pm.  I was really excited to be presenting a new session that shows how to build an Azure environment from powershell using data stored in a database.  If anyone is interested all my code and slides are on my repo here

With the new website and all the events happening there is certainly no shortage of learning and community opportunities available and I look forward to seeing you at one soon.

Stay safe.