Wow! The end of 2023 is upon us! Let’s take a look back at what I’ve been up to this year!
I celebrated my one year anniversary of being at Microsoft, technically this is my second 1st anniversary since I previously was an employee. It’s been great being back, talking to customers, trying to solve their challenges and guide them.
There has been lots to learn, and new folk to get to know. But it’s been great, and I’ve loved it. Here’s to growing and developing as part of the UK Customer Success Unit.
Outside of the job, in January I released my first training course. I had worked with the team at LinkedIn in 2022 to create a course entitled “IT Service Desk Careers and Certifications”. It was a great experience getting to do that and it’s been great seeing people share their completion of the course over the past year. Over 24,800 learners have completed the course, which is just amazing and has completely blown me away!
I’ve also had some great achievements thanks to the community. In February I became part of the Veeam Vanguard program. Which was and is a fantastic honour, it was a program I have long admired and it’s great to be part of it.
Then in October 2023, I won the Azure Evangelist award, as voted by the community as part of the UK Community Awards. Which totally blew me away! I was up against tough competition in the category so to win was very unexpected. Thank you to everyone that voted for me and has supported me over the years, I’ve said it before, but it truly does mean a lot to me.
It’s interesting looking back at the amount of blog posts I’ve written each year.
I definitely peaked in 2021 in terms of writing blog posts. Although looking at the background as to why I’ve written less, I’ve definitely become more strategic in what I write and how I write.
This year I’ve definitely had less time to write but I’ve also only wanted to write about things I enjoy and being strategic about the content I write.
I did spend time looking at the design and functionality of my blog post and have made some enhancements there. I changed the theme which has altered the layout and enabled comments on each post, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on each post. Please use that feature folks, I’d love to interact with you all more.
Most viewed blog posts in 2023
It’s always good to understand what blog posts are popular, so I do look at Analytics often and see if there is anything I can do to make blog posts better or update old ones to still be relevant.
This year my top 10 most visited blog posts have been:
- Install Exchange Online PowerShell modules
- Convert a folder to a Git repository
- Enable external email warning tag in Exchange Online
- Connect to a SQL database with Visual Studio Code
- Trigger GitHub Actions workflow when a folder changes
- Windows Server: Extend expired evaluation period
- Reset Ubuntu Password in WSL on Windows 10
- Create a new GitHub repository from the command line
- Schedule GitHub Actions using cron expressions
- Create an S3 bucket using AWS Cloudformation
I started my YouTube channel back in 2019, and it’s something that I have spent a lot of time developing. Creating content for and interacting with my audience. I’ve said this a few times and even blogged about it.
My YouTube channel isn’t monetized. You can read more about what milestones you need to hit with YouTube to be monetized, in my blog "My YouTube channel isn't monetized!".This
This means that everything I do is for free and every like, comment, subscribe, share, etc means the world to me. This year I have released about 18 new videos to the channel, for a brief period I brought back my weekly update videos, and then unfortunately lost momentum.
I have some content ideas I will be working on over the next few weeks and weeks. I will continue to share what I enjoy creating and think will be valuable with people.
And I hope people continue to enjoy what I create. I do have some ideas for videos in the new year that I am working on so if you haven’t already please do subscribe, it would be much appreciated.
Most viewed videos in 2023
There is a nice, interesting mix of videos from my YouTube channel that have made the top ten.
- How to delete a repository in GitHub
- Clone a repository with GitHub Desktop
- Create a new repository with GitHub Desktop
- How to create a repository in GitHub
- Azure DevOps Boards and Excel
- Connect to a SQL database with Visual Studio Code
- List all resources in a resource group using an Azure CLI command
- How to delete a branch in GitHub
- How to cancel a ticket on Eventbrite as an attendee
- Migrate an Azure DevOps repo to GitHub
This year speaking hasn’t been a focus of mine, I’ve been busy with work and with friends and family. And there are times in your life when you do need to change priorities and focus on other areas, and this has been one of those years.
I have delivered 8 talks though and spoke to over 700 people. I’ve spoken about Azure Bicep, GitHub, Azure Cost Management, Terraform and Gitlens. There has been a lot of variety and interesting topics!
This year I have aimed to get a few certifications, they’ve been fairly varied. In May I passed the HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate (002) certification, which was a proud moment as I had spent a few months learning about Terraform. Which has been fun and I’ve been continuing on that learning journey.
Also in May I earned the FinOps Certified Practitioner exam. This was in response to me having lots of conversations with customers on cost saving and management overall. I thought I’d expand my learning and look at cost management from a cloud agnostic point of view and it was really helpful.
Then in August I passed the GitHub Administration exam. This was another proud moment for me. Over the years I have dabbled with GitHub and self taught myself a lot of stuff, but to be able to pass a certification was a good moment and achievement for me personally. It really showed me I had evolved my skills and learnt some of that DevOps stuff I’ve talked about over the years.
And in October I went back to Microsoft certifications and passed the AZ-801 - Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services exam. This one has been on my radar for a while, but has always got pushed down the priority list. It’s a great exam for those that are still working with Windows Server but also working with Azure as well.
This year, the Glasgow Azure User Group has had 6 meetups, enjoyed over 170 pizzas, consumed a ton of drinks and learned everything from Azure AI, Azure Chaos Studio, Power Platform, Azure NetApp files to Azure Stack HCI.
It’s been great to get the user group back in person after a few years of challenges, and see it grow. Every year I love to see how the community comes togethers, shares knowledge, and gets to know each other. It’s great to see people come back time and time again, but also see lots of new faces at our meetups.
Social media has been something that I have definitely pulled away from. Two or three years ago it was something I checked daily, maybe even hourly and I maintained several profiles across several platforms. Nowadays I only have Instagram installed on my phone as I follow some great accounts that make me smile or teach me something.
The other social media platforms are only checked or interacted with when I am on my laptop.
I miss the community that I used to be a part of but I think with the way several platforms have gone over the past year or so, that community isn’t really there anymore anyway.