Tag: community


Chris Pietschmann Awarded 2018 Microsoft MVP – Azure

Hi! My name is Chris Pietschmann, and I’m the primary person behind BuildAzure.com and the Build Azure Weekly newsletter. I started BuildAzure.com back in June 2015 after I passed the Azure MCSD certification as an effort for me to be able to focus my Azure blogging efforts into a more targeted fashion. Over time, as a result of my many community contributions, including the success of sharing information on BuildAzure.com, I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award in 2017 in the expertise category of Microsoft Azure.

Most recently, on July 1, 2018, I was re-awarded the Microsoft MVP award for 2018 in the category of Microsoft Azure. While this is my 2nd Microsoft MVP award for Microsoft Azure, it’s actually my 7th time winning the Microsoft MVP award!

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Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Mar. 5, 2018 – MVP Summit this Week!

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

MVP Global Summit 2018 is this week!

Today kicks off the first day of the Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2018! The MVP Summit is an event where Microsoft invites all the currently active Microsoft MVP out to Redmond, WA to meet for the week. If you’re not familiar with the Microsoft MVP Program, please read my article “How to become a Microsoft MVP“. Also, if you are a Microsoft MVP, thanks for subscribing to Build Azure Weekly, and I’m going to attempt to meet as many of you as possible this week! It’s going to be awesome!

The MVP Global Summit is essentially a private conference for those who are currently awarded the Microsoft MVP award, as well as Microsoft Regional Directors (RDs) to attend. This year there are approximately 2,000 MVPs and RDs from over 80 countries worldwide coming to attend.

The way the MVP Summit is run is that the presenters are all Microsoft employees from the various product teams. Then, MVPs get to attend sessions within their Award Categories / Expertise. Through this they get to meet product team members at Microsoft, network with other Microsoft MVPs and RDs, as well as offer feedback to the product teams. The Feedback aspect is really one of the big reasons Microsoft holds the MVP Global Summit each year. This provides a means for Microsoft to get early feedback and suggestions from leaders in the community to help make all the products and releases even better.

It is also worth noting that in order to attend, all MVPs must sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with Microsoft, as the sessions are full of early previews of what’s coming over the next few months. As a result of the NDA, anything new and yet to be released publicly that is presented and talked about at the MVP Global Summit can be talked about publicly until Microsoft themselves releases it publicly. While I’m certain to learn about a ton of awesome stuff in the pipeline, I unfortunately will not be able to share any kind of summary of the event content in next weeks Build Azure Weekly. Just be sure to keep an eye out over the next few months for awesome announcements and releases that MVPs likely got an early sneak peak at during Summit. 🙂

For those of you attending the Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2018, I just got in a bunch of Build Azure sticker that I’ve brought with me. 🙂 No hoops to jump through to get a sticker. You just need to meet me in person and say “Hi”. I’m excited to meet everyone at the summit!

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

The month of March marks 1 full year of Opsgility sponsoring Build Azure!! If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More


How to become a Microsoft MVP

Whether you’ve heard of the Microsoft MVP Award and are wondering how to earn it yourself, or just curious as to what others have done to earn this recognition form Microsoft, here’s a brief explanation into the What and How of the Microsoft MVP Award.

The Microsoft MVP Award is an award Microsoft gives out to a select group of community leaders who make an impact everyday in the overall Microsoft technology community. Microsoft MVPs do a lot of work in their own time, with nothing expected in return other than the self-gratification that they’re helping others do great things. The MVP Award is a way for Microsoft to say “Thanks!” to these industry experts in the Microsoft technology space.

Before we discuss how to earn the award, and become a Microsoft MVP, let’s cover a few things like “What is the MVP Award?” and “Who are MVPs?” Read More


Microsoft Build Conference Coming May 7 – 9, 2018

The “Microsoft Build” conference is Microsoft’s annual developer conference. Build is the sister conference to the Microsoft Ignite conference. Ignite does have some dev content, but it’s primary focus is on IT Pros. The Build conference is where Microsoft focuses on the Developer community. They also make TONS of product announcements around Microsoft Azure, Xamarin, Visual Studio, and many other products / services at both of these annual conferences. At this years Build conference, scheduled for May 7 – 9, 2018, Microsoft will undoubtedly be announcing many great new features to their products and services, as well as providing some really great sessions on current and new technology! Read More


How to Compare Azure VM Pricing Across Azure Regions

At first glance, Virtual Machine pricing in Microsoft Azure seems fairly straight forward. However, the different VM pricing tiers actually do vary in price from region to region. In fact comparing the prices across regions can be a little tricky whether you’re using the Pricing Calculator or the pricing info in the Azure Portal. However, Victor Kiselev has compiled all the Azure pricing together into an easy to use comparison tool. Read More


Chris Pietschmann Awarded 2017 Microsoft MVP – Azure

mvp_logo_horizontal_preferred_cyan300_rgb_300ppiMy name is Chris Pietschmann, and I’m the curator and the one who writes all the content on BuildAzure.com. On January 1, 2017 I received notification that I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award for the Microsoft Azure expertise category. There are a number of things I do to contribute to the community, and it’s really awesome to have that recognized directly by Microsoft.

This isn’t my first time to be awarded Microsoft MVP. I was a Bing Maps MVP for 5 years back from 2008 through 2012. So, this actually makes my 6th Microsoft MVP award to date. It’s a really great community to be a part of, and it’s awesome to be back in again.

ms_mvp_email_notification_2017The above image is a screenshot of the email notification that I received. In case the image doesn’t load, or you can’t read it for some reason, here’s what it says:

Dear Christopher,

Congratulations! We are extrememly pleased to present you with the 2017 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who share their remarkable passion, real-world knowledge, and technical expertise with others through demonstration of exemplary commitment. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in the Microsoft Azure technical communities during the past year.

I really enjoy the work that I do. That’s why I don’t only work a full time job, but I also spend lots of personal time contributing to the community. This is something that ALL Microsoft MVPs do. We do it because we enjoy what we do, and we also really enjoy sharing and helping others too!

My Day Job at Opsgility

My day job is working as a Trainer and Senior Cloud Solution Architect for Opsgility. Among my many job responsibilities are developing and recording Azure training content that is available in the Opsgility On-Demand Training Service. Another part of my day job is to travel around and deliver instructor-led training to help teach teams and organizations about the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Here’s a short list of some of the online, on-demand training courses I’ve recorded recently. You could sign up for a Free Trial and take them today!

Also, among the many Instructor-led courses offered by Opsgility, I’ve built out the 3 day Designing and Implementing IoT Solutions class. This class covers how to build Internet of Things solutions and covers such topics as: Azure IoT Suite, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Windows 10 IoT Core. There’s also an option in the Hands-on labs for the class to build out a real IoT solution using a Raspberry Pi 3, sensors, and Azure IoT Suite. This class teaches what you need to know about Azure IoT Suite to built IoT solutions in the cloud, and covers the hardware side of things too!

Community Contributions

Now, on to my “side projects”. I do many things to contribute to the community outside of my job working at Opsgility. One of them is maintaining the BuildAzure.com blog. Here I post on average 3 times per week; which includes the weekly post “Build Azure Weekly” that summarizes and links to the latest Azure news and other articles around the web.

Here are some of the additional activities I’ve done to contribute to the community as well:

Work Life Balance

Also, I’m not all work and no play. I manage my time between all the above and family life. I am married and have 2 amazing little kids. Work, Hobby, Life balance isn’t easy, but you make time for the things to care about and give you pleasure.

Something I think about daily is something my Grandmother told me:

You don’t have the time, if you don’t make the time.

So, I make time for all the things I enjoy and are important to me. In addition to my family, I spend lots of time either staying up late or getting up early so I can contribute to the community and share my knowledge and skills with others.

I spent most of my early career, and even earlier than that, learning from all the online contributions and books from other Microsoft MVPs. I owe the community for so much that I’ve learned, and I pay it forward by contributing back as I can. I really enjoy helping others, as so many have helped me over the years.

Microsoft MVP

Here’s a short description from Microsoft on what a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is:

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs are driven by their passion, community spirit and their quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.

Here’s a few words that describe what the Microsoft MVP award means to me:

  • Humbling
  • Inspiring
  • Helpful
  • Knowledgeable

If you’re curious to learn more about the Microsoft MVP award, you can read more here: https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-US/Overview

Congratulations to all the other newly awarded, or renewed Microsoft MVP’s all over the world!


Join the conversation with Build Azure Slack group

Blog articles are great for sharing information, as well as getting some feedback through comments. However, it’s still somewhat limited when it comes to the opportunity for communication. What if you have a question unrelated to the post topic? How do you talk with other readers of the same blog? How do you solve the limited networking capabilities between subscribers? Well, I’ve been putting some thought into this and have put together a solutions! Read More

ArchitectureCertificationDevelopmentOpen Source

Open Source Azure Certification Practice Tests

Studying for the Azure certification exams can be a daunting task. One of the most difficult things is knowing whether you’re ready to sit the actual exam or not. Take the exam too early, you’ll fail. Not understand how the questions will be written, you could fail. Over prepare, and you’ll pass but possibly waste some time. To really hone in on a certification exam, the use of a practice test / exam can be extremely useful. In an effort to help others studying for these exams, I have started creating a couple Free, Open Source Azure certification practice exams. Read More