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Community – Regular IT guy

Category - Community

Can’t make it to Microsoft Ignite? Here’s the details on the LiveStream

On a recent countdown show, we talked about the general format of the Live Stream. I thought it deserved a little more detail and highlights on the schedule.  Since I’m not presenting at Microsoft Ignite this year – my way of contributing during the event centers around this livestream.  I’ve been working overtime with my team to get the right people into the interview chair.


First off: WHERE do you catch it? simple. http://ignite.microsoft.com

Need a reminder? Here’s an ICS calendar reminder for ya.

WHAT is going on? Well – since the conference is just around the corner, I can share MOST of the details of what will be in the livestream. Some things I still can’t share, others I can’t give you too much granularity as of yet. Sorry – that’s just the way it is for now. 😉

Day 1 – May 4th.

This is the highly orchestrated day where we’re trying to hit new audiences with a new level of production Microsoft livestream broadcasts have seen before.  A whole lot of moving parts (some are still moving) in order to bring you the following:

  • Keynote Pre-Show
  • Mainstage keynote
  • Post-Keynote discussion
  • CH9 – Inside Identity and Deployment for Windows 10
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Jeff Woolsey on the Microsoft Datacenter Platform vNext
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – View from the Azure CTO, Mark Russinovich
  • Keynote Pre-show
  • Showcase Keynote
  • Post-Keynote discussion and Wrap

Day 2 – May 5th

We’re hitting the Channel 9 Stage for the remainder of the conference. There will be some cool “recaps” that are produced / pre-recorded from the day before and a couple of folks you might know setting the stage and kicking things off with a cuppa coffee.

  • Daily Welcome / morning show
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Corey Sanders and an update on Azure IaaS
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – The Endpoint Zone LIVE with Brad Anderson
  • CH9 – Containers on Windows, Azure and beyond with Taylor Brown
  • CH9 – Sharing Protected Information
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – SQL unplugged with Scott Klein
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – All Things DevOps with Donovan Brown
  • “hot room” session

Day 3 – May 6th

  • Daily Welcome / morning show
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Microsoft’s Security and Assurance strategy in vNext with Anders Vinberg
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – <redacted – sorry>
  • CH9 – <redacted – sorry>
  • CH9 – Lead Architect’s vision on Server vNext with Jeffrey Snover
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Microsoft Azure technology introspective with Mark Russinovich
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Microsoft Intune and Mobile Application Management
  • “hot room” session

Day 4 – May 7th

  • Daily Welcome / morning show
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Microsoft’s Storage Strategy & Capabilities in vNext
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Microsoft’s Networking Strategy & Capabilities in vNext
  • CH9 – The Patch and Switch Show LIVE
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Identity in Azure Active Directory
  • “hot room” session
  • CH9 – Linux and Open Source in Azure
  • “hot room” session
  • Microsoft Ignite recap

Day 5 – May 8th

  • Daily Welcome /Recap
  • “hot room” sessions

Patch and Switch episode “Replication #GoHawks Pancake” is this Friday!


If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen me talk about a couple of guys called Patch and Switch.  It’s a little thing that Joey Snow and I started up almost 2 years ago as an experiment.

  • Could two guys talkin’ tech pull off an entertaining AND informative show where people can get together and INTERACT with each other, share stories and just blow off some steam / relax and reflect on life in IT.

…based on the fact it’ll be our 43 episode and we’re almost at our two year anniversary – I’d say YES – it has worked.

Need a little break on Friday January 30th at 9 am pacific time? Why don’t you grab a coffee or a pint (based on your timezone) and join us!

Digging up Resources for Technical Communities

Those of you who know me from my previous job as a Technology Evangelist in Canada know that there is one thing I STONGLY believe in… User Communities of all shapes and sizes.


I remember when I first started my job – one of the things we tried to do was gather people of similar interests together and facilitate them into creating their OWN communities that had some sort of sustaining passion to keep things going.  Some have survived and thrived, others have evolved to ad-hoc gatherings around events and still some have faded away all together.  No matter what their current state – a sense of community is present in the people that were part of it and the relationships created by being part of a community are still very much used when the opportunity arises.

I’ve found some communities have evolved from in-person events to include online gathering places and forums or social networks like twitter, Facebook or Google+. But something just can’t replace the face to face connection you get while at an event accompanied by a good old fashioned handshake.

Part of my role here at The Mother Ship (a.k.a. Microsoft HQ) is working with the programs team who provide all sorts of resources you might know about and use on a regular basis (TechNet vLabs, Eval Center and Microsoft Virtual Academy to name a few) and some you might not.

From the “Might not know of” category is “Microsoft Technical Communities” program. It’s got something for you if:

  • You are looking for a local group / technical community of like minded people – you can find one of over 1400 registered communities worldwide (and growing).
  • You are running a technical community – you can sign up and register your group and gain access to resources to help grow your membership
  • You are a technical speaker or subject matter expert – you can register and connect with community leaders who are seeking speakers for their communities

Besides being a central resource point to connect people and communities together – the Microsoft Technical Communities program also provides benefits to it’s Community leaders to help grow their group memberships and sustain the organizational structure that keeps their group together.

  • eBooks for members
  • Office 365 subscriptions to help executives coordinate and collaborate resources
  • Promotion efforts on external sites like Facebook and Linked’in
  • Visibility of upcoming meetings on sites like TechNet and MSDN.
  • Access to “TechTrax”  webcasts and exclusive Q&A with experts to help deliver content
  • PowePoints / Demo Scripts / Demo setups for re-delivery
  • …. and more

Are you looking to connect with other Like Minded technical folks? To find a community or a user group event in your area, try the events calendar and the community list.

If you run a user group or speak regularly at events, sign up for the program at www.technicalcommunity.com!


One last note: we’re always looking for ways to make things better.  Got ideas on what we can do to improve the Microsoft Technical Communities Program? Drop me a comment below or if you prefer – shoot me an email (rick.claus@microsoft.com) – I’ll make sure to pass it along.

TechEd 2012 Countdown–Certification News T-6

Part of this new gig at Microsoft at Corp is helping out drum up information and excitement around big scale events like TechEd.  My partner in crime Joey Snow and I record these TechEd Countdown shows and publish them once a week.  It’s a hoot! This time we have Melissa Bathum from Microsoft Learning (MCT Readiness and certification) joining us to talk about certification benefits and offers at TechEd NA.

MMS 2012–Day 0 montage Las Vegas

Part of my role as a Technology Evangelist has me out at events and connecting with the attendees and interviewing speakers, partners and community members. I’m here at the Microsoft Management Summit 2012 (MMS) in Las Vegas and the Edge team decided we should have some fun with the traditional “montage” of stuff leading up to the kickoff keynote of MMS.

It was a lot of fun shooting and putting this one together. Check out the various SnapShots from day “0” I grabbed with the trusty Nikon.

Looking forward to some interviews today AND most importantly – THE KEYNOTES! Don’t Worry – if you are not here – you can watch them LIVE from wherever you are. The Keynotes are LIVE STREAMED with connection details on how to watch them from here (http://www.mms-2012.com/digitalmms).

FINALLY–something for SysAdmins, LanAdmins, IT Folks. IT CAMPS


  • There are no formal presentations.
  • It’s not death by PowerPoint.
  • It’s NOT marketing / Sales
  • It’s for Technical Professionals / Geeks / Pro-Sumers / SysAdmins / LanAdmins / Security Experts / basically anyone that works in IT or has a passion / interest in IT.

It’s not your traditional “event” from Microsoft – or at least one that you would expect.

Using the *.Camp approach to a dynamic event (i.e. audience PARTICIPATION), IT Camps are something that our team is putting on whenever / wherever we can as we’re out and about for TechDays, DevTeach or quite frankly – any port of call – provided there is interest in having an “IT Camp”. We’ve decided to mix it up a little and using an “un-conference style” of format – we’re looking to partner with anyone who would like to host an IT Camp and participate.

So what do you get when you decide to show up for one?

  • Find out who’s coming! Registration is encouraged, not not mandatory. We’re using Eventbrite to keep thinks non intrusive. Registration gets the word out AND it gives us an idea for how many people could be in attendance.
  • Personal networking opportunities. Grow your support network. There’s normally 30 minutes or so of time set aside from when the doors open to when the camp actually starts.
  • It’s dynamic / interactive. Whoever is hosting the event locally would be able to get a feel for what people wanted to talk about or see over the course of the event – heck, people can request “content” demos on the fly, if the participants are willing to step up and show something. We’ve come prepared with some cool demos that are 10-15 minutes each in chunks – they could follow a theme or if like the IT Camp last night at TechDays Toronto – Damir opened it up to the crowd to decide.
  • Reverse Panel or Mystery Panel. Time permitting – we’ll throw out some topics and hold a panel discussion on relevant topics – you choose!
  • Hands on Challenges – again – time permitting or logistics permitting – there’s an option for some “capture the flag” infrastructure challenges or team competitions to solve issues as a group. I mention “logistics permitting” because it depends on what we can bring together as resources for the camp – each and every Camp is different.
  • Lightning talks – got a story to share? you’ve got your opportunity for 5 minutes of fame to talk about how you solved an issue, implemented a cool technology or helped out someone in a bind – whatever. If you can fit it into 5 minutes – you can talk about it.
  • And MORE. Got an idea – share it with me. I’d love to talk about what to include.

We’ve been noodling with the format and we’ve tried it out in Toronto this week. Next week as part of ITPRO Teach / Dev Teach – we’ve got an opportunity to try again.

Here’s a list of events we’ve committed to over the next while and their registration links. Sign up – it’s FREE and it’s cool. Want to host one in YOUR city – give me an Email and we can talk about options and opportunities. rick@regularitguy.com

you never know – you might end up saying… “… and one time… at IT Camp… “

Power Of Community–Virtualization Reality–Halifax Leg

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DSCN5321 (640x480)On the continuing Eastern leg of the Virtual Reality community tour – I drove from Sydney to Halifax yesterday morning in order to make an up time, avoid the fog (which closed the airport) in order to talk with professors and IT staff at Nova Scotia Community College. The meeting was setup by my friend David Jelico – a prof that is very passionate about Technology and teaching students a balanced approach to surviving a career in IT. Topic was about private / public cloud and how the college could incorporate it into their curriculum as well as embrace some of the technology themselves.

As is always the case with David – his passion shines through and lots of lively conversation ensued with a full Q&A back and forth with everyone in the room. Nothing like keeping “the Microsoft guy” on his toes, eh?

After grabbing a bite to eat between sessions at “The Q” (best damn rib and BBQ joint in Halifax hands down) we hopped the ferry to cross over and setup for an evening event at the NSCC Waterfront campus – overlooking the beautiful harbour. If I had to choose a campus with a view – this would be the one.

The event itself was a bit modified. We had lower numbers then previous cities, so I modified the content to be better suited to a smaller crowd and focused on engaging and talking with the guys and showing / building the environment collaboratively with them. I say “building” mainly because I had a hardware issue that made it so I had to completely rebuild one of my Host Hyper-V servers which was left in a default install state. The demos were extended to literally build the second Host and enable it to work as the second node cluster for the highly available VM system.

After the event – I offered up a round of drinks for good measure at my favourite local establishment “The Old Triangle” where it happened to be jam night – bring your own instrument for traditional down home kitchen party. I kind of regret not picking up the Bohran to play a tune myself – but I was otherwise engaged in talking with Rob about his plans to setup a Canadian Home Grown Hosted Datacenter service using the full suite of MS technology (System Center Virtual Machine Manager, System Center Opalis, System Center Operations Manager, Hyper-V and more). I look forward to sharing his story with you here as they build it out and how they use these technologies to offer up hosted infrastructure to their Canadian customers.


I’m writing this post the day after – enjoying a rare day in the sun on the wharf downtown in Halifax. I was working at a Co-Working space called “The Hub” earlier today, but the sunshine was calling and I had a lunch meeting with a friend so I took advantage of some mobile technology and charged laptop in order to write with a view of the ocean.

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Power of Community: Virtualization Reality–Sydney

One of the challenges we face as IT folk is taking the time to work on our professional networking skills at in-person events. I mean seriously – we’ve worked all day, solved peoples problems and kept servers and systems running. At the end of the day – we mostly just want to go home. IT Folks are few and far between that want to take the time OUT of their personal lives outside of working hours in order to get together and talk about technology.

The concept of The Virtualization Reality community tour was to go out to established groups of like minded Technical Professionals and give them the straight goods on what the Microsoft Virtualization stack can do. Whenever we ask groups what we can do so support them – the answer is always – “get us speakers and content for my group”. From the beginning with this tour – I mentioned that we would not be restrictive on where we go – so long as there was a local champion to help out. We had to make the investment and go to locations that we haven’t been before – to show support of the efforts the local community members. 

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For the Eastern leg of this tour – I’m in Sydney Nova Scotia right now (can you tell) – the day after the event before I drive down to Halifax to continue the tour. I mentioned the intent to support established groups – but what about areas where there are currently NO GROUPS to speak of? We don’t come out much this way – so much so that we actually made the business section of the paper over the weekend with an article that “Microsoft was Coming to Town”. The driving force for coming out was the passion of a couple of guys from a local Professional Services company here in Sydney called AG Research

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That’s Joe on the left, Darryl on the Right – met them both a couple of years back at TechDays Halifax. They told me at the time “Come on up to Sydney – the weather is great and there are lots of IT folks out this way who would love to see ya”. So when Darryl contacted me to say he’d sign up to host an event, how could I refuse.

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Kudos to Darryl and Joe for pulling this off! Also – an awesome show of support from their company AG Research for both giving them the opportunity to host this and put on an event for the local IT Community AND driving awareness with their customers. Weather has been great (reminds me of a beautiful Summertime day in my hometown of Saint John, NB) for my drive up from Halifax.
Over 30 people showed up last night with lots of questions and interest to learn about the Microsoft Virtualization stack.


The real value is hopefully going to continue – I encourage everyone to keep in touch and establish a group that regularly gets together and supports each other in the local community. I’ll do my best to come out again.

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