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Virtualstudy.pl: let’s go virtual !

When I was @ the Microsoft Technology Summit in Poland few weeks ago I had the pleasure to talk with a lot of MVPs @ the Community Booth that had been set up for the event. BTW, that was a HUGE event with, I presume, almost 2.500 attendees. As you can imagine, it’s the biggest annual Microsoft event in Warsaw and, from what I’ve seen, it was a real success.

BTW, I’d like to point out a great article on the event (in Polish) by MVP Piotr Pawlik.

Well, during these conversations a lot of interesting things normally come up. One of those was regarding the VirtualStudy.pl (not to mention all the other communities like WSS.pl, codeguru.pl and a lot more).

Thanks to the hard of the community members, VirtualStudy.pl now has a full support of English language, an English forum and even a few videos in English available as VOD.

At the same time the board is now looking for presenters who would like to prepare and present sessions in English (possibly with good presentation skills).

VirtualStudy.pl was created to allow users to attend online meetings and learn free of charge. Since the beginning they had quite a few interesting courses like Windows Server, SharePoint 2010 Training, SQLServer 2008, Windows Phone 7 programing, as well as 6 month C# training course which finished with an exam and certificates) where the average number of attendees was around 200-300 people.

Currently VirtualStudy.pl hosts all the previous sessions on a on-Demand basis (few hundred sessions are already available to watch).

These online sessions do not contain any marketing content, but it’s pure technical Microsoft knowledge.

And at the moment they are currently organize their first VirtualStudy.pl Conference 2011.

So this is a call to action for anyone with technical skills on Microsoft Technologies who wants to deliver English presentation.

And, just to close the topic that I started at the very beginning, these are some pictures from the MTS:

MTS Group

And this is me, powered by a customized Chrome-Joke T-shirt (:)), when I just got a nice & unexpected gift:

The Gift

Thank you for the wonderful time guys: I’ll see you next time in Warsaw (or even before, @ the MVP Global Summit !!)

A glimpse of the future !

I had some great holidays during this summer, up in the mountains.

And I deliberately chose not to bring my laptop with me so not to be tempted to work. Anyway I used my Windows Phone to check my emails: not on a regular basis but at least to check the most important stuff that was going on. I wanted to take out job stuff from my vacations but I couldn’t resist. Every year I bring my laptop with me mostly for the candidates’ reviews (to see if everything was working the way I was expecting to).

So that was my first lesson: never leave my laptop @ home.

Because after I came back, I switched it on only to realize that the hard disk was broken. Oh my, I was so disappointed, especially because I was not so sure that I backed everything up.

With all the cloud services we now have at our disposal, none of them had all the stuff (at least the recent one) I was supposed to reinstall on my laptop. Fortunately, I made a backup on May, 2011 on my external hard disk so not everything was lost. Also, SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh did help me in recovering some of the most important files I had.

Having said that, it was not over…

I ordered a new hard disk from HP (thanks to the local IT for the big help!) but it took about a week to have it. In the meantime, my smartcard was not working. Bummer !

As you may know, in order to have Direct Access on Windows 7 working, you have to use BitLocker and then use your smartcard to enable the corpnet access.

So I was lost…

Not to mention I got flu that took me @ home for almost a week.

So I went to the local IT and ordered a new one but it takes some time.

Long story short: I have my laptop (which is great), I recovered most of the files (even better) but I still need my smartcard. Well, close enough, I’m @ 80% I’d say…

Back to us,

during the hiking time back to the mountains I had some time to think about all the activities and top stories and the great collaborations with all the Countries I have the pleasure to represent as the Community Program Manager for the MVP Award Program. I guess everyone does that: when you have time and you’re relaxed, it’s much easier to build your last year’s history. Even better, you have a lot of creativity and lots of ideas that you want to put into action.

So, apart from being stuck right after my holidays, I’m SO READY to start the new (fiscal) year!

And you know what? There are a lot of things happening and planned to happen in the next 90 days. Lots of events, lots of engagements and of course the Microsoft and the 3rd party forums are still running and they get healthier.

You know I’m addicted to the social media and, to me, it’s the best way to monitor what is going on in the communities. As I represent 20 Countries, it’s not that easy to track everything you want to but at least you got what I need.

Also, I found a new way to use my Windows Phone more effectively: basically I created groups in which there are people (aka Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts) that I want to monitor. In that way, and when you don’t have much time to use a PC client, I was able to get the most important things, at least important for me and the Communities.

So from an offline perspective, here is what is going to happen in the next 90 days (again, this is not a comprehensive list):

Mobility Day – Zagreb, Croatia (September 21st)

mobilityday

SQL TUNEIN – Zagreb, Croatia (September 26, 27)

SQLTuneIN

Bleeding Edge 2011 – Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia (September 29th, 30th)

Bleeding Edge

DevReach – Sofia, Bulgaria (October17-18)

DevReach

Microsoft TechDay 2011 Baltic Region (October 18th till 20th)

Estonian page contains links to TechDay Lithuania & TechDay Latvia as well

TechDay Baltics

Microsoft Technology Summit – Warsaw, Poland (October 18-19)

MTS

Sinergija – Belgrade, Serbia (October 18-20th)

Sinergija11

Microsoft Vizija – Skopje Macedonia F.Y.R.O. (October 20-21)

Vizija

Virtualization Conference 2011 – Milan, Italy (November, 16-17)

Virtualization Conference

Windows Professional Conference – Milan, Italy (November 22-24)

WPC

Microsoft Fest 2011 – Prague, Czech Republic (November 26-27)

MSFest2011

ITPro-Dev Connections 2011 – Athens, Greece (November 26-27)

ItproDevcon2011

As you can see many events (or I should say at least some of the most important ones) are happening in the Region, with a strong Microsoft MVP participation, whether the MVPs will be speakers or Ask The Expert. These are events that are community-driven and/or Microsoft-driven with the help of the Communities and I guess it’s a great opportunity for all the community members to stop by to some of these events and have a chance to talk with them about Microsoft technology.

And bear with me if I missed some events: feel free to comment on this post and let me know (I’m still digging around to see what’s going to happen and also starting to have conference calls and Live Meetings with my colleagues in the Region but of course it takes time so any help would be much appreciated!)

Of course I didn’t forget about the MVP candidates’ review, which is, as a matter of fact, the first thing I want & need to make sure it’s okay. So expect a blog post, as always, the 1st of October, late in the day, to see new names/new faces and great community contributors being awarded as part of this exciting community which is the MVP Award Program.

 

So, putting aside all the issues I had after my holidays’ return, I’m VERY VERY excited to start a new year with a lot of activities being so confident that the communities and the Microsoft MVPs will have a big part on the new wave of Microsoft Products and a strong impact on the future of Microsoft Technologies moving forward.

And you know what? I want to be part of it too !! :)

Love my randomized tag Cloud !

This is a tag cloud based on my blog.

It is not based on my personal tags (in fact, most of them are not shown in it) but it relies on the word counting in all the blog posts I did.

tagcloud

(created with Wordle)

 

And this is my twitter cloud, created with Tagxedo

tag cloud twitter

IT Camp 2011

It’s a big 2 days timeframe for developers and ITPros in CEE.

On May 26-27, the 2 Romanian communities CodeCamp and ITSpark organized a 2 days event dedicated to both developers and system administrators: the IT Camp 2011

Featuring International speakers, this event, which will be hold in the forth most populous city in Romania (Cluj-Napoca), will see 10 Microsoft MVPs, all of them with different technical backgrounds and from different parts of Europe (you can add their personal Twitter/LinkedIn/RSS from the speakers’ list).

ITCamp

You may want to know what the topics are…well, from their own voice:

“We will be discussing general interest topics such as Private Cloud, security, Windows Azure, RIA using MVC and Ajax, System Center, SQL Server, Dependency Injection in ASP.NET MVC 3, Exchange High Availability, ASP.NET and PHP apps on IIS, Workflow Services in Windows Azure, SharePoint Server support for ISO and COBIT certifications, Link, WCF and REST in the Cloud and more”. So a lot will be covered !

While I suggest you to follow them, you can register here !

Link to: IT Camp 2011

Microsoft MVP Award – April 2011 Awards !

Everytime is a challenge, everytime is a “working hard” to make sure all the valuable members of the Communities are Awarded. It’s a process that never ends…

And it’s not that easy, monitoring all the Communities in CEE & Italy (the Region I represent, excluding Russia & CIS Countries), and find the “best of the best” inside those entities.

But I’m helped, of course: thanks to the continuous commitment of the Microsoft local Subsidiaries, and the help of the MVPs themselves, we get new outstanding nominations throughout the Region every Quarter.

So what can I say, apart from CONGRATULATING the new and re-awarded MVPs?

I never experienced that but, if I would be a technical expert in the IT Industry, getting the MVP Award e-mail should be really satisfying, from a personal and professional standpoint.

I always feel the excitement from the new MVPs, but also from the ones who are renewed, it’s still a very emotional part of their jobs and careers.

And this is thanks to what you do, on a voluntarily basis, that makes you a Microsoft MVP, even if you are not “MVP-branded” yet :). Doing communities activities, being available to the local subsidiaries when it comes to do technical presentations or articles or whatever it is, you’re part of the Community Ecosystem as an “Influencer”. People listen to you, listen to your advice, and take actions on your technical feedback. And this is definitely TRUST, something you gain year over year with your continuous effort in helping the communities grow from a technical perspective. So this is just to say THANK YOU, again, for what you do.

mvp_horizontal_fullcolor

Back to the April Award Cycle, I’m very happy to announce the new MVPs (sorted by name):

 

Influencer Country/Region Technical Expertise
Alberto Ferrari Italy SQL Server
Anton Staykov Bulgaria Windows Azure
Bahrudin Hrnjica Bosnia-Herzegovina Visual C#
Daniel Stefaniak Poland Management Infrastructure
Dimitris Papadimitriou Greece Connected System Developer
Francesco Sodano Italy SharePoint Server
Igor Pavlekovic Croatia Exchange Server
Jevgeni Tsaikin Estonia Device Application Development
Marcin Dembowski Poland Internet Explorer
Marcin Iwanowski Poland Expression Blend
Mirko Mainetti Italy Dynamics NAV
Nicola Ferrini Italy App-V
Toomas Ruus Estonia Exchange Server

 

(as soon as you’ll publish the news on your blogs and/or on your MVP Profiles, I will add the links to your name so anyone can see who you are :)).

I won’t put the list of all the re-awarded MVPs as it’s very long but, if you ask me to do it, I’ll do it !

Of course we had some declined MVPs. And this is natural: sometimes people don’t have time to dedicate to the communities anymore, some others changed jobs so this make it difficult for them to be active again: any other reason in between I don’t want to lose connections with these guys because I’m sure, sooner or later, they’ll come back again !

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, why don’t you subscribe to our blog? You’ll definitely find some good interesting stories to read about !

 

That said, Enjoy your Award and talk to you soon !

@alead

Microsoft WinDays 2011 !

Following the great success of the last year’s event,

Croatian WinDays strikes back with a new 2011 promising event !

WinDays2011

" There is no better place to search for new and different ideas than the leading business and technology conference in Croatia – Microsoft WinDays11!”

The Conference will be held in Rovinj, Croatia and it will be split in two conferences:

WinDays11 Microsoft Technology Conference 4 – 7 April, 2011

WinDays11 Business Conference 7 – 8 April, 2011

“Whether you’re an IT professional, company director, an expert in sales, marketing or business development, you can always happen to run out of new ideas. We are all here to help: a great source of ideas runs dry, and it is necessary to look for inspiration. There is no better way to do this than to surround yourself with people who, like you, live and profit from new ideas and their implementation, which is even better, ideas really begin to live only when you share it with others.”

MSWinDays-technology

Featuring MVPs Ilija Brajkovic, Marin Franković, Damir Dizdarevic, Robert Petrunic, Domagoj Pavlesic, Dobriša Adamec, Vibor Cipan and I’m sure many more, covering lots of Microsoft technologies (as you can also see by the picture above): from Lync Server to Windows Phone 7, from Silverlight to IE9 and Office 365 just to name a few…

Feel free to follow the upcoming news and see you in Rovinj! :)

Link to: Početna – Microsoft WinDays11. Prostori ideja. Drugačije ideje

Microsoft Technical Conferences 2011- The All-in-One !

Yes, you read it right:

Microsoft Italy organized the biggest Technical Conference of the year.

Featuring 3 in a row Conferences:

SharePoint and Office Conference 2011

SQL & Business Intelligence Conference 2011

Unified Communications & Collaboration Conference 2011

Technical Conferences 2011

From the 19th to the 21st of April, and in one single place, you will be able to listen and interact with some of the most prominent speakers and gurus of these technologies.

Featuring (for SPS & Office Conference) MVPs Claudio Brotto, Peppe Marchi, Igor Macori and Romeo Pruno.

As well as other MVPs as speakers during the SQL BI Conference: Davide Mauri, Gianluca Hotz, Igor Macori and Marco Russo (as well as Alberto Ferrari, I really rely on this guy Smile)

While during the 3rd one, my friends Andrea Garattini and (former MVP) Massimiliano Luciani (and other important speakers) will “unify” your stuff pretty well ! Smile

With that said, if you’re really into technology and you wanna chat with these important professionals and gurus, you may to register yourself to all of the 3 to get a discount. It doesn’t happen so often to have such a bunch of great Microsoft, Partners and MVPs, together with their community peers, in one place for 3 days so I’d strongly recommend it!

You can learn more about the whole event by clicking the link below…(and I’ll see you there!)

Link to: Microsoft Technical Conferences 2011