The year 2017 almost has come to an end. A year I traveled a lot and spent many hours sitting in planes. In total, I have made close to 50 flights. A bonus at the end of this year is that I have reached gold status with the KLM. Thus I can enjoy the benefit sitting in the lounge like some of my friends. The places I visited in 2017 are Sydney, Auckland, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, London, Lisbon, Porto, Olso, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Zurich, Seattle, Rotterdam, Dublin, Prague, Bellevue, Redmond, Adliswil, Ghent, Mechelen, and Montréal (France).
Public speaking in 2017
In 2017 I have spoken at various conferences in the Netherlands and abroad. The number of attendees varied from 20 to 400. My sessions were on the following topics:
– Logic Apps
– Cosmos DB
– Azure Search
– Cognitive Services
– Power BI
– Event Grid
– Service Bus
– API Management
– Web API
Besides speaking at local user groups and conferences, I created videos, webinars, blog posts and news articles. The blog posts are available on my blog and the BizTalk360 blog. The news articles for InfoQ, for which I became an editor in November. The latter is something I consider as a great accomplishment.
Middleware Friday 2017
Together with Kent, we put out almost 50 episodes for Middleware Friday. In the beginning, Kent published various videos and later asked me to join the effort. The topics for Middleware Friday in 2017 were:
– Logic Apps
– Microsoft Flow
– Cognitive Services: Text, Face, and BOTS
– Operation Management Suite (OMS)
– Event Grid
– Service Bus
– API Management
– Cosmos DB
– Azure Data Lake
– Azure Active Directory
– BizTalk Server
– Event Hubs
– SAP Integration
Creating episodes for Middleware Friday or vlogs was a great experience. It is different than public speaking. However, in the past and also this year I did a few Integration Monday sessions. Therefore, recording for a non-visible audience was not new for me.
Global Integration Bootcamp
Another highlight in 2017 was the first integration boot camp, which I organized with Eldert, Glenn, Sven, Rob, Martin, Gijs and Tomasso. Over 16 locations worldwide join in a full Saturday of integration joy spending time on labs and sessions. The event was a success, and we hope to repeat that in 2018.
Integrate London and US
BizTalk360 organized two successful three-day integration conferences in London and Redmond. At both events, I spoke about Logic Apps discussing its value for enterprises, the developer experience, and cloud-native nature. On stage for a big audience was quite the experience, and I delivered my message.
Personal accomplishments, top five books, and music
Personally, I found 2017 an exciting year with visits to Australia and New-Zealand, completing the Rotterdam Marathon, Royal Parks Half and the many speaking opportunities. Looking forward to my next two marathons in Tokyo and Chicago in 2018 and new speaking engagements.
The top five books in 2017 are:
– The subtle art of not giving a fuck!
– Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind
– The Gene – An Intimate History
– Blockchain Basics, a non-technical introduction in 25 steps
– The Phoenix Project
The top five metal albums are:
– Mastodon – Emporer of the Sand
– Pallbearer – Heartless
– Caligula’s Horse – In contact
– Enslaved – E
– Leprous – Malina
Thanks everyone for your support in either reading my blogs, articles and or attending my sessions and online videos. Enjoy the winter holidays and merry Christmas and happy new year!
P.S. I might have forgotten a thing or two, but that’s why I created Stef’s monthly update.
The first month at Codit went faster than I expected. I traveled a lot this past month. A few times to Switzerland where I work for a client, London to run the Royal Parks half marathon, Amsterdam the week after to run another, and finally to Seattle/Redmond for Integrate US.
October was an exciting month with numerous events. First of all, on the 9th of October, I spoke at Codit’s Connect event in Utrecht on the various integration models. Moreover, on that day I was joined by other great speakers like Tom, Richard, Glenn, Sam, Jon, and Clemens. This was the first full day event by Codit on the latest developments in hybrid and cloud integration and around integration concepts shared with the Internet of Things and Azure technology.
A new challenge I accepted this month was writing for InfoQ. Richard approached me if I wanted to write about cloud technology-related topics. So far two articles are available:
It was not easy writing article’s in a more journalistic style, which meant being objective, research the news and creating a solid story in 400 to 500 words.
Kent and I continued our Middleware Friday episodes in October. Cosmos DB, Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database, offers integration capabilities with new binding in Azure Functions.
The evolution of Logic Apps continues with the ability to build your own connectors.
The 20th of October I flew over the Atlantic Ocean to Seattle to meet up with Tom and JoAnn. We did a nice micro-brewery tour on the next day.
Sunday that weekend we enjoyed seeing the Seahawks play against New-York Giants. After the weekend it was time to prepare for Integrate US 2017. Finally, you can read the following recaps from the BizTalk360 blog:
The recaps were written by Martin, Eldert and myself.
To conclude Integrate US was a great success and well organized again by Team BizTalk360.
Before I went home I spent another weekend in Seattle to enjoy some more American football. On Saturday Kent and I went to see the Washington Huskies play UCLA.
On Sunday we watch Seattle play the Texans a very close game. After the game, we recorded a Middleware Friday in out Seahawks outfit.
My favorite albums in October were:
- Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence
- August Burns Red – Phantom Anthem
- Enslaved – E
It was a busy month and next month will be no different with traveling and the next speaking engagements DynamicsHub and CloudBrew.
September 2017, the last month at Macaw and about to onboard on a new journey at Codit Company. And I looking forward to it. It will mean more travelling, speaking engagements and other cool things. #Cyanblue is the new blue.
Below a picture of Tomasso, Eldert, me, Dominic (NoBuG), and Kristian in Olso (top floor or Communicate office).
I did a talk about Event Grid at NoBug wearing my Codit shirt for the first time.
September was a month filled with new challenges. I onboarded the Middleware Friday team and released two episodes (31 and 33):
Moreover, I really enjoyed doing these type of videos and looking forward to create a few more as I will be presenting an episide every alternating week. Subsequently, Kent will continu with episodes focussed around Microsoft Cloud offerings such as Microsoft Flow. And my focus will be integration in general.
In September I did a few blog posts on my own blog and BizTalk360 blog:
This month I only read one book. Yet it was a good book called: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck from Mark Manson.
My favorite albums in September were:
- Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
- Satyricon – Deep Calleth Upon Deep
- Cradle Of Filth – Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness Of Decay
- Enter Shikari – The Spark
- Myrkur – Mareridt
- Arch Enemy – Will To Power
- Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven
In September I continued with training and preparing for next months half marathons in London and Amsterdam.
October will be filled with speaking engagements ranging from Integration Monday to Integrate US 2017 in Redmond.
Summer holidays are over, it is back to work and a few weeks later back into the trenches I learned a lot more about Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Search and the latest addition to the Platform Event Grid.
Microsoft launched a new service, Event Grid to support serverless events with intelligent routing and providing an uniform event consumption using a pub-sub model (similar to pub-sub we know from BizTalk Server). Like some integration minded folks I written three blogs about the service on my own blog:
Besides EventGrid, the Microsoft Pro Integration PG announced a Logic Apps Management (Preview) solution in OMS. And I have tried out this service too a wrote a blog about it:
Based on the release of the OMS solution for Logic App, I delved into monitoring and operations a bit. And saw many monitoring solutions when it comes to a serverless integration solution in Azure. You can read about this topic on the BizTalk360 blog:
The last blog post was inspired by Saravana’s article on LinkedIn: Challenges Managing Distributed Cloud Applications
To conclude managing a distributed cloud native solution with several Azure services is a challenge!
On the 1st of October I will join Codit. Why you might ask? The year contract at Macaw ends at the 30th of September and I realized that my skills, speaking engagements, passion and focus lies more with Azure, Integration, IoT. And this fits with the Codit corporate strategy, plus I have more than 100 integration focussed sparring partners.
This month I haven’t read that much other than a book about rise of robots. The message in this book was rather grim and I felt that almost no one will have a job in 10 years or so. A scary, fascinating read.
My favorite albums in August were:
- Sons Of Crom – The Black Tower
- Thy Art Is Murder – Dear Desolation
- Steven Wilson – To The Bone
- Akercocke – Renaissance In Extremis
- Leprous – Malina
I deciced I wanted to run another marathon and enrolled into the Tokyo Marathon at the end of February 2018. Therefore, I started running 4 to 5 times a week this month and I am making good progress
Next month will be my last with my current employer Macaw, before I start at Codit. Moreover, I will be speaking at the end of the month in Oslo for the Norwegian BizTalk User Group together with Eldert and Tomasso.
July the holiday month, or at least that’s when the summer holiday season starts in the Netherlands. And this year I went for a holiday with the family to Portugal (Porto) and France (Montréal, Midi-Pyrénées).
For me this is a special month as the MVP renew cycle starts, which is now yearly. And I have always have been a July MVP, hence nothing really changed for me. Anyways, I got renewed, a great start of the month!
I shared the picture above on LinkedIn with the text: “Awarded for the eight time! Thanks Microsoft. Coolest Technology!!!”. And this posted got to my surprise more than 8000 views in a week. Awesome!
In the beginning of July I consolidated my talk at Integate2017 London into a blog post: Building sentiment analysis solution with Logic Apps. This years integrate was a success as many of you might have read in various blog post that recap the event. And there will be an US Integrate later this year in October, where I will be one of speakers too.
What else did I do this month. Well I worked together with Kent for one of his Middleware Friday shows: INTEGRATE 2017 Highlight Show. We recorded our interview session in Dublin. And I wrote a blog post about Azure Functions, go serverless!
Another thing I like to mention is that for a customer I worked hard with a team on a POC with CosmosDB, Graph model and Azure Search. And we have achieved some important milestones. Some of the learning I will share in upcoming months.
As mentioned already it’s summer holiday season in the Netherlands and I went with my family to Porto in Portugal to visit Sandro and his family.
No suprises here, we went to have lunch, visit Porto and have an ice cream of course (Santini).
Since I was on holiday I was able to read a few books. With a long road trip to Porto I saw a few movies related to AI, digitalization and IOT:
And what I found interesting about seeing this movies is how they relate to these books I read:
The world is changing around us with sensors, devices and huge amounts of data. Moreover, this makes us more aware of everything around is and smart, at least we get more insights.
During Integrate 2017, my buddy Kent talked a lot about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. And I got intrigued, yet I did not fully understand both. Therefore, I bought and read these two books to get a better understanding:
Both are recently pusblished books, relevant and up to date.
Besides some technical books I read two thrillers to relax and chill:
The first is defenitely an amazing well written thriller and if you like the movies Se7en than this is for you!
My favorite albums that were released in July were:
- Decapitated – Anticult
- Prong – Zero Days
- Wintersun – The Forest Seasons
Hence, another month gone by. Next month I will continue to work on the POC and prepare for sessions in September and October.
The first three months of 2017 was a rollecoster ride, like the trip to Australia and New-Zealand, the very succesful Global Integration Bootcamp, the publication of the labs, the guest blogs I wrote for BizTalk360 blog, and the collobaration with Kent on Middleware Friday. And the Month April was not different in experience.
The month kicked of with a marathon run in Rotterdam. If there was any marathon in the Netherlands I wanted to do it was Rotterdam. The 9th of April was a very sunny beautiful day, however for running 42K it was a challenge. Yet I made it after 5:05:45.
Besides running a marathon I prepared myself for a trip to Sweden to talk to the Swedisch BizTalk Usergroup in Gothenburg and Stockholm. Thanks to Johan Hedberg we (Eldert and myself) were able to travel to these nice cities in Sweden and do our talks (see Elderts post on the recap of that trip). Moreover, in Stockholm Eldert and myself joined an very interactive architecture session organised my Mikael Sand together with Mikael Hakansson, Johan Hedberg, Robin Hultman, Mattias Logdberg, and Joakim Schütt at Enfo.
We talked about hybrid scenario’s, connectivity, workload driven design, Logic Apps/Functions and exchanged ideas, experiences and thoughts. It was a very useful sessions for all of us.
During the Usergroup sessions I did four new interviews for my YouTube series “Talking with Integration Pros”. And this time I interviewed:
Finally I also wrote an article on LinkedIn about Logic Apps and Functions:
Bet on Serverless: Azure Functions and Logic Apps
My favorite albums that were released in April were:
- Aryeon – The Source
- Life Of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain
- Ghost Bath – Starmourner
- Novembers Doom – Hamartia
- Royal Thunder – WICK
- Deep Purple – Infinite
After my trip to Sweden I went with my family to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. We spend a couple of days here to visit some remarkable areas of this beautiful city. The food, city and vibe was great.
There you have it Stef’s fourth Monthly Update and I can look back again with great satisfaction. The marathon was a challenge, however I am happy I finished and completed my third marathon. I’m looking forward to my trip to Portugal, where I will be speaking at TUGA IT.
March, the last month of Q1 in 2017, a month filled with exciting integration focussed events. After my trip down under I continued my talks at the Integration Monday, SDN Event, my colleagues at Macaw, and the long awaited Global Integration Bootcamp. The latter was a result of months of preparations, and work on labs, meetings and conversations on slack.
In this month, I wrote a few guest blogs for BizTalk360 blog, which will be published in the next months along with an eBook containing all the labs, we (Eldert, Rob, Tomasso and myself) have created for the Global Integration Bootcamp. The eBook contains the hands on labs for API Management, On premise data gateway, Service Bus, Logic Apps, IoT Hub, Stream Analytics and Event Hub. Basically with this labs, you will touch all the services and products that deal with integration.
Any reading this month, to be frank not so much. I read a lot of new papers, magazines and blogs. However, I do like to mention a new book that has been released on the market about integration that is worth to buy and read: Robust Cloud Integration with Azure.
My favorite albums that were released in March were:
- Obituary – Obituary
- Memoriam – For the Fallen
- Pallbearer – Heartless
- Junius – Eternal Rituals for The Accretion Of Light
- Sleepmakeswaves – Made of Breath Only
- Moonloop – Devocean
- Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
In March I did a couple of runs, including a few half marathons, one being the CPC in The Hague wearing a BizTalk360 running shirt.
There you have it Stef’s third Monthly Update and I can look back again with great satisfaction. The Global Integration Bootcamp was a success, which you can read in my previous blog post of this month. I’m looking forward to my trip to Sweden in April and running the full Marathon in Rotterdam on the 9th of April.
Last month was a busy month and in February most of my time I spend on the road or plane. Anyways, what has Stef been up to in February?
In this month, I have also written a few guest blogs for BizTalk360 blog and did a demo for the Middleware Friday Show. The blog posts are:
The show can be found in Middleware Friday show 5th episode about Serverless Integration.
During my trip in Australia and New-Zealand I did a few short interviews, which you can find on YouTube:
· Mick Badran
· Wagner Silveira
· Martin Abbott
· Daniel Toomey
· Bill Chesnut
· Rene Brauwers
Besides the interviews a few Meetups took place, one in Auckland, another one in Sydney and a live webinar with Bill Chesnut in Melbourne. In Auckland I talked about the integration options we have today. An integration professional in the Microsoft domain had/has WCF and BizTalk Server. With Azure the capabilities grow to Service Bus, Storage, BizTalk Services (Hybrid Connections), Enterprise Integration Pack, On Premise Data Gateway, Functions, Logic Apps, API Management and Integration Account.
After my talk in Auckland I headed out to the Gold Coast to meet up with the Pro Integration Team (Jim,Jon, Jeff and Kevin) and Dan Rosanova. They were all at the Gold Coast because of Ignite Australia, and here’s a list of their talks:
During my stay, we went for a couple of drinks and had a few good discussions. One night Dean Robertsoncame over and we all had dinner. After the Gold Coast Dan Toomey, took me, Eldert and his wife to Brisbane for a day sightseeing.
The next week after Auckland, Gold Coast and Brisbane I returned to Sydney for the Meet up organized bySimon and Rene. My topic was “Severless Integration”, which dealt with the fact that we integration professional will start building more and more integration solutions in Azure using Logic Apps, API Management and Service Bus. All these services are provisioned, management and monitored in Azure. In the talk I used a demo, which I also described in Serverless Integration with Logic Apps, Functions and Cognitive Services.
In Sydney I was joined on stage with Jon, Kevin and Eldert. We had about 45 people in the room and we went for drinks after the event.
The next day Eldert and me went to Melbourne to meetup with Bill, Jim and Jeff who were there to do a Meet up. The PG had split up to do meetups in both Sydney and Melbourne. In Melbourne, we did two things, we visited Nethra, who survived the Melbourne car rampage 25th of January and did a live Webinarat Bill house in Beaconsfield.
Overall the trip to Australia and New Zealand was worthwhile. The meet ups, the PG interaction in Australia, the community and hospitality were amazing. Thanks Rene, Miranda, Mick, Nicki, Simon, Craig,Abhishek, James, Morten, Jim, Jon, Jeff, Kevin, Martin, Dan Rosanova, Bill, Mark, Margaret, Johann,Wagner and many others I met during this trip. It was amazing!!!
Although February was a short month I was able to find a little bit of time to read. I read a few books on the plane to Australia, New Zealand and back:
- Together is better, a little book of inspiration by Simon Sinek. I read this book as I shared aninterview (Millennials in the Workplace) with him on Facebook. It tells a short story about three young people escaping from a playground that has a playground king to find a better place. The story is about leadership with the message that leaders are students, need to learn and to take care of their people and inspire.
- Niet de kiezer is gek by Tom van der Meer. On March 15th, we will have a general election for a new upcoming government. And we as voters are more aware of the what each party has to offer than the parties think we know. The access to information, because of digitalization has made voters more informed on the situation in our country, how politicians operate and vocal.
My favorite albums that were released in February were:
· Soen – Lykaia
· Immolation – Atonement
· Persefone – Aathma
· Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
· Nailed To Obscurity – King Delusion
In February I did a couple of runs, including a half just before my trip started. During my busy travel schedule, I ran with the same frequency, but cut the number of miles to prevent to wear myself out.
There you have it Stef’s second Monthly Update and I can look back again with a smile. Accomplished a lot of things and exciting moments are ahead of me in March.
Usually like most of my blogger friends I do a write up of what I have done and experienced at the end of the year. I write a year’s review, post a few pictures and publish it. During 2017 I want to do things differently, I’ll write a review post every month and look ahead a bit in the upcoming months.
Why Stef instead of Steef-Jan my real name? Well the explanation is that many of my international buddies call me Stef, rather than my full name. And that’s fine, I do not mind at all. Thus, I have decided I will call or label my monthly updates as Stef’s Monthly Update.
What have I been up to in January? I have written a few blog posts for BizTalk360’s blog. Last year at the MVP in November,Saravana asked me if I was interested in writing a biweekly guest blog post with integration in mind. And I said yes let’s do that and I started in December with two posts:
I followed up in January with two more, staying a bit in the integration space with BizTalk and Logic Apps:
Creating these blog posts is fun to do, you explore a new technology or get a bit more insight in building solutions with Logic App as a new cloud integration service. As a matter a fact, one my latest projects with Logic Apps for one of Macawcustomers went live this month. So, I have gained experience in building and deploying Logic Apps to production. Awesome!
What I like about BizTalk360 is that besides providing a platform for blogs, it sponsors and supports the Integration Mondays for over two years now. And this has been revamp into the Integration User Group, that is the integration Mondays are part of it together with Middleware Friday. The latter is a weekly update by Kent Weare a recorded session every week, and has 4 episodes so far. As for integration Monday, a set of speakers is line up all to way to the end of April and I will be one of them in March.
What else have I been up to? I have written an article for the Dutch SDNMagazine in Dutch, which has been a quite a while (a couple years I believe) since I have done that. Thanks to Marcel Meijer and Lex Hegt, both for reviewing the article. It is ready to be published in the upcoming magazine 131. The article is about Server less Integration using Logic Apps and Functions. As you might realize that means no more VM’s, just a Browser and Azure.
The benefit of writing that article was that I can also will present on the topic at the SDN Event in March. Super! And I’ll be on stage next month too, in New Zealand and Australia. Yes, this cool and this evolved from what happened last year. On the plane, back from Gothenburg, where me and Eldert did some talks we came up with the idea of going down under. A few weeks later we booked the tickets after we spoke with Mick Badran and Rene Brauwers. Rene has set up a Meetupin Sydney and Mark Brimbletogether with Craig Haiden onein Auckland. And we’ll probably have one in Melbourne and Brisbane too. Cool, eh!
During my trip, down under there’s an Ignite going on too in the Gold Coast. Eldert will be going there and meanwhile I’ll be a few days in Auckland, before I join him at the end of the event. We’ll be meeting up with Dan Toomey, Dean Robertson, some other Team Mexia guys/gals, the Microsoft PG (Jeff Holan, Kevin Lam and Jon Fancey), and fellow MVP Martin Abbott. So, will be mixing up work with leisure time while I am down there.
In this month, I read a few books on various topics, entrepreneurial, social media and politics. The first one being a book from Gary Vaynerchuck Ask GaryVee. Why the entrepreneurial topic, why the interest? Kent Weare my buddy mentioned this guy, as one of the hottest entrepreneurs at the moment, a few times and point to some points he stands for. Hence, I looked at a few YouTube movies of GaryVee, bought one of his books and read it. Besides this one I read another one, which I stumbled on called “Your One Word” by Evan Carmichael. And through GaryVee I also got interested in the “The Social Organism” book and read that one too.
Three books in total in combination of two other books, which I picked up while reading the Correspondent website:
- Utopia for realists. This book deals with an ideal world that we all have enough money, and can live happy lives. It discusses experiments with a base income for people. However, all these experiments have been done on a small scale and it yet needs to prove itself on a large scale. Politically is can be a hard sell.
- Je hebt wel iets te verbergen (You do have something to hide). A book that discussed our privacy in this day and age being online every day with all your device. Interesting read as everything we do these days is being tracked and used for all kinds of purposes like profiling, ectera.
My favorite albums, which we released in January, are:
Besides writing, preparing content, reading and listening to music have I been doing some workouts? Yes, I have done a few runs to prepare for a half marathon of The Hague in March and a full marathon in April (Rotterdam).
There you have it Stef’s first Monthly Update and I can look back with joy. Accomplished quite a few things and exciting moments are ahead of me.