At the beginning of the year, I documented within a post my goals for growth in 2020: … 2020 a Year for Growth. Going back and reading that post was interesting. I didn’t necessarily accomplish everything that was laid out within that plan, but it wasn’t that I didn’t accomplish a level of growth that I was targeting. Let’s review some of the key point of where I was in January and how these evolved or were adjusted as 2020 progressed. Obviously, 2020 was challenging to many people around the world. Hopefully you can find some inspiration to find some time to reflect and maybe find some positive aspects to your year.
Social Media contributions. This was one particular goal that I was able to stick with in 2020. I grew my contributions to this blog site, contributed to Skylines Academy in the first part of the year, and contributed an article to Azure Spring Clean in February. As the year continued, my article writing did decrease, but I began to contribute more video content to my YouTube channel with weekly video content.
Community Involvement. In my 2020 plan, I had the thought to provide Community Workshops that could be helpful to local schools and technical training companies. This did not come to fruition with many of these organizations pulling back to focus on just providing their core learning content remotely. However, I was able to launch my own user group and leverage the friends that I have made through social media to provide global contributions on a monthly basis throughout 2020. This user group has expanded in late 2020 to have more board members and Skylines Academy as a sponsor to support and grow membership. I have also spoken at multiple other user groups and community/technical virtual events over the course of the year, and I want to thank those groups and organizers for having me be involved, most notably Cloud Lunch and Learn, where I delivered and participated in close to a dozen sessions in 2020. This culminated with being a part of the Festive Tech Calendar, and amazing event organized by Richard Hooper and Gregor Suttie.
MCT Regional Lead. My first year as a MCT Regional Lead was in 2020. It is a great honor to be a part of this team and see some great things being done within the program for 2021. I plan to continue to be involved and help guide those that are new to the MCT program in on-boarding and finding continued success delivering quality training.
Certifications. This was an area that I adjusted course a bit in 2020. About mid-way through the year, I took an opportunity to join a Microsoft Learning Partner, Opsgility. This gave me more opportunity to train and develop content full-time, and I was very excited. In my new role, I changed some of my focus around Azure and Microsoft 365. It was no longer necessary to be a Data Engineer Associate or DevOps Expert, but I did need to gain more knowledge and focus around Microsoft 365. Therefore, I obtained my Microsoft 365 Fundamentals, Teams Administrator Associate, and Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate in 2020. I also took and passed the AI Fundamentals and Data Fundamentals beta exam. I am still working toward the M365 Enterprise Administrator Expert, and plan to also complete the Data Engineer Associate in 2021 (we’ll save the details to my post on 2021 plans).
In addition to the points of emphasis that I put in my article in January, there were other significant accomplishments that I did not see coming in the year.
- In September, I received my first MVP Award from Microsoft. Those that have received this award understand how much of an honor this is and how proud it makes you feel. Getting this award is a labor of love in providing contributions to the community and making friends with some amazing people across the globe.
- I already mentioned previously that I became a full-time trainer and content developer in 2020. This included also becoming a Content Team Lead, which was an honor to be recognized and given the opportunity to fill this role.
- I grew my Twitter followers to over 700 and have close to 200 subscribers to my YouTube channel. Thank you to everyone that find my contribution to these platforms helpful and hopefully inspiring.
I want to close out the year by thanking everyone that has supported me and become my friend over the past year. I know this year has been tough for many and having the amazing community that is around our common cloud and Microsoft goals provides us all with much needed support. I have virtually met some amazing people from around the globe in 2020, and only can see meeting more going forward (hopefully in person sooner rather than later).
I want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and good health into the New Year!
I look forward to continuing to work with each and every one of you in 2021.
Stay tuned as I will provide my growth plan for 2021 in the coming weeks.