Archive for category TechEd Europe

How Microsoft Certification Can Stimulate Your Career

About three years ago I faced a challenge in my career…Do I take the exams to become an MCITP or don’t I. Today I’d like to share a story with you about how taking those few exams has changed my career.

As I sit here today typing this blog post, I’ve just been able to be a part of a Springboard Series Virtual Round Table hosted by Mark Russinovich…Here’s a behind the scenes view of it all:

How did this happen and why does my MCITP have anything to do with it? Well, three years ago when I re-uped my certifications to be an MCITP I also took the chance to become an MCT. It wasn’t an easy accomplishment, but one I thought might make me part of an interesting group of just over 16,000 individuals.

Becoming an MCT grants you access to numerous opportunities and also makes you part of a community of experts that love to share their knowledge and also get together and share that knowledge with others. One of these opportunities was at TechEd EMEA in Barcelona in 2008. I was given the opportunity to work on the Microsoft Learning Booth with a number of other MCT’s as well as MVP’s. It was there on the booth working with Chris Spanougakis and Nasos Kladakis ( that I realised I wanted to be involved more. They got me more involved and after time, I got the chance to show my skills to the community and as such became an MVP and was part of the initial Springboard Technical Experts Program/Panel (STEP). That step alone challenges me to work harder each day…

Through the MVP Program I’ve met people like Stephen Rose, Melissa Bathum, Brad McCabe and my MVP leads Jake Grey, Akim Boukhelif, Vicki Collins and also have had the opportunity to work with other MVP’s like Erdal Ozkaya (we’ve made loads of TechEd videos, so you might have seen me/us there) and Elias Mereb. Further, through the MCT program, I’ve got to interact with people like Tjeerd, Joanne and Dana…

I’m sure there are many other people whom I’ve worked with and more whom I will work with in the future, especially seeing as I get to go on the North America Get on the Bus tour with Melissa, Dana, Tjeerd, Brad and Stephen and others whom I haven’t named but have been critical to my success along the way. However the whole point behind all of this is that by taking those certification exams, I gave my career a whole new extension that otherwise would have been non-existent if I would have just kept with the same certifications I had and only used “industry experience” as my leverage point.

So, in closing, if you haven’t taken any new exams, I challenge you to ask yourself why and looking at the above, see how much one exam can really give you what you need to take your career to the next level!

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Geolocation – What’s In It For Me?

More and more it seems that people are taking Geolocation and trying to use it for what they think it’s worth…however, let’s take a look at it and see if it’s really worth it…

Geolocation first of all – what is it?  Well, if we visit it will probably tell us some information:


Does it work?  Well, looking at the above, it found my public IP address (or at least the proxy I was behind) but did it target me ok?  Nope, I’m not in the UK.  Failure #1.  Close but no cigar. 

What else is the problem with GeoIP?  Well, let’s take TechEd for example.  We all love it and we all go right 😉  If you went this year, it was in Berlin.  What does that have to do with the price of cheese?  Well, Berlin is in Germany and if you went to a service like Yahoo! Mail from a German IP address (Geo Located), Ihr Yahoo! Mail in Deutsche wast (yes, that’s my poor translation of your mail was in German). So, in Family Feud/Fortunes BUZZ – Strike 2.

OK, so we’ve found two faults with Geolocation, how about looking at the bright side of things (“Always look on the bright side of life, ba dum …).  I’m sure you’ve all seen visitor maps, right?  Well, if you haven’t look to the right column of my blog (provided it’s still in the same layout).  you should see:


Those little maps are created with Geolocation and as long as they’re semi-accurate (thinking I’m in the UK when I’m really not, albeit I’m close), they give us a precise figure of who’s been to our website.

So, long and short of it?  Technology is a cool thing, just be careful how you use it or you could be preventing non-German speaking individuals from getting in to their Yahoo! mail 🙂

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See MVP’s at TechEd…serious

So, every visit to TechEd is about education, swag gathering and clueing up on more Microsoft 1’s and 0’s, right…Well, occassionally (ok every TechEd) you see the MVP’s going around answering questions in the TLC and also in the Hands On Labs areas, but not only are we there to help you, we’re also there to see each other.  One of the fun things about all conferences is that we all get to get together again and share stories.  I was privileged enough this TechEd to meet up with Karen Young from the MVP team and share my experiences along with my colleague Erdal about TechEd, our love for helping the community, and a few other things…Watch and enjoy, I’m sure you’ll find humour in it 🙂  In fact, if you’re at a TechEd in the future, stop by the MVP booth or even stop by and see either Erdal, myself or Karen.  You’ll be glad you did 🙂

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Helping you Justify TechEd to your Boss

OK, so it’s a bit too late for it this year, but while at TechEd, my colleague Erdal and I did a quick 9 minute presentation for TechEd Online on how to help justify TechEd to your boss.  Why it’s important to visit, what you’ll gain from visiting, who you’ll run in to and best of all, a look at TechEd itself.

Hop across to TechEd Online and view it and be sure to share it with your boss (rate it too 🙂 ) and hopefully see you at either the next TechEd North America or TechEd Europe Next year!!

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Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 – Better Together

On October 22, 2009 Microsoft released Windows 7 and also Windows Server 2008 R2. When coupling these technologies together, you gain more benefits than a server and desktop OS have ever seen before. Listen to this tech talk to find out how Microsoft’s new Server Operating System combined with its new flagship desktop operating system complement each other in ways never thought of before.

Watch the video here!

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Why Windows 7?

With the recent release of Windows 7 mainstream, there are loads of new features and benefits to both the IT Professional as well as the end user. This short tech talk will highlight some of the new features that make Windows 7 work more effectively and efficiently for you.

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TechEd Europe 2009 – Mark Russinovich

EDIT: I’ve been showcased on the Springboard homepage in the community section, however they linked my blog to here 🙂 I’m sure most of you see the “Home” link above, but in case you want to get to the blog itself, here’s a direct link for you to click on

So, at TechEd USA in May I got to interview Mark and see how he was doing.  Well, today just hanging out, Mark came by our Springboard booth and we had a chat and catch up again:

DSCF0612 (1024x757)

he’s done quite a few sessions here at TechEd, even a cool 400 level one that went deep in depth regarding the kernel and other sorts.  Oh yeah, there’s also various of his old company Sysinternals tools in built to Windows 7, not to mention he’s a Springboard Advocate of ours. Yet another of the many reasons to come to TechEd.  Oh yeah, and to prove he’s an advocate of ours, here he is with Stephen Rose doing an interview about our new release of Windows 4.0 –

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Using a TechEd Kiosk – Why Not Go InPrivate

It’s been deemed as controversial by some and others simply refer to it as “porn mode” however, here at TechEd, with all of the CommNet as public as your details on Facebook, there’s no better time to utilise a feature of IE 8 than the present:

in private browsing

InPrivate browsing.  With this, your trails are hidden from the next user.  In just a random survey of a few (more than the fingers on two hands) CommNet PC’s I’ve tried this morning, if I open the history (CTRL + H), I can see who’s been checking mail and what else has been happening on EVERY machine I’ve tested.  Not very security conscious I must say attendees!

Next time you use the CommNet or a kiosk PC, think twice before using the already open browser, close it and use the jump list (you do know what that is, right?) to start IE in InPrivate mode and cover your tracks and history!

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TechEd Magic – Now You See Her…Now You Don’t

It’s that time again for the IT Crowd…TechEd Europe.  It’s the big Microsoft event every year we all look forward to.  It’s worth the weight in gold just for the networking.  As an MVP and MCT you meet others from the community who you commonly exchange email with and talk with, but this time, it’s face to face. 

Last year I had the opportunity to work with one such influential person on the Microsoft Learning (MSL) stand and was looking forward this year to seeing her again.  Well, unfortunately she wasn’t selected to man the booth again, however as she’s German and the conference is in Berlin I did get the chance to see her:

Theresia and Justin at TechEd (724x1024)

It’s my good friend Theresia Riesenhuber.  What is even better is that upon her arrival in Berlin (just to say hello to all of her friends mind), she brought me an orange laptop bag, which I asked her for last year.  Wow, can you believe she kept that for an entire year (it’s the orange bag in the photo on the right above)!

So, as you can see, TechEd isn’t just about learning, it’s about the experience and seeing people as if it’s a family reunion of sorts and similar to some things MasterCard can’t buy, the experience is priceless. Unfortunately though, the experience this year is without Theresia, though it was brilliant to catch up and hopefully I’ll see her again on the floor soon at another conference!

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