Welcome to this week's interview!
Here is Alex's MVP profile:
And his MSDN Profile:
Alex's MSDN/TechNet stats:
- 6 Wiki Articles & 30 Wiki Edits
- 82 Forum Answers & 241 Forum Replies
- 2 Gallery Items with 186 Downloads
And as an MVP, I know Alex well, and the impact he's making on the Azure services with his fantastic feedback!
Last week, he contributed an astounding post on this Azure Development Community blog:
And here are some of Alex's top Wiki articles:
- What Are Scoring Profiles In Azure Search?
- Secure Your Network Connection By Using Your Own Private VPNs Hosted In Azure
- Azure Search Client Library for .NET Framework
- The Move to the New Azure SQL Database Tiers
- ASP.NET and Its Love For WebHooks
- Diagnostic Logs - Get Them Like A Pro
And I have to say, that on this article (Diagnostic Logs - Get Them Like A Pro), I loved the top image:
Okay, enough lollygagging! Let's get to the interview!
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?
I’m Alex Mang. I’m currently located in one of the Art Nouveau capitals of Eastern Europe, namely Oradea (Romania) which was also the reference city for all map creators some time ago as it was crossed by the 0 degree meridian for roughly 200 years (1464-1667). In other words, if your city, island or continent was discovered by Christopher Columbus or any other explorer who related to his explorations, my city might had something to do with it. People also commonly find me speaking at various Microsoft-centric conferences throughout Europe, at webinars and in on-line forums – my main focus is on Azure and anything related to Azure.
1 Speaking at a local user group meeting
What are your big projects right now?
Professionally speaking, along with a team of talented software developers, I’m currently on the verge of releasing a new event management and on-line ticketing system that aims to revolutionize the entire event management market. There’s not really much I can say about it right now, so let’s focus on my community related involvement: I recently got fully Azure certified, meaning that I passed all possible exams related to Azure and have plans on becoming a certified trainer with CompTIA by May – this should hopefully bring some extra visibility. I’m also looking forward to some of my engagements at upcoming conferences this year and my previous community-related activity also recently got me the biggest award anyone could ever receive, namely the title of Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.
2 With Raffaele Rialdi, at ITCamp 2015
How do you contribute to the community?
First let's look at TechNet Wiki:
TechNet Wiki is the place to visit if you’re a user of anything Microsoft and are a technically inclined individual. It is a collection of valuable articles written by experts throughout the world who care enough to share their passion and knowledge in a specific field. Therefore, digesting the TechWiki articles on a regular basis is a must if you’re interested in coming up with the best architectures and practices, proven over and over again throughout a myriad of installments.
I am first and foremost a TechNet Wiki consumer – I try to keep up with all the good articles and every now and then transform them into subject topics for the user groups I attend. If it just so happens that I stumble upon a technically piece of magic which isn’t well rounded enough, I also like to rewrite it from my own experiences and transform the topic into a TechNet Wiki article myself.
Besides my community related involvement via conferences and forums, I also like to blog on alexmang.com every now and then and most of my topics cover Azure-related services and features. And if it’s not Azure, it most certainly is a Microsoft piece of technology (mostly either SQL Server or ASP.NET). One of my very first TechNet Wiki articles (which, funny enough also made me an Azure Guru) was about using Azure in order to use country-specific streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Spotify etc.) outside their list of accepted countries. In a few words, it’s a series of PowerShell cmdlets for provisioning VMs and configuring Routing and Remote Access Service. This not only helped me quickly get the necessary PowerShell cmdlets back every time I was on a business trip and wanted to keep up with my favorite shows, but apparently also helped hundreds of users in Asia and Eastern Europe experience such services.
Besides describing hacky ways of getting around such security layers, my articles usually describe tips and tricks for application developers – how do you get something done and why you should care about it is the style I commonly use when I write an article. For example, in one of my most recent articles I described why the announcement of ASP.NET’s support for WebHooks wasn’t covered deep enough - did you know that the NuGet package which handles WebHook events also takes care of everything, actually EVERYTHING, related to sending WebHooks requests (even subscribers, event filers and such)?
In what other conferences and communities do you contribute your technical knowledge?
I’d like to think of myself as a regular speaker at the largest Microsoft-centric conferences in Romania such as ITCamp and Microsoft Summit, but people were also able to meet me in Belgium for the Azure CloudBrew conference as well for the past two years (which, as the name suggests, takes place in a Belgium beer brewery). I’m also one of the worldwide organizers of Global Azure Bootcamp, which is a great opportunity for any software developer to meet fellow professionals, learn more about Azure, and grab a delicious lunch on a spring Saturday, in Oradea.
3 With Microsoft Romania Evangelists and fellow speakers at Microsoft Summit 2015
What was an article or blog post that stood out for you?
One of the very best articles and which I also use every know and them in my internal company courses related to user experience is ‘integrated Assistance… and your elevator’ (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/user_ed/archive/2016/01/31/10133765.aspx). It’s a great article.
Do you have any tips for new Blog & Wiki authors?
Is there something which ever troubled you or which took a long time to figure out? Write it down, explain it, document it and let others know about it. Don’t be the “if it was difficult to write, it should be difficult to understand” kind of guy! Become involved, write that article down and become a Guru yourself!
Wow! It's a pleasure having you contribute such great content to our community! This is the way we love content... quality over quantity!
Everyone, please join me in thanking Alex for his great contributions to the community! And remember to...
Get your head in the clouds!!!
- Ninja Ed