A synopsis of my first Microsoft (MVP) Summit

Last week I attended my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit. Compared to a lot of the conferences I’ve been to over the years this was tiny with just over 2000 attendees. The difference however is that every attendee is an expert in their field (associated with at least one Microsoft technology) and they come from over 80 countries. It is the most diverse mix of attendees for the number of participants.

The event is also not the typical tech type conference that provides you details on current trends, public road maps and guidance on how to implement or migrate technology. Instead it is a look behind the development curtain and almost full transparent dialogue with the product and engineering teams determining and building the future for each technology stream. It also isn’t held at a sterile function center. It’s held on site at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Everywhere you look you can find nuggets of Microsoft’s history. Nightly activities are predominantly centered around Bellevue (a short distance from Redmond).

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My MVP is associated with Identity & Access. Internally at Microsoft they refer to the small number of us in that category an Identity MVP’s. I spent the week in deep technical sessions around Identity and Access Management getting insights for the short, medium and longer term plans for all things Identity & Access Management related and conversing with my peers. I can’t say more than that, as privilege for that level of insight is only possible through a strict and enforced NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) between each MVP and Microsoft.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my first MVP Summit. I reconnected with a number of old colleagues and acquaintances and made a bunch of new connections both within Microsoft and the Identity MVP community. It has prepared me with vision of what’s coming that will be directly applicable to many of the longer term projects I’m currently designing. It definitely filled in the detail between the lines associated with recent Microsoft announcements in the Identity and Access Management space.

Want to become an MVP? Looking to know what it takes to be awarded with MVP status? Want a full rundown on the benefits? Checkout this three-part blog post starting here by Alan about the MVP program.

Automating the submission of WordPress Blog Posts to your Microsoft MVP Community Activities Profile using PowerShell

 

Introduction

In November last year (2017) I was honored to be awarded Microsoft MVP Status for Enterprise Mobility – Identity and Access. MVP Status is awarded based on community activities and even once you’ve attained MVP Status you need to keep your community activity contributions updated on your profile.

Up until recently this was done by accessing the portal and updating your profile, however mid last year a MVP PowerShell Module (big thanks to Francois-Xavier Cat and Emin Atac) was released that allows for some automation.

In this post I’ll detail using the MVP PowerShell Module to retrieve your latest WordPress Blog Post and submit it to your MVP Profile as a MVP Community Contribution.

Prerequisites

In order for this to work you will need;

  • to be a Microsoft MVP
  • Register at the MS MVP API Developer Portal using your MVP registered email/profile address
    • subscribe to the MVP Production Application
    • copy your API key (you’ll need this in the script below)

The Script

Update the script below for;

  • MVP API Key
    • Update Line 5 with your API key as detailed above
  • WordPress Blog URL (mine is blog.darrenjrobinson.com)
    • Update Line 11 with your WP URL. $wordpressBlogURL = ‘https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/sites//posts/?number=1’
  • Your Award Category
    • Update Line 17 with your category $contributionTechnology = “Identity and Access”
    • type New-MVPContribution – ContributionTechnology and you’ll get a list of the MVP Award Categories

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The Script

Here is the simple script. Run it after publishing a new entry you also want added to your Community Contributions Profile. No error handling, nothing complex, but you’re a MVP so you can plagiarize away for your submissions to make it do what suits your needs.

Summary

Hopefully that makes it simple to keep your MVP profile up to date. If you’re using a different Blogging platform I’m sure the basic process will work with a few tweaks after returning a query to get the content. Enjoy.

Awarded Microsoft MVP for Enterprise Mobility – Identity and Access Management

This week I was awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Enterprise Mobility for my work in the area of Identity and Access Management.

This is quite an honor and something I had never considered as for the majority of my professional career I’ve been employed by integrators that require all my work to be considered intellectual property that must not be shared publicly. I’ve always appreciated what others have shared within my specialist domain and always felt a little guilty that I wasn’t able to reciprocate.

Two years ago (to the day of receiving the MVP award) I joined the Australian based integrator Kloud Solutions. The culture within Kloud is quite different to my previous employers where supporting our technical communities is encouraged. After finding my feet at Kloud and getting my work-life balance back after coming out of a Global Research & Development role I started contemplating sharing some of my knowledge and experiences with Identity and Access Management especially as I was undertaking interesting projects that were integrating traditional identity management systems with Cloud services.

That was when I started blogging, presenting in a couple of forums as well as starting to leverage a number of open source tools and services. Around mid-year I was nominated for MVP and it was at that time I appreciated the time and effort required to qualify. In Australia we are well endowed with IDM MVP’s and I’m very honored and humbled to join Bob Bradley, Carol Wapshere and Ryan Newington.

I’m still amazed that after 20+ years of experience with Identity and Access Management the projects I’m doing still incorporate new technologies, services and are interesting. Integration of Cloud Services, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with identity solutions are all exciting areas that have an identity management aspect to them.

A big thank you to Kloud for the support to give back to the IDAM community, fellow IDAM MVP’s for entertaining my sometimes bespoke thoughts on integrating their tools and my family for the many nights I’ve sat in front of a computer writing up the latest post or presentation.