2019 – A year in review

Well, it is 31 December 03 January 2020, so it is the official time for a stock take of 2019. I’ve acomplished a lot of things I wanted to do this year, while couldn’t carve time for some other things I would like to do, which I will have to prioritize in 2020. So instead of a long post, here is a list of things I am really proud and things I want to concentrate more:

Things I achieved in 2019 (or my yay moments)

There are some things I am really proud this year:

  • Re-awarded Azure MVP – the culmination of all work done in 2018 and beggining of 2019 was being awarded Azure MVP for another year. Being part of this awesome group of community leaders is always one of the biggest moments of the year.
  • More international speaking opportunities – This year, the total number of sessions I’ve presented (or co-presented) increased from 3 to 6, with two sessions on Directions Asia 2019, one session on Integrate 2019 and 3 sessions in Directions EMEA 2019. It was also the first time me and Tharanga were invited to present at Directions EMEA, which is a great achievement.
  • Spread my contributions accross different areas – My contributions this year although still quite centered in Azure Integration are in many cases on the crossroad with another area. Directions and D365 Saturday sessions co-presented with Tharanga Chandrasekara are based on integration concepts and patterns applied to D365 technologies and the comparison between enterprise integration x power platform integration capabilities. I’ve also presented this year again on Global AI Bootcamp, helping to demystify the Azure Cognitive Services offering.
  • Global Integration Bootcamp Committee member – I’ve joined the committee of the Global Integration Bootcamp in late 2018. I am really proud of the work we do organizing GIB and will try to make it even better in 2020.
  • Integration Downunder Committee member -Integration Downunder, which was created in February 2018 and grow to a collection of 21 webcasts. Quite proud of the team organizing this webcast, and in special of the dedication of Bill Chesnut, which keeps pushing us to add more material every year.
  • Hour of Code 2019 – I’ve organized the Hour of Code 2019 again at Arahoe School. This time with two co-organizers: Blanca Mansfield and Monica Silveira. A total of 17 classes with 25 to 30 children in each class – it was two days of fun and being the third year that we run the event, some of the kids now are quite aware of what it is and were quite excited when we got in the room.

Things I didn’t achieve in 2019 (or my wish list for 2020)

There are some things I want to improve in 2020, which I kind of lost focus because of how busy 2019 end up being:

  • Improve the pace of sessions on ACSUG – The whole team of ACSUG was extremely busy this year on their day jobs, which impacted the pace of sessions we’ve organized. But we’ve recognized the fact that we need young blood to keep this user group strong and added Alessandro Moura to the organization. Our aim is to bring regular meetups again for this year.
  • Expand the activities of Global Integration Bootcamp – just like ACSUG, the Global Integration Bootcamp committee was quite busy on their lives this year, so some of the ideas we had to improve the content and format of the bootcamp couldn’t be implemented this year. We will focus on this in 2020.
  • Mentoring new speakers and community leaders – This was one of the things that was high on my list to start in 2019, even having quite a good brainstorm on how to start this with Shiva Ford, but couldn’t get myself organized to start it in 2019. So this is back on my list of things to do in 2020.
  • Found more time to volunteer at the kids school – 2019 was hectic, so I didn’t get as involved as in previous years at the kids school. One of the things I always wanted to do but never found the time to do it. Ben Chartrand is a big inspiration for that – his tweets about his Code Club is always a delight to read!

I get by with a little help from my…

It is actually a lot of help, but you can’t mess with a classic like that, right? But anyway, there was no way I could achieve that much, in special with the travels and time invested in meetings, user groups and other events, without a bit supporting network. The list is much bigger than this one, but those for people/groups had the biggest impact on my achievements this year:

  • First and foremost my family! My wife and kids are not just proud of what I do for the community, they have my back 100%. They endure me away from home sometimes for almost two weeks in a row, travelling or taking time for sessions on weekends and having to organize my time around conference calls and other things. I am really blessed to have a family that understands how important giving back to your community is. Monica is my inspiration as a community leader with all the work she does as the leader of Brasileirinho NZ – a community group that keeps Brazilian language and culture alive for the families of ex-pats living in NZ.
  • But I wouldn’t go too far without support from work. Thankfully, giving back to community is a core part of Theta’s DNA, so they also support me on my sometimes “globetrotting” agenda. A special thanks to Andrew Taylor, my manager – he is the guy that always have my back even when it is a hard ask.
  • My partner in travels Tharanga! We’ve traveled a lot again this year and presented some amazing sessions going as far as Vienna to present for the first time on Directions EMEA! Co-present is a unique experience and seems like we starting to get quite comfortable with that. Thanks mate!
  • Last but not least The MVP Award program and in special Shiva Ford, our Community Program Manager, which always push us to be not just great technology experts but also good role models and community leaders.

In Summary

This year was crazy busy! I am quite proud of what I’ve achieved in 2019, but I set a lot of goals at the beginning of the year that I was not able to work on. So this post was a good chance to put everything in perspective and make sure that I don’t lose sight of those goals.

But most important was a way to acknowledge publicly all the support network I have that allows me to do all this community work. To them, my heartfelt “Thank you!”.


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