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Microsoft MVP Award – January 2013 !

After Christmas, holidays (for the lucky ones who had them) and the New Year, I really hope you enjoyed them as mush I did.

This post is something a lot of people are waiting for: this is about the new Microsoft MVP Awardees @ the 1st of January.

As you may know, the Microsoft MVP Program is an Award given to exceptional people who voluntarily shared their knowledge on Microsoft products. Whether it’s an online forum or a technical speech, the Microsoft MVPs are independent people who gained the trust of their peers by facts. It’s about communities, it’s about sharing the personal/professional experience they acquired on the field. It’s about giving feedback, providing guidance to their online and offline peers. It’s about sharing.

And every 3 months, we evaluate old and new potential and current MVPs to get the best and brightest and I hope we’re doing a good job !

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Finding the right people is the #1 goal and, as said, sometimes it’s not easy. But I can tell you I’m helped by a lot of people in this process. So now please join me in Congratulating the following awarded people as Microsoft MVPs (sorted by name), living in Central, Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and CIS Countries) and Italy:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country/Region
Bill  Stavroulakis ASP.NET/IIS Greece
Boriana  Petrova Excel Bulgaria
Darko  Jovišić Dynamics CRM Croatia
Grzegorz  Gałęzowski PowerShell Poland
Jovan  Popovic ASP.NET/IIS Serbia
Robert  Voncina SharePoint Server Slovenia
Vlatko  Ivanovski Visual Studio ALM Macedonia F.Y.R.O

A BIG CONGRATS to the Microsoft MVPs who have been renewed this Award cycle: the list is long so I apologize in advance if I don’t post the whole list but I still want to congratulate them for their community involvement. Being renewed is as tough as being awarded for the first time and being involved in the online and offline community environments is a challenge. Think about it: do you have time to dedicate to the others? Do you have time to travel to another City or Country to make a speech or participate as an Ask The Expert during a Microsoft and/or a Community event? Do you have time to write articles and technical blog posts? Yes, the list is long and I can go on and on… But the driver is not the MVP Award, the driver is the Passion these people have, Passion to organize User Group events in their spare time, Passion to support users in troubleshooting their technical problems, Passion to write about the products they love more, Passion to share their experience on the field so others can benefit from that. Easy, eh? :)

And for the ones who didn’t make it, don’t lose hope: I’m sure if you put a little extra effort you’ll be able to get the Award !

BTW, If you want to know more about the MVP Award Program, do subscribe our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations again !!

@alead

Microsoft MVP Award – January 2012 !

It has been an incredible year, full of events and activities embracing new technology directions which will impact us in the future. Well, it has an impact on a lot of us already, if you think about Windows Phone and the social media integration as a well as the XBOX gaming gaming experience. Some people like it, some people don’t but you have to admit it’s a step further compared to a “normal” Smartphone experience.

Ok, ok, next blog post I’m gonna talk about that, not on this one :). Aren’t you a little curious to see who got the MVP Award this cycle? It’s always a pleasure for me to Welcome new people as exceptional community Leaders, online and/or offline. I’m not saying they were not Leaders and strong community-oriented guys before the Award, I’m just saying I’m truly honored when I award people like that and I’m more when I have the chance to meet them.

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So here is the list, freshen up & ready for the 2012 Year (sorted by name):

MVP Technical Expertise Country
Adis Jugo SharePoint Server Bosnia-Herzegovina
Boris Ulik Enterprise Security Slovakia
Drahoslav Dvorak Project Czech Republic
Gabriel Enea ASP.NET/IIS Romania
Hrvoje Hudoletnjak ASP.NET/IIS Croatia
Maciej Grabek Windows Phone Development Poland
Mihai Nadas Windows Azure Romania
Nenad Trajkovski Project Croatia
Sebastian Wilczewski Project Poland
Slaven Sola SQL Server Croatia

(this is related to the Region I represent, which is CEE & Italy, excluding Russia and CIS Countries).

A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. And being re-Awarded is tough as well so don’t you think MVPs take it for granted. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and everybody are treated as normal candidates so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain :)) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.

That said, I sincerely want to wish you a very Happy New Year and, if took some time off, Happy Holidays ! I’ll be on holiday for a while but I’ll still be around (you’ll definitely find me on Twitter :)).

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, please take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Also, did you notice my blog URL has changed? The RSS Feed has been automatically updated but I wanted to let you know anyway (some personal promotion doesn’t hurt :))

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !

@alead

Virtualstudy.pl: let’s go virtual !

When I was @ the Microsoft Technology Summit in Poland few weeks ago I had the pleasure to talk with a lot of MVPs @ the Community Booth that had been set up for the event. BTW, that was a HUGE event with, I presume, almost 2.500 attendees. As you can imagine, it’s the biggest annual Microsoft event in Warsaw and, from what I’ve seen, it was a real success.

BTW, I’d like to point out a great article on the event (in Polish) by MVP Piotr Pawlik.

Well, during these conversations a lot of interesting things normally come up. One of those was regarding the VirtualStudy.pl (not to mention all the other communities like WSS.pl, codeguru.pl and a lot more).

Thanks to the hard of the community members, VirtualStudy.pl now has a full support of English language, an English forum and even a few videos in English available as VOD.

At the same time the board is now looking for presenters who would like to prepare and present sessions in English (possibly with good presentation skills).

VirtualStudy.pl was created to allow users to attend online meetings and learn free of charge. Since the beginning they had quite a few interesting courses like Windows Server, SharePoint 2010 Training, SQLServer 2008, Windows Phone 7 programing, as well as 6 month C# training course which finished with an exam and certificates) where the average number of attendees was around 200-300 people.

Currently VirtualStudy.pl hosts all the previous sessions on a on-Demand basis (few hundred sessions are already available to watch).

These online sessions do not contain any marketing content, but it’s pure technical Microsoft knowledge.

And at the moment they are currently organize their first VirtualStudy.pl Conference 2011.

So this is a call to action for anyone with technical skills on Microsoft Technologies who wants to deliver English presentation.

And, just to close the topic that I started at the very beginning, these are some pictures from the MTS:

MTS Group

And this is me, powered by a customized Chrome-Joke T-shirt (:)), when I just got a nice & unexpected gift:

The Gift

Thank you for the wonderful time guys: I’ll see you next time in Warsaw (or even before, @ the MVP Global Summit !!)

Microsoft MVP Award – July 2011 !

It’s the first of July and I’m here to announce another important milestone in the MVP Award Program.

We evaluated, scrutinized, “monitored” and got recommendations of outstanding community contributors in the Region I represent (Italy & CEE, excluding Russia + CIS Countries).

And it’s always a challenge, making sure we got all the information, making sure we nominate people in the right expertise (and it’s not always a piece o’ cake). But we ended up, hopefully, to Award the people that really deserve it !

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I’m of course helped in this journey, which happens every 3 months: by dear colleague Marjorie, who really works hard on that period of time (and not only during that time :)), by the local stakeholders, including the Audience Marketing Managers up to the DPE Leads, Directors and BMO Lead who can (and actually is very appreciated) give their opinions on the candidates that are in review. I guess the actual process really works thanks to all the people that are involved in this (and they are a lot, believe me :)).

Having said that I would like to announce the newly Awarded MVPs for the 1st of July (sorted by name):

MVP Technical Expertise Country/Region
Darko  Milevski SharePoint Server Macedonia F.Y.R.O
Grzegorz  Rycaj Visual Studio ALM Poland
Hajan  Selmani ASP.NET/IIS Macedonia F.Y.R.O
Joanna  Subik System Center Operations Manager Poland
Kaido  Järvemets System Center Configuration Manager Estonia
Karel  Klatovský Remote Desktop Services Czech Republic
Margarita  Naumova SQL Server Bulgaria
Martin Wilhelm Angler SharePoint Server Italy
Peter  Gubarevich Enterprise Security Latvia
Peter  Holpar SharePoint Server Hungary
Piotr  Pawlik Exchange Server Poland
Radi  Atanassov SharePoint Server Bulgaria
Rok  Bermež Windows Azure Slovenia
Salvatore  Di Fazio SharePoint Server Italy
Slavko  Kukrika Windows Expert-IT Pro Slovenia

As soon as they’ll publish the good news (hopefully it’s a good news for them :)) by blogging, micro-blogging and/or on their MVP Profiles, I will add the links to their names so you can start familiarize with them.).

A BIG CONGRATS to the MVPs who have been renewed this Award cycle: the list is long but I want to congratulate them for their hard community involvement. Being renewed is as tough as being awarded for the first time. Being involved in the online and offline community environments is a challenge (time constraints, few or no help from other community members, several trips to make speeches, spending big amount of time reviewing and writing articles and books and so forth). It’s the PASSION that drives us all, and it should always be like that.

 

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, why don’t you subscribe to our blog? You’ll definitely find some good interesting stories to read !

Enjoy your Award and join me in congratulating them !

@alead

IT Camp 2011

It’s a big 2 days timeframe for developers and ITPros in CEE.

On May 26-27, the 2 Romanian communities CodeCamp and ITSpark organized a 2 days event dedicated to both developers and system administrators: the IT Camp 2011

Featuring International speakers, this event, which will be hold in the forth most populous city in Romania (Cluj-Napoca), will see 10 Microsoft MVPs, all of them with different technical backgrounds and from different parts of Europe (you can add their personal Twitter/LinkedIn/RSS from the speakers’ list).

ITCamp

You may want to know what the topics are…well, from their own voice:

“We will be discussing general interest topics such as Private Cloud, security, Windows Azure, RIA using MVC and Ajax, System Center, SQL Server, Dependency Injection in ASP.NET MVC 3, Exchange High Availability, ASP.NET and PHP apps on IIS, Workflow Services in Windows Azure, SharePoint Server support for ISO and COBIT certifications, Link, WCF and REST in the Cloud and more”. So a lot will be covered !

While I suggest you to follow them, you can register here !

Link to: IT Camp 2011

Microsoft MVP Award – January 2011 Awards !

I’m always happy to see new Microsoft MVPs coming onboard. No matter what the Country is, what language is, what the activities are, there’s one thing in common and I’ll never stop saying this out loud: PASSION.

Together with other Microsoft MVPs, the local subsidiaries and Microsoft Corporation, we identified top community contributors, within many different areas of expertise, who really deserved the MVP Award !

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Particularly for the Region I represent (CEE & Italy), I would like to announce the newly awarded MVPs as of the 1st of January, 2011:

Name Technical Expertise Country
Alvise Cervellati Windows Expert-Consumer Italy
Catalin Gheorghiu Device Application Development Romania
Darius Porowski Virtual Machine Poland
Fabrizio Volpe Directory Services Italy
George Andritsos Exchange Server Greece
George Varakis Lync Greece
Heiki Tahis Windows Expert-IT Pro Estonia
Joanna Vathis Exchange Server Greece
Marcin Borecki Internet Explorer Poland
Massimo Bonanni Visual Basic Italy
Matteo Pagani Device Application Development Italy
Michele Aponte ASP.NET Italy
Pawel Wilkosz SQL Server Poland
Philippos Panagiotidis Office System Greece
…. Windows Azure Italy
Sabrina Cosolo Visual C# Italy
Tomasz Onyszko Enterprise Security Poland
Tomaz Scavnicar Internet Explorer Slovenia
Ugo Sansone Windows Live Messenger Italy
Zoltan Zombory Office365 Hungary

 

(as soon as they’ll publish the news on their blogs and/or on their MVP Profiles, I will add the names so you’ll get to know them Smile).

Congratulations !! I think this is the best time of the year as you celebrated the New Year in the best possible way !!

And of course Congratulations to the re-awarded MVPs (and you know who you are !! Winking smile)

BTW if you want to know more about the MVP Award Program, be sure to read our blog and follow me Smile

ITPro Dev Connections 2010: recap

I already blogged about this but I thought it was worth mentioning the great success this event was:

On the 27 and 28 of November, the Top Greek Technical Community Event took place at EKETE, delivered by the local “technical heroes” addressing all technical professionals.

Sold out long before D-day and with a huge coverage in all new media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, forums and blogs) the conference was branded as the one delivered by experienced technical speakers with hands-on knowledge in the technologies presented and a deep understanding of the Greek market.  Attendees came from the private and public sector, Microsoft customer and partners.

In a true community spirit, the two days, rich in content and full of energy, offered technical presentations from level 100 to 400 while giving everyone the opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and create valuable connections!

After the completion of the event, a super slick Silverlight application prepared by the MVPs will be show casing all presentations, where else… but in the cloud!

Special Thanks from Microsoft Greece to Microsoft Speakers and especially Nasos Kladakis, and a Big ‘Congratulations’ to the local Microsoft MVPs, MCTs and Microsoft Student Partners (George Andritsos, George Birbilis, Antonis Chatzipavlis, George Capnias, Dimitris Gkanatsios, Vaggelis Kapsalakis, John Katsiotis, Panagiotis Kefalidis, Manos Kelaiditis, Aggelos Mpimpoudis, Philippos Panayiotidis, Konstantinos Pantos, Yiannis Panagopoulos, Dimitris Papadimitriou, Chris Spanougakis, Andreas Tsouchlaris, George Varakis) for orchestrating this amazing experience!

And some numbers:

2 days, 400 attendees (260 IT pros + 140 Devs), 31 speakers + 20 volunteers , 29 presentations, 4 parallel tracks with IT Pros & Devs content, 1 Xbox -  Kinect play area, and some Sponsor that were present at the event (including Xerox and Dell)

To me, this is a great example on how Microsoft can easily collaborate with the local communities and User Groups to make successful events so congratulations again !

Link to: http://www.itprodevconnections.gr/?lang=2

Announcing newly Awarded Microsoft MVPs – October 2010

 

This is another exciting quarter for my Company, the Communities and the Microsoft MVPs. New products coming up with new exciting features, new product launches and Community Tours, new topics to discuss in the forums and, most of all, new MVPs onboard Smile !

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And I’m happy to announce that we Awarded 13 new Microsoft MVPs in some of the Countries I represent as a Community manager:

MVP Country Technical Expertise
Adam Granicz Hungary Visual C#
Daniel Potyrala Poland Windows Desktop Experience
Domagoj Pavlešić Croatia Silverlight
Domantas Jovaišas Lithuania ASP/ASP.NET
Efran Cobisi Italy PowerShell
Beppe Platania Italy Windows Embedded
Jacek Światowiak Poland Forefront
Lukasz Grala Poland SQL Server
Renato Marzaro Italy Visual Basic
Senad Zeco Slovenia Windows Desktop Experience
Sergio Govoni Italy SQL Server
Tomica Kaniski Croatia Management Infrastructure
Toni Frankola Croatia SharePoint Services

Congratulations for this achievement: I can’t wait to start collaborating with you moving forward. And of course Congratulations to the re-awarded MVPs !

I’m also proud to recognize that, among the Region, we have now 2 Windows Azure MVPs so congrats to you guys too !!

I know it’s hard to keep that status active, but this means your passion to help others and your community engagement is still present in you and I’m honored to be part of this great group !!

If you want to know more about the MVP Award Program, be sure to read our blog and follow me if you want to Winking smile

Microsoft Days 2010 | Hlavní stránka

Microsoft Days 2010 will take place on 14-15th of September in Prague.

MS Days 2010

This is the biggest event ever organized in Czech Republic by Microsoft merging together conferences for IT Professionals, Developers and Partners.

The Agenda is pretty huge, covering topics like Azure, Online Services, Cloud Computing, Web Platform and other Client/Server/Developer/Dynamics content.

And, based on that, it’s split into two separate tracks – Technical (for IT Professionals and Developers) and Business part for Microsoft Partners.

Of course the Microsoft MVP Award Program will be very well represented thanks to the participation of 7 MVPs as speakers and another 6 MVPs in the Ask The Experts booth.

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Martin Pavlis (Exchange), Miroslav Knotek (Consumer Security), Kamil Jurik (SharePoint Server), Petr Kosec (System Center Operations Manager), Michal Valasek (ASP/ASP .NET), Ondrej Vysek (Setup & Deployment), Martin Zugec (PowerShell) as well as the MVPs who will be present at the ATE Booth like Miroslav Pragl (Consumer Security), Jan Pilar (Windows Desktop Experience), Igor Vit (Visual FoxPro), Igor Stanek (ASP/ASP .NET), Jarda Jirava (Client App Dev) and Pavel Repa (System Center Operations Manager). It’s a long list ! Smile

Furthermore, the XBOX 360 Kinect will also be officially announced here !!

 

Link (in Czech): Microsoft Days 2010 | Hlavní stránka

TechDays 2008 – Epilogue

And yet another great event is over..

We have been doing this event for about 4 years and, as the MVP Community evolved, we really made great steps. The steps I’m talking about are not only about us, doing the Ask The Expert and the MVP Interactive Panel with 13 MVPs as speakers and 8 as active participants, but I’m also talking about the event organization: the TechDays/WPC 2008

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Around 400 participants had the opportunity to see many professional ITPros and Developers, on a 3 days event, covering 70 sessions over 14 tracks (from Architecture to Data Platform to Business Intelligence and so forth).

It was about meeting people: the talks and the discussions, mingling together with the same passion to share. Absolutely amazing !

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The guest speakers made clearly a difference (David Chappell with his speech on Cloud Computing was simply brilliant!) but I can’t mention all the positive feedback I received from the attendees talking about all the other speeches.

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Every time it’s a privilege for me to represent these exceptional community leaders, as we are not talking about mere skills, we are talking about dealing with people that really has a great passion to share, open minded and available to participate to meet other people hungry for knowledge.

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I recall a guy telling me: “For me, solving a technical problem for which an IT department/a developer is stuck for days/months with just a face-to-face chat, really pays my day”. And this is exactly what fosters these people (as I said) I have the honor to represent…

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I have a lot of special thanks but please let me do just one to Giorgio Garcia-Agreda and Anna Cometti who made the “MVP Experience” so special… !

Real Code Day 10th Birthday !!

I’ m very happy to announce the 10th Birthday of one of the most important local Community on ASP.NET we have in Italy: ASPItalia.com

I wanna congratulate for their successes, their efforts, their commitment to make the community work and be successful in terms of contents and event organization. All of these ingredients need committed people, people that are busy like us but, nevertheless, they share their knowledge because of their Passion.

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In particular, I would like to congratulate Daniele Bochicchio who started this adventure 10 years ago and believed in the power of the communities and the Microsoft products. And, behind the scenes, people like Riccardo Golia, Cristian Civera, Marco Leoncini, Stefano Mostarda, Alessio Leoncini. All these guys (+ a lot more, I suppose :)) committed in doing presentations, tips & tricks articles, reviewing technical articles from their peers, speeches, conferences, etc…Congratulations to you all !

And, believe me, maintain and make a Community successful it’s a hard task to accomplish ;-)

Ups, almost forgot :): the community organized an event to celebrate this (with a technical  part and a fun part) on the 21st of October at the Hotel Sheraton EUR – Via del Pattinaggio, in Rome.

If you want to celebrate with those guys, you can register here !!

MVP Award Program – July 08

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Indeed it is time again to announce the newly awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals in Italy for the first of July, 2008:

Please join me in congratulating Alessandro Del Sole for his MVP Award in the Visual Basic technical expertise !!

But why are you posting in English?”, you might ask… Because, as of the 1st of July, I will also be responsible, as part of the MVP Organization, for the following Countries:

Estonia  Latvia  Lithuania  Cyprus  Greece  Malta

  • Baltic Regions (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • and of course Italy :)

What does that mean?” It means I’ll be the relationship manager for all the MVPs living in the above Countries.

Yes, but, could you be a little bit more specific?” . Well, I’ll be their point of contact, the one that finds new opportunities and interactions with the local Subsidiary, the one that manages and escalates issues and provide feedback, the one that will help the local Office find extremely valuable professionals candidates living in these Countries and so forth…

You can’t imagine how excited I am for this new challenge and I would like to thank my boss Çigdem Akin for giving me this amazing opportunity.

So…

Congratulations to Aggelos Mpimpoudis (XNA/DirectX), John Katsiotis (ASP/ASP.NET), both from Greece, and to Sergejus Barinovas (Visual C#) from Lithuania for their well-deserved achievement ! And, of course, congratulations to all the re-awarded MVPs (I presume you already received the Welcome email ! :))

I’m so thrilled to start this new exciting adventure and, believe me, I’m more motivated than ever to start new engagements, new technical interactions and all the other networking opportunities the MVP Award has to offer! (and yes, It’ll be fun! Did you doubt that?! :D)

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