It has been quiet for several weeks on the blog front, but that doesn’t mean nothing happened! The core subject of this post is sharing my happiness around being in the Azure Technical Trainer role for more than 6 months now. (Last time I was at Microsoft in 2016, this was about the time where I figured out I needed to move out of the team, exploring other opportunities…) but not so this time!!
I’m still enjoying my job role to the maximum, although we faced some challenges the last few weeks, like almost everyone else… a shift from “90% travel” to “0% travel for the next unforeseen time”. I remember delivering AZ-300 and AZ-500 courses in the UK, when the COVID-19 situation came closer to Europe, and started to have impact on our lives. At that time, we were still joking about it. The final week involved a delivery in Dusseldorf Germany, during which we got the message all future deliveries would switch to virtuals, at least until the end of April most probably (in meantime it got extended until the end of May, and will probably shift to end of this fiscal I guess…).
Microsoft made an immediate decision (initially as Seattle was the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak in the US, before NY) to shift all employees to a work from home status, which in my case, meant delivering the same trainings, but all virtual. As I was already used to this from before, I didn’t have to make dramatic changes in my delivery style, but I had to learn that attendees are much more distracted, busy with taking care of their families,… in between attending the sessions. So some deliveries were a bit more slow, having less interaction,… which is totally understandable.
Outside of the deliveries themselves, which thankfully keep me busy during the days, I also worked on lab updates for the AZ-500 Azure Security Solutions, and received the results of the beta exam [AZ-120 Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP workloads](AZ-120 Implementing SAP on Azure), which apparently I passed. Looking forward to some of those deliveries in the near future, as it’s been some time since I delivered such training out of my own custom offering in the past.
What amazed me was the Microsoft’s Leadership Team (LST) decision to halt all “non-paid” Azure subscriptions, to provide prioritized datacenter capacity to first responders, healthcare and education (see the full post here: ), resulting in not having Azure Passes available for students to do labs during our Azure trainings (see this note: for details). While this felt weird at first, I actually managed to deliver AZ-300/301, AZ-204 and AZ-400 without those Azure subscriptions. And attendees somehow understood it. Although I have to be honest it required much more effort from my side as the trainer to keep them entertained the full week, doing much more demos, whiteboarding and open Q&A.
This last 6 weeks have been challenging from a training delivery perspective, but on the other side also not all that different. I’m happy to see how business customers are still allowing their employees to attend training in these difficult times. While I don’t really know when exactly, I’m sure we will all come better out of this.
Looking forward to my next “live as an ATT” post in about 6 months from now, when I’m celebrating my 1st year within Microsoft. Who knows what a ride it will be to get there…