March, 2010

Blog - About

About Architecture & Stuff

I thought that I would start off by introducing myself and letting you know a little bit about what I will be focusing in future posts.

My name is Bill Zack and I am an Architect Evangelist in the Developer & Platform Evangelism group at Microsoft.  Although I live in Connecticut I am based out of Microsoft's New York office.  I have written a few books and assorted magazine articles. Most recently I was a contributing author to the book Programming SQL Server 2005. I currently focus on presenting on the architecture of current and future Microsoft technologies at Microsoft events.

I am also pretty active in the area user group community, both as a user group leader and as a supporter of the local user groups.  Before I joined Microsoft I founded several user groups myself including the New York Enterprise Windows User Group and the New York City .NET Developers Group which I currently still run together with several other community leaders. I also founded the New York City Chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) and am on their International Board of Directors.  I started these groups before I joined Microsoft and still do run them even though I have "swallowed the blue pill". In fact my stock answer to people who asked me why I joined Microsoft is "I have been an unpaid evangelist for Microsoft for over 15 years.  I just decided that it was time I got paid." :-)

And that brings me to the focus of my blog.  There are two things that I am passionate about 1) Solving interesting architectural problems using Microsoft (and other) technologies, and 2) Helping to legitimize the IT Architecture Profession. My posts will probably alternate between the technical issues that confront Architects and the issues that affect the IT Architecture Profession as a whole.  The later will include topics such as: What is the difference between an Architect and a Developer? (And yes I have heard the joke: "about 10K a year"  That's not it. :-)); how does a Developer who aspires to become an Architect map out a career path to get there and what skills does an Architect have to have?  Indeed helping Aspiring Architects (and Developers) advance their careers is why I started the IASA chapter and this whole user group thing in the first place.

More to come later.

  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Azure Design Patterns

    • 2 Comments
    One of the challenges in adopting a new platform is finding usable design patterns that work for developing effective solutions. The Catch-22 is that design patterns are discovered and not invented. Nevertheless it is important to have some guidance on...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Azure Platform Training Roadmap

    • 3 Comments
    This training roadmap is based on internal work done by Fred Pace, Danny Garber and others at Microsoft. However all the material is publicly accessible. Do not be put off by some of the session titles that imply that this is only for Microsoft partners...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Architect Cafe Webcast Series

    • 6 Comments
    I am part of a team that is putting on a series of architecture webcasts this month. Please tune in. March 25, 2010 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST Title: Extending Your Sites Reach with IE8 Add On Features Abstract Today's users are getting more sophisticated...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Microsoft is “All In” the Cloud

    • 0 Comments
    Those of you who know me know that for over two years I have been a strong believer in the Cloud in general and of Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud Platform in particular. I am a strong believer in the Microsoft Software Plus Services (S+S) philosophy...
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