Connected System Developer MVP Alan Smith
Time as a MVP: 8 years
How did you first get started in community?I published a free e-book “The Bloggers Guide to BizTalk” compiled of content from the best bloggers in the BizTalk development community.
As there was very little documentation on using BizTalk Server at the time the guide became a great success. I updated it everymonth or two, and it evolved to over 300 articles from about 50 contributors.
Which technical community or communities are you most active in?I run the Sweden Windows Azure Group (SWAG). I tweet as @alansmith, host a website at www.cloudcasts.net and I blog at geekswithblogs.net/asmith. I am a regular speaker at conferences and user groups in Sweden.
What’s the best technical tip you have today for implementing a cloud deployment?Whatever experience you have in .NET development you will find a way to apply your skills to develop using Windows Azure. The best tip I have is to get your hands dirty, create a trial or MSDN account, and work through some hands-on tutorials.
I started with a simple tutorial to create an Azure ASP.NET application for uploading and displaying photos. After a couple of quick code changes I modified it to upload and display videos. Three weeks later I launched an Azure hosted community webcast site (www.cloudcasts.net).
When considering using the Cloud, what do you tell people if they aren’t sure about moving to the Cloud?I tell them that there is always the option to “Extend to the Cloud” rather than “Move to the Cloud”.
Extending to the cloud involves developing hybrid applications that leverage the capabilities of cloud based platforms. Many of the Windows Azure solutions developed today involve extending the capabilities of existing applications and infrastructure to leverage the capabilities of Azure.
These hybrid applications allow developers to combine the best of both worlds. Existing IT infrastructure can be utilized and the capabilities of cloud platforms used to extend the applications. This can provide enhanced functionality at minimal cost and low risk.
I have delivered sessions in “Extending to the Cloud” at conferences and user groups, and have heard feedback from attendees that they have started to use Azure in their projects after seeing my presentations.
I’ve recorded some of the demos I use in these sessions as webcasts.
3D Animation Rendering using Azure Worker Roleshttp://www.cloudcasts.net/ViewWebcast.aspx?webcastid=2521151757355602379
Source Control Provider using Azure Storagehttp://www.cloudcasts.net/ViewWebcast.aspx?webcastid=2521140395426551779
Large File Transfer musing Azure Storagehttp://www.cloudcasts.net/ViewWebcast.aspx?webcastid=2521176611509322274
All three of these are scenarios where on-premise applications extend their functionally using capabilities in Windows Azure.
Do you have a blog/website link to Cloud related Tips or deployment stories you would like to share?I published a free e-book covering development using the Azure Service Bus: http://www.cloudcasts.net/devguide/Default.aspx.
I launched and maintain an Azure hosted community webcast site: www.cloudcasts.net.
I have blogged a number of walkthrough articles on using the Windows Azure Service Bus on my blog geekswithblogs.net/asmith.
Speaking from your experience, what words of advice do you have for new MVPs?Welcome to a great community! Make the most of the MVP Summit; it’s the best place to make contact with others in your area of expertise who share your passion.