Voices of the Azure Community-Johan Åhlén, MVP, Sweden

Please tell us about your own role.

I’m an independent consultant and innovator with a passion for exploring and making sense of data. I have started a few companies and have worked over 20 years with Microsoft technologies. I have been a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and been doing Azure since the very beginning.

Would you tell us how you become involved with Azure Skåne?

I started up Azure Skåne (formerly known as Skåne Azure User Group) in 2017. I think teaching and sharing knowledge to others is the best way to learn things yourself. Also, nothing is better for the engagement level and community building than real physical meetings. We have now grown to around 700 members and four organizers, and we still have a very friendly and informal atmosphere where anyone is welcome regardless of previous experience.

What are the greatest benefits of getting involved with the Group for attendees?

Azure Skåne is about learning, networking and having fun. Learn new stuff about Azure, connect with peers and make friends over a beer and pizza.

In your opinion what is the most exciting thing about working with Azure?

Azure is where things really are happening at a fast pace! You have lots of opportunity to build things more clever and better than ever before.

What is your favorite Azure Product and why?

I think it is the serverless stuff, such as the Azure Functions. It really gives you the full benefits of being in the cloud.

What makes a great Azure Professional?

If you want to do great things you need to do little things in a great way first. Code for fun. Be bold and don’t be afraid of testing new ways of doing things. Learn from others.

What in your opinion has been the biggest advance in Azure in the past 18 months?

It’s hard to pick. The Azure networking services has improved a lot with the Azure Front Door, Azure Firewall and Virtual WANs. The new GPU-enabled virtual machines also are really cool for High-Performance Computing workloads. The Cosmos DB also is one of my favorites, now that it has got globally scalable writes and a ton of other advances.

What are the biggest challenges you face working with Azure?

You must be willing to test and experiment with things. With new Azure services, it is a bit hard to find knowledge and examples of how to best use them.

What are you looking forward to most at the upcoming #GlobalAzure Skåne event?

I’m really looking forward to meeting our amazing group of people and learning new things, although it will be online this time!


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