Q&A Spotlight: Steve Buchanan, Microsoft MVP and author
- Posted on February 1, 2018
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
This week we caught up with Steve Buchanan, a new Group Manager on our Infrastructure team. Steve has a unique background and can be described as many things: technologist, book author, and Microsoft MVP, just to name a few. Still immersed in our “Go Orange” onboarding program, we wanted to connect with Steve to ask him about his decision to join Avanade, his latest book and if he had any advice for those who are looking to build a successful career in tech.
You joined Avanade just a few short months ago. Can you share a little bit about why you chose to come work here?
I joined Avanade for a few reasons. First, there are very smart people working here. I picked up on that during the interview process and again when I talked to IT colleagues about Avanade. During my onboarding process this initial assessment has only been reinforced – we have the best of the best.
I was also looking to “hit refresh” on my career. I wanted to re-focus on cloud and DevOps. Avanade had a need for somebody like me to focus in those areas. So, in a way, it was a perfect fit.
Finally, Avanade’s strong relationship with Accenture and Microsoft was a great selling point. Being a 13-time Microsoft Partner of the Year was impressive, but so was the opportunity to work with cutting edge technologies such as Azure Stack, IoT, and cloud.
We also think this is a great place for talented people who want to grow their skills and experiences. Speaking of experience, it’s worth noting that you are a Microsoft MVP. What did it mean for you to receive that designation?
I never set out to become an MVP. I was fortunate enough to be awarded into the program because other MVPs and folks at Microsoft who saw value in my contributions to the IT community. The MVP award means a lot to me and has had a tremendous impact on my IT career. I am in my sixth year as an MVP and every year that I get re-awarded is like Christmas in July! There are many benefits but the most meaningful is the relationships I have made with other MVPs and the people at Microsoft.
You’ve authored or co-authored several books on Microsoft technologies. Why did you decide to write your first book?
I started blogging as a way to contribute knowledge to the larger IT community and create a personal knowledgebase that I could reference. After reading my blog, a publisher reached out to me about authoring a book on System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM). I signed on because there was a lack of information available for DPM and I saw it as a great opportunity. This first book opened other doors for my career and many future opportunities, and since then I have gone on to write four more and be a technical reviewer on ten additional books.
What was the biggest challenge to writing? Can you tell us what your latest book about?
The biggest challenge is time. There are never enough hours in each day. When writing a book, it is important to have a solid plan going in. That serves as your framework and can help you be more efficient with your time.
My latest (and fifth!) book is about Microsoft’s Hybrid Cloud (Azure and Azure Stack). “Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Unleashed with Azure Stack and Azure” was officially published on December 21, 2017 by Pearson publishing and is a part of the Unleashed series.
It’s important to note that books like this require a team effort. I am proud to share this latest accomplishment with the entire author team, including Microsoft MVPs Kerrie Meyler, Mark Scholman, Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen, Janaka Rangama. We were also fortunate to have Azure Stack product group and Azure CAT individuals to support us. A big “thank you” to Daniel Savage, Principal PM Manager from the Azure Stack team, for writing the foreword and Marc van Eijk, Senior Program Manager from the Azure CAT team, for being our technical reviewer. More about this book can be found here.
Congratulations on the latest book! Looking ahead, how will you challenge yourself next?
After five books, there are no more planned now. I recently wrote a course on Azure Stack and did some video training on it. I am looking to create more videos on Azure and Azure Stack topics. I see videos as a faster way to contribute knowledge to the IT community. Also, as I dive more into development I am going to look at building some community based tools to share and help solve common IT pain points.
It was great “chatting” with you! To wrap up, could you share a piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career in technology?
Find a niche, embrace change when it comes, stay humble, surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, and network, network, network.