One year later: A Q&A follow-up with Steve Buchanan
- Posted on January 31, 2019
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
A year ago, we caught up with Steve Buchanan, then a new employee joining our Infrastructure team, to chat about his transition to Avanade and why he chose to “Go Orange.” Now, we’re following up with him to see how his first year has gone, get an update on his book, and what he likes best about working at Avanade:
Q. How has your first year at Avanade gone?
A. Overall, it has been a fun ride. Avanade is a large company and is even larger when you include the Accenture family as well. There were a lot of things to learn about the culture, terminology and processes. What I have really enjoyed are the friends I have made here at Avanade. The people I get to work with every day are very talented, and their drive for innovation is inspiring. This year was filled with cool projects working on cloud transformation and DevOps, presenting at events, conferences in the U.S. and Europe and helping to pursue large opportunities.
Q. You came from working at smaller Microsoft partner. What is the biggest difference being at a partner as large as Avanade? What makes Avanade unique from other places to work?
A. The biggest difference so far has been working on very large projects for large organizations and working as a part of a team of consultants. It is a nice change from being the lone wolf on projects and having all the execution fall on your shoulders. It’s a diverse company. I have met, worked with, and trained with people from many different places and backgrounds. I have had interactions with team members from Brazil, India, Mexico, China, Europe, South Africa and more. I enjoy learning about their cultures and countries and am looking forward to the second year at Avanade and the opportunities it will bring!
Q. Would you recommend working here to people you know? Why?
A. Yes. I would recommend Avanade to people in my network. In fact, I have recommended a couple of friends and they have been hired. I would recommend Avanade because we are a top partner in the Microsoft space, we have interesting projects working on cutting edge technology, we work with some of the largest companies in the world, the leadership here actually listen to the employees, and the people that work at Avanade are great at making it a good culture. It’s true! Also, Avanade has great training opportunities available, such as the Microsoft Professional Program on DevOps certification and the Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification, both of which I took advantage of this year.
Q. One of the most exciting traits you’ve brought to the Avanade team is your Microsoft MVP status. Could you share a little about what an MVP is and what it means to you?
A. The Microsoft MVP is an annual award. It must be earned every year. It is not a certification that you can take a test to achieve. The MVP award is given to those are experts in an area of Microsoft technology and are passionate about that technology.
The first step is to be passionate about an area of one of the many technologies from Microsoft and become an expert! My journey to becoming an MVP definitely was not a conventional or intentional one. I was working on a System Center product that did not have robust documentation out there or a lot of community expertise and content. I saw that as a gap and decided to fill it with my experiences with the product. My goal was to help other IT pros avoid the same hair-pulling pain with the product that I lived through. Microsoft took notice of what I was doing, and the rest was history. I wasn’t like some of the other MVPs out there, doing speaking engagements, regularly attending conferences and such; I simply wanted to help others in the community like many others had helped me along my career. I still carry this same passion to this day; it has just transferred to other technologies as I grow in my career.
Q. How has your Hybrid Cloud book done over this past year?
A. I have been very fortunate — my book “Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Unleashed with Azure Stack and Azure” has done well. It continues to climb the charts on the “92 Best Microsoft Azure Books of All Time” and on the “79 Best PowerShell Books of All Time.” Sometimes it’s funny when I run across the book while I’m visiting clients — it is a great compliment!