Using technology to make a difference
By Kenny Lowe, Microsoft Cloud Solutions Architect at Pulsant
We all know that the aim of technology is to make our lives better, easier, and this is especially true for those of us who ply our trade the tech sector. It’s not just down to the technology itself though, it’s also down to the people behind it working to deliver on the promises technology brings. The world of technology has never been moving as fast, but at the same time it will never be this slow again, and as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate it becomes all the more imperative that we’re effectively sharing knowledge as an industry.
This is one of the basic premises of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) programmes – sharing knowledge and empowering the community. The MVP programme is a global community of more than 3,000 technical experts across 90 countries.
According to Microsoft, MVPs are “technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems.”
This is my second year as an MVP, but my first as a dual awarded MVP – this year I have been awarded in two categories; Cloud and Datacenter Management, and Microsoft Azure. There are only a handful of people spanning both these categories, bridging the traditional datacentre and the cloud-native worlds, and I’m very proud to be one of them.
While I’m obviously overjoyed to have been awarded MVP status again, what does it actually mean? From a business perspective it means that I can use my skills and knowledge working as part of the Pulsant team and helping to bring value to our customers. This includes ensuring they’re getting the right cloud solution for their business, their requirements are being met and they are able to optimise their investment.
From a personal perspective, I get to belong to the most communicative and open community programme in the technology sector, with access to learning opportunities, knowledge, and people within Microsoft which really help accelerate my knowledge and learning.
Apart from my day job (and as part of it), I spend a lot of time speaking at conferences, on webinars and participating in forums to share my knowledge, solve problems, gain new perspectives and ultimately give back to the tech community.
Of course I’m not alone in furthering this global tech community! Pete Long from the Pulsant office in the North East is also an MVP in the Cloud and Datacenter Management category. In fact, he’s been one for the past 15 years, and continues to bring significant value to all the tech communities that he’s involved with.
The drive to share knowledge goes even further for me though. While it may sound trite, technology truly is my passion; as is education. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be involved in setting up Scotland’s first Code Club – an extra-curricular learning environment that encourages children to explore and develop their skills in technology. As the world of technology we inhabit continues to evolve at pace and permeate every aspect of our lives, it’s critical that computational literacy becomes seen as just as important as numeracy and literacy.
As technology drives forward, it’s also important for us to ensure that we continue to get the most out of it – not just on a business level, but a personal one as well, as more and more the lines between these worlds blur from a tech perspective. A key part of this is ensuring those of us in a position to do so continue to play a part in making technology more accessible to everyone, and sharing our knowledge and experience with the larger community. I’m very much of the opinion that knowledge not shared is knowledge squandered, and that every opportunity to share is also an opportunity to learn.