The start of Brainstorm (or any conference) always intrigues me. You never know if there will be patterns, trends or themes that emerge. I believe the Day 1 sessions always set the tone; however, I believe Day 1 of Brainstorm is actually a pre-day. None the less, we were in a packed room on Sunday afternoon to listen to a “Windows 10: Modern Device Management Workshop” by Doug Wilson.
One of Doug’s first slides was about community. This topic is near and dear to my heart since I was part of the systems management community way back in the Swynk.com (I believe that was the spelling!) days of SMS. Through the years, I grew up working in public schools doing edtech but actively participating on MyITForum.com. At the time, that was “THE place” where all the smart consultants and MVPs hung out. I remember being envious of the breadth of knowledge they had and their willingness to share it back to that community.
As I grew technically, it was my goal to be able to be at that level of knowledge as my peers had. After many hours and carving out my niche area on the Internet, I was able to return that knowledge back in the form of task-based videos in SMS / SCCM and MOM/SCOM. Those are the technologies which I’ve built my career on and allowed me to be in the ranks as a Microsoft MVP.
I find myself, years or even decades later, faced with the same situation with different challenges. As I’m sitting in the back of this session, I have a very different vantage point from when was first starting out my career. I look down at my conference badge which reminds me that I’m a Program Manager with Microsoft in the Intune for Education Product Group. How can I assist those around me and hopefully allow them to stand on my shoulders as those did for me in years past? I attempt to remain respectful to the presenter as he makes his way through his material but the same question keeps running through my mind: “Where do these peers go to gain that knowledge as I did in years past?”
I put it out there, but I really don’t get a clear sense of “a place” where my technical peers go. Sure, I get the feedback of going to the Microsoft documentation and such… but where do you REALLY go? Conferences are a GREAT place to make those connections with your peers but how do we keep that conversation going throughout the year? This is an open thread which I’m going to keep asking and digging into…
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