Looking back at 2019

2019 was a quite amazing year for me. It all started when I was honored receiver of Microsoft MVP Award on 1.1.2019. Becoming MVP was a big thing for me personally and it did gave me an access to meet lots of new people in different events and also to participate more in communities than before. I have met huge number of amazing people, made new friends and got to interact with Microsoft Product Groups in ways I didn’t even think before.

Speaking of events and friends. It is the community to who we give and also we get back a lot. Meeting people you have known only online (Twitter, Tech Community, Blogs) , exchanging ideas, having fun and spending time with them has been big for me. And they are fun and everyone is a unique personality. Especially walking into the Teams sessions at MVP Summit and later to Teams Airlift was quite amazing since there were so many big and famous names present – both from Microsoft and the community. And I did feel welcome: Community ❤. Not just about MVP network but also all speakers, organizers and participants of all events I attended during the 2019 and meeting those wonderful individuals from all over the world.

I am happy that I was able to coach two persons to get MVP award as well, hopefully others will join in later.

One of my definite highlights of year 2019 was to become Microsoft Ignite 2019 Speaker. It is the biggest IT conference in Microsoft ecosystem and being able to step onto stage there three times was a big personal moment to remember.

On top of Microsoft Ignite I did also 6 live audience / in person (total of 9 with Ignite) sessions and 11 webinars and user group meetings.

I was one of the founders of Microsoft Teams Community Finland (#TeamsFi) and I continue to be one of organizers in that. But because Teams is about teamwork and community I won’t be running it also. TeamsFi had 8 meetings during 2019.

I got myself involved with EuroTeams User Group as well – and co-organizing TeamsFest (Virtual Teams Summit) with Chris Hoard and Adam Deltinger. It is all about about international Teams community with EuroTeams – and we made it instantly expand beyond Europe as well since we had speakers at TeamsFest all over the world. Chris Webb from US also joined up our last monthly online meeting. We all + Laurie Pottmeyer (amazing Teams Community Lead – she is the best!) are in the photo above (taken at Microsoft Ignite 2019)

One big personal change was that I switched to a new employer during 2019. I had been working for Innofactor over 7 years and during November I started to work at Sulava. I am thankful for all my previous colleagues and employers for all experience and learning I was able to do.. and I super-excited how I can get even better in the future!

I am really happy about my blog as well, I have written over 100 blog posts and got over 60k total views during 2019!

And then there were amazing projects and customers , memorable family moments and life as well. I already know 2020 will have a lots of highlights that I will add to my memory banks. It is time to say farewell to 2019 soon.

Sidetracking I also managed to take some photos this year, notably a Finnish big-name artist Anna Puu was a delight to photograph during May. However there will be changes: during 2020 I will not be taking a lots of photos using DSLR but instead will be focusing my time and energy on other areas. The number of yearly photos I had been taking using my “real” camera gear has been less and less for many years now – it is finally time to switch “fully” to mobile phone camera only.

Perhaps I will have a bit of time for gaming than during previous years – after all Cyberpunk 2077 is coming out. And there is a link to year 2020 in it.

Looking towards 2020

A lots of big is going to happen during 2020. I know I will be meeting new amazing customers, work in spectacular projects, learning huge number of new, meeting and making new friends, attending and speaking at events, being active in communities, sharing knowledge, writing blog posts and being active on social media – especially on Twitter and LinkedIn. Perhaps I even get to travel a bit – at least I will be visiting Scotland (Glasgow) and Bellevue/Redmond during Feb-March.

I will be speaking at least in following events. Perhaps we will meet at those?

I am also co-organizing TeamsFest Spring Sessions on 1.4.2020, EuroTeams UG & TeamsFi community meetings. I am hopeful that there will be at least a few onsite speaking engagements more but I will definitely be speaking on (or organizing) online events.

Thank you for reading this and being out there! This is all about teamwork and community. And seeing what 2020 brings to us. #BetterTogether #Welcome2020

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