Passive Learning For The Win

Are you a lifelong learner?

Do you constantly look for ways to surround yourself with opportunities to learn and level-up?

Do the off-white walls near your desk need a bit more pizazz?

Well, you’re in luck!

Check out all of these awesome Azure and Cloud infographics, from Microsoft, which can be printed as large posters and plastered all over your home and work offices!

Poster of 'What is Microsoft Azure'
What is Microsoft Azure?
Poster of 'Building Real World Applications'
Building Real World Applications on Azure
Poster of 'Cloud Design Patterns'
Cloud Design Patterns

Now even “staring at the wall” will be productive‚Ķ you’re welcome ūüôā

Stay curious,
MJ

The Azure wonderland!

There are a lot of people out there who have taken a plunge into the awesomeness that is Azure, but, there are also a lot of people who haven’t even dipped their toes in yet.

The biggest deterrent for the latter group might be their perception of the vastness of the “Cloud“. It’s this nebulous thing that seems to span everything from web apps to networking, to infrastructure, to security, to analytics, databases, IoT and even BitCoin!!

These are all amazing concepts and buzzwords that you and I surely plan to learn deeply just as soon as we find the time, right??

Right.

While that might all be true, there’s another way to look at all this.

If you think of Azure as Mount Everest and fixate on all the skills you’d have to master and all the monumental preparation that you’d have to do, then yes, you’re going to¬†psych yourself out before you even take a single step.

I’d like you to think of Azure as a Theme Park instead.

Sure, it’s a giant theme park with dozens if not hundred of fun rides, but you don’t have to try more than one at a time. You don’t even have to spend the whole day there. You can just go in, try the Mary Go Round a couple of times, get a feel for the place in the process, and leave right after!

You might remember this fun little trip later and you might as a result be encouraged to find the time to visit again!

That’s the way you gotta think about Azure and the Cloud, and I will gladly be your friendly¬†park¬†guide ūüôā

So, what’s the Mary Go Round of Azure? I would say it’s this thing called¬†Azure App Service.

To keep it simple, you can think of Azure App Service as the way Azure allows you to deploy your standard ASP.NET MVC web application or Web API so that it’s accessible online immediately.

It’s really pretty simple to get started with it, and I plan to walk you through your first deployment in an¬†upcoming post, so check back soon!

Stay curious,
MJ

P.S¬†In the meantime, sign up for Azure (if you haven’t already) and get some free credits ($200!) for the journey ahead!

 

Azure Technical References

When it comes to learning, not all resources are created equal.

If you’re like me and you’re on a permanent journey of leveling-up on technologies and skills, then you know that finding the right resources along the way is paramount.

Now, when it comes to learning a vast technology like Microsoft Azure, I find¬†that there’s plenty of material out there at levels 100-300, but finding level 400 resources isn’t as simple.

Read more…

How well do you know X?

In today’s world of cloud technology, change is coming at a breakneck pace. It’s both very exciting and quite daunting.

So, when you’re facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge, what do you do? Well, you plan and strategize your approach of course!

Take Azure for example, it already has 90+ services with new ones coming out on a regular basis! Learning most of these services, or even keeping up with them is a daunting challenge indeed.

Well, I recently learned of a good mental framework for assessing how well you know something, and I think it’s a great way to tame the learning approach.

Read more…

Azure Learning Paths

With each new day, there seems to be yet another Azure service to explore and master. If you try to keep up with the breadth of all Azure services and their associated features, you are bound to feel overwhelmed.

So, how do you deal with such feelings?

Well, there’s a saying for that:

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course!

It’s really that simple ‚ÄĒ you just have to pick one service at a time and learn it!

I was pointed to a fantastic resource recently that does an excellent job of laying out a learning path for a lot of Azure services.

Using a flow-chart of sorts, your journey to learning Azure Batch, as an example, can look this elegant:

Azure Batch - Learning Path

 

So, what are you waiting for? Check out Azure Learning Paths!

Enjoy!
MJ

Open your mind to mindmaps!

Many of my colleagues have noticed over the years that I’m a fan of mindmaps in general, and a huge fan of mindmapping software in particular.

I can’t remember when I first heard of mindmaps, but it was several years ago, and I remember thinking that it’s a neat tool for organizing your thoughts. I was introduced at first to the paper form, and while artistic and fancy looking, I did foresee potential scalability and usability issues with the medium (as a software architect, I can’t not think of these things).

However, it was only 2 to 3 years ago that I saw an ex-colleague of mine using mindmapping software to capture meeting notes from a group session that was particularly all-over-the-place.

I was very enticed by what I saw.

Read more…