Beginner to Azure Expert : Interview with Shivprasad Koirala

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Happy new year to all .

With new year almost everyone thinks of embarking on something new, making new resolutions. 

One of the resolution is to learn some new skill, getting better , becoming expert etc.

Starting a blog series where I would be interviewing the Azure experts all around the world, the focus will be on getting the insights on how to become expert and what experts did to become expert. 

Today's Azure expert/guru is Shivprasad Koirala.  A man who doesn't need an Introduction.

If you are working on Microsoft Technologies then you will definitely know him. 

Shivprasad Koirala with Maheshkumar Tiwari

I had an opportunity to meet Shiv in person during 

South Asia MVP Open Day 2015 

He is one who has been consistent for many years (more than two decades... no I am not saying that he is getting old ๐Ÿ˜œ) .

Still going strong with the eagerness and desire to serve the community by sharing his knowledge and experience via blogs, articles, forums and YouTube and other possible medium. 

Great to have such person in the community. Below is the one of the quote he shared on Quora

The only thing i do is i read and practice 1 HOUR EVERY DAY. So lets say i want to learn Node. First day i will read basics of Node and stop for that day. Next day i will install node and write my hello world and next , next…. and on the 31st day … I am an expert."           

Before starting the interview I would like to congratulate Shiv on being awarded as  Microsoft MVP  for many years and other accolades he has received.

Lets start the interview....

Mahesh: Who are you and what you do?
Shiv: My Name is Shivprasad Koirala and I am trainer and I Train IT professionals.  I also run a Youtube channel where i share knowledge

Mahesh: When did you start working on Azure?
Shiv: I started learning and Working with Azure in 2008 and its fascinating to see it has matured so much.

Mahesh: How did you master Azure (Learning path, amount of time)?
Shiv: Azure is very vast ( 600 plus services) and you should be focused like do you want to  do Dev on Azure , Machine learning , Data analytics and accordingly plan your learning. I would suggest Microsoft exam certification as a reference to start learning. I feel AZ 900 is the stepping stone and then depending you are a dev or ML you should choose accordingly.

Mahesh: Which are the major Azure projects you handled so far?
Shiv: I have handled quiet a decent project with Azure. But the biggest one is Amul dairy Automation over Azure which caters 20 k users at a time.

Mahesh: What do you think is the most challenging part while working on Azure project?
Shiv: To convince the user that Azure is right fit for them. Many users have apprehension over the cost , is their data safe and so on. So, to convince them is one tough nut to crack.

Mahesh: Should one consider Azure certifications? Do they add value to individual or it’s only for organization to get partnership?
Shiv: Yes, Azure certification are golden road maps where to focus on Azure. I am not a big fan of clearing certification, but the syllabus can give you a great idea where to focus on. Getting hands on , getting knowledge should be goal and not certification  badges. Not a big fan of flashing Azure badges on Linkedin ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Mahesh: Microsoft keeps changing things around certifications (retiring some, bringing new ones, updating the content etc) – what’s your thought on this?
Shiv: In Cloud change is inevitable. As said in the previous question more than attempting the exam look at the syllabus and focus gaining knowledge around them. Certification can expire Knowledge will not.

Mahesh: What are your thoughts on Azure forums, blogs and articles etc.?
Shiv: I love Stackoverflow followed by Microsoft Azure forums and I find most of my solutions from these two. I would recommend students to follow Microsoft Azure MVP’s on twitter as they keep sharing about the latest trend what’s happening.

Mahesh: Your suggestion to newcomers? What should be the approach to get started with Azure?
Shiv: There are more than 600 plus services in Azure today do not try to learn everything, you will lose stamina. If you are dev follow the dev learning path (App Service, Devops, Azure data storages etc), if you think you are interested in Data analytics accordingly choose services. 

Mahesh: There are many tools from community which are used while working with Azure, what do you say about it?  Which ones you would recommend? Why? No Microsoft support available?
Shiv: There is no single fit. But when it comes to Azure Developer I feel visual studio and its integration with cloud is something I use a lot.

Mahesh: What is the future of Azure?
Shiv: Very bright. Last year Microsoft Azure earnings are 17 to 20 billion only from cloud which itself shows how much big companies are betting on Azure. My training calendars and assignments are clear indication Azure is on high rise.

Mahesh: Do you think the cost of using cloud services for long time will be more than having infrastructure on prem.? (Where transactions are in millions or more)?
Shiv: If you see current trend SAAS and PAAS services are used more than IAAS. The whole point go to cloud is we want someone to take care of our Infra headache and we focus on business/delivery. In long run companies will be using or I will say rather they are already using more SAAS / PAAS than IAAS.

Mahesh: How do you see Azure compared to other cloud platform?
Shiv: When it comes to market share Amazon is biggest 30% plus followed by Azure 20% plus. But please note Amazon was launched in 2002 while Azure in 2008 , so I think Azure will eventually catch up. 

Mahesh: What motivates you to do the community work?
Shiv: When you share knowledge, you grow 10X times. Knowledge does not grow by keeping it to yourself.

Mahesh: You have been awarded by Microsoft as MVP many times, do you think more responsibility gets added on you?
Shiv: Currently I am not a Microsoft MVP, I voluntarily retired ( did not nominate) 5 years back. But yes, MVP is a very responsible position, people follow you, respect you. So, you should be very sure when you write or say anything technically in public.

Thanks a lot Shiv for taking out time and sharing the insights with us.

Feel free to ask questions to Shiv in comments!!!

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