Beginner to Azure Expert : Interview with Kasam Shaikh

Happy new year to all and I pray to god that all are safe.

Welcome to the second interview of the 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 Kasam Shaikh.  

Kasam Shaikh

A seasoned professional with ‘Could be’ attitude having 14 + years of determined industry experience in software development, deployment, warranty support and team leading. 

Also, a core member with Cloud Research & Development and Azure practicing team.

Kasam Shaikh Azure Interview

He has been awarded as C# Corner MVP - Congratulations to him for that and also is been nominated for Microsoft MVP award (I am sure he will get that too).

Below are few more details,

Lets start the interview....

Mahesh: Who are you and what you do?
Kasam: “Hello World, 😊 I am Kasam Shaikh – Azure AI Enthusiast, Published Author with 4 Books, Global Speaker, Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Docs Contributor and Founder of fastest growing & leading Azure AI community, Dear Azure | Azure INDIA (az-INDIA). 

I work with Capgemini India as Cloud Evangelist.”

Mahesh: When did you start working on Azure?
Kasam: I started with Azure from 2015. For this I will thank my mentor, who advised me to get into Microsoft Azure back in 2015. Events like Future Unleashed by Microsoft added my interest.

Mahesh: How did you master Azure (Learning path, amount of time)?
Kasam: By genuinely learning the things as it was coming. By never saying No to Azure.

Mahesh: Which are the major Azure projects you handled so far?
Kasam: Working with Azure is always a fun. Worked on many Azure projects and with great minds. It includes, Migration, Digitalization, Modernizing the Apps and many more. Due to NDAs, can't disclose the name, however had an opportunity to work with global big names in Retails, Shipping domain.

Mahesh: What do you think is the most challenging part while working on Azure project?
KasamChallenging part is to use the right service for right purpose in a right way!

Mahesh: What as per you is must to know(prerequisite) to become an Azure Expert?

KasamZeal to learn, and to keep learning is the most important prerequisite to become an Expert not only in Azure but be it anything. 

Mahesh: We noticed that you are an author of a few books! What are these books about? And where can one download or purchase a copy from?

Kasam:  Yes, I have authored three books,

·       Demystifying Azure AI: Implementing the Right AI Features for Your Business – September 2020

·       Azure for .NET Core Developers: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions Using .NET Core Framework – April 2020

·       Developing Bots with QnA Maker Service: Integration with Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Bot Framework – January 2019

All three books focus on Azure, Azure AI and Bots. You can purchase it from Amazon,   or you can visit my website for the direct links.

Mahesh: Should one consider Azure certifications? Do they add value to individual or it’s only for organization to get partnership?
Kasam: Definitely Yes! It let you know your level of expertise with the subject. It does help you get shortlisted from the one with no certification. 

It does add value to one’s professional profile. Be genuine to your work, have a good amount of hands-on on the subject. Consider Microsoft Practice test over Dumps. 

Just don’t do it for earning a certificate or badge, but to validate your skills & expertise on the subject. 

Mahesh: Microsoft keeps changing things around certifications (retiring some, bringing new ones, updating the content etc) – what’s your thought on this?
Kasam: Change is the only Constant that keeps on happening. Learning is continuous journey and so it should be the case to get yourself evaluated in timely manner. 

I myself gave 70-534, then 70-535, then later AZ-303 & AZ-304 and now soon will go for AZ-305. Its quite interesting to learn and self-evaluate yourself.

Mahesh: What are your thoughts on Azure forums, blogs and articles etc.?
Kasam: Not all are useful. I prefer Microsoft Docs, and then comes blogs from MVPs.

Mahesh: Your suggestion to newcomers? What should be the approach to get started with Azure?
KasamFor all the newcomers, the most important step is to Start, don’t just dream and keep planning. Very first start with Azure Fundamentals. 

Microsoft Learn is the best place to start your learning journey. Clear your basics, and then decide on which profile you need to move on. Be it be Admin profile, or developer profile, every area needs a strong Hands-on, so don’t run away from making your hands dirty with working on each service. 

You can refer my article on How to pass AZ-900 Azure fundamentals exam. Also one can visit my YouTube Channel which has over 100+ videos covering different Azure services by subject experts.

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?
KasamFrankly speaking it all depend on individual choice and requirement, along with scope of work. All are good and unique on its own way. Do keep trying with different tools and decide which is helping you, productivity wise, go with it.

Mahesh: What is the future of Azure?
KasamSurely, with this pace, its Huge.

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)?
KasamConsidering ease of deploying, scaling its No.

Mahesh: How do you see Azure compared to other cloud platform?
Kasam:  Much easier to work with.

Mahesh: What motivates you to do the community work?
KasamIts my passion. When professionals message me about there success stories, and mentioning me being part of there journey, it motivates me to involve my self more.

Mahesh: You have been awarded recently; do you think more responsibility gets added on you?
KasamWhen I shared my first article, till date, I do my things with responsibility. Awards are the appreciation of work done and doesn’t add a responsibility as such.

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

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

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