Work in IT

How the Microsoft TechEd Experience Changes with #TheKrewe

The last three years I have been extraordinarily lucky that I have been able to attend Microsoft TechEd. Every year I have participated in a group known as #TheKrewe and I have striven to force myself into social situations more and more every year.

What is #TheKrewe?

#TheKrewe 2013 Group Photo
#TheKrewe 2013 Group Photo

“The Krewe is a community organized professional networking group. Our mission is to build a dynamic networking community through various activities and gatherings. The Krewe primarily meets at Microsoft TechEd North America every year where we have The Krewe Meet ‘N Greet the day prior to the opening of the conference. Our group takes Networking to a whole new level, we are all close friends and are open to helping each other in any way possible be it through charitable works or by helping solve a question that has you stumped in your professional life. We are IT people from every level of the career, you may find someone totally new to IT who is just starting off or meet someone who has 20 years’ experience and is an MVP, MCT, MCP and any other abbreviation you can think of.”


Year 1 Experience

My first year at Microsoft TechEd was in 2011 and I was still a student in college. I had no idea what I was doing attending this conference, I just knew I was excited and I was ready to learn. As the conference approached I realized I wanted to find evening parties as much as possible… after all I was 21 and who doesn’t love free drinks? …

My 15 Minutes of Fame

Recently I was asked to be on the People Talking Tech Podcast to talk about my transition from college to my IT career. In the process I was also asked to write a guest blog post on the Microsoft Learning Born to Learn blog. It was quite an interesting experiencing having a conversation with someone knowing in the future people would be listening to it. The night of the recording I figured it’d be best to write the blog post so everything was fresh in my mind, I started hammering it out and boom it was done.

Many thanks to SkyDrive for the ability to embed!

If you would like to check it out you can listen to the podcast by Clicking Here. You can also read the blog post by Clicking Here.

What do you DO?

I get this question almost daily. It seems like a very easy question to answer, but when it comes to a technical job it becomes much more challenging to answer. When I started working as a Support Technician it was pretty easy. I am the guy who fixes computers, pretty much everyone understands that; even the older people I told it to. I usually got a reply like “OH! You are the guy that hates when they see me calling.” This is always fun to laugh off and tell them nah I love hearing from you it means I have a job!

When you move from front line defense in computer disasters it became much more challenging. Usually the questions start out at with “Where do you work?” The simple reply is I work at Apparatus, and I get another followup question “Oh, what do they do?” This is where it starts getting tricky. I usually just answer we are an IT consulting and managed services company, I know it isn’t the friendliest reply but I’ve yet to come up with an easier way to explain it.

Then it gets to the really tricky part of “What do you do there?” Most people can simply reply with their job title like I used to. However when you say I am a Systems Analyst people get a really confusing look on their face. So you try to clear it up, but when it comes to managing a small web server that supports one website to a server farm of 12+ servers that run just a few websites it gets much more challenging.

There is no simple answer to what I do, but I can say pretty simply you know all those websites you visit online. Things like Facebook, Google, and YouTube. I manage the computers that run websites like those, the websites I manage aren’t quite as popular as those however they still have anywhere from a couple people visiting it daily to over 10,000 thousand people visiting it per day.

The sad part of the answers I can provide are just a small portion of my job. Making the servers work isn’t everything, it goes into creating the servers, to helping people work using the software on the server. I also spend a good chunk of times in meetings about new environments and even teaching people about the environments you know about.

Overall when you want to know what I do… just trust me when I say that what I do makes the world what it is today.