The Road To Microsoft Ignite 2019

It’s the morning of November 2, and at the moment I’m zipping along at 39,017 feet over Kentucky on my way to Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. It always seems to take forever for Ignite to get here, but the move to November meant we had to wait an extra TWO WHOLE MONTHS this year. I’m not exaggerating when I describe that wait as excruciating. Microsoft Ignite is one of the highlights of the year for me, as most of you know.

Equal parts professional and personal development, Microsoft Ignite is a chance for me to reconnect with friends and colleagues in person, and for many of these folks, it’s the one and only get I get to see them. Social media is a wonderful tool for staying connected to folks, but nothing beats that face to face time.

This year will be a bit different for me. This is the first time I am attending in my new role as an “Infrastructure Architect” at work and without any direct operational responsibility for systems back at work (for them most part). I’m still figuring out what being an architect means back at the office, and I’ll be honest… I like pushing buttons and pulling levers and making things work. I’m not so big on meetings, and I have a hard time seeing things that need fixing and knowing that they can’t or won’t get fixed for any number of reasons. So far there has been more of that than I’m used to. Twenty years of running your own show makes it tough to switch to having other people decide what you should be working on. I’m keeping my fingers crossed things line up so that I can head out the door knowing I helped make things better than they were before.

Some of that is why I haven’t posted much this last year. I can’t blame it all on the job change, however, since I didn’t post much last year either. Or the year before that. Or the year… Well you get the idea. If I’m being honest, I haven’t felt as engaged as I used to be. The industry is changing, my workplace is changing, and I’m getting older (I joined the half century club in 2018). Plus this year has had more than its fair share of drama with some parental health issues and of course the ongoing dumpster fire in the White House, and I’m kind of exhausted, both physically and mentally.

I expect some of you are thinking, “But you’re always doing fun stuff. You go to Disney World every other week, visit tiki bars, go on cruises. If you’re exhausted, it must be from having too much fun.” And you’re not entirely wrong. I do have fun. I take advantage of my ample vacation time, along with the freedom of not being tied down by kids (other than the furry child). But I’d be a wreck if I didn’t do those things. That’s my self care regimen.

The other thing you’re probably thinking is “What does any of this have to do with Microsoft Ignite? Well, going to Ignite has always been part of that self care regimen. It’s a great place to go get inspired by what Microsoft is doing and by what your fellow attendees are doing. I guess I could use some inspiration.

The aircraft just made a turn, and a glance at the flight tracker shows that we’re over Florida now, so this flight is nearly over. I’ll leave you with a couple session recommendations for this week:

Ned Pyle’s session “BRK1070 Accelerating your IT Career” is not to be missed. It’s on Thursday, November 7, at 2:15 PM. Add it to your schedule; you can thank me later.

BRK1099 Microsoft Ignite 101 will be offered twice on Sunday (tomorrow!) and it’s a session for both the old timers like me as well as anyone attending for the first time. Come get the lay of the land from Rick Claus and Joey Snow (aka @PatchAndSwitch).

Any of the Diversity and Tech sessions/panels/etc. are well worth your time. I went to several of these last year, and they were the best sessions of the week. Do yourself a favor and take in some of these. One I plan to go to is Dona Sarkar‘s session BRK1025 Imposter Syndrome banishing spell on Tuesday, November 5 at 12:15pm.

I’m going to be dipping my toes in to the Windows Virtual Desktop and AutoPilot sessions. Might even sit in on a Microsoft Flow session since Flow seems to be the new hot thing.

Anyway, we’re almost about to land, and I need to pack things up for landing. I’m here all week, and I’m pretty easy to spot. Keep an eye out for me and my Aloha shirts. Stop me and say hello if you’re so incline, and if you’re not, that’s OK too. I can’t wait to get Ignite started and hope you’re excited too. Let’s have a great week!