Hairy Causes: A Movember to Remember

clip_image002You may notice a trend during the month of November where lots of normally clean-shaven blokes are suddenly sporting (often embarrassingly hideous) attempts at growing a moustache. There’s a good chance that they are making a spectacle of themselves for a worthy cause. Over the past sixteen years, the Movember Foundation has raised over a billion dollars globally to promote awareness of men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, depression and suicide prevention. Last year, participants in Australia alone raised $29 million. More than 75% of the money raised is used to fund at least 1250 men’s health projects, including Beyond Blue and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

For the past 12 years, I too have participated in one way or another in Movember, either by growing a mo’ myself or sponsoring others. This year I have joined the official Deloitte Platform Engineering (DPE) Movember team. My motivation has always come in part from my family’s history of prostate cancer: my dad and two of my three brothers have endured this disease. This year, I have even more inspiration, as I recently extended my family’s history via my own battle with prostate cancer. I will share a bit of my story below. Read more of this post

Life as a User Group Leader

Microsoft MVPs are recognised for their voluntary contributions to the technical community. There are many types of eligible contributions, but one of my more notable ones was serving as a user group leader. This is a significant undertaking, and in this post I hope to outline some of the aspects of the commitment and also some lessons I’ve learned over my 14 years of fulfilling this duty.

My Experience

In 2005, I was asked by Microsoft to start the Brisbane BizTalk User Group. The motivation came through working for one of several organisations that adopted BizTalk Server to handle critical enterprise integration processes. As a newbie to the product, I was heavily reliant on the help I received from the very few experts around Australia and the world, including Bill Chesnut, Mick Badran, and several other MVPs who blogged about their experience. With so little available knowledge and experience in Brisbane, Microsoft’s Geoff Clarke decided it would be a great idea to start a user group. It was a daunting challenge and Geoff had to twist my arm a little… but I was encouraged when over 30 people turned up at the first meetup, proving that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. I also had lots of support from Microsoft and my colleagues, and the group met monthly for years to follow.

Then in 2014, I was asked to take the reigns for the Brisbane Azure User Group, which had been established by Paul Bouwer about a year or two earlier. When Paul earned his “blue card” and became a Microsoft employee that year, he felt it was inappropriate for him to continue leading the group and that a community member would be more appropriate for the role. Again, I reluctantly agreed on the condition that I had at least two co-organisers to help. One of these gentlemen (Damien Berry) remains a co-organiser to this day.

I’ve also ran the Global Azure Bootcamp in Brisbane for four years, and the Global Integration Bootcamp for a couple of years as well.

Read more of this post

How to Explain Messaging Patterns to your Grandmother

First of all, I’d like to apologise to all grandmothers out there… I mean you no disrespect. It’s just meant to be a catchy title, really. I know grandmothers who are smarter than most of us.

A couple of months ago I had the privilege of speaking at the API Days event in Melbourne. My topic was on Building Event-Driven Integration Architectures, and within that talk I felt a need to compare events to messages, as Clement Vasters did so eloquently in his presentation at INTEGRATE 2018. In a slight divergence within that talk I highlighted three common messaging patterns using a pizza based analogy. Given the time constraint that segment was compressed into less than a minute, but I thought it might be valuable enough to put in a blog post.

image

Photo courtesy of mypizzachoice.com

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Mexia Named in BRW Top Starters List!

Mexia Consulting has ranked 71st in BRW‘s list of Australia’s Top Starters for 2013! Congrats to my fearless leaders Mat Coleman and Dean Robertson who’ve led our team to great achievements over the past couple of years. Proud to be a member of this awesome enterprise integration team!!

Mexia Projects Director Mat Coleman and Technical Director Dean Robertson accepting the award from BRW

By the way, Mexia is hiring! Immediate positions available in Brisbane & Melbourne.  If you’ve got BizTalk or enterprise integration skills using the Microsoft stack, please contact us ASAP.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrre’s…..Dan!

Well, after almost 13 years of service in the IT industry, I’ve finally decided to have my own blog! Not that I haven’t published before – I’ve posted several times on my employer’s website here, and  also published a number of presentations and webcasts as the leader of the Brisbane BizTalk User Group. But finally, I have my own personal soapbox! 🙂  I hope you enjoy whatever you may read here.

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