Windows Azure MVP Michael Wood’s work with technical communities began modestly, attending .NET user groups because, as he says, “I honestly thought it was a good career thing. It has turned into so much more for me.”
Today he is a founding director of the Cincinnati .NET User Group as well as the founder of the Cincinnati Software Architecture Special Interest Group.
And he is among the inaugural group of Windows Azure MVPs. He now serves as curator, along with Windows Azure MVP Michael Collier, for the Windows Azure Boot Camp program.
He and Michael, along with many community leaders, recently helped facilitate the Global Azure Boot Camps, where 94 events coalesced on the same day, offering thousands of people around the world a hands-on experience with Windows Azure (you can read more about it in this site’s Top Stories section). After four years as a Microsoft MVP, Michael cites the build-up to that event as the highlight of his community career.
“We started out thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have 10 events on the same day?’ And it just kept building. Suddenly, a few weeks ago, my in-box was jammed with mail from folks around the world—Hong Kong, Australia, Israel—saying, ‘We’re doing this!’ To me, that’s community at its best.”
He first became interested in Windows Azure when Microsoft announced the technology in 2009. At the time, Michael was a Client App Dev MVP. “I thought, ‘This could be good. As consultants we would be able to move faster and not have to wait for clients to get running with hardware.’”
He began learning about and working with the technology, helping to run Windows Azure Boot Camps and eventually serving as the technical editor for Microsoft Principal Cloud Evangelist (and former MVP) Brian Prince’s book, Azure in Action (which was co-authored by Chris Hay, then a Client App Dev MVP).
His community experiences have grown along with cloud technology. “A year ago, most of the questions I answered were around introducing the technology—what does it do, how does it compare—but now I get a lot more advanced questions about troubleshooting installations,” he says.