Harjit Joins Microsoft!

The time has come to let the 🐱‍👤 out of the bag and make the formal announcement. On May 21, 2021, I wrote a blog post where I mentioned that I left my 18 year career in Higher-Ed as a Senior Systems Administrator at the University of Vermont.

I am excited to announce that as of today, June 7, 2021, I have joined Microsoft as a Customer Engineer for Microsoft 365. My role covers a variety of solutions under the Microsoft 365 umbrella including Modern Management which I’m very passionate and super excited about. I can finally say that I’m now a “Blue Badge” and my dream of joining Microsoft has come true!

There is so much that I want to mention and perhaps, I’ll start with my family. My wife Jenny and my daughters Sabrina and Hannah have been my rock, strength, motivation, strong supporters for what I do, and they highly encouraged me to pursue my dreams and passion. Thank you!

I’ve been privileged and honored to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2017, and I have grown and learned so much since then, as well as had many amazing opportunities, from guest blogging, consulting work, product reviews, NDA opportunities with Microsoft, Subject Matter Expert (SME) on various webinars and technical user groups, speaking engagements with several conferences including Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Microsoft Ignite The Tours in Milan, Johannesburg, and Dubai (unfortunately COVID-19 cancelled my speaking gigs in Zurich, Mumbai, Bangalore, Tel-Aviv, and Chicago), TechMentor, IT/Dev Connections, and the one close to my heart and my favorite MMS aka MMSMOA, to name a few. During this journey, I developed strong bonds, positive reputation, respect, and trust among Microsoft product groups, MVP Program leadership, fellow Microsoft MVPs, vendors, event organizers, IT Professional community, mentees, my wonderful followers, and close friends. Thank you to all of you for your support, guidance, encouragement, and friendships.

Today also marks the end of the road for my Microsoft MVP award, which is something one has to give up upon joining Microsoft as an employee. I will continue to be a valuable resource not only to the MVP Program, the leadership, but to the IT Pro community as well, and will continue to empower everyone and help improve what I can. Thank you Betsy Weber, Rochelle Sonnenberg, and Christian Talavera for allowing me to do what I do, and most importantly for all the amazing opportunities as well as for my inclusivity as one of the trusted leaders within the MVP program. Also, Thank you Cathy Moya for the same and so much more. It’s amazing that we are all colleagues now. 😊🐱‍👤🙏👍

There are a few people who I would like to mention and recognize, who have been instrumental for my next career phase with Microsoft. The offline chats, references, internal recommendations, referring to open positions, keeping me in check, pushing me harder, motivations, encouraging me to stay positive, mentorship, discreet conversations, trust, friendships, and so much more, meant a lot to me and I’m forever appreciative and grateful. I know I am going to miss mentioning someone or another, and for that I apologize in advance and please forgive me. In no particular order, Thank you very much Noel Fairclough, Rod Trent, John Deardurff, Art Hogarth, Cathy Moya, Heather Poulsen, Kerim Hanif, Kris Loranger, Joe Lurie, and last but not least Julie Andreacola.

Thank you to Prayer Solanky who I consider my brother, and has been there for me in good times, during challenging moments of my life, provides tons of valuable advice, keeps me grounded and humble always, and who I trusted with my journey to Microsoft.
Also, Thank you to my wonderful friends Mick Pletcher, Anoop Nair, Richard Hay, John Yoakum, Jen Sheerin, Ben Dumke, Mary Jo Foley, Scott Ladewig, Ben Whitmore, James Petty, Jitesh Kumar, Octavio Rodriguez, Damien Van Robaeys, Nick Pilon, Benoit Lecours, Brian Mason, Greg Ramsey, Mirko Colemberg, Johan Arwidmark, Anne Baker, Peter De Tender, Adnan Hendricks, Team MMS, The Krewe, Team Devops Collective, Team SCDudes, and so many more. Last but not least, my close “Ignitable” friends (Pat, Dean, Brandon, Kenji, Stu, Henrik, Stuart, Joe, Travis, and Jin.

As I celebrate this happy occasion, I’m also reminded of my brother Amarjit who passed away on this very day (June 7th) in 2015. I miss him very much, but I know he is proud of me and is watching over me from heaven. 💗💗💗

With all that said, it’s time to kick start my new adventures with the company and people I love, embrace the unique opportunities, advocate and evangelize modern technologies, support the IT Pro community, and I’m ready to “empower every person and every organization to achieve more”! 🐱‍👤🐱‍👓🐱‍💻🐱‍🐉👍🙏✔

Microsoft MVP Renewal 2020-2021

I’m so Thankful, honored, and excited to receive the confirmation email (below) from the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award team confirming my award renewal for the 2020-2021 year. This is my fourth consecutive award since receiving my first one on January 1, 2017. It has been a wonderful, exciting, fun, challenging, and rewarding experience with so many positive opportunities.

The MVP award has provided me with some great opportunities in terms of my career growth, skill development, and various avenues to give back and help others in the IT Professional community. I had been invited to speak and delivered technical and soft skill sessions at conferences such as Microsoft Ignite Orlando 2019, Midwest Management Summit (MMSMOA), MMS Jazz Edition (New Orleans), and most recently covered the international circuit at Microsoft Ignite The Tour in Milan (Italy), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Dubai (UAE). I was also scheduled to deliver sessions on behalf of Microsoft at Microsoft Ignite The Tour in Zurich (Switzerland), Mumbai (India), Bangalore (India), and Tel Aviv (Israel), however these events were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. I have also delivered various webinars, guest and ghost blogged, joined some technical expert panelist, reviewed technical books, tested and evaluated software, provided technical expertise, guest on podcasts, moderated technical forums, and engaged with the community both in person and online.

This is my 4th MVP Award and I am very grateful and appreciative for this honor and for the various opportunities provided to me over time. Thank you very much to each and every one of you for making me successful in my efforts as a MVP, IT Professional, and community contributor, and for providing me with the valuable resources and networking opportunities. I could not have achieved any of the above without the support and encouragement from the community, my friends in the technology industry, people I look up to as mentors, my mentees who keep me on my toes, wonderful Program Managers at Microsoft, a few industry leaders, and last but not least my loving family. Thank you!

I would like recognize and give my special Thank you to:

* Cathy Moya
* Heather Poulsen
* Betsy Weber
* Rochelle Sonnenberg
* Scott Schnoll

* MVP Award Program

Free Azure Training and Exam (AZ-900)

See the source image

I came across this great opportunity from Microsoft for some free Azure training and a free exam voucher for the AZ-900 certification. See below:

Join us for Microsoft Azure Training Day: Fundamentals to improve your understanding of cloud concepts and acquire the knowledge you need to earn the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification. Learn basic strategies for transitioning to the cloud along with concepts including security, high availability, scalability, elasticity, agility, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery.

Attendees will receive free vouchers to take the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification exam https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-AZ-900.aspx via email after completion of event.

You will find the sign up links for the free Azure training for different dates and time zones starting from end of April to end of June 2020. Keep in mind that some dates have filled to capacity. Sign Up: https://bit.ly/2VmlZFu

Learning To Love The Social Spotlight (For IT Pros) – MJFChat

I was so thrilled when Mary-Jo Foley contacted me sometime around June 2019 and invite me to join her as a guest on her MJFChat podcast series on Petri.com. I have known Mary-Jo aka MJ for a few years and have had the pleasure of doing some community focused work with her and her counterpart, Paul Thurrot during Microsoft Ignite 2017 and 2018 in Orlando. I definitely could not say no, and jumped on the opportunity to do a fun and informative podcast with her.

Mary-Jo is a well respected technology journalist and known to everyone in the tech industry. Here’s her short bio:

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, Redmond Magazine and more. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the co-host of the “Windows Weekly” podcast on the TWiT network.

Check out the podcast which is focused on community engagements, personal branding, making connections, and much more. The transcript of the interview is available here.

Microsoft MVP 2019-2020 Renewal

I’m so Thankful, honored, and excited to receive the above email from the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award team confirming my award renewal for the 2018-2019 year. This is my second consecutive award since receiving my first one on January 1, 2017. It has been a wonderful, exciting, fun, challenging, and rewarding experience with endless opportunities.

The MVP award has provided me with some great opportunities in terms of my career growth, skill development, and avenues to give back and help others in the IT Professional community. I have been invited to speak at conferences such as Microsoft Ignite (Orlando 2017 & 2018), MVP Community Connections (Boston and New York City), TechMentor, IT/Dev Connections, MMSMOA, user groups, various webinars, as well as opportunities to guest blog, join technical expert panelist, review technical books, test and evaluate software, provide technical expertise, guest speak on podcasts, community reporter at Microsoft Ignite 2017, community engagement specialist at various events, and much more.

This is my 3rd MVP Award and I am very grateful and appreciative for it and for the various opportunities provided to me over time. Thank you very much to each and every one of you for making me successful in my efforts as a MVP, IT Professional, and community contributor, and for providing me with the valuable resources and networking opportunities. Thank you!

MVP Profile

Microsoft MVP 2018-2019 Renewal

I’m so Thankful, honored, and excited to receive the above email from the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award team confirming my award renewal for the 2018-2019 year. This is my second consecutive award since receiving my first one on January 1, 2017. It has been a wonderful, exciting, fun, challenging, and rewarding experience with endless opportunities.

The MVP award has provided some great opportunities for me in terms of my career growth, skill development, and avenues to give back and help others in the IT Professional community. I have been invited to speak at conferences such as Microsoft Ignite (Orlando 2017), MVP Community Connections (Boston and New York City), TechMentor, IT/Dev Connections, MMSMOA, user groups, webinars, as well as opportunities to guest blog, expert panelist, review technical books, test and evaluate software, provide technical expertise, guest podcaster, community reporter at Ignite 2017, community engagement specialist at various events, and much more.

I am very grateful and appreciative for my MVP award and various opportunities provided to me over time. Thank you very much to each and every one of you for making me successful in my efforts as a MVP, IT Professional, and community contributor, and for providing me with the valuable resources and networking opportunities. Thank you!

#2 Week 3 – Top 1000 Tech Bloggers

On January 23, 2018, I received an email from Rise Social Media with the weekly listing of social media influencers and their respective rankings among 1000 Tech bloggers. Typically, I quickly scan the email and delete it, but this time in the week 3 newsletter, something caught my eye and it was this message:

Well done to this week’s top three Antonio GrassoHarjit Dhaliwal, and Dave Winer ?

I did a double take and clicked on the week 3 link and confirmed that I had moved up to the number 2 spot from way down the list. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to share the news with my friends and followers on social media, which is the source of my influence. I remember being just as excited when I made it to the 14th spot on week 43 in 2017 (see image below).

I was first introduced to Rise Global by my friend Richard Hay, who is well respected in the technology industry where he covers valuable news, reviews, and many other tech related matters as a tech journalist. Rich has taught me how to use several useful tools, helped me with some automation techniques, as well as shared some insightful strategies which in turn has made me successful with my social media work. We also had the opportunity to work together as the official social media journalists for the IT/Dev Connections Conference held in San Francisco in October 2017. We are looking forward to do the same at IT/Dev Connection 2018 in Dallas.

And then we have my friends Christian Buckley and Vlad Catrinescu, who are great contributors in the tech community and powerhouse Microsoft MVPs. These guys make Rise Global status ranking fun and exciting to take part in. We have a running joke and a friendly competition between us, which often involves some fun teasing to keep things challenging. We are rooting for each other to get to the top spot, and then we can call it a collective success. It will happen sooner than later!

As an IT Professional, I enjoy social media quite a bit and have a knack for it. I have developed some strong skills in this respect which has allowed me to contribute to the community in various ways from helping IT Professionals with valuable information and resources to keeping commuters safe during their daily travels. My social media activities have provided many wonderful opportunities which include travel, representation at large conferences, member of various committees, access to privileged groups, speaking engagements, contributions to technical newsletters, reviewer for products, books, and software, and some consulting work to name a few. I am humbled and grateful for these opportunities and to everyone who has helped me and continue to support me. Thank you, Thank you!

Well, I’m not naive to know that my reign on Rise Global will not last for long but I did get my five minutes of fame for what it’s worth. If you have somehow come across this blog post, please feel free to follow my social media channels, subscribe to my blog, YouTube channels, and podcasts. You’ll enjoy the information I share. Thanks.

About Me: Harjit Dhaliwal
Blog: www.harjit.us
Twitter: @Hoorge
Twitter: @TechKonnect
Facebook: TechKonnect
LinkedIn: Me
YouTube: Harjit
YouTube: Harjit & Prayer Show
Podcast: PowerShell News
Instagram: Me
Microsoft: MVP
Microsoft Ignite: Speaker
Microsoft: TechCommunity

IT Dev Connections Community Engagement Expert

I’m thrilled and honored to be invited by IT/Dev Connections to help manage their social and community engagements at the conference in San Francisco from October 23-26, 2017. IT/Dev conference is a deep dive highly technical conference for developers and IT Professionals and the speakers are top notch world experts. Here’s the announcement of my engagement on their blog.

Follow me on Twitter and IT/Dev Connections for updates, news, info, and announcements from the conference and more!

#ITDevConnections

Microsoft Ignite (2017) Community Reporter

I’m happy to announce that I’m honored to be selected as a Community Reporter for Microsoft Ignite at this year’s conference in Orlando from September 25-29, 2017. As a Community Reporter, I’ll be helping to bring the IT Pro community together in a series of interviews, recordings, live shows, social media, and much more. You will find my introduction and a Q&A on the Microsoft Tech Community site.

The Community Reporters are meticulously selected by Microsoft Ignite particularly as community influencers, Microsoft MVP, technical expertise, strong engagements with the IT Pro community, leadership, past conference planning experiences, and other unknown factors which is probably on a need to know only basis. 🙂

Here’s the announcement from Microsoft Ignite:

This year at Microsoft Ignite, we’re excited to have 10 MVPs serving as Community Reporters. Leading up to Orlando, they’ll be sharing tips and tricks for navigating Microsoft Ignite, what to pack, and a look at their session schedules. During Microsoft Ignite, the Community Reporters will be your go-to’s for live event updates. If you aren’t attending the conference this year, these reporters will be a great way to see what’s happening on-the-ground in Orlando. Check out their introductions and follow them on social to stay up-to-date on all things Microsoft Ignite!

I have the pleasure of being on the team of reporters comprised of a top notch crew (some of whom are good friends who I have known for a few years), and they are:

Check out their profiles, follow their social channels, and feel free to engage with any one of us. Thank you to the awesome folks at Microsoft Ignite and Microsoft Tech Community teams for the great opportunity. See you in Orlando!

Follow @Hoorge on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter to stay current on technology related matters.

Speaking Gig At Microsoft Ignite 2017

I was recently approached by the Microsoft Ignite team to submit some session topics for this year’s conference in Orlando taking place from September 25-29. As an MVP in the “Windows and Devices For IT” category, the team was interested in the Windows platform as I’m regarded as a subject matter expert in that arena, although I tend to work quite a bit with Systems Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr).

Well, today (August 18, 2017) I received confirmation from Microsoft Ignite that I have been accepted to speak at the conference covering two theater sessions. This couldn’t have come at a better time since I have plans to be in the area for some personal family activities, and it’s a great way to kill two birds or maybe three with one stone. My first session, “Hey Mom I’ll Fix Your Computer” (THR1073) will be on Monday, September 25 at 1:45PM at OCCC South, Expo Theater #7, and I will cover how you can solve computer issues and provide tech support remotely with a built-in tool in Windows 10.

My second session “Cool Microsoft Edge Tips and Tricks” (THR1072) will take place at 5:05PM at the same location and on Monday as well. In this session, I will show you how you can improve your browsing experience by leveraging some features in Microsoft Edge. If you are attending Microsoft Ignite in Orlando this year, feel free to sign up and check out my sessions. In case you haven’t heard of me, here’s my profile! 🙂

I am truly honored and grateful for this amazing opportunity to speak at the largest Microsoft conference in the world and I hope I meet everyone’s expectations and will do a great job. A big Thank you to Microsoft for this awesome opportunity, and to the MVP team and to my ever so appreciative IT Pro peers for your on-going support and encouragement always. Thank you Thank you Thanks you! Time to rock #MVPJit!

Follow me (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.