Mark Carriere is a Management Architect with Manitoba Hydro in Winnipeg where he spends much of his time designing and enhancing the corporate SMS and Terminal Server environments. He is also the President of the Canadian SMS User Group, and administers their virtual user group at SMSUG.ca.
Quite often he'll be found in MyITForum and the Microsoft newsgroups, answering as many questions as possible.
Not being a native flat lander, he spends his free time climbing ice, rock, and mountains in the western part of the country.
What does being an MVP mean to you?
It’s really an honor being an MVP. Regardless of the title, I get more than enough satisfaction getting a “thanks” from anyone I can lend some assistance to. To have been nominated by my peers, and awarded by Microsoft is, well, “really cool!” Beyond the honour part, I also believe there is some responsibility that comes with it. The MVP award program provides us with access to the Microsoft SMS product team, so I’m always in the community in newsgroups, user forums, and passing on your issues, concerns and suggestions to the Microsoft folks.
If you could ask Steve Ballmer one question about Microsoft, what would it be?
I certainly don’t know him personally, but Steve’s a really great guy. Every time I’ve seen him speak I walk away, more excited, and more motivated to do more. So my question, would be, “Who motivates you?”
What do you think the best software ever written was?
Notepad J. What?!? You say. I can’t think of very many things I haven’t written in it, or used it for. It’s so simple, and straightforward, allowing to just get things done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all over new technology, but it’s just one of those things that was just done right, the first time.
If you were the manager of Windows Server System - SMS, what would you change?
The name, oh wait, they’re doing that. Actually, I’d love to see a Web based tool instead of using the MMC. I, and many others I’m sure have taken advantage of the SDK to help develop our own Web based tools to interact with SMS, and I think this type of interface would be very welcomed by fellow SMS admins.
What are the best features/improvements of Windows Server System - SMS?
I’ve been with SMS since version 1.2, and have seen it improve leaps and bounds. For me, a couple of notable feature improvements would be software updates and OSD. Patching has vastly improved in both ease of use and product support. With Configuration Manager just around the corner, my “pick of the week” however is the new and improved built in Operating System Deployment. I think everyone (from newbies, to experienced BDD users) will really like it, and will take advantage of it especially when it comes time to do their corporate Microsoft Vista upgrades.
What was the last book you read?
In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien. Not my typical style of reading material, but it was given to me, and takes place in an area not far from where I live. I have to say, I quite enjoyed it.
What music CD do you recommend?
Do people still buy CDs? Hmm, going back through the old collection I’d say one of my favorites was Nimrod, by Green Day. More specifically, Track 17 “Time of your Life”. For some reason, it just gets my blood pumping.
What makes you a great MVP?
Ha-ha. You tell me. Have I been available to answer your questions in a forum or newsgroup? Have I shown you something new, or a more efficient method? I’m all about getting the job done right. Band-aids belong in the medical kit, not in the computing environment. Like other MVP’s, I’m totally passionate about what I do, and am eager, and driven to always learn more. I really like the idea of community, and the sharing of ideas. I’m always willing to spend extra time, or attempt to simulate users problems in the lab to try and come up with the answer, and if I can’t help you, I’ll always try my best to at least point you in the right direction.
What is in your computer bag?
I like to stay remote so I just carry a wallet (Pen, notepad, Blackberry, and 2Gig USB drive). My bag is too large to move so stays in the lab. It contains too many servers, switches, routers, and gadgets to count. It’s really the ultimate “sandbox”.
What is the best thing that has happened since you have become an MVP?
While there have been many great things that have happened since I first became an MVP several years ago, by far the best thing has been the access to the product team members. Microsoft employees really do care, and act upon all feedback we provide from the community.
What is your motto?
It’s an old one, but “Think outside the box”.
Who is your hero?
That’s a pretty big question. Of course every guy and girl who “puts it on the line” is my hero, but I specifically don’t have one. I like the word “inspire”. Who has inspired me? On a personal note, I’d have to say he’s one of the craziest guys I’ve ever known, Lyle Rotter. He got me into rock and ice climbing many years ago. I tell you, when you’re putting your own thing on the line, nothing else matters. It’s my way of letting go of things, and clearing up my head for new challenges.
What does success mean to you?
To me, success simply means happiness. If I can accomplish at least one thing during the day that leaves me with a happy thought (business and/or personal), that’s success.