We're continuing our Monday series, "Interview with a Wiki Ninja!" Today's ninja is Steef-Jan Wiggers!
Steef-Jan Wiggers (Profile)
Microsoft BizTalk MVP, Microsoft Partner (Ordina)
What Steef-Jan has to say about Forums and Wiki is very valuable...
"...on BizTalk Forums [I] noticed that some questions keep reoccurring. Answers of some of these questions are a great starting point for writing a TechNet Wiki article... Through Forums you can announce Wiki articles, and people will become aware that there are more resources available to aid in resolving their issues... TechNet Wiki can complement forums in my view and vice versa." - Steef-Jan Wiggers
"TechNet Wiki offers (like Wikipedia) a wealth of information and can be of great value in people’s jobs and businesses when working with Microsoft products and technology." - Steef-Jan Wiggers
"New contributors can view featured articles to have a look and feel of how these have become great articles... Share your experience and knowledge about [a particular Microsoft technology], something that you found out that's useful, a best practice, [or] a different approach in implementation." - Steef-Jan Wiggers
Steef-Jan has been a BizTalk MVP since 2010. His certifications are: MCSD, MCSD.NET, MCSA, MCDBA, MCAD, MCTS: BizTalk Server 2006, BizTalk Server 2006 R2, and BizTalk Server 2010. Steef-Jan lives in Holland, in the Netherlands. You can check out his publications here.
Ed: Who are you, and what do you do?
Steef-Jan: I'm an Architect at Ordina ICT in the Netherlands. Ordina is a specialist knowledge provider in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg) and predominatly active in the public, financial, and industrial sector. My job involves working with customers on integration solutions with Microsoft Technology like .NET (WCF), SQL, and BizTalk Server. I architect, design solutions, perform audits, guide installation and configurations of BizTalk environments, and consultancy. Within the Business Unit Application Integration and Middleware (AIM), I lead a group of around eight professionals regarding knowledge management and am responsible for sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, planning meetings, and facilitating courses. Besides knowledge management I am also managing the Line-Of-Business (LoB) BizTalk for Ordina Microsoft Solutions in the Netherlands to create/maintain the LoB year plan, coordinate contacts with BizTalk community (BTUG) in the Netherlands and Sweden, and partnership with Microsoft for BizTalk.
I am a Microsoft BizTalk MVP (https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/profile=CDD45B0A-BB05-44F2-A674-B7874CA4D185) since July 2010. I speak regularly at BizTalk communities and public innovation meetings organized by Ordina. I have written multiple articles for Dutch Magazine and BizTalk Hotrod. I have been blogging the past five years now at http://soa-thoughts.blogspot.com/, mainly about BizTalk, and a little about Windows Azure. I am an active BizTalk Forums member and moderator, TechNet Wiki author, and Code Gallery contributor. In 2011, I did technical reviewing of the "BizTalk Server 2010 Patterns" book by Dan Rosanova (http://www.packtpub.com/microsoft-biztalk-server-2010-patterns/book), which is published by PackT. I myself am currently writing the "BizTalk Server 2010 Cookbook" for PackT publishing (http://www.packtpub.com/biztalk-server-2010-for-developers-and-administrators-cookbook/book).
Ed: That's awesome! How did you become an MVP of BizTalk Server? Do you have any suggestions for other community members who hope to eventually become MVPs?
Steef-Jan: I have a passion for technology and BizTalk in particular. I started working with the products in 2005, and after a year I decided to share my experience and knowledge through a blog. I started blogging on blogspot.com, where I created a blog called “SOA Thoughts, EAI Challenges”. SOA was a hot topic at that moment and Microsoft organized conferences like SOA & BPM, where BizTalk was featured as Microsoft's offering for SOA and BPM. BizTalk in my view can be a right fit as an enabler for SOA with Microsoft Technology. I visited the last three conferences held at Microsoft Campus in 2006, 2007, and 2009. With every visit I shared my experience through blog posts and with my colleagues. Soon after the first conference in 2006 I started writing articles for Dutch magazines and did presentations, sharing my gained insights to fellow BizTalk professionals.
After writing articles and blogging I started helping people out in BizTalk forums. In June 2010 I was nominated for MVP and July 1st I was awarded. Filled with joy, excitement, and appreciation, I became even more active on forums, writing more articles, and presenting nationally and internationally for BizTalk User Groups. Being an MVP gave me a boost and more opportunities to share my knowledge and experience with the community. For instance, beginning of this year, PackT publishing gave me the opportunity to review a BizTalk book, and even the opportunity to write one. So I started writing a BizTalk Cookbook and it is due to be released the beginning next year.
The great thing about Microsoft MSDN Forums, Blogs, Code Gallery, and TechNet Wiki is that you can share your knowledge and experience. Recently, I even started being active on Code Gallery and TechNet Wiki sharing code samples and writing Wiki articles. The general message that's coming from me is to share your knowledge with passion, dedication, and persistence. At the end of the day you will be appreciated for your efforts, and it can lead to becoming a well-respected community member like an MVP.
Ed: That's a great perspective. Thank you! What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?
Steef-Jan: A great benefit of creating articles for TechNet Wiki is that it complements and enhances the MSDN library in such a way that I can, for instance, point customers to these articles in case they need to know what BizTalk Server 2010 is and what it can mean for them. Articles in Wiki pages can reference the MSDN Library or vice versa, complementing each other. I can point co-workers to these pages if they need guidance or background information on certain topics, for example, what other tools for BizTalk are available besides the ones out-of-the box and how I can leverage them. TechNet Wiki offers (like Wikipedia) a wealth of information and can be of great value in people’s jobs and businesses when working with Microsoft products and technology.
Steef-Jan: What got me interested in TechNet Wiki was my wife. She works at Bioengineer, and they created an internal wiki. I saw her devotion to creating wiki pages, and I felt like I want to try that too. I noticed that Microsoft offered TechNet Wiki with similar capabilities as the wiki platform my wife was working on. I started writing one article, and before I knew it, I started the next one. I am happy Microsoft offers a way to contribute information, knowledge, and experience through Wiki and by enhancing its own MSDN Library.
Ed: On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?
Steef-Jan: So far I have worked a little with Ed Price on the BizTalk Server 2010 article. Ed initiated the article, and I wrote it with some guidance. I hope in the future to collaborate with some community members with the same interests in integration with Microsoft technology and BizTalk Server.
Ed: Hey, that's me! I've certainly enjoyed collaborating with you! How has #TNWiki complemented your work on the Forums?
Steef-Jan: In the last two years I have been very active on BizTalk Forums and noticed that some questions keep reoccurring. Answers of some of these questions are a great starting point for writing a TechNet Wiki article. In the article you can provide more (background) information as more effort and energy is put into it. Through Forums you can announce Wiki articles, and people will become aware that there are more resources available to aid in resolving their issues or to find guidance in delivering a solution. TechNet Wiki can complement forums in my view and vice versa.
Ed: You’ve been cranking out some fantastic #TNWiki articles the last few weeks. What are your favorite articles you’ve contributed?
Steef-Jan: My favorite article I very much enjoyed writing is BizTalk Server 2010 (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/biztalk-server-2010.aspx), because the latest Wiki articles only gave details about BizTalk 2009, and I felt an update would be nice. Another article I liked doing was BizTalk Server 2010 – Tools (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/5208.aspx). It describes and lists all the tools available for BizTalk 2010 to enable benchmarking, performing health checks, and to document BizTalk environments, aid in troubleshooting, testing, and deploying BizTalk solutions, and so on.
Ed: Do you have any tips for new Wiki contributors?
Steef-Jan: Writing Wiki articles is fun, and there are already many articles out there, but there is room for a lot more. New contributors can view featured articles to have a look and feel of how these have become great articles. I also recommend that newcomers write about what drives/motivates them when using a particular Microsoft technology or product; share your experience and knowledge about it, something that you found out that's useful, a best practice, a different approach in implementation, and so on.
Ed: In conclusion, I really love this picture painted of the accomplishments and dedication an MVP has. Steef-Jan has excellent points about how the Library, Forums, Blogs, and Wiki all complement each other, meeting different but necessary needs.
Do you have a question for Steef-Jan Wiggers? Leave a comment!