Welcome to this week’s Monday Interview with a Wiki NInja!
Our interview is with Nitin Mehrotra!
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?
I am a Senior Writer in the STB – CSI organization. I work from the Redmond campus and my major focus areas now are BizTalk Server and BizTalk Services. I also help double-up as a Lead Writer for both these products and work on planning all the content deliverables that we ship for these two products.
What are your big projects right now?
Both the products that I work on are at key stages for the respective release cycles. BizTalk Server 2013 is the next big release of BizTalk Server with focus on extending BizTalk Server connectivity with Azure components. BizTalk Services will be the first footprints of BizTalk Server on Azure.
What is TechNet Wiki for? Who is it for?
To sum it up in just a few words, TechNet Wiki is the WikiPedia for Microsoft technologies and the other technologies it can be extended to. It’s a great place to share your knowledge about a product or technology. You could use it as a forum to just share your knowledge for others to use, or just “seed” an idea into the Community and have others contribute to it. One way or the other, it helps build a great repository of content that is “alive”. Alive, because someone somewhere might still be contributing to make it better. I recently met an MVP during a conference and he was very correct in saying that the TechNet wiki is addictive!
What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?
As a Writer, my aim is to make things easier for BizTalk Server customers either through content, videos, samples, etc. While these are all great means of sharing information, there is a process around each of these and it may take time to get those out on the Web and to the customers. However, there are some content pieces that do not need to be complete and exhaustive when they are published. For example, a troubleshooting paper. There’s never an exhaustive list of issues that you might have documented. Someone can still run into an issue which was never encountered before and never documented. For such things, I find the TechNet Wiki perfect. You can put whatever you have on the Wiki and let others use it, while you or someone else in another part of the globe is contributing to make that topic even better. That’s exactly what I did with Typed Polling with WCF-SQL Adapter: Best Practices and Troubleshooting Tips.
What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?
I already touched on one of the biggest benefits from the Wiki, nurturing and improving the content. The other big one is people interaction and just like other community-driven forums, it helps put faces to names, albeit with a difference. During a recent customer summit, I ran into individuals who had either contributed to or commented on my Wiki articles. Even though you would be meeting them for the first time, you strike an instant rapport just because you had interacted earlier. These are important contacts to be nurtured because in true sense, that’s how the community grows stronger, and the Wiki helps us in doing that.
On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?
One example that comes to my mind is BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki. Before this article, there were lot of other BizTalk Server articles that were published on the Wiki. However, there was no easy way to trace them other than searching. I wanted to have a “landing page” of sorts on the Wiki that could then lead to other BizTalk Server articles either on the Wiki or elsewhere. So, I created this page with a few links to topics that I knew. Then I started working on some other projects and did not work with the wiki for a while. After a few months, I just stumbled upon the topic and was surprised to see how the number of links had grown manifolds and people from the community had contributed with links to other great articles related to BizTalk Server. That’s the power of the TechNet Wiki!!
What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?
One of my favorite articles is Invoke ReSTful Web Services with BizTalk Server 2010. This articles is a great example of community-driven content, end to end. The idea/request for this article came from the BizTalk Server community. I wanted to write about something that the customers wanted to see and what they thought was missing. I asked this question to the community through my blog/forum and BizTalk Server + REST was the top request. So, that’s where it started. After that, people from the community sent me whatever little they had done around BizTalk Server + REST so I didn’t have to do all the groundwork. I already had a start. Then once the content was ready, I published it to the Wiki for others to contribute/improve the content and shape it the way they like. So, that was a really great experience.
Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?
There are so many talented individuals in the BizTalk Server community so it would be difficult to pick a few. But yes, I would like to give a shout out to Steef-Jan Wiggers and Tord G. Nordahl for their contribution to the BizTalk Server community and the Wiki. These are two fantastic guys!
Thanks to Nitin for the interview!
Does anyone know of Nitin’s blog or TechNet Wiki articles? Anything you’ve read that has been helpful? Any additional questions for him?
Jump on in! The Wiki is warm.
– Ninja Ed