Posted by: Matt Gervais
I’m very pleased to announce the recipient of our February 2013 “Profiling the best Exchange Server professionals” award – Michel de Rooij!
If you follow anything and everything Exchange Server-related on Twitter like I do, you’re sure to have seen any one of Michel’s countless contributions to the community.
- Michel participates in the terrific UC architects podcasts (make sure to catch these – seriously).
- He frequently blogs on Exchange and related matters.
- As mentioned, he’s all over Twitter with helpful tweets.
- He contributes helpful scripts.
This week, I was able to email with Michel in order to congratulate him on his award and ask him a few questions:
How did you begin working with Exchange Server and related technologies?
I’m actually a late bloomer when compared to the other great Exchange folks out there. I was involved in the migration/deployment scripting business for some time, but in 2004, I got the opportunity to join a global team responsible for defining and developing the email and collaboration (Exchange-based) standard at a large international banking and insurance company. This project required thoughtful planning. It also required me to dive deep into the product in order to understand it backwards and forwards.
Part of the job was also developing and maintaining a fully automated deployment tool (a set of scripts and HTML application as GUI) that allowed implementers to deploy Exchange using predefined building blocks. Long story short, it was a great learning experience and I decided to stay with Exchange and development.
What’s your favorite part of working with Exchange Server and related technologies?
My background in software development has proved invaluable as PowerShell and scripting knowledge is becoming more important every day. Scripts are not only important in completing tasks, but also in accomplishing them faster and more efficiently.
While I like working with Exchange or related technologies like Active Directory, at the end of the day I get the most joy from helping others. This might mean helping them perform a task or solve a problem. This allows them to do a better job, do it faster and do it consistently. Depending on the complexity of the issue, I usually begin by setting out workflows or pseudo-code on a piece of paper and translating it to a PowerShell script.
If [the scripts] are considered potentially useful to the Exchange community, I work to make them general-purpose and fool proof before publishing. Note that developing a robust script shouldn’t be underestimated; it requires lots of testing and additional code.
What are you excited to work on this year and why?
I’m looking forward to all the challenges that are sure to arise after the Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 1 release. Besides that, I’m working on some exciting side projects, like PowerShell-related workshops. I also plan on continuing to contribute to the Exchange communities and projects like the UC Architects podcasts. I also hope to to finally meet some overseas peers in person this year as well.
Please join me in congratulating Michel by tweeting this post. And don’t forget to mail your nominations for our March (and onwards) winners.
Until next time,