Meet Mike Rissen, one of Centriq Corporate Technical Trainers! Mike focuses on Azure and .NET training but is skilled in different IT areas across the board. Find out why Mike decided to join Centriq, why he thinks Azure is beneficial in a professional environment, and why Azure completely blows his mind.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INTO TECHNICAL TRAINING.
I was already at about the 10-year mark of my career when I experienced a difficult time. I found myself already an old dog being forced to learn new tricks. I didn’t handle it well. It almost made me change careers, but I got past it. Though I could not seem to just absorb this new way of programming they were forcing on me all at once, I could take it one piece at a time; and that is exactly what I did. It eventually started a campaign in my life to always pursue more knowledge and to always make myself better – as a programmer or otherwise, one small improvement at a time. When I became a manager, I started pushing training and teaching moments onto my developers when I could, and this became the favorite part of my job. When the technical trainer position at Centriq opened it seemed like a perfect match, but honestly, I did not even think I had a chance. The rest is history.
WHAT AREA OF IT DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN?
I have always been a developer. My typical experience with hardware mimics the time I managed to wrap a name badge sticker, specially designed for laser printers around the print roller of our very first laser printer! Hardware is just not my thing, but I have ventured over to the dark side a few times when required. At Centriq, I teach anything .NET or Azure with a little bit of SQL Querying thrown in.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CLASS TO TEACH AT CENTRIQ?
For me, it really does not depend on the course. I enjoy them all, even though they are starkly different. My favorite are the ones where there is great interaction with my students. I feel like the weeks where there are questions, jokes and the sharing of stories end up being just that much more beneficial.
WHY IS IT BENEFICIAL TO LEARN MICROSOFT AZURE IN A PROFESSIONAL TRAINING ENVIRONMENT?
Many years ago, I got called into the CIO’s office one afternoon for a mysterious meeting. I had no idea what it would be about or who else would be there. In the end, it was just me <gulp!>. It started off with just one question: What can you tell me about the cloud? My answer? Nothing! I knew almost nothing about it. His motivation for asking was simple. As a CIO, he did not want to get caught with a question from the Governor or some Legislator asking, “What are we doing in the cloud?” and have not a thing to say. Here I was getting caught in a very similar situation! I promised I would make it my goal to know more and wrongly advised him that most of what we did would not be a good fit for the cloud. My research was slow and painful because most of the examples and tutorials I found were outdated and did not even work!
That is why it is beneficial! Developer knowledge about the cloud is woefully inadequate. With all the pressure to get our work done on time and on budget, there is little time to work through examples, risking the loss of so much time following some tutorial that doesn’t even end up working at all! That’s where I come in. Two to three years ago, my experience in the classroom was that most developers knew nothing about the cloud! Today’s developers might know the basics, but when we really get into the deep details of what Azure can do at almost every level you might need and we look at the tools available to make the task of managing those resources more straightforward, my students can leave with at the very least a much better sense of insight into the beautiful thing that is Microsoft Azure – and perhaps a bit of excitement to get back to the office and start harnessing that power in their daily work-lives. Most importantly, they also get access to demo projects that can serve as foundational code to jump-start their projects. Code that works. It must work because I use it in the classroom; and in the event some change in a release causes it to not work, I fix it right in front of them.
WHERE DO YOU RECOMMEND SOMEONE STARTS IF THEY WERE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT AZURE?
For Developers: I recommend AZ-204. This 5-day class will walk you through a great deal of information about Azure. I think it is a nice, rounded course that gives you a broad foundation of knowledge.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIP/TRICK YOU CAN USE WITH MICROSOFT AZURE?
The Azure CLI completely rocks me. I am not a mouser, and Azure CLI is a simple command-line utility. No mouse needed! A web-based dashboard app like the Azure portal where you have to click and go through endless wizards to complete resource creation and management gives me agita! I can create a simple PowerShell script with a few simple commands and accomplish the exact same thing without ever touching the mouse.
Are you ready to sign up for your next class with Mike? Contact us or fill out the form and one of our Customer Success Specialists will help you get started!