ITProGuru Events Newsletter 2016-02 Iowa Caucus app, Free Azure Architect Training, Talent Gap and MUCH MORE

Previously: Jan Edition,  Feb Edition, … View Online Current Version at

ITProGuru Events ITProGuru Newsletter Header

Microsoft Official Newsletter


Edition: 2016 Vol 2

Jump to: ♦ TechNet EventsOnlineCommunity EventsThird Party EventsSubscribe NowWhat’s Next ♦ Events by Regions coming soon ♦ New Way to Communicate2016 Many New EventsTalent GapTechNet On Tour Cloud InfrastructureCertification Jump Start Coming SoonBrainstorming WorkshopsAwesomeness

Featured Awesomeness
♦ ♦ ♦

* Behind the Scenes of the 2016 Iowa Caucus App – Secure, Scalable, High Performance, Awesome App, Awesome Execution – Capturing more than 90% of the caucus results within three hours in a secure, accurate and trusted manner is an amazing accomplishment. Watch the behind the scenes video at
Great Free Training on Becoming an Azure Architect. Are you interested in becoming certified in architecting Microsoft Azure solutions? This is a must view video series!
POWERSHELL: GUI Form Using PowerShell Add Panel, Label, Edit box, Combo Box, List Box, CheckBox and More!!! – How create and work with GUI Forms using PowerShell. Shows how to create Forms, add labels, text boxes, panels, combo boxes, Pick Lists, and more. Shows how to populate all fields including picklists and combobox lists and work with properties. Shows how to populate and work with array objects. Uses Azure commands to populate list data. Shows how to work with the results from the dialog and the changes made to the form objects.
Most Events Free; All Subject to Change

Microsoft TechNet
♦ ♦ ♦

Cloud Infrastructure 02/2016

2/24 Philadelphia, PA
Th 3/3 San Francisco (Reactor), CA
Tu 3/8 Edina, MN
Tu 3/29 New York, NY

TechNet Virtual Conference 03/2016

Live Virtual Event / March 1-3, 2016

3 days of technology, inspiration and fun. See what’s new and what’s next for IT Pros. Over three fast-paced days, you’ll be challenged, excited, intrigued, and inspired. We’ll explore the latest developments and disruptive technologies that are transforming industries and re-shaping how we live, work and play.

* Day 1: Tu 3/1, 9am – 12pm PST    Inspiring IT Pros

* Day 2: We 3/2, 9am–4pm PST    Window 10 and Mobility

* Day 3: Th 3/3, 9am–4pm PST    Infrastructure, on-premises and in the cloud Registration

Enterprise Mobility 03/2016

Tu 3/15 Atlanta GA
Tu 3/22 Boston MA
Tu 3/22 Irving, TX
Th 3/31 Mountain View, CA
We 3/23 Chicago (Down Town), IL
Th 3/24 New York, NY

Hybrid Cloud 04/2016

Tu 3/15 Reston, VA
Th 3/31 Austin, TX
Tu 4/5 Cambridge, MA
Tu 4/5 Seattle, WA
We 4/13 Atlanta, GA
Registration opening soon

70-534 Certification Jump Start 05/2016

NOW Pre-requisite Online Training
May 2016 Online – Get Notified!
July/Aug 2016 City Near You! – Get Notified!
Free Book to Attendees Get Notified!

Featured Online Training
♦ ♦ ♦


Download Windows 10 and Create USB Thumb Drive for Booting to Installation PLUS Data Migration
Windows Server 2016 Preview; Storage Spaces Direct Overview
Step-By-Step Creating a Virtual machine running Windows in the NEW Azure portal
Raw Tech – real raw technical knowledge
♣ Gadget Guru Series – Coming Soon
♣ Expert Insights Series – Coming Soon

ITProGuru Blog

Behind the Scenes of the 2016 Iowa Caucus App – Secure, Scalable, High Performance, Awesome App, Awesome Execution
Step-By-Step How-To Migrate users and user Data from XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8 TO Windows 10 Using Microsoft Tool USMT User State Migration Toolkit
TechNet Radio: (Part 1) Deploying Windows 10: Deployment and Servicing Options
Rejjee Startup Azure Incredible Story
GUI Form Using PowerShell Add Panel, Label, Edit box, Combo Box, List Box, CheckBox and More!!!

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Demo Course | Using Microsoft Official Course On-Demand
Windows 10 in the Enterprise
Secure the Cloud
Preparing Your Infrastructure for Windows 10

More Resources
♦ ♦ ♦

ITProGuru on Channel9
♥ TechNet Event Registration
Raw Tech on Channel9

Third Party Events
♦ ♦ ♦

Microsoft and Microsoft Partner

• Th 3/3 Getting Started with Azure Hands on Labs – Microsoft
• Mo 3/7 Data Science Workshop – PragmaticWorks Fee
• We 3/9 Experience the Possible with Windows and Office 365 – Microsoft & BlueMetal
• Th 3/17 Let’s dev this Web tour – Microsoft & MIT Ventureship
• Th 3/17 Become a digital business with the Internet of Your Things – Microsoft, BlueMetal, Intel
• We 3/23 Changing the Game with IoT & Advanced Analytics – BlueMetal
• Fr 4/13 Secure your Azure Investment Barracuda

Angelbeat (Multi-Vendor)

3/7 New Jersey
3/8 Stamford
3/9 New York City
3/10 Long Island
Many More


Easter Egg: BizSpark – Free Software and Azure Services for startups
Events Coming Soon

Community Events
♦ ♦ ♦

IT Pro Con NYC (Techstravaganza)

• FR 3/25 New York NY – IT Pro Con NY – Microsoft Office 1 Times Square

Advertise You Community Events Here by Joining Boston User Groups

Boston User Groups

February User Group Meetings:

• Mo 2/29 6p Manchester NH #APMUG Application Performance Monitoring UG• Mo 2/29 7p Boston Informal Android Developer Meetup

March User Group Meetings:

Wed 3/2 6p Cambridge, MA Windows BostonWed 3/2 7p Cambridge, MA MacTechGroupThu 3/3 3p Natick, MA FOSS User GroupThu 3/3 6p Waltham, MA Agile New EnglandThu 3/10 6p Cambridge, MA New England SQL Server User GroupMon 3/14 7p Boston, MA Android BostonWed 3/16 6:30p Cambridge, MA Boston Linux & Unix User GroupWed 3/16 7p Seekonk, MA IT-Pro User GroupMon 3/21 6p Boston, MA Android BostonWed March 23 6p Cambridge, MA Boston PHPMon 3/28 7p Boston, MA Boston Android

March Local Events:

Thu 3/17 Cambridge, MA How to Get Started Using SQL Server in AzureFri 3/18 Cambridge, MA SQL Performance Tuning and OptimizationSat 3/19 Cambridge, MA SQL Saturday•Many Boston User Groups – Coming soon

New Way to Communicate

ideabulb180As you requested, you are FINALLY receiving an email to update you on upcoming events J. You are receiving this message because you signed up at This is the first mailing of the ITProGuru Newsletter in a very, very long time. My sincere apologies to all that I have let down by stopping this newsletter. I am thrilled that I now have everything in place to make it active again. I am still working on getting permission to port the subscriptions from the various signups in the past into the new system.  It looks like people may need to opt-in again. These reports should start coming out on a monthly cadence so please pass along to others that may be interested. You can opt-in at any time using the new online registration. If at any time you want to be removed or manage your subscriptions, there will always be a link on the bottom of the message. More importantly though, if there are others that you think would also enjoy this information, you can direct them to the join page at This month’s newsletter does have some of the same content from the Jan Edition of the ITProGuru Newsletter. This is because the Jan Newsletter never got mailed out. It was simply posted on as a test for creating the newsletter template. Future editions will all have very different content with the exception of course of the events, which if advance notice is given, may land on the newsletter for more than one month.  Apologies again for this letter landing in your mailbox a good two weeks past when I originally anticipated.  In the coming weeks, I will get all the kinks in the process worked out.  In the coming months this message should land by the middle of the month.  I may move it to the beginning of the month at some point.

BaystateIntegratedTechnologyContact Dan Stolts dstolts@microsoft.com70-534 Book-Tile

What’s in this Newsletter?

Keep up with industry trends, how we should be thinking about our business, how technology changes coming will likely impact us and our business and plenty more.  Gain access to shortcuts in keeping up with technology, preparing yourself and your business for the future and much, much more. Did you know that Microsoft still does product “Launch Events”?  Did you know that Microsoft still does “TechNet Events”?  Did you know that Microsoft still does “IT-Camp Events”?  You may not realize it but if you have not gotten an invite lately it is simply because you have not been LUCKY!  Before today, Microsoft did not have an official “Events” newsletter so they had no way of letting you know what events are coming up.  What they did was simply buy a list of names based on some criteria, then email to that list to send out invites.  If you were lucky enough to be on the purchased list, you got an invite.  If not, well you never found out about it.  Don’t miss another Launch or TechNet event!  Subscribe Now!!

As you can see from this newsletter you will get tons of information on upcoming events. Most will be focused in the US. The Microsoft Events will be the highlight but the we will also provide information for online events, community events and even third party events.

  1. Stories, articles and opportunities dedicated for newsletter distribution
  2. Local and National ITPro 1st Party Events
  3. Local ITPro 3rd Party (Partner) Events
  4. Local ITPro Community (North East US initially)
  5. Online events
  6. MVA content
  7. Channel 9 content
  8. Interesting Blog Content
  9. Useful advertising: Need to pay for keeping newsletter going; but will be very limited
  10. Occasional Easter Egg; sometimes learning, sometimes tangible value J
  11. More Features coming J

In the first few editions the non-Microsoft events will focus on the North East US. In the very near future, I hope and expect to expand to cover the entire US. In just a few seconds you can scroll through the headings to find things that are of interest. If you would like to provide feedback, please feel free to do so at The layout of the message should be easy to consume regardless of platform. I will work in the coming months to improve the layout for small screen sizes. Events & Online content Stories and other valuable information to the IT population will be included as well. Our goal is to give everyone in IT some reason to subscribe to and obtain value from the newsletter. Many outside the coverage area of the US will likely find the online content and stories are plenty of value and worthy of a few minutes each month to look it over. There is a Jump List at the top of the newsletter so if there is one particular area you want to get to, you can dive right in without scrolling though the things you do not care about.

2016 Brings MANY New Events

We have many event series coming up in the next 6 months:

  • Cloud Infrastructure (Azure) will be on tap for Feb/Mar. Highlighted Below
  • Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility Management will be delivered in March and highlighted in the March Newsletter.
  • Hybrid Cloud, where we dive into Windows Server 2016 is coming in April. Will start in March and conclude in April. Will highlight event in the March Newsletter.
  • Certification Jump Start on the 70-534 Architecting Azure Solutions Certification. All attendees are expected to take home the Microsoft Press book. *Pending sponsorship. This is one you WILL NOT WANT TO MISS! See description below
  • Many More Adhoc events will happen too but dates are TBD

The Talent Gap

Some of the same challenges CIO’s face today have been the top challenges of the last four years running. Gartner has released their 2016 Top CIO Priorities and Challenges ( and yet again talent, or lack thereof, tops the list. “Talent has now been recognized globally as the single biggest issue standing in the way of CIOs achieving their objectives.” Topping the talent gap is:

  • Information /Analytics
  • Business Knowledge Acumen
  • Security and Risk Management

“Talent has now been recognized globally as the single biggest issue standing in the way of CIOs achieving their objectives.”
To help combat this talent gap our speakers will deliver relevant content at all of our upcoming events. See events list to the left.
Thought Leadership:
I have talked to many business executives over the years and this talent gap has actually been a recurring problem for quite some time. There is a huge gap in the technology talent. This is largely because technology changes so rapidly and people do not make it a priority to keep up with technology. By subscribing to this newsletter you are taking the first step to overcoming the technology talent gap. The second step is acting on it. Make it a point to set time aside each week (eventually you will do daily) sign up for some live events, check out Channel 9 and Microsoft Virtual Academy. There are links to an endless supply of technology talent growth opportunities in this newsletter. The biggest challenge in fact is not the technology talent gap but the business talent gap and how to decipher business challenges and create business solutions by leveraging technology. You may be thinking, “wait, I can do that. It is what I do all day every day”. Really? What I have found is most people in IT are far more tactical than strategic. The business and business units need us to be more strategic. Are your business unit leaders coming to you with problems or requests for services? If it is the later, I have news for you… you need to read this article intently. In doing so, we need to learn how to TRANSLATE the business problem into a TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION. This is harder than it might seem. First of all, translating is hard for us humans. It is like solving word problems. You have to translate the problem into meaningful information then act on that translation. Think back to when we were in school and had a math problem like
Two trains leave different cities heading toward each other at different speeds. When and where do they meet? These were not easy problems and similarly, mapping business problem to a technology solution is complicated. Let’s look at why. As you can see, business and technology have different languages and perspectives.

Business Problem

  • AKA: Functional Requirements
  • Addresses a business need or opportunity
  • Language: Business (vision, strategic mission, objectives, processes)
  • Often many problems are manifests so root problem often difficult to identify
  • People who understand the business typically not smart about technology
  • Perspective: Business climate, emerging industry issues, culture, business aim
  • What are the usability implications
Technology Solution

  • AKA: Technical Requirements
  • Addresses a technology challenge
  • Language: Technology (Programming, Infrastructure, Cloud, IoT)
  • Often many solutions are required to solve one business problem
    Solve for y = ((x + 2) * (x + 7) )/ 127
  • People who understand technology often do not understand business challenges
  • Perspective: Technology Available, technical skills, technical resources
  • What are the Security Implications

Translating Business Problem to Technology Solution is Often Really HARD!!!

Quick tips on Translating Business Objectives into Actions…
I could write an entire article on each of the following but for now, let’s just look at it from an overview perspective. What do we need to do?

  • Identify Problems (especially root problems) – If you do not know what the [business] problems are try asking. Ask the business unit leaders, look around your department, what is “messed up” in your view? What frustrates employees, partners, customers?
  • Determine the requirements to solve each problem
  • Determine technology available to help solve the problem
  • Identify strategic partners
  • Determine likely barriers
  • Determine additional value (if any)
  • Get Started

Let’s go a bit deeper into the identifying problems and in particular identifying not only problems but also opportunities. I refer to it as Identifying What’s Possible! Ask yourself (or others in your organization):

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • How are we falling behind the competition?
  • How can you deliver services faster?
  • How can you help the company continue expansion?
  • How can you increase customer satisfaction or retention?
  • What are current pain points for…
    • Customers? Partners? Employees?
  • What new services (cloud, mobile) might your business benefit from?
  • Projects on a shelf for lack of infrastructure or money?

Your vision + some strategic thinking and new technology solution could yield you an enormous amount of respect (and other more tangible perks)
Not all opportunities are created equal. Some will be hard and low value, others will be easy and high value. Still others will be in between. Identify one that you want to work on. After you “Identify What’s Possible” there are other considerations. You then need to look in a bit more depth at the potential project/solution. Look at:

  • Vision or Strategic Mission
  • Benefit to the business and company
  • Longevity of solution
  • User Impact
  • Systems & Business Impact (pro’s and con’s)
  • How it is RELATED to other business challenges
  • How it is RELATED to other technology solutions
  • Identify stakeholders – All may not be obvious
  • Security Implications
  • Budget????

These do not have to be things that you spend weeks on. In fact, for your first few projects, you should try to do it as quickly as possible (an hour or two of serious brain power). But each one is important. Let’s take a closer look at one that looks like it may not fit. Identify Stakeholders: It may be really easy to identify one person or one department that can benefit from the solution but are there others? Could the value be greater/broader if you tweak a few things as you go? Often I have found as you get additional stakeholders involved or add value to other parts of the organization it kind-of greases the wheels and makes bringing the solution to life easier (or in some cases possible). Watch my blog or come to some of my events to learn more. You may also want to consider my offer below for Brainstorming Workshops. In either case, I hope you will take some of these tips and “Architect What’s Possible” for your business. If you need help with anything, Microsoft has an incredible partner ecosystem that can help you.

Join ITProGuru NewsletterBayStateTechnology.comContact Dan Stolts

TechNet on Tour | Cloud Infrastructure

What’s new with Microsoft cloud Infrastructure and OSS for modern IT Pros
It’s time to embrace cloud infrastructure, maximize your current resources and enhance datacenter flexibility to deploy new technologies. Ready to learn more? Attend this free, full-day training session and discover first-hand how to integrate cloud solutions with your existing, on-premises datacenter – without sacrificing security, control, reliability and scalability. You’ll see how advanced Azure infrastructure services enable you to provide reliable data access, while maximizing productivity across platforms. Training will include Microsoft, Open Source (OSS), GitHub, and more.
Join Microsoft experts and learn how to:

  • Keep up with datacenter changes in a cloud-first world
  • Enhance virtualization performance in the cloud for different workloads
  • Enable faster and easier deployment using Azure Resource Manager templates and GIT
  • Design compute and storage infrastructure to improve performance and enhance security through Azure Networking infrastructure
  • Boost secure data access with identity solutions via Azure Active Directory
  • Minimize errors and save time with advanced automation using PowerShell and DSC extensions in your infrastructure
  • Registration (once available will be at):

TechNet on Tour | Certification Jump Start 70-534 Architecting Azure Solutions

70-534This Certification class will cover the 70-534 Architecting Azure Solutions Exam. All attendees are expected to go home with a copy of the Microsoft Press Book. The events have not been locked yet but it is looking like we will be doing an online Jump Start in April/May timeframe and roll out live events to cities all across the US in July/Aug. There is some Free Training that will be a pre-requisite for the training. You can access it at All you need to do to make sure you get an invite is become a subscriber to this newsletter ( If you want to get a started now (you can’t wait J) you can get your own copy of the Microsoft Press book from Amazon at Exam Ref 70-534 architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions.
A typical agenda looks like the following:

  • 8:00 Registration, Breakfast and Networking
  • 8:30 Sharp: 70-534 Introduction
  • Exam Tips and Tricks
  • Design Microsoft Azure infrastructure and networking (15–20%)
  • Secure resources (15-20%)
  • Design an advanced application (15-20%)
  • Lunch & Labs
  • Design websites (15-20%)
  • Design an application storage and data access strategy (15-20%)
  • Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy (15-20%)
  • Field Experiences
  • 5:00pm Book Signing – Authors Dan Stolts (Some Locations)
  • 5:00pm Social Hour w/ speakers and Friends

At the conclusion of this course you will have homework assignments (labs) to do. Upon finishing the homework, you should be able to go take the test and become a “Certified” Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect! If we are not able to drum up enough sponsors, there is a chance there will be a nominal charge as we will be providing a $40 book, lab guides and food and beverage for all attendees.
Easter Egg: What is the value of certification? This is really hard to answer because it is different for everyone, in the class, you will get much more information. I can tell you though what is the same for everyone is that it has the capability of opening opportunities. Many employers (me included) look at certification as a minimum bar when they are evaluating prospective employees. What the heck does that mean? It means the hiring manage may NEVER see your resume if they are like me. Some HR person or secretary does pre-screening and if certification is not listed the resume lands in the rejected pile. There are many more obvious advantages such as: additional lines on a resume, self-satisfaction of completion, more salary opportunity, bragging rights, shows ability to complete what you started, shows ability to learn and apply what you have learned, experience working with technology, stature among tech circles and much, much more.

Trial | Brainstorming Team Cloud Technology Workshop

If you are in the North East US I may be able to do them in person. Otherwise, perhaps online … do you have any interest in a Team Workshop for your business or group? Contact Dan at:
Teach your team how to “think outside the box”, “understand how to leverage technology to solve business challenges or execute on opportunities”. Now taking applications. This is a free training but I need either a large number of people from a single company (30’ish) or for smaller groups, we can do multi-company workshops where each company is a team. Workshop formats available: 60 mins, 1/4 day, 1/2 day, 1 day, multi-day.

What’s Next

In the next edition of ITProGuru Newsletter we will dive into Enterprise Mobility and do a quick introduction to Windows Server 2016.  We will also dive into resume/CV what are they really for and what should you have in them. Please provide feedback or suggested topics for this newsletter by contacting Dan Stolts.

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