Journey Becoming First Windows Azure MVP in Southeast Asia

Yes, It’s officially announced by SEA (Southeast Asia) MVP Lead, Lilian Quek.

I am very glad to inform that my MVP competency has been switched from Visual C# to Windows Azure. I would be also the FIRST and (at the moment THE ONLY ONE) Azure MVP in Southeast Asia.

For the last few months to now, I keep focus my technical skill on Windows Azure. Partially it’s because a requirement for my job, on the other hand I’ve strong personal interest and passion on Cloud Computing and Windows Azure.

My first time trying Windows Azure

It was sometime in late 2008 when Microsoft just announced the CTP (Community Technical Preview) of Windows Azure. I got a chance to access the CTP version of Windows Azure, at that time Windows Azure was really a new born baby, it’s so plain, no SQL Azure yet. You can check out my first few post on Windows Azure CTP (in Bahasa) here.

Why should I learn that at that time? It was part of my job as I was working as Developer Evangelist at Microsoft Indonesia who need to deal and evangelize latest and upcoming Microsoft technology.

Windows Azure in these days

Last few months ago when I started to peek in Azure again, I found Microsoft really invested much effort in this platform. SQL Azure (was SQL Data Service) was refined. Windows Azure AppFabric (was .NET Services) was repackaged. More learning resources on MSDN, more great features on the entire Windows Azure Platform.

I strongly believe that Microsoft will keep putting more effort to support Windows Azure in future as you can see what Microsoft CEO said and new Microsoft tagline below.


Why Switching to Windows Azure MVP

Honestly, there are a few factors to drive my initiative to request switching my competency:

1. Career.

I am not working as “cloud” solution architect for one of biggest SI in Singapore. Partially, my job require me to do so.

2. “Early Adopter” Geek.

I am kinda geeky guy (early adopter) who like to deal with new technologies (even though CTP / Beta). Windows Azure at the moment is still to be considered as one of them.

3. Personal value.

As we can see from many research has been done such as (gartner, cordys, etc) stating that cloud computing will become the key trend on upcoming / future. I believe an early adoption would definitely bring benefit and personal value to me.

4. Make something different.

Well, the reason why the first time I selected C# as my competency is because I love the language wise of this programming language. Up to now, I am still like it and will keep continuously use it. But then, honestly this category is somewhat too common and general. There’re so many C# MVPs in world-wide (I believe about more than 200).

Why don’t I switch to more “fresh-from-oven” expertise. Isn’t it cool! Open-mouthed smile

Journey to switch to Windows Azure MVP

Now let’s discuss the process of  how process of switch it. Honest to say, it’s not that easy to switch MVP competency. One of our senior C# MVP in Indonesia shared his experience to switch to C++ MVP, but it ends up rejected since his activities in C++ is not as many as in C#.

Then what have I done?

1. Actively writing Windows Azure related blog.

Within 3 months, I’ve written more than 20 Windows Azure related blog posts, with more than 8553 page views.

2. Actively involved in MSDN Forum for Windows Azure Platform.

Previously, I am not an active at all on MSDN Forum since I am more active in local mailing list and forum. Since at the moment the interest of Windows Azure in Indonesia is not that high, I looked into MSDN forum for Windows Azure, and I’ve posted more than 150 post within 3 months.

3. Presenting Windows Azure talk at event.


Here’re the list of Windows Azure talk I’ve ever delivered:

  1. March 2009 : Cloud Computing Seminar at Binus University
  2. December 2009 : Developing Cloud based application Visual Studio 2010
  3. August 2010 : Introduction to SQL Azure at SQL User Group Singapore
  4. September 2010: Lap Around Windows Azure Platform at .NET User Group Singapore.
  5. October 2010 : Internal Training: Windows Azure Deep Dive Training to NCS’s Architects and Team Lead

4. Learning Windows Azure from various resources day and night.

image_681744E7I keep and keep learning Windows Azure from various resources including PDC recording session, MSDN library, Cloud Cover Show, etc. Really, I am serious about “day and night”.

Since my work requires me with relevant Window Azure skill, I learn it at day time.

At night or weekend, I am still watching Cloud Cover Show, as a part of interest and passion.


I hope that I’ll be able to keep passionate in Windows Azure through both online and offline activities.

Let’s chant! Azure… Azure… Azure… Hot smile



Wely Lau

Microsoft MVP, Windows Azure


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