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Microsoft’s Rick Claus on IT/Dev Connections and Why the Azure Team is Increasing Involvement with the Conference

Microsoft’s Rick Claus on IT/Dev Connections and Why the Azure Team is Increasing Involvement with the Conference

For those that are just catching up, many of you know Rick Claus from the wildly popular Patch and Switch podcast with Joey Snow, his work with Channel 9 at Microsoft conferences and possibly even his work with IT/Dev Connections over the past few years. Rick is now leading an Azure team at Microsoft and we’re happy to announce today that Rick will be serving as our keynote speaker this year! Rick’s keynote is still coming together, but what he’s shared with me so far shows it will be visionary, timely, and recommended for those that want to extend their career as an IT Pro, a Developer and in the DevOps world. Fantastic!

After a BIG week at the 25,000-plus attendee Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Florida last week, we caught up with Rick to get this take on his (and his team’s) involvement with IT/Dev Connections 2018 and beyond…

ITDC: Give us a brief introduction to you.
Rick: I’m Rick Claus, just a guy who jiggled a cable to get a printer to work over 25 years ago. Now after many roles ranging from LAN admin to consultant to enterprise architect – I work at Microsoft HQ, leading a team of Cloud Advocates.  Like most IT Pros / Ops folks – I love tinkering and problem solving using various technical solutions. Non-Work pastimes include tinkering with my Jeep and spending way too much money and time in my home brewery.
ITDC: Describe the sessions you are presenting, why you feel the topics are important and describe what attendees can expect to be able to take and use right away.
Rick: IT Pro / Ops folks have been left to their own devices to develop their skills and career. In a constantly changing industry, it’s a love/hate relationship. We love working with new technologies but hate the change it creates because it ultimately is something else to learn and take time to implement. My session will hopefully bring some perspective to all this and show you the power of a pivot.
ITDC: What is your primary reason to be excited about speaking at IT/Dev Connections?
Rick: IT Dev Connections has a faithful audience of IT Pros / Ops folks who have made their careers on a diverse set of technologies. It appears as if resources from Microsoft have been less “in person” and more online only or targeting different personas of people. I lead a team of folks whose job it is to re-establish a personal connection to the IT Pro / Ops audience. What better way to start this re-connection then to come out to a conference like IT Dev Connections?
ITDC: What is the one key technology you believe is changing the technology industry right now?
Rick: Modernization is the name of the game. Maybe it’s upgrading and migrating to Windows Server 2019 or preparing for 2008 R2 end of life. Setting up a disaster recovery plan using someone else’s data center. It’s about leveraging Hybrid technologies combining your on-premises resources with trusted cloud partners.
ITDC: Knowing what you know now about this industry and/or your profession, what big suggestion would you give to a younger you?
Rick: Automate, automate, Automate. The less stuff you do manually – the more time you will have and the easier it will be to pivot to a more productive you. Oh – and start saving for your retirement earlier rather than later – compound interest rules!


IT/Dev Connections is just around the corner, but there’s still time to register to get the opportunity to connect directly with Rick and his team. Imagine trying to connect with Rick at a conference full of 25,000 people. Sure, its possible, but…

IT/Dev Connections is a right-sized, community-driven technical education conference. This is where you take those product announcements from Microsoft Ignite and then figure out how to actually make them work in the real world.

IT/Dev Connections runs October 15-18 in Dallas, Texas. Register today: 

Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

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