From One Tech to Another - Change is creating exciting possibilities

john John Palamara
Cloud Solution Architect
Microsoft Australia


You could say I started working in technology before I even finished school, but it wasn’t really “work” back in the 1980’s when I was still a kid. The 8-bit home computer, known as the Commodore 64, was released when I was much younger and when I was old enough I started copying, letter-by-letter, the accompanying programming book to create BASIC programs.

Many years later and, although I am no longer programming in BASC, I still spend a lot of time reading up on trends in the industry, particularly around business’ changes and the challenges technology is bringing to them. It is safe to say that since I was a kid, I have constantly been amazed at the potential and possibilities that computers and technology can add to our lives. And now I am lucky enough to be part of that change in the work I do.

In my day-to-day job as a Cloud Solution Architect, I work with technology companies to help build capability and deliver the best possible outcomes for their customers. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the positive change we have on both Microsoft Partners and our mutual customers. Seeing projects come to life using technologies that were not even an option a short time ago is both rewarding and fulfilling.

It was Satya Nadella who said, in a publicly available email to all staff, “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation”. This strong advocacy for the growth mindset, the push to always be learning and be humble about that learning, genuinely resonates with me. It also highlights the enormous value and possibilities available to us in this age of digital transformation and the move to the Cloud. Again using Satya’s words “The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives.”

The Azure platform opens up possibilities to each and every one of us to create solutions which were either not possible before or had previously cost too much to attempt. We are now part of an industry where real change is happening and technology like Azure is helping businesses, not just in managing their technology but in broadening their business capabilities and getting a greater return on investment than ever before.

One of the things that excites me most is seeing this change taking place and seeing what the “little man” stands to gain. The capabilities inherent in Azure for a single person to create something that can change entire ways of working and living are exhilarating. This is no longer a case of the big eating the small, we are introducing a new dimension to the equation which ultimately gets rid of the differences between big and small - we now have the “fast”. Azure Cloud technology allows anyone to make huge changes to their business and their outcomes. The same capability open to multi-national corporations is open to a single individual.

But the opportunities don’t start and end with the customers using the Cloud; they also exist for the people implementing and delivering the technology. As mentioned previously we are in the middle of a huge digital transformation and Cloud technology plays a large part in enabling this change. Skills are in short supply and cannot meet the current demands, so it’s important to understand how it can be utilised to its full potential; the Azure Skills Initiative is a great way to unlock this potential.

Never has there been a time where the saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” been more fitting, but Azure Cloud technology opens the door to a world of possibility and the prospect of starting to do things differently. The Skills Initiative helps expand your knowledge and gives you an appreciation of new, faster and more efficient ways to deploy applications; this can have a hugely beneficial outcome on business problems or processes.

The Azure Skills Initiative is delivered on demand and suits anyone, even people like me whose daily schedule is not consistent. It covers the theory, video on demand and most importantly for me, has hands-on labs and questionnaires for each module. I like to challenge myself with learning new technologies, but struggle when trying to find a place to start because there is so much information currently available. The Skills Initiative collates this information and packages it up in set topics that allow you to learn at your own pace. It really does fit in with everyone’s different ways of learning.

The Cloud services within Azure are vast and it can be difficult and overwhelming at times trying to learn new technologies, particularly for those in the industry who have always ‘done it that way’ for many years. Azure Skills allows you build on your existing skills incrementally making the journey into the Cloud much less daunting.

We have come a long way since the Commodore 64 but I guarantee you will find the cloud potential much greater than you had ever thought possible.


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