Interview with a Forum Ninja, and experienced Microsoft Warrior: Peter Geelen
Wow! Peter has done everything! He's been an MVP, Microsoft Partner, MCC, Microsoft employee, and Microsoft vendor! Let's start by learning more about Peter!
- 1,123 Forum Posts
- 443 Answered Questions
- 67K+ Recognition Points
- #21 this year on MSDN/TechNet of 10K+ members
- 151 Wiki Articles
- 19K+ Wiki Edits
- 75 MSDN/TechNet Blog Posts
Some Examples of Recent Forum Posts from Peter:
- All of Peter Geelen's Posts
- Peter explains what's expected from forum questions (a common problem is that there isn't enough information so the first five attempts to answer the question don't answer it... because we don't know the problem)
- Windows System disk usage 100% (some great answers from Peter; note how Peter turns the answers into a Wiki article so that the solutions can help more people)
I could go on about Peter all day, but instead, let's ask Peter some questions!
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?
I’m Peter Geelen, living in Leuven, Belgium. Consultant in Enterprise Security, Identity and Access management, managing consultant at Quest For Security.
Currently working as freelance contractor, with a long standing experience on Microsoft technologies, mainly on Identity manager (like FIM2010 and MIM2016, previously MIIS 2003, ILM 2007).
As Identity & Access management isn’t limited to particular technology, I’ve got quite some experience in helping and guiding customers on enterprise security, cybersecurity, implementing security policies, system hardening…
As MCT I enjoy teaching classes in these technologies.
What are your big projects right now?
I’m continuously working to stay on top with relevant certifications like CISA, CISSP, CISSP-ISSAP, CCSK and Microsoft certifications MCT, MCSA, MCP, MCTS, ..
Now working hard for ISC² trainer accreditation and planning for ISO27000 implementer and auditor certification.
Recently, I’ve been involved in review the fresh MIM 2016 handbook.
And, of course, Microsoft community, after hours.
What Microsoft Forums do you participate in? What different roles do you play?
Also the MIMWAL forum, as moderator.
In what other sites and communities do you contribute your technical knowledge?
Since a few years, I’m spending my after work time on the TechNet Wiki. Some accuse me of not sleeping (yes, true).
Already from the early start of the Wiki, I’ve been publishing articles on MS identity manager, (MIIS, ILM, FIM, and now MIM 2016). But you’ll also find content on other enterprise security platforms.
That’s from the perspective of MS technology platforms, but I’ve taken another important role on the TNWiki as administrator handling Wiki Governance and administration.
So you’ll find a lot of non-technical articles on the Wiki about the Wiki Governance. I try to maintain my activity log at the Wiki, so you can quickly get a list of my articles I’ve posted on the Wiki and blogs.
On what forum threads have you collaborated with other community members to help answer a question?
On Technology level, the FIM/MIM forum is my home base, not a specific thread but the forum as a whole.
The FIM community has been one of the first to jump on the TechNet Wiki when it started in 2010.
And, if you look the Wiki, many of the issues that initially got posted as questions on the Forum finally land on the TNWiki with a very decent quality of content. Furthermore we have some smart support team people like Tim Macaulay and David Steadman that are posting awesome support articles on Wiki. Which, in return is a great reference for the most common questions on the Forums. This is perfect example of how forums and Wiki complement each other.
Do you have any comments for product groups about the MSDN and TechNet Forums that they moderate?
For a long time spam and bulk posters are a plague on the forums.
I know that the teams are working constantly to keep the forums spam free, but not always with success… due to the sheer volume of posts. Currently the team is evaluating more advanced solutions to bring down the spam. But just realize this will be a continuous battle. Lots of people get fed up with the spam and don’t take time to report these spam posts on the forums. But you should, don’t ignore these spam posts.
The more people report the spam, the less work everyone has…
Please keep encouraging people to report spam.
Furthermore I’m absolutely in favor of using the reputation system in a smarter way.
Spam accounts have very typical behavior, zero points, large volume of posts, lots of URLs… as they want to get a high volume click rate on their posts.
I would like to suggest to moderate questions of people with a low reputation profile until a certain maturity is achieved.
People can achieve maturity by actively participating in the community (answering questions, engaging with some one elses questions, research options, provide suggestions…)
This is a signification difference with bots or spammers. We don’t need complex technical solutions to put a stop on the spam.
Do you have any tips for people asking questions on MSDN/TechNet Forums?
The key to success of getting useful answers is essentially in the way you ask questions: The smarter your question the better the answer. Sounds pretty normal and obvious, but if you’re question is wrong, it will take a lot of effort for your audience to help you…
The worst thing is to get answers you already know.
It’ essential to sketch the situation you’re in, provide some background. With some simple keywords you must be able to explain what the situation is.
Also very important is to explain, what investigations you have done yourself. (Step 1: RTFM) What options did you try already (or not)?
Formulate your key question very briefly.
Ask side questions later on, when your primary issue is solved.
For the FIM forum, I’ve collected some practical hints and tips in a Wiki article which has some downloadable versions at Gallery. Check it out: FIM/MIM Forum: How to get the maximum return on your forum question?
Do you have any tips for people answering questions on MSDN/TechNet Forums?
- Don’t jump with answers directly, ask questions to the poster first, try to understand what is the core issue.
- Don’t assume.
- Not everyone is a newbie, not everyone is an expert.
- Even ‘dumb’ answers require a smart answer.
- Share your knowledge and passion in a professional way.
Do you have any tips for moderators of MSDN/TechNet Forums?
- Be nice to people (just consider what you would to when you’re face-to-face with the person)
- No mercy for with spammers and bots.
- Don’t be afraid to remind people that forums is an open platform for the community to work together in a positive way.
- It should be a general principle: don’t mark your own answers. At the maximum, you can suggest an answer, but marking the answer must be handled by the original post or another admin
Thank you Peter for your thousands of contributions to the community and to the forums! You've really been a huge team player and advocate for Microsoft technologies!
Please join me in thanking Peter Geelen!
May the Forums be with you (cheesy but painfully memorable),
- Ninja Ed