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Jared Shockley, Information Technology Professional This is my spot on the Internet for me to share my thoughts on technology, software, hardware, gadgets and IT in general. Please feel free to comment.


Change ... Jared S.

Change is something you cannot stop …
Change impacts you in multiple ways …
Change is just a part of the Information Technology industry …
Change is something IT Pros must embrace or be left behind …
Change …

Just over a year ago, I went through a pretty big change. I left the company I was working for to head back to Microsoft to join the on-prem SharePoint Custom Portals team with Microsoft IT. Looking back over that year has seen many changes with both my job, my team and Microsoft IT in general. Right now, we are in a major change around Modern Engineering practices within Microsoft IT. On top of that, SharePoint is undergoing a massive change around Office 365 and SharePoint on-prem with new releases slated for later this year. Change has been a constant companion and one should not expect anything different, especially in the world of IT.

Many people have talked about the change in the world of IT to allow for rapid evolution and growth of systems and teams. One of the names this has been given is "DevOps". Many may argue about what DevOps is and is not but the view that we are taking is one of the better views that I have seen. DevOps is not about tools. DevOps is not about process. DevOps is about philosophy. It is getting the agility and growth by having all aspects of IT working together and allowing evolution cycles to deliver the best services possible for the customer/user. It is not about developers setting up servers like operations teams. It is not about operations teams making changes to code bases. It is the feature team working together in the best possible manner to deliver the best products and focusing on the customers or users. That means that focusing on the live site and user experiences are the key to delivery in this new world. Some are scared by this change but I see this as where IT needs to focus. Money spent on services should be spent on the best possible experiences for the users.

As we are seeing this change, SharePoint continues to drive towards a major change in its own paradigm. SharePoint has been slowly moving from on-prem to the cloud with Office 365. While SharePoint is still entrenched in the on-prem world, new features are being created for Office 365 that are not making their way back to on-prem. Things like Delve and Groups are being built on the Office 365 infrastructure but are likely not going to find their way back to the on-prem version. We might see some more feature parity from Office 365 to on-prem but the Office 365 version will always have more features than on-prem due to the integration that can be done with Exchange and Lync as well as scale and Azure technologies. It shouldn't be a shock to see that products are changing. To see just how much SharePoint and all of Office 365 is changing, you should head on over to http://roadmap.office.com.

Now, in my previous roles, I didn't get to dive into the technology as my job was to be the Service Owner or Director of IT. In the Microsoft IT world, the Service Owner is the "buck stops with me" person for the service. They work with partner teams and customers to ensure the service is delivered to the users. They meet with all the various teams, provide data on the service, talk about the improvements to the service, and represent the team at all levels. Having been a Service Owner in MSIT earlier, I knew the role and the requirements for the position. In many ways, the Service Owner is the human shield between much of the IT bureaucracy and the team they represent. As I said, I have performed this role, both at Microsoft and my role as Director of IT. This can be a bit of a thankless position and if you are doing a good job, things just work.

So let met talk about why I came back to work at Microsoft. One of the things that I got offered by returning to Microsoft was to return in a very technical role as a Senior Service Engineer. My time would be spent working on the technology again. I got to focus and play with technology over the past year. Part of what I got to focus on was SharePoint 2013 infrastructure upgrades, running SharePoint on Azure and preparing for the next version of SharePoint. I was not a Service Owner anymore. This was freeing for me and I have loved the past year. On top of this, I got to work with and for a friend of mine I used to work with on my first stint with Microsoft. She was a good Service Owner in that she was the human shield allowing me to get work done. You might be wondering where all of this is going … Back in January, my Service Owner gave her notice of intent to leave at the end of the month. 

Change … 

I am now the Service Owner as well as being the Senior Service Engineer. I have been working with my peer to determine our roadmap and the future of our service. Being both the engineer and service owner, my time is taken up with more meetings, data gathering, and worrying about live site issues more so than just as the engineer.

I want to thank my friend, Aliya Kahn, for being that human shield for the past year. In just 4 weeks of being in this position, I can see exactly what she did for me and the team. Service ownership is very tough and can take a toll on a person professionally and personally. I will miss her, her jokes, and her optimism on a daily basis. She is missed but change brings opportunities. Here's to those new opportunities. 

Many of you might be wondering why I haven't been on much of social media as of late. These new responsibilities of the Service Owner position has been keeping me very busy. I am still trying to figure out my schedule and keeping my sanity, but I will be back online soon.




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