A cloud code crafter, blogger, and Microsoft MVP

More than one hundred developers at Etteplan work with cloud projects all the time. Among them, Cloud Solutions Architect Antti Koskela is a top expert in Azure and everything around it. His outstanding expertise is evidenced by the fact that he has received the prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award from Microsoft. We had a chat with him about his work.

SharePointProblems. That is the name of Antti Koskela’s personal and professional blog that has about 750 000 annual visits. The blog’s name gives a hint of Antti’s past and present as well as his desire to contribute to the developer community.

“About 17 years ago, I started as a PHP developer, but I have been a .NET developer since 2011. Then I was asked, would I be ready to move on to be a SharePoint developer. Since then, Microsoft’s stack and, in particular, Azure has been my big focus,” Koskela says.

At Etteplan, he belongs to a small cloud development team as a Cloud Solutions Architect.

“My team has about a dozen developers, and we do both Azure and AWS so in that sense we are cloud agnostic. However, there are more than a hundred developers in total working in cloud projects one way or the other. Instead of formal team memberships, our daily work proceeds in virtual project teams,” Koskela describes.

In his blog, he portrays himself as a tech enthusiast and code crafter. What kinds of projects do you work with?

“Typically, I participate in tender cases with different sorts of transactions management systems, web portals, and integrations. If need arises, I also do more traditional on-premises projects,” Koskela tells.

A direct avenue to Microsoft

Microsoft has acknowledged Antti Koskela as a Most Valuable Professional, or MVP. Globally, there are over 3000 MVPs, and 27 of them are from Finland. Being an MVP is not a mere badge, but much more.

“This position really helps me a lot in my work. It has opened me a direct route to communicate with the product groups at Microsoft. The feedback channels are excellent. I can be brutally frank what kinds of issues I have encountered, and I can get swift responses,” Koskela says.

In the process for getting the MVP Award, Microsoft’s reviewing team doesn’t only examine the candidate’s technical expertise. Close attention is paid towards the level of contribution to the community. Antti Koskela fulfills the criteria partly by the blog that he maintains, partly by having shared code to multiple projects, and partly by speaking at events.

Azure, cloud, and Logic Apps

In his blog Antti Koskela publishes posts about his findings around Azure and cloud, but also tech and programming tips. Recently, he has covered Azure Logic Apps multiple times.

“Logic Apps is Microsoft’s cloud-based integration platform, quite user-friendly and fast. You can simply build integrations by clicking what you need by using more than 400 connectors. They are in high demand, and they accelerate small and medium sized integration projects in particular. Logic Apps enables versioning and template exports in an enterprise ready fashion,” Koskela tells.

Over the years, he has seen how much better cloud integration tools have become.

“Microsoft has succeeded in taking integrations forward quite a lot in Azure environments. Overall, we’ve largely got rid of integration projects that take months or years”, Koskela concludes in a satisfied tone.

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