2021 has been an eventful year so far. As if raising two children amid a global pandemic wasn’t hard enough, I decide to not just jump, but leap out of my comfort zone and change jobs!

On June 2nd this year I joined Intercept as an Azure Consultant. So today marks exactly one calendar month since joining, and what a month it has been!

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Who are Intercept?

I could spend a serious amount of time telling you about Intercept, who they are and what they do - but there’s no point reinventing the wheel when you can simply read all about them on their website and LinkedIn page.

In a nutshell, Intercept are a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP and Microsoft Gold Partner that specialise in Microsoft Azure for software-driven organisations. I mean, there’s a lot more to them that just that (like for example having 3 x Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals and being Microsoft Country Partner of the Year 2020), but you know… in a nutshell!

What do I do at Intercept?

In an older article, I described my previous role as an Azure Developer (What is an Azure Developer?).

My background is in development, automation and DevOps with a primary focus on the Azure platform, particularly PaaS services such as Azure Functions and Cosmos DB. I was very much a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type of guy at this point!

That was my comfort zone. Sitting in the dark, drinking coffee and writing code! I liked it this way, I was happy, but I was also hungry. Hungry to learn. I craved the exposure to newer technologies and to use them to solve problems. I soon realised that there was only way to achieve this, and that was to step out of the dark and force a new path for myself.

I liked the idea of being an Azure Architect. Using the tools provided by Azure to solve problems, like piecing together a jigsaw. But also wanted to do the builds, the delivery. I didn’t want to choose between what felt like two separate paths. I know at other MSPs, you would either need to be a Solution Architect, or a Delivery Engineer.

When I explained my conundrum to Intercept during the interview process, they told me that the role they had in mind for me was exactly what I wanted. In this role, I would talk to the customers from the onset to understand their requirements, design and price a solution proposed to solve their problems, work with the customer to explain every detail, and then deliver it. Literally, the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned!

In the past month I have had the luxury of working on projects that include the likes of Azure Cognitive Services, Industrial IoT, multi-region highly available Web Apps, Azure Synapse, Data Factory and many more.

Needless to say, I’m very happy!

Yes, I will start blogging about these experiences very soon.

Imposter Syndrome!

I can’t remember when I first heard of Intercept to be honest. I think it was when Gregor Suttie first announced he’d joined. Some time later I read that Richard Hooper (Pixel Robots) had joined too. When I looked at the Intercept profile on LinkedIn I noticed that Wesley Haakman also worked there. So that’s three Azure MVPs all under one roof working exclusively on Azure. Awesome!

Needless to say I never once thought I’d end up working at the same place as those guys!

That is, until I got chatting with Karl Cooke one day (the man’s a legend!). It was a big secret at the time, but Karl had just signed a contract with Intercept and very kindly offered to pass on my details to them.

With a massive bout of imposter syndrome, I took to the interviews and long story short, I ended up getting a job offer!

At Intercept I am incredibly privileged to work with not only 3 x Azure MVPs but some very experienced and talented people. When I started working here I was feeling the imposter syndrome, big time! Not to mention the fact that I’ve gone from sitting in the dark writing code to leading customer design sessions and authoring solutions. All quite a bit different to what I was used to.

I have to tell you that working at Intercept is more like being in a community rather than a company. Everyone is incredibly supportive and all they ask in return is that you’re enthusiastic and willing to learn. I realise now that feeling like an imposter in these situations is totally natural but I was soon put as ease. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot to learn, but I now have the opportunity to do so in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Identity Crisis?

Looping back to my article ‘What is an Azure Developer?’ where I discuss my identity crisis, it’s time to ask myself again:

Who am I? What am I?

Am I still an Azure Developer? A DevOps Engineer? Am I an Azure Architect now? Delivery Engineer?

You know what, I’m going to stick with my job title and go with Azure Consultant. It’s both vague and broad enough to cover all of the above I think!

My interest areas are still in development and automation, but I’m currently getting into data as well. I also fancy delving into IoT a bit more. Why not?!

The fact is, I’m happy doing what I’m doing and I’m learning a lot on literally a daily basis. From a career perspective, who could aks for more.

TL;DR;

  • I changed jobs.

  • I used to work as an Azure Developer, and now work as an Azure Consultant.

  • I now work for Intercept and it’s awesome.