My Review of 2023

Las Vegas

[Photo: Las Vegas, while attending the Microsoft Power Platform Conference in October.]

My 2023

Wow, it feels like only yesterday when I was writing my review of 2022 - how time flies!

On balance, my 2023 was a great year. As with last year, a highlight has been connecting with many fantastic people, and some have become good friends.

If we haven’t met yet, feel free to connect with me.


Earlier this month, I started a new role as Power Platform Solution Architect for ANS, which involves working closely with with business stakeholders to understand requirements and deliver solutions.

I LOVE solving problems and helping others so this role is an ideal fit for me. I’m looking forward to working with the talented people there to make a positive difference to others.

Microsoft MVP Award

A major highlight for this year was the honour of receiving the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for the Business Applications category in recognition of my “exceptional technical community leadership”!

Microsoft state:

MVPs are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community.

If anyone wants to learn more about the Microsoft MVP award then reach out, I’d be happy to help!

Other Award Nominations

Surprisingly for me, I kindly received the following nominations for the Microsoft Community UK Recognition Awards:

  • Best User Group award for the Scottish Power Platform User Group, along with Charlie Phipps & Stuart Baxter
  • Community Rising Star award
  • The Communities, Community Hero award

While I didn’t win any of the awards, I was humbled and grateful to receive votes.

Public Speaking

This year has been another active year in terms of public speaking at various user groups, YouTube channels, podcasts, and community calls. Some highlights:

Public speaking is still something I really enjoy, and hope to do more of going forward.


Attending user groups, conferences and other events in-person and virtually is a great opportunity to meet awesome people and occasionally present at. Some highlights for this year:

Attending the second Microsoft Power Platform Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in October. I was also lucky enough to contribute the following at the conference:

  • Spoke at the Sharing is Caring session
  • Presented AMA (ask me anything) at the Microsoft MVP Showcase Theater
  • Volunteered at the Super Users table

The European Power Platform Conference organised by Kevin Monahan, Ella Murphy and team was fantastic, with many excellent workshops and sessions! I’m looking forward to attending the next one in Brussels, Belgium in June, 2024.

I also had the privilege of volunteering for DATA:Scotland again, hosted at the impressive Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh!

I was grateful to, again, co-organise the amazing Festive Tech Calendar which turned out to be another successful online event.

Blogging and Social Media

I’ve continued to post to my blog. The cadence has varied throughout the year, to be honest, but I’m planning on getting back into a consistent routine in the new year.

Twitter and LinkedIn are social media channels which I’m still active on.

Back in May, I started #100DaysOfSelfCare during Mental Health Awareness Week and was joined by Azure McFarlane in posting about self-care every day for 100 days.

My monthly newsletter is going well, with many more subscribers joining this year. My favourite section is the Community Spotlight where I highlight the fantastic work that others are doing in the community!


I passed the following certifications:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (ERP)
  • Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Power Platform Developer Associate
  • Microsoft Power Platform Solution Architect Expert
  • Microsoft Power Platform App Maker Associate

Studying for certifications is a great way to learn new things and ensure that I fully understand a subject so it’s something I’ll continue with in 2024.

Scottish Power Platform User Group

The Scottish Power Platform User Group started this year and I was lucky enough to attend their first in-person event in Edinburgh in February, speak at their virtual event in March, then join the organising team in June!

Co-founders Charlie Phipps and Stuart Baxter have welcomed me to the team and, throughout this year, we’ve organised several in-person and virtual events, and taken turns to host the events as well as speak at them.

On Air in the Cloud Podcast

Earlier this year, Gregor Suttie, Matt Boyd and I created the On Air in the Cloud podcast.

It’s a fortnightly podcast containing interviews with people working with technology in interesting ways. We’ve interviewed some impressive people on there, it’s been a lot of fun - check it out!

LinkedIn Learning Instructor

Last year, I became a LinkedIn Learning Instructor and released my first course, Azure Data Fundamentals (DP-900) Cert Prep: 3 Working with Non-Relational Data on Azure.

This year, I created a new course with LinkedIn Learning’s Jeff Kellum & Adam Slomiak, Cert Prep: Power Platform Developer Associate (PL-400), which aligns with my passion for the Power Platform.

I’m very proud of the course that we put together and hope you will take and enjoy it!

Power Platform Community

Throughout the year, I’ve spoken on the Microsoft Power Platform community call hosted by David Warner & Hugo Bernier, delivering the following sessions:

I also contributed the Glassmorphism Sandbox Power Platform sample which illustrates how to use glassmorphism, combining a blur effect with transparency, using a HTML text control.

For those contributions, I received the following badges:

Power Platform Community Forums

I’ve continued to help answer Power App questions on the Power Apps Community forums.

Again, solving problems and helping others is what I love to do so helping others (and learning from others) on the forums is something that resonates with me.

I was grateful to be awarded Super User 2023 Season 1 and Super User 2023 Season 2 for my work on the forums this year!


I’ve continued mentoring some amazing people, each of them with different motivations, such as the following:

  • Learning how to get involved with the tech community
  • Learning how to grow and develop their tech community contributions further
  • Learning about the Microsoft MVP award
  • Learning how to develop their career in IT consultancy

It’s a privilege to mentor these wonderful people as they’re coming from a positive place of wanting to develop themselves.

I’m always amazed by how much I learn from them, too. They get something, I get something - these relationships truly are a win-win!

Other Experiences

As well as work and tech community activities, I also enjoyed many other experiences such as:

  • Visited family and friends
  • Travelled in Scotland, England, Ireland, and USA
  • Went to several concerts and events such as seeing the U2 at the Sphere, Las Vegas
  • Visited a submarine museum!

So, enough about the good stuff…

OK, we’ve heard about the success stories. There’s plenty I still need to work on, including the following:

  • Healthy work/life balance*
  • Be more creative: painting, drawing, baking, build Lego, etc
  • Post to this blog more regularly
  • Create more videos for my YouTube channel

*Working towards a healthy work/life balance is something I’m going to address in an upcoming online VRT (virtual round table) event for ShortList Recruitment, called Setting Your New Year’s Tech Community Resolutions. Register for the event here.

Looking Ahead

As with the end of last year, I’m staying positive and looking forward to what the new year brings.

I hope that you have a happy and successful 2024!