Stoyan Chalakov : A real life MVP! [Interview]

This interview is VERY special to me, personally. Stoyan is not only my technical teacher, my guide but also my very good friend, and who’s been with me since pretty much the beginning of my professional journey. A big chunk of what I am today (and whatever I will be in future), I owe it to Stoyan. A true community contributor, professional and always more than ready to help the community wherever and whenever possible!

Stoyan Chalakov_Switzerland

So, let’s get into it!

Stoyan, please tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Stoyan Chalakov and besides being a proud father of two I am also a full time consultant in a small consulting company, located in Bern, Switzerland. In July this year (2018) I got my 2nd Microsoft MVP award in the Cloud and Datacenter Management category.
My focus lies on private and hybrid Cloud management, involving number of technologies like Microsoft System Center, Hyper-V, Office 365, Microsoft Azure and covering topics like Datacenter monitoring, IT Service Management, Orchestration and Automation. Still, my passion is System Center Operations Manager, which plays also a key role in my community contributions. 
I am currently struggling finding a healthy equilibrium between work and family and part of this is dedicating all my spare time for my family and kids. If you ask me how I imagine my personal quality time, I would say: give me a nice book (old school paper book) and watch me 🙂
Since when are you involved with the community contributions and what keeps you going?

It started back in the time, when I was working for the Microsoft Professional Support. I was answering posts on the so-called Microsoft Newsgroups, which has been discontinued some years ago. At that time, it was more of a duty to me than an actual community work. After moving to Switzerland, I started working actively with different System Center Products like Service Manager, Orchestrator and Operations Manager and I quickly found out how great it is to be able to ask questions or get help in a quick manner. So, after a while, as advanced with all the technologies I started also answering questions and helping others in the forums. Each marked answer and each “Thank You” puts a smile on my face. There isn’t a better motivation than this.

With the ever-rising popularity of cloud services, do you think on-premise technologies have started to die out? Will on-premise technologies ever be completely taken over by cloud?

I wouldn’t say that on-premise technologies are dying out, I think they are just currently being overrun by the respective cloud alternatives. Microsoft’s “Cloud First, Mobile First” created a “cloud” rush indeed and we cannot deny that for many organizations going to the cloud was a way better option, than operating a local Datacenter. We are all familiar with the reasons for that.

Despite this, there are lots of companies and establishments, which are not ready or not able to go the cloud for different reasons. There are also those, which move only part of their infrastructure and workloads to the cloud, which creates a unique Hybrid model. For all of them “on-premise” will always be a topic.

If you were to start your career with a clean slate again – what would be your technology of choice to begin with?

I started my career in the Microsoft Professional Support Services and there it is all about troubleshooting and problem solving – troubleshooting core issues (revealing the cause for a BlueScreen by analyzing memory dumps, server freezes and other performance issues), network (connectivity, network performance, etc.,) and Active Directory related issues on Windows Servers. This was a great entrance in the Microsoft world for me because I learned not only all important basics and how things work, but I also learned the different troubleshooting and problem solving techniques. So, if I can decide again where to start, I would make the exact same choice I did back then.

When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?

With my employment as consultant and all the community work, I barely have any spare time. I am a family guy and spend each free minute with my kids. This is what brings my joy and puts a smile on my face after a tough day. I do like to spend time in the nature, but currently this happens only or rare occasions.

Great, thanks Stoyan!

Stoyan really puts the things very well into perspective. You can reach him on the channels below:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Here’s his Technet profile:

Technet – Stoyan Chalakov

Cheers!

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