BizTalk Community series: Introducing Lex Hegt

Before I will head to sunny Spain for a nice vacation I will have one more story for you on a hard working BizTalk community member Lex Hegt. He is a former colleague of mine that works for Ordina. Lex is the founder of the recent launched website BizTalk Events. A good initiative as you have a great access point to resources (slides, links, speakers, etc.) from numerous BizTalk events. The site has a calendar that shows, past and upcoming future events.

Lex lives in Leidschendam, close to The Hague with his wife Odette and children (9 year old daughter Denise and almost 7 year old son Casper).He is currently stationed at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he works in the role of BizTalk Administrator and Architect. On the combination  of roles Lex says:

“This might sound like a strange combination, but to me it makes perfect sense! A BizTalk Admin needs to be pretty good skilled to be able to do his job. That combined with BizTalk developing experience, you have a lot of the technical skills needed to be an architect!”

Lex has worked in the IT since 1985 and in the early years had functions like Helpdesk employee, Systems Administrator, Application Engineer, Developer and Functional Designer. Integration of information systems has always intrigued him and his first (serious) integration solution was, in the mid-nineties, between an IBM mainframe and WordPerfect 5.1, enabling secretaries to retrieve patient information from the IBM mainframe and merge this with letters for family doctors.

8 Years ago, when Lex started to work for his current employer Ordina, he could choose with which Microsoft technology he liked to work. Because of his interested in BizTalk since its betas (2000), he chose for that product, a choice he has never regretted since that day.

Lex on the beginning of his career:

“In my early days in IT, when Internet was not as widely available as it is now, I already wanted to share my experience and be innovative. To challenge myself to further develop myself and just because it is fun, I shared my experience with my direct colleagues.”

“When I started with BizTalk, I worked as closely as possible with my more experienced colleagues like Randal van Splunteren (who's now a MVP) and Isaac Ferreira. They left Ordina in 2006 and I inherited the BIA-blog they had initiated. So since that time, I am blogging my experiences there. At that time I also tried answering questions on BizTalkGurus. It is also since that time that I know Steef-Jan and other people from who many are still active in the BizTalk Community.”

More recently Lex started writing blog posts on BizTalkAdminsBlogging, which is initiated by Jeroen Hendriks (Axon Olympus). On this blog around 10 authors blog about topics which target BizTalk Admins. This blog, other blogs and the many events with presentations on administrative topics, makes sure that the BizTalk Admins are heard. This is important, because with the specific experience they have. You need to have them involved during the design, development and deployment preparation phase of a BizTalk project. The goal is off course to create better BizTalk solutions all together!

Even more recent Lex has started a website called BizTalk Events. With this website he wants to make BizTalk related events, mainly from BizTalk and Connected Systems User Groups, around the globe more visible by showing them in a calendar. Afterwards and when available, he provides links to downloadable content (slide decks/demos) from the events and/or (links to) reviews of the events. This way Lex hopes to give the events a bit more attention resulting in more wide-spread knowledge of BizTalk!

Lex comments on his site:

“To me the BizTalk Events site has shown very clear that the rumor that BizTalk is dead, is far from the truth! During the period May until September 2012 there are now 18 around the world events registered on BizTalk Events! Let's say that there is an average of 30 attendants per event. That would be mean that around 540 attendants around the globe learning a lot about different aspects of BizTalk !”

Lex has a strong opinion on BizTalk Server:

“Since its early releases BizTalk is evolved to a mature product with support for many protocols and Lines of Business. Also the Developer experience and the out-of-the-box capabilities for Administrators have been improved amazingly, since those early releases. The most intriguing capability from BizTalk however, actually the reason of its existence, is that it enables organizations to connect their internal systems and/or external parties through BizTalk, which leads to better streamlined business processes, resulting in more efficient organizations, achieving their goals and serving their customers. From day 1 this is my motivation to work with BizTalk and why I like to work with BizTalk so much! I simply can't get enough of seeing these 1000's of messages work their way through BizTalk, supporting the business process, the organization and the customer!”

Lex is a busy bee, however in his spare time he likes play field hockey, doing a lot of stuff on his computer, stargazing, having a whisky (preferable single malt), drink wine (Gutturnio is my latest favorite) and having dinner with great food, wine and company. He also enjoys the rare moments that he and his wife have, when the kids don't sleep at home. They love to have a nice dinner for two and grab a movie.

Finally Lex would like to thank all the readers of his blog posts, people that follow the events on BizTalkEvents and jis followers on Twitter! And to Steef-Jan:

“It is unbelievable how much valuable content you have generated! You have been and still are a great example to me!”

One final statement from Lex:

"Using the immense content generated by the BizTalk Community for your own good is smart, but sharing your own experience through participation in the BizTalk Community is even better!"

Thanks Lex for your time and contributions for the BizTalk community. I enjoyed working together with you at Ordina and some of the events that were organized for BizTalk Server.

Cheers,

- Steef-Jan

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