A few weeks ago I presented at the London BizTalk Summit 2013. During this event I met a few BizTalk professionals face to face, which I interviewed in the past for these community series. I for instance met Naushad Alam and Stuart Brierly. I also ran into Colin Meade.
Colin is a Senior Integration Consultant working for Spanish Point Technologies in Ireland. He is originally from Dublin, but he now lives in Belfast with his wife and daughter. Before he started his career in IT he aspired to be a full-time musician.
“Unfortunately, I soon realized playing guitar in a melodic death metal band wasn't going to pay the bills :-), so I decided to change the focus. Despite this, music still plays a massive role outside work and family life; whether it’s chilling out to a few tunes, playing guitar or going to a live gig.”
Like Colin I am a huge metal fan too, however I played the bass for a while and played in a band for a few weeks yet I was not cut out to be in a band.
Colin is an avid Gaelic Football fan and he spends the summer months traveling to G.A.A. (Gaelic Athletic Association) headquarters in Croke Park to watch his native county Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin) in the Championship. This team went 16 years without winning the Sam Maguire cup, but in 2011 they won it in spectacular fashion with a stoppage time free-kick which finished off a great day.
Colin started out almost 11 years ago as a .NET developer building Windows applications and services. He gradually moved towards building Web services and 6 years ago he began working with BizTalk Server which he has been specializing in ever since.
“I began working as a developer with BizTalk Server 2004, and over the last 4 years, I have moved into solutions architecture. I really like the broad range of experience gained through working with BizTalk Server, from infrastructure right the way through to performance analysis and optimization. It has enabled me to push the boundaries of my professional development much further than what might have been possible if I had remained working in my previous role as a .NET developer.”
Collins' view on BizTalk is as follows:
“I've also been really impressed with the commitment shown by Microsoft to the product in recent versions. There was a period where Microsoft wasn't keeping up with the latest tools and platforms which was not ideal as technical people want to be working with the latest technologies, but these days the BizTalk Server community is just a little over 3 months behind the latest Microsoft releases.
Now with the shift towards the hybrid model, BizTalk Server will open up many more interesting opportunities. I feel that these changes can only be positive, and I'm really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead working in the integration space.”
Colin likes to thank everyone that has visited his blog and hopes they have found it helpful in either solving a particular issue that they've faced or in pointing them in the right direction.
“When I first started working with BizTalk Server, I was really thrown in at the deep end. I utilized the many blogs available and the guidance of the community to get up to speed initially and as I became more experienced and focused on architecture and design followed the patterns and best practices advocated throughout the community.”
Final comments by Colin:
“There has always been a very strong and active BizTalk Server community, with members more than willing to share their knowledge and experiences. People like Richard Seroter, Michael Stephenson, Saravana Kumar, Thiago Almeida and of course you Steef-Jan have been very influential in how I approach designing and implementing BizTalk Server solutions; almost like having virtual mentors.”
“The main reason I started my blog was to give back to the community and hopefully assist and influence members in a similar fashion. I haven't been as active as I would like to be but hope that this year will see more of the many posts I have planned published.”
Thanks Colin for your time and contributions to the BizTalk community. We will meet again in the future.