BizTalk Community Series: Introducing Rob Fox


It’s spring time and the sun is shining. BizTalk Server has been released and a lot of events are organized or are about to take place; launch parties, user group meeting and large events like TechEd’s. The BizTalk community is vibrant. A lot of us MVP’s will be on stage coming weeks at these different events. We are joined by people from the community. One of them is Rob Fox. Today’s story is on him.

Rob, living together in the south of The Netherlands with his lovely girlfriend Marjolein, a dog and two cats. He works as a BizTalk Consultant for QNH and if he has any time left he likes to build apps for the Windows (Phone) environment.

“The last one is just for fun. Making money out of it is pretty difficult if you are not busy with it full time.” 

Besides spending time with Marjolein, walking the dog, building an app or the occasional website, Rob also does (Front-of-House) sound and tour management for one of Holland's bigger metal bands - Carach Angren.

“It's been fun to do, because it's just a different world altogether and it brings you all over the world.”

Like myself Rob is a metalhead and has similar musical taste. He is a catcher in a very un-European sport, baseball and he can be found at the gym a few times a week.

“The gym is in the Snow world building, so sometimes I might end up on a snowboard instead :) During the summer months I also like to ride the mountain bike.”

Rob mainly focusses on architecture and developing, sometimes forced into administration as well, because in most smaller companies you are "the guy who knows BizTalk".

“Although to most developers BizTalk is seen as evil, I like the product. I guess it takes a few years to appreciate the product as you will use more and more aspects of BizTalk. Problem solving skills will increase heavily and you will also fall far less for all of BizTalk's pitfalls. As your solutions start to be more robust, it works like a charm. Often other developers will accuse BizTalk of doing something wrong, but in the end it will always be either another system failing or me. Not having configured everything like I should or even a programming error, of course very very rarely :)”

Rob has a clear vision on integration:

“A new era of integration has started now (not only for Microsoft). We are starting to integrate with the cloud more and more. Therefor bringing BizTalk's features to the cloud will be pretty important. I have been busy with Windows Azure for a while now and I am pretty curious what BizTalk Services will have to offer.”

Rob hasn’t posted something on his own blog in a while and right now it's even down.

“Something to do with an instance and an object... I want to pick it up again soon and will be rebuilding the blog. I also roam around the BizTalk forums and answer questions, if I know the answer that is. Contributing to the community is a pretty important thing. If we hadn't had all those active bloggers and forum-dwellers like Steef-Jan, we would probably still be trying to solve some of the HRESULT issues we had.”

Rob likes presenting and he has done some talks about BizTalk at the Dutch BizTalk User Group, but he can also be found doing a talk on Windows Phone at other conferences. He is not the serious talker though, work is serious enough. Rob likes to mingle around in code (hands-on) and try and trigger the audience to pick it up themselves.

A final word from Rob:

“Steef-Jan, thanks for this opportunity. You contributed a lot to the community and I am pretty thankful for that. Some of my solutions may have been based on some of your posts. And of course always fun chatting at meetings, whether it's about BizTalk or just some kick-ass bands.”

I like to thank Rob for his time and contributions to the community.

Cheers,

Steef-Jan

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