2020 – The year review
Another year has passed and here is my usual review about everything I have produced and shared with the community during the last 12 months.
2020 was a year that no one will ever forget, the world was caught by surprise by a pandemic and in a blink of an eye we were all working from home trying to avoid getting caught by COVID-19.
Despite all the contingencies I did what I’ve doing over the last years and produced content to help others using Microsoft technologies covering essentially SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and even Windows 10 topics.
The new HANDS ON tek
I have started the HANDS ON tek blog 9 years ago, and since the first post a lot has happened in this little space. 2020 brought with it a structural modification to the blog and now it resembles more the Microsoft ecosystem.
The HANDS ON tek as it stands today hosts 4 different blogs and 1 landing page, with this said here is how I have structured it:
- HANDS ON tek – My personal landing page
- HANDS ON tek blog – The original blog; this space got a facelift this year, all the original content was archived and now this is the space where I write about generic technology with a special focus on Windows
- HANDS ON SharePoint – The SharePoint blog
- HANDS ON Teams – The Microsoft Teams blog
- HANDS ON Lists – The Microsoft Lists blog; was born this year it covers topics related with the Microsoft Lists applications and SharePoint lists
Despite being 4 independent blogs, they are all connected by a common branding and by the layout that was inspired on the Microsoft 365 applications. In the following animation you can see how all 4 blogs look like with its unique colors that connect them to the platform covered in each one.
Continuing the trends of the past years 2020 broke all the previous records with:
- 69 blog posts
- 703 766 visits
- 158 subscribers
Continuing a tradition of the last years here you have the top 3 articles in each one of the blogs.
HANDS ON tek
- How to enable Project Moca – Your new productivity app
- How to update Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows Mobile 10
- How to use Snap Camera with Skype
HANDS ON SharePoint
- How to host a static HTML site on SharePoint
- Convert Classic root sites to Modern SharePoint
- How to get SharePoint profile picture
HANDS ON Teams
- How to quote a message in Microsoft Teams
- How to record a meeting on Microsoft Teams
- How to share meeting recordings with external users
HANDS ON Lists
- Microsoft Lists – Everything you need to know since day one
- How to open SharePoint lists in Microsoft Lists
- Share Lists and List items to Microsoft Teams
2020 was the year I published my first book, Hands-on Microsoft Teams, a challenging project but a very rewarding and nice one.
Here is a short description of what you can find in the book.
“Microsoft Teams is a platform for unified communication in modern workplaces. It not only enables effective communication, but also helps you manage your resources through its integration with various Microsoft 365 services. This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the platform, getting you up to speed in no time. Complete with hands-on tutorials and projects, this easy-to-follow guide will teach you how to use Teams in the best possible way.
Starting with the basic concepts that will help you collaborate on Teams, you’ll then dive into expert techniques for creating and managing Teams. A dedicated section also features industry practices to help enhance collaboration in modern workplaces. In later chapters, you’ll explore Microsoft services such as SharePoint, Planner, and OneDrive and learn how they interact with Microsoft Teams. You’ll even get to grips with dealing with permissions and security issues in managing private and public teams and channels. All along, you’ll discover practical scenarios that will help you improve the collaboration in your organization and increase productivity by using Teams features.
By the end of this book, you’ll have hands-on experience with how to use Microsoft Teams, along with the skills you need to improve the way people collaborate in your organization.”
I am gradually getting used to do videos to complement the articles in the blog posts and 2020 broke also all the records on my YouTube channel with:
- 13 videos
- 19 399 views
- 158 subscribers
Here you have the top 3 videos in the channel for 2020:
- How to quote a message on Microsoft Teams
- Create internal newsletters using SharePoint News
- How to download audio messages from Microsoft Teams
While working to write articles I often end up creating solutions that once the post is published, I also make available on GitHub. This year I have created 3 new repositories with solutions for SharePoint and Microsoft Teams
- Create SharePoint news programmatically – This solution explains how to use the SharePoint APIs to create SharePoint news
- Add Microsoft Clarity to modern SharePoint – This solution adds the new tracking tool from Microsoft to a modern SharePoint site
- Classic Snake game for Microsoft Teams – This was one of the first games available for Microsoft Teams, built to bring people working remotely closer. The users are able to play the classic game directly in Microsoft Teams and compare the scores in the leaderboard screen
Awards and recognitions
I have renewed the Microsoft MVP award for the second time in the Office Development category, and I am happy to continue to belong to such a special and inspiring community.
Not an award or an official recognition but felt good to see the work I have produced in 1st place in two of the main categories in the European SharePoint Conference top content of 2020.
- How to Run Multiple Instances of Microsoft Teams using Microsoft Edge
- Hands-On Microsoft Teams – How to Use Microsoft Teams – Meetings and Live Events
In 2020 I missed most of the events that I had in my list but on the other hand I had the opportunity to attend events worldwide as speaker, being able to continue connected with this amazing community.
In total I have attended 10 events during the year, 7 of those as a speaker and 1 as organizer.
- Microsoft Ignite the tour London – Attendee
- Scottish Summit, Glasgow – Speaker
- Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon – Speaker, 2 Sessions
- Commsverse Online – Speaker
- Teams Day Online – Speaker
- Teams Fest – Speaker
- Collabdays Lisbon – Organizer
- Microsoft 365 Developer bootcamp – Speaker
- M365 Chicago – Speaker
- Teams Nation, December Meetup – Speaker
If you want to watch the recordings of my year sessions have a look here.
In 2020 I have got addicted to Microsoft certification badges, during the year I did 5 certification exams and achieved 3 new certifications:
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
In total I have now 10 badges and 4 Microsoft certification.
Despite all the achievements of 2020 there were still a few things left to do that I’m moving now to 2021, I’ll revisit this post in the beginning of next year and will let you know how it went.
This is what I would like to:
- Publish more videos on my YouTube channel
- Reach 500 subscribers on YouTube
- Reach 1 million visits in a year in all blogs combined
- Produce more content about Microsoft Teams development
- Review the Readme of all my GitHub projects
- Reply to the blog comments more often, If you are still waiting for a reply I’m really sorry
- Do 2 new Microsoft certifications
- Publish at least one new book
Finally, yet important a big THANK YOU for all your support.