Dwayne Natwick is a MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) located in Michigan in the US. He is currently a Senior Cloud Training Architect at Opsgility/SkillMeUP where he creates training content, develops learning labs, and presents live content to classes. He is bursting with experience and knowledge having worked in IT for over 30 years. It wasn’t long before Dwayne responded to AzureCrazy for an interview. He is friendly and easily approachable who is willing to share his knowledge.
Dwayne is also a MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) and has many years of experience with training and public speaking.
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Dwayne Natwick Interview
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Dwayne Natwick. I am located in Michigan in the US. I am currently a Senior Cloud Training Architect at Opsgility/SkillMeUP where I create training content, develop learning labs, and present live content to classes. I have been in IT for over 30 years in a variety of roles. I have been happily married for 22 years and have three children, 19 and 10 year old boys and a 17 year old girl. We have a 5 year old mini-golden doodle dog.
What is your greatest achievement whilst working in the world of Tech?
I have had a number of achievements that I have been proud of the past 18 months. These include getting my first certifications on Azure, becoming a MCT and MCT Regional Lead, and getting a position as a full time Cloud Training Architect. I would have to say that when I received notification that I had been awarded the Microsoft MVP Award, that was an incredible honor that made me feel extremely proud.
How did you get into IT?
My path to IT is an interesting one. I was never one that did much with technology when I was younger. I didn’t have a gaming system until I was in my twenties and never spent much time on computers. I started working with my father’s company pulling phone and network cabling during summers when I was 13. I gained knowledge but it never was something that I wanted to do. After college, I worked full time with my dad pulling cable, installing networks and phone systems. I was offered a job managing a network distribution company and that was when I moved full time into IT as a career.
How did you get into the world of Microsoft Azure?
About 6 years ago, the company that I worked for purchased a cloud provider and I became a Product Manager for their server and desktop hosting services. As public cloud services began to grow in popularity, I launched the ability to resell Azure services within the Microsoft CSP program. I decided that I was going to begin to get certified in Azure as I felt very comfortable with their services and programs.
What are your areas of expertise? Are you still working with other Microsoft products apart from Microsoft Azure?
I have worked with security, VMware, AWS, and Google in addition to Azure and Microsoft 365. In my current role, I am 100% focused on Azure and M365.
What certifications have you achieved, or the certifications you are working towards?
My current certifications include (in order received):
Azure Administrator Associate
Azure Solutions Architect Expert
Azure Developer Associate
Microsoft Certified Trainer
Azure Security Engineer Associate
Azure Data Scientist Associate
Azure AI Engineer Associate
Power Platform Fundamentals
Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
Azure AI Fundamentals
Azure Data Fundamentals
Teams Administrator Associate
Microsoft 365 Security Administrator Associate
What would you recommend for those wanting to learn Azure?
I recommend starting with the fundamentals certifications using Microsoft learn and docs. Then choose the direction you may want to go based on your career goals. I have written about my journey at Captain Hyper Scaler
How do you keep up to date with the latest Microsoft Azure products?
Follow blogs from other MVPs, continue to read Microsoft docs and learn modules.
What would you recommend for someone who wants to become Azure certified?
Start with Microsoft Learn modules and Microsoft docs. Then find some online content like www.skillmeup.com to gain the next level of skills including labs. For exams beyond the fundamentals, you will need to learn to perform hands-on. Microsoft Learn’s GitHub repo provides labs for each exam.
What’s your advice for someone who wants to become a public speaker but not confident, or not sure where to start?
I recommend to start on a topic that they are comfortable with. If you are looking to start a YouTube channel, just go ahead and do it. Practice and listen to yourself. If you are wanting to speak at conferences, start by offering content for local user groups first. Find a breakout talk that is in your area of expertise and that you are passionate about. When talking at virtual meetings, turn on your camera to get used to showing yourself.
How did you become a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)?
I had spent years doing product launches and training for technical and non technical groups. After I had received a couple of Azure certifications, I started to look into becoming a MCT to deliver certified trainer. I applied and was accepted.
How did you become an MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional)?
It is so new to me, it is still hard to understand it. I was awarded my first MVP on September 1 of 2020. I made a commitment to the community starting mid last year. I started my blog site and contributed to the Azure Advent Calendar, Azure Spring Clean, and was accepted for a breakout session at Ignite the Tour Chicago. The last of those was cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, I contributed two recorded and one live session to Global Azure Virtual in May. I was nominated by the Microsoft Partner Technology Specialist. It took a few months to be awarded, but it was well worth it. It is important to not try to be an MVP, do community work because you enjoy it.
What’s next in your Microsoft Azure journey?
I’m continuing to learn more Azure and Microsoft 365 technologies. My next certification attempt is the Microsoft 365 Administrator Expert later this year. I also plan on expanding my AKS and PowerShell capabilities.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Have a passion for what you do, learn, and provide to the community, and be true to yourself.
The most important question of all 😊
From a scale from 1 – 10 how crazy are you about Microsoft Azure? (10 being the highest)
Definitely a 10 out of 10.
End of Interview
Name: Dwayne Natwick
Website: Captain Hyper-scaler