Kasam Shaikh from Mumbai (India) is a Community MVP and a Cloud Solution Architect. Kasam has worked within the IT industry for over 13 years and has accomplished many great achievements. His commitment and hard work towards the Tech community has not gone unnoticed. He is a published author for three best-selling books on Microsoft Azure, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and he runs an Azure AI community. Kasam is a reputable and well-respected member of the Tech community who is always willing to support new and existing techies.
Kasam is currently offering one of his books, Microsoft Azure for .Net Core Developers, for free, to anyone who has lost their job due to the current Covid19 Pandemic, and are willing to upgrade their Cloud – Microsoft Azure skill set, but struggling financially to invest. A link with further details can be located towards the end of the interview.
Kasam has an impressive portfolio as you will gather from his interview shortly, so let’s move to the interview.
Kasam Shaikh interview
Tell us about yourself?
Hello, I am Kasam Shaikh, from Mumbai, INDIA, working as a Cloud Solution Architect in Capgemini. I span a total 13 years with IT Industry and have worked with multiple domains like Media, Capital Market, Retail, etc. I am a published Author for three best-selling books on Azure and also a MCT. I run, Azure AI community named Dear Azure – Azure INDIA (az-india) from last four years. I study on comparative religion to make out the similarities among different religion.
What is your greatest achievement whilst working in the world of Tech?
Achievement as such there are many and all are great, like,
- Authoring Best-selling Book on Azure & AI
- Running Tech YouTube Channel
- Leading fastest growing & most followed Azure Community.
- Azure for .NET Core Developers made it to the Best Microsoft Azure Books of All Time! – I’m happy to announce that my book, “Azure for .NET Core Developers: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions Using .NET Core Framework (English Edition)“, made it to Book Authority’s Best Microsoft Azure Books of All Time,
Book Authority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honour to get this kind of recognition.
How did you get into IT?
What would you recommend for someone wanting to start a career in IT?
Two things, friendly advice I would like to give new joiners are, first to confidently present one’s opinion on any subject they are dealing with. Don’t worry be it wrong or right. If it’s Wrong, you will learn, if its Right, you will contribute to the subject. So, in both cases it’s a Win-Win situation. And Second, most importantly, start working towards making your thoughts to be in action. Express yourself, let your action speak for you.
How did you get into the world of Microsoft Azure?
For this I will thank my mentor, who advised me to get into Microsoft Azure back in 2015. Events like Future Unleashed by Microsoft added to my interest.
What are your areas of expertise? Are you still working with other Microsoft products apart from Microsoft Azure?
Currently, Azure AI are my key expertise. Yes, I have extensively worked on Microsoft Technologies, .NET, SQL and now PowerApps 😊
We noticed that one of your areas of expertise is within the Azure AI (Artificial Intelligence) field. Could you give us an explanation of what Azure AI (Artificial Intelligence) is and why would a business want to use Azure AI? What are the benefits?
Good question, and best answer are my two books authored on the same topic. Would recommend you have these books for better understanding of the subject. The books are available at Kasam Shaikh Books
Have you worked on any recent Azure AI projects you would like to tell us about?
I have developed multiple Azure AI based projects. The one I like most is, Digital Admin, replacing the office admin work to much extent. It was an internal product for one my organisation I have worked with, so can’t reveal much.
What would you recommend for someone who wants to learn Azure AI? Where should they start? Are there any areas one should study or learn before moving onto Azure AI?
Best is to start with AI-900 – AI Fundamentals certification exam from Microsoft.
Then AI-100. And for both best learning resource is Microsoft Learn. You can also visit my YouTube channel for a 2 hours video on AI-900 presented by Rahat Yasir – Microsoft MVP in AI from Canada, as it was beneficial for many to clear the concepts.
My YouTube channel includes tons of resources to start with and expertise with Microsoft Azure, AI, Bots.
Could you tell us a bit about the Azure Bot Service? Why would businesses want to use the Azure Bot Service?
Azure Bot service is one of the best services from Microsoft to host & manage your Bot. It simplifies your Bot integration with multiple social channels like Facebook Messenger, MS Teams, etc. To increase productivity & decrease management efforts, it’s the best choice for businesses to have Azure Bot Service as part of the Bot Solution. My first book as an Author is on Azure Bot & QnA Maker Service 😊
Where can one get started if they want to learn Azure Bot Service?
For learning any subject, my only advise would be Microsoft Learn & Microsoft docs. And of course, my Books 😊
For those techies who want to move into .NET with zero coding experience, where is a good place to start?
Most important step is, ‘to Start’. There are ample of official content produced by .NET Community in association with Microsoft for .NET
Which programming language would you recommend a beginner should start with if they want to start a career in working on Microsoft Azure Products?
Microsoft Azure supports multiple programming language like .NET, JAVA, Python, Ruby, etc. So, there is no prerequisite on which language is required to work with Azure Products. The only prerequisite for working with Microsoft Azure is to clear Azure Fundamentals. Microsoft offers AZ-900 – Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam. You can visit here to learn on how to study and easily pass Azure Fundamental Certification Exam.
I noticed that you are an author of a few books! What are these books about? And where can one download or purchase a copy from?
Yes, I have authored three books,
- Demystifying Azure AI: Implementing the Right AI Features for Your Business – September 2020
- Azure for .NET Core Developers: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions Using .NET Core Framework – April 2020
- Developing Bots with QnA Maker Service: Integration with Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Bot Framework – January 2019
Could you please tell us about your Azure User Group? What does it involve? What type of users is the event aimed for?
As mentioned, I lead an Azure User group name Dear Azure – Azure INDIA. It’s one of the most growing & followed Azure group globally with around 6K+ organic followers over LinkedIn. It involves, organizing learning series focusing on one subject related to Azure AI. All sessions, webinars, bootcamps are free to attend and later are published on my YouTube channel for learners to go through. These webinars are presented by Global Speakers, MVPs, Authors and Subject Experts. All the professionals who have zeal to learn Azure & Azure AI are our group members.
Your website mentions that you’re a MS Docs and MS Community Contributor. What does your role involve? And can anyone get involved?
Its not a role, it’s a contribution that can be done to Microsoft Docs product contents. For instance, if you are working on any Azure product, and know some tips or resolution of pain area, you can add this at doc. If approved by the official authors, it gets added to the content. I did it for a couple of products like QnA Maker, etc.
What certifications have you achieved, or the certifications you are working towards?
Microsoft Azure Solutions Expert, Azure Security Associate, AI Engineer Associate & Power Platform Fundamentals. I am now working on Azure IoT certification.
How do you keep up to date with the latest Microsoft Azure products?
Azure Friday is what I religiously follow along with Azure Charts 😊
What would you recommend for someone who wants to become Azure certified?
Be genuine to your work, have a good amount of hands-on on the subject. Consider Microsoft Practice tests over Dumps. Just don’t do it for earning a certificate or badge, but to validate your skills & expertise on the subject.
You’re a successful international speaker. What’s your advice for someone who wants to become a public speaker but not confident, or not sure where to start?
Speak up, don’t be shy, don’t wait for a big platform or big event to speak on. Start with small user groups, your local groups, your office colleague groups and you will slowly become more confident to present the subject. You can also reach out to me, as the community group Dear Azure always encourage new speakers to present and share their knowledge and experience on any given topic. There are many global speakers, who first started their journey with Dear Azure 😊
How did you become a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)?
I work closely with CodeSizzler, a silver partner with Microsoft in training & consulting lead by Abdul Rasheed Feroz Khan. All credits go to him for grooming me as MCT.
What’s next in your Microsoft Azure journey?
Getting my hands dirty with Low Code Solutions offered by Microsoft.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
It’s very simple to present any given topic as ‘difficult’, but it’s very challenging to explain the same topic in a simplified manner…Accept the Challenge 😊
The most important question of all 😊
From a scale from 1 – 10 how crazy are you about Microsoft Azure? (10 being the highest)
With no doubt, 10+ !
End of interview
Name: Kasam Shaikh
Website: Kasam Shaikh
LinkedIn: Dear Azure LinkedIn
YouTube: Kasam Shaikh YouTube
Free book offer: Microsoft Azure for .Net Core Developers, Book for free