Re-awarded as Microsoft Azure MVP

This past Thursday I received the notice that I was re-awarded as Microsoft MVP. This will be my year #6 has a Microsoft Azure MVP. I still remember the exact place I was when 6 years ago on an April 1st I got my first email saying I got awarded! I was working at a customer site in Cyprus. I just had finished to the day and had packed my laptop in the backpack. Then I got an email notification on my phone and then the phone died on me. No more battery… I was like, I must be dreaming, I turn the computer on and stay blocked looking at the computer screen for more than 10 minutes! I was speechless! This is still the feeling I get every single time I got re-awarded. Still surprised and still with imposter syndrome.

I would say it because it’s what, I fell: It’s and huge honor to be among such great minds of the industry!

To all my fellow MVP – You All ROCK! You are amazing and do loads for the #Community! I will not tag or mention anyone, I will for sure forget someone important for me and then I will be feeling bad! You all know who you are!

It has been a crazy year and I hope everything will start becoming normal very soon and that we can start do some in-person events! I’m ready for that!!! I reviewed what I wrote 1 year ago, about some plans for this past year. I felt pretty good… From 8 objectives I got 7 done and one more kid in between. Sounds pretty good for me. I didn’t publish “loads of videos” on my YouTube channel. This is the year!

A special thanks to Cristina Gonzalez Herrero and Irene Pires. They do an amazing work managing the program at my region. Sometimes it’s not easy to manage these strong opinion MVPs, but they do it amazingly well!

I would just like to end with a big thanks to the community and all the other MVP and non-MVP that do the Microsoft Communities a great place to be, learn and network!

Speaking at Microsoft Build!

Microsoft Build ( takes place on May 25-27, 2021 in a digital format and this year I’m delivering 2 table talks! After speaking at Microsoft Ignite for 5 editions in-a-row it’s now time to speak at Microsoft Build. Super excited for this and more for having such great co-speakers with me. It’s free, you should register today and RSVP to my 2 sessions and have the chance to interact with all of us. We want to answer your questions live! Yes, it’s going to be live, no recordings here!!!

How to build cloud-native solutions

Cloud-native technologies are used to develop applications built with services packaged in containers, deployed as microservices, and managed on elastic infrastructure through agile processes. Join our Table Topic to learn how Azure helps organizations create cloud native solutions. Our community co-hosts will share samples from their experiences building applications and helping customers build innovative world applications. Unmute yourself, turn your camera on – No presentations here! Be prepared for chat and a fun interactive discussion!

📅 Wednesday, May 26
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM WET

How the community and certifications can help you achieve more

There are lots of resources you can tap into to help you with your professional development. Connect with the community and our experts to explore resources available to you from content, to community to certifications. Unmute yourself, turn your camera on – No presentations here! Be prepared for chat and a fun interactive discussion!

📅 Tuesday, May 25
9:30 PM – 10:00 PM WET

Join us online, have fun and happy learning! We I really believe that next year’s event we can all be in-person toghether! I will be there!!! For now, I just leave here some memories of past Microsoft Conferences. I miss you all!!!

Microsoft Certifications – Microsoft Exam duration and question types

Several professionals interested in Microsoft Certifications reached out and question me about Microsoft Exams and Microsoft Certifications. I think it’s time to put this in written and in an organized way. I will start a series of articles and videos about Microsoft Certifications. How to get ready, tips, exam durations … Basically all that you need to know to get that certification! I will explain all what I have learn by taking more than 70 Microsoft exams.

In this article I will focus on exam duration and question types. When teaching a class, it’s normal to get questions like:

  • How many questions the exam X, Y or Z has?
  • What is the duration of the exam?
  • Are the exam questions only multiple-choice?
  • Does my exam have labs?

Duration of Microsoft exams

Exam type/level Duration (questions) Total Duration
Fundamentals 60 minutes 80 minutes
Associate 130 minutes 150 minutes
Expert 150 minutes 170 minutes
MOS (Office) 50 minutes 60 minutes

Note: Duration (questions) is the actual time you have the answer questions when “Total Duration” includes the time to read instruction and provide feedback about the exam.

Number of questions of an exam

Microsoft doesn’t release the exact number of questions each exam has, but they share that an exam has around 40-60 questions. But please pay attention that this can change!!! And to be totally honest, I personally would not care that much about the number of questions. The important piece of information is the duration of the exam. Microsoft Learning is doing exams for many years, they will allocate an unspecified number of questions that a regular exam candidate can answer during the allocated time. In short, I will not woories that much about the number of questions your exam would have.

Question types

Always a popular topic. What kind of questions there are on the exam! These are some sample questions your exame might (or not) get on your exam:

Active screen

Best answer

Build list

Case studies

Drag and drop

Hot area

Multiple choice

Repeated answer question

Short answer

Mark review

Review screen

Hope this was interesting. What more topics do you want to read on this series? If you have questions just drop a line. Happy to help.


And the Enrique Lima Award Winner is…. Tiago Costa

This past Tuesday – 12th April, I got awarded with the Enrique Lima award. This is probably the hardest post I ever wrote… I have no words to describe the feeling and how much this award means to me. Enrique was an amazing person and a great leader on the MCT Community – a true role-model. Unfortunate he passed away during the MCT Summit in Bellevue in 2016 and Microsoft Learning (now WWL – Worldwide Learning) decided to create this award in his memory. The list of awardees is impressive, but I need to highlight the MCT previously awarded – a good friend and MCT Regional Lead for the UK – Chris Rhodes. Chris was an active member of the community, always available to help and available to share his knowledge by speaking in conferences and user groups. Unfortunately, Chris had passed away after battle a long-term illness. So, I like to think about this award as a dedication all the hard work of all the MCTs that are no longer among us!

I got the award at 12:30 AM… Very late for me. I barely sleep this night thinking and remembering some great conversations with Enrique and Chris. Let’s not cry but remember all the good time we spend together with Enrique, Chris, all other MCTs that are no longer with us!

I final message to all the Microsoft Certified Trainers that selected me for this award, it is a great honor to carry your trust and an award with Enrique’s name! A special message for George Markou – Σ’ ευχαριστώ αδερφέ μου – that sent this kind message to Microsoft Learning!

What is the Enrique Lima award?

Recognizing and celebrating the outstanding work of Microsoft Certified Trainers

The Enrique Lima Award was established to honor the contributions of Enrique Lima—a husband, a father of two, an MCT and MCT Regional Lead—who went above and beyond expectations to build a vibrant MCT Community. Enrique personified the spirit of the MCT Community. Today, the award is given to those who embody the same knowledge, passion, and commitment to the Microsoft community, as a whole, and specifically to the MCT program.

Previous awardees

The list of the previous awardees is quite impressive. Great leaders of the community.

  • 2019 – Chris Rhodes (UK)
  • 2018 – John Deardurff (USA)
  • 2017 – Glenn Morris (Australia)
  • 2016 – Rachel Jones (USA) and Konstantin Ceran (Turkey)

2019 Award Winner – Chris Rhodes

For over 20 years Chris brought change and opportunity to the classroom, empowering thousands of learners with flair for knowledge transfer drawn from a lifelong commitment to teaching Microsoft technologies.

His Exchange Server knowledge saw him ghost co-write an Exchange book and many official exam questions. He later specialized into PowerShell and Windows Server and earned the coveted Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award seven times for his Windows expertise and community activities with the Windows User Group, and later the Microsoft 365 User Group in Yorkshire.

Chris was a career MCT, popular and regarded, highly, amongst his peers. Over the last 23 years he has helped thousands of IT professionals in their careers, teaching Microsoft technology courses both throughout the UK and internationally.

Sadly, Chris passed away in July 2019. Chris loved his wife of 21 years, Steph, and their seven children and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and fellow MCTs.

2018 Award Winner – John Deardurff

Prior to joining Microsoft as a SQL Premier Field Engineer, John spent 17 years as a Senior Technical Instructor for New Horizons of Indianapolis. John has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) since July 2000, and an MCT Regional Lead since 2012. He specializes in teaching Windows Networking, Active Directory, Exchange Server, and SQL Server courses. He has also been a guest speaker at several dozen SQL Saturday events across the United States. John currently serves as a board member for the Indianapolis SQL Server Users Group (IndyPASS) and is one of the lead organizers of the SQL Saturday event held annually in Indianapolis.

What achieving the 2018 Enrique Lima Award means to John: “Being awarded the Enrique Lima award by the global MCT community was such an incredible honor. Enrique was such a large part of the community in the giving of his time, knowledge and heart, both locally and globally. I was deeply humbled to bring the spirit of this award back to our shared hometown of Indianapolis.

2017 Award Winner – Glenn Morris

A former Mathematics Lecturer turned developer Glenn has transitioned into the Data Science stream over the past decade. During his move to the Information Technology world Glenn realized he enjoyed passing on his passion for technology and became a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Glenn’s passion extends to training and empowering people.

Glenn alternates between training in the classroom and consulting, but admits he has a leaning towards the classroom.

Glenn’s statement on receiving the 2017 Enrique Lima Award: “I was incredibly honored to receive the Enrique Lima Award. Enrique was one of the people that inspired me to be a better trainer and, more importantly, to be a more giving and community minded MCT. Being based in Australia I often felt detached from the greater MCT community but after meeting Enrique, he took time to introduce me to people and communities all over the world while inspiring me to become a leader in my own region. With his help and guidance, I have run a number of MCT Events in Australia, become a Regional Lead and generally become a better trainer and member of the MCT Community. I guess it is all the little things he did that made him special.

2016 Award Winners

Rachel Jones

A Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) since 1995, and a current MCT Regional Lead, Rachel Jones’ greatest passion is to broaden the reach of computer science education across diverse populations. Rachel’s 25-year career includes work as an instructor, software developer and content developer. She authored a computer science textbook used worldwide, and she is a subject matter expert with Microsoft helping to shape industry curriculum and certifications. Her education includes B.S. degrees in both Computer Science and Marketing. In addition, she holds several industry certifications.

When asked about what the 2016 Enrique Lima award means to her, Rachel replied, “Enrique Lima was a close friend and a colleague. He loved he MCT Community and was always the first to lend a helping hand to others. It is the greatest honor and privilege of my career to be an inaugural recipient of the Enrique Lima award. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Konstantin Ceran

Konstantin is an IT Professional, currently working as a Learning Consultant for training companies based in Istanbul. With 20+ years of experience on the field, Konstantin focuses on Microsoft infrastructure solutions, with an expertise on Windows-based server technologies. In 2008, Konstantin was ranked 17th worldwide in certification training and rewarded by New Horizons USA with the Worldwide Excellence in Training award.

Konstantin loves to share his knowledge and volunteers as a mentor for colleagues who want to become certified trainers. Konstantin leads the Turkish Chapter for the International Association of MCTs and is the Microsoft Regional Lead for MCTs in Turkey.

What achieving the 2018 Enrique Lima Award means to Konstantin: “I was deeply touched to be selected for an award bearing [Enrique’s] name in 2016. I also felt honored because people who were thousands of miles away from me were actually seeing my efforts. Until then, I did not know that so many people were appreciating my involvement in the MCT community. So I felt a certain responsibility to those who had recommended me for this award and I am still honored to be one of the very few people who received the Enrique Lima Award globally.

Speaking at Global Azure 2021


Global Azure is here, and we have an overload of amazing sessions!!!

Has previous years and toghether with 3 other Azure MVPs (Pedro Sousa, Virgilio Esteves and Sandro Pereira) I’m organizing the local Global Azure 2021 – Portugal.

This year I also decide to take advantage the virtual approach of most events and deliver sessions at 6 different events. Here is a small list:

  • 9:00AM to 9:15AM – Welcome at Global Azure Portugal
  • 9:15AM to 10:00 AM: I find your lack of Azure Governance disturbing! – Global Azure Portugal
  • 10:30AM – 11:00AM – India
  • 11:00 – 11:45 – I find your lack of Azure Governance disturbing! – Global Azure Greece (SLOT 2)
  • 11:45 to 12:00 – Supercharge you App Service to a Global Scale – Global Azure Nigeria (infra Track)
  • 11:45 to 12:45 – I find your lack of Azure Governance disturbing! – Global Azure Bulgaria (TRACK 3)

It’s going to be a crazy morning and then I will be monitoring the afternoon sessions at Global Azure Portugal. Will you join me at some of the events?