Welcome to our Monday interview with a Wiki Ninja!

Today we're interviewing... Lex Hegt.

Besides being my friend Lex is the founder of the BizTalk Events website that tries to give you an overview in the worldwide organized BizTalk related events.

 

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

My name is Lex Hegt, I’m 48 years, I’m married to my wife Odette and together with our 2 kids Denise (10 years) and Casper (8 years) I live near The Hague in The Netherlands. The picture below shows my wife and kids; although the picture is taken about two years ago, It’s still one of my favorites!

I started working in IT many years ago and I had jobs like Helpdesk Engineer, System Administrator, Functional Designer and .NET developer. Currently I work for Ordina, a large Dutch IT Consultancy company, but next month (September 2013) I’ll move to Axon Olympus, which is one of the very few BizTalk focused companies in The Netherlands. So for me that’s a big move! My current role is mainly BizTalk Administration, but I consider myself also a developer and architect.

Besides my job and IT related matters, I have several other hobbies and interests, I’ll mention just a couple: field hockey (especially goal keeping), stargazing (currently not very active :(), wine and whisky. Since a short while my son and I spend time with his brand new RC boat. I also love to travel (with or without wife/kids) and love to show the kids beautiful and interesting places in The Netherlands and abroad! Finally I love to have dinner with just my wife or with good friends. Although at home I’m not the chef, during a barbecue I tend to keep my standards high!

What do you do with TechNet Wiki? And what is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

My activities around TechNet Wiki are, besides reading many Wiki articles and Blog posts, mainly editing Wiki articles, maintaining the few articles of my own hand and contribute to the Gallery by adding BizTalk related SQL scripts.

When it comes to editing Wiki articles, I tend to be a perfectionist. I want the articles to be good looking, with as little as possible typos, layout errors and inconsistencies of any kinds. That’s a lot of work, but by doing so, the quality and the usability of the Wiki gets better and all users benefit from it!

Using and maintaining a Wiki wasn’t new for me, since at my current job we also use a Wiki for sharing knowledge! You can imagine that our Wiki isn’t as extensive as TechNet Wiki, but the concepts are the same. I have to admit that, as an editor, I prefer TechNet Wiki because the editor is much more powerful and easier to use than the one I use at my current assignment.


What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

A couple of years ago a number of community members started to embrace TechNet Wiki. Since that time, and of course, because of those efforts, the TechNet Wiki has become a premier resource when it comes to Microsoft technology. My main focus is BizTalk and you simple can’t ignore the wealth of BizTalk knowledge and resources which is available at TechNet Wiki! I also like the fact that the Wiki principles make it so easy to participate and improve the quality of Wiki articles. Even when someone is new to a certain technology, you can just start reading the article(s) you like and make improvements on-the-go! And that’s probably the most important advantage of TechNet Wiki over ‘normal’ blogs: Wiki articles can be edited and thereby improved by others!

It doesn’t end there; from time to time new ideas are born and executed. Take the recently introduced Ninja belts; this is a great way to honor the people who do all the work to keep the TechNet Wiki up to date! So, although the Wiki principles stay intact, the Wiki evolves too!

 
What are your favorite articles you’ve contributed?

That’s a tough question… There are so many articles and they all have their own value. A list of resources of a certain kind is ‘just’ a list, but it is valuable because it lists many articles of a certain category. On the other hand when you take an article which discusses a certain topic into its most obscure details, it is valuable because it is so detailed. But, to return to your question, often I visit TechNet Wiki to find articles about a certain topic. I often start with articles like ´BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki´, so I guess that´s one of my favorites!


On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?

That question is a lot easier! At that time that TechNet Wiki became increasingly important, I´ve worked together with Howard S. Edidin and others on the article which is now called the ‘The BizTalk Anti-Pattern List’. This was a great initiative from Howard and at that time there was quite some buzz around it!

 

Do you have any tips for new Wiki contributors?

That’s an easy one too! Ed Price, Steef-Jan Wiggers and you make a lot impression to me in the Wiki community! There are simply no words to describe how much effort you took in the past and still take in keeping the TechNet Wiki up to date, good looking and consistent. The TechNet Wiki is really in your blood!

 

Do you have any tips for new Wiki contributors?

Yes I do. TechNet Wiki contains a wealth of information about Microsoft Technologies. Whether you’re a pro or a newbie on a certain technology, start reading Wiki articles that you are interested in and get familiar of how Wikis work in general and the capabilities of TechNet Wiki in particular. Especially for BizTalk, I don’t know how it is with other technologies, there is a fantastic article which tend to list all BizTalk resources on TechNet Wiki. It’s the same article I’ve mentioned earlier: ´BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki´. Although Steef-Jan is the creator of the article, in the spirit of TechNet Wiki, the article has been adopted and is now maintained by more community members and has grown to an impressive resource! So for reading and getting familiar with TechNet Wiki, that’s a great starting point!

When you are familiarized with TechNet Wiki, it’s time for participation. Pro or newbie, everybody is specialized in something. You might think that your knowledge is common knowledge and of course there is a lot of common knowledge on any technology, but still there’s enough to write new articles about or to improve existing articles! It all starts with hitting that Edit or Post an article link! The Wiki will reward you immediately with bronze medals. The more you participate the more medals, in any color, will be yours. But… the medals aren’t your biggest reward. Your biggest reward is that you have become a member of the TechNet Wiki community and your articles are read by other community members. Sharing knowledge. That’s what it’s all about, that is your biggest reward! By sharing knowledge you help others and evolve the entire community! Of course you can maintain a blog of your own, but then you will miss the advantages of TechNet Wiki. There are already some great contributors, but there certainly is room for more! So I hope we welcome more contributors soon!

 

Final words from Lex:

"At Sandro: thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself on TechNet Wiki. We’ve met a couple of times in the real world and I know you as a great guy and a true honourable (Wiki) ninja. I wish you all the best and hope to meet again soon!"


Thanks Lex for the interview and your contributions for the BizTalk Community and thanks for your kind words

 

“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” - Nelson Mandela

- BizTalk Wiki Ninja Sandro Pereira (Blog, Wiki, Twitter, Profile)