It’s been a little while since I did a recap and since I’ll be stepping in to help run the Kansas’ Azure User Group I thought I should update this bio a bit and layout my current vision for IMAUG (Iowa Microsoft Azure User Group) and how the Kansas User Group fits into the overall vision I see moving forward.
Who Am I?
My name is Alec Harrison and I am a software engineering manager at Growers Edge super passionate on teaching others and all things Azure. I first got into cloud computing in college when people would always throw out buzz words like “block chain”, “big data”, “crypto”, and “the cloud” without really going into what any of that meant. I told myself early on after a very small amount of Googling I would pick a buzzword and really understand it. Well when you did into a big topic like “the cloud” you may understand it a bit more, but fast forward a few years and all of the innovation in this space the only thing I really understand is just how wide “the cloud” really is. Part of that passion for the cloud had me run across Derrick Sharpe and durning the pandemic we revived the Iowa Microsoft Azure User Group. Since in person meetings were a no go we experimented and did/still are working to have engaging events virtually and as of a few months ago in person too!
Vision For The Future
One thing I really enjoying doing is helping to coordinate people and help other’s work through anything I may have had the same issues with in the past. Even if that’s like becoming a 501c3 or how to use Cypress with MSAL. I think communities working together always pushes innovation and raises the ceiling of everyone involved. I also think that technology wise there are a lot of cities emerging onto the scene and if you do a little of Googling they almost all have at least 1 article if they are decent sized saying how they’re the “next silicon valley”. One downside of midwestern cities when it comes to innovation is SPACE! Sure there are huge concentrations of people in certain cities, but part of the magic of Silicon Valley was all of the innovators early on in a very concentrated area. I think as the world of technology continues being virtual connections are going to continue being more and more important and the barriers to working in the “next Silicon Valley” or current one will continue to drop.
Now that was a lot, but you still might ask “how does that link these two user groups”? Well one thing I would like to see is a wider tech scene and maybe conferences focusing on problems non-costal people are solving real problems and highlight the great engineering cities that are using tools like Azure. As Linus’ Law states “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” I believe problems can be solved similarly and the more connections and resources we all have the more successful we all will be in our day to day jobs!
How Can You Join
We are always looking for in person and virtual speakers for both IMAUG and the Kansas user group related to Azure. If you would like to take a more active role we are also looking to build out organizers mostly for our Kansas user group, but we wouldn’t turn you away if you’d like to be more involved in IMAUG too! If you are a company we are always looking for sponsors to sponsor our groups (there is a fee to run meetup) and as we continue to grow the Kansas User Group we’d like to have some in person meetings assuming everything is safe to do so. If you’d like to connect with me feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or via email at
aah1 at mac dot com I’m always happy to chat!