Using Technology to stay connected

JJ Bussert


I've been working to restart a blog presence this year so have been researching and collecting material to kick off some fun tech focused series. My style of writing I like to consider more laid back, light-hearted, and all-in-all fun, I'm a technology enthusiast and have yet to meet a tech that I didn't find at least somewhat interesting and I want to enjoy the tech as share that enjoyment with others. Then COVID-19 happened, which I think everyone can agree is an unprecedented event for our lifetimes. I am remaining optimistic that this will not be as bad as we are preparing for but obviously this is serious and scary stuff not to be taken lightly; however I also want to try to keep a focus on positive content to offset many of the scary uncertain material that has been top of mind of late. To that end I thought it'd be fun to "geek out" over some of the types of technologies and how they can help us cope with this world of "social isolation".

AppService I'm a huge fan of PaaS, (Platform as a Service), as much as I enjoy technology I no longer have the patience for managing the infrastructure aspect of solutions I build. One such platform is Azure's App Service, a fully managed service that enables you to deploy just about any application to the cloud and if you take the time to architect your solution well it's near trivial to scale your application to whatever needs the world presents you with. Scale out? Scale up? your application can conform to whatever shape is necessary to keeping your business going.

Cosmos DB Cosmos DB is another incredibly powerful PaaS available in the Azure cloud. From the marketing literature it is a "Globally distributed, multi-model database service for any scale", but what does that mean? What it means is that your global workforce can have instances of the key data they need to do their jobs put closer to their digital location to keep them working efficiently and also keeping changes with other regionally distributed.

MS Teams My favorite collaboration platforms for the workplace these days is Microsoft Teams. Personally I have to say that MS Teams is one of the tools that makes me the most confident that we will allow me to do my work fully remote. I could do an entire article on the functionality Teams offers. And to help companies who aren't already collaborating digitally Micorosft has announced that it is offering a 6 month trial of Teams for free.

Bottom line: I could go on for a very long time writing about various techs (and I may follow up w/ a Part 2) that I thought were interesting and in some way could help. I focus mostly on Microsoft technologies but many others are offering extended trials of their services, what's important is there are some fantastic options that will empower us to get through this.

In your situation how successful were you able to go virtual to cope with this unprecedented situation? What technologies did you rely on? Did your company take advantage of the Teams 6 month trial or any of the other competing offers? Let me know in the comments below.

Special thanks to unsplash-logoNASA for the photo used for this article!