AZUG is a Belgian user group with focus on development and architecture of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Our goal is to share knowledge and experiences with the .NET community on working with and developing for this platform. We do this by bringing together developers, architects, consultants and enthusiasts and give them the opportunity to gather knowledge and insights from industry speakers, both local and international.
The Azure User Group comes together every few months, typically hosting one or two speakers for an evening session around Azure. The evening begins and ends with ample opportunity to network wirh peers and share knowledge and insights. AZUG tries to organize one bigger event every year: we’ve done hackatons, an Azure barbecue, CloudBrew (a full-day Azure event combined with beer sampling), …
There are many benefits to participating in AZUG:
- Learn best practices and optimal use of Microsoft’s cloud platform
- Get answers, advice, tips and suggestions from experts and peers
- Gain new insights and ideas in how to apply Microsoft’s cloud platform
- Network with local peers
- Be on the cutting edge of technology, be part of the future
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AZUG was founded near the end of 2009 by several Belgian .NET community members: Kurt Claeys, Yves Goeleven and Maarten Balliauw. Other names involved are Gabriele Bozzi (Kaukana), Patrick Verbruggen (Spikes), Marc Vanderheyden (Spikes), Rudi Claes (InfoSupport), Marco Braakman (InfoSupport) and Bart De Boeck.
In 2010 Kris van der Mast joined the board.
In 2012, Sam Vanhoutte, Kristof Rennen, Mike Martin and Panagiotis Kefalidis joined AZUG as volunteers, helping the day-to-day working.
In 2015, Tom Kerkhove joined AZUG as a volunteer, helping the day-to-day working. Sam Vanhoutte decided to focus on other things, while Panagiotis Kefalidis moved to the USA.
In 2017, Salma Haidar joined the AZUG crew as a volunteer.
In 2018, Glenn Colpaert joined the AZUG crew as a volunteer.
In 2022, Tom Kerkhove decided to focus on other things allowing new people to join the crew. Karel De Winter joined the team.
Yves is a freelance solution architect and has been shipping enterprise and cloud software since 2001. He is specialized in the design of distributed software systems on the Microsoft Azure Platform. Next to his freelance activities he is als the founder of clubmanagement.io, a SAAS service for managing sportsclubs, and messagehandler.net, a set of software libraries that make it easier to develop software with C# on Azure. Yves has been awarded the Microsoft Azure MVP 9 times in a row and can occasionally be found on the speaking circuit.
Kris van der Mast
As a freelance Microsoft technologies expert Kris helps his clients to reach their goals. Actively involved in the global community he is an Microsoft MVP (April 2007 - July 2022 / July 2023 - …). First for ASP.NET and since 2016 achieving in 2 disciplines: Azure and Visual Studio and Development Technologies. Kris is also a Microsoft ASP Insider, Microsoft Azure Advisor and a Belgian Microsoft Extended Experts Team (MEET) member. In the Belgian community Kris is active as a board member of Belgian Azure User Group AZUG and is chairman of the Belgian User Group Initiative (BUG). Since he started with .NET back in 2002 he’s also been active on the ASP.NET forums where was also a moderator until the forums closed end of June 2022.
For his professional profile you can check out his LinkedIn. His personal site can be found at www.krisvandermast.com. Kris is a public (inter)national speaker and is a co-organizer of the CloudBrew conference. He gradudated in 2022 at KUL university for a post graduate Big data analytics.
Maarten Balliauw works as a feelancer. His interests are mainly web applications developed in ASP.NET (C#) or PHP and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Maarten also co-founded MyGet, hosting private NuGet, npm and Bower feeds for teams. He’s a former Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft Azure. Maarten is a frequent speaker at various national and international events. His blog can be found at https://blog.maartenballiauw.be.
As a Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Mike is an Azure goto for ISV’s (independent software vendors). He’s been active in the IT industry for more than 20 years and has performed almost all types of job profiles, going from coaching and leading a team to architecting and systems design and training. Today he’s primarily into the Microsoft Cloud Platform and Application Lifecycle Management. He’s not a stranger to both dev and IT Pro topics, they even call him the perfect hybrid solution. In January 2012 he became a crew member of AZUG, the Belgian Microsoft Azure User Group. As an active member he’s both involved in giving presentations and organizing events. Mike is also a Microsoft Azure MVP (already awarded 4 times, working on his fifth) and Microsoft Azure Advisor. Helping out in the community and introducing new & young people into the world of Microsoft and technology is also one of his passions. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here .
After being in Azure fulltime for 4+ years, including being Azure Advisor, Insider and MVP, Kristof joined Microsoft as Cloud Solution Architect on October 1st 2014. In Belgium, Kristof is assisting many of his customers in being successfull with Azure and helps them in building solutions both on infrastructure as a service and platform as a service. His main interest goes to highly scalable and available, multi tenant and multi region, complex cloud solutions. One of his current passions and focuses is Internet of Things.
Salma Haidar, CFA is a data analyst with a wealth of experience in the financial industry, having held key roles at internationally renowned banks, and achieved the highly coveted Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. She is currently pursuing a PhD in computer vision, specializing in developing learning representations from hyperspectral data.
In addition to her academic pursuits, Salma is a crew member of the Belgian Azure User Group, actively volunteering to the organization of the data sciences track at the CloudBrew conference.
Glenn Colpaert is the founder and CTO of Zure Belgium. He is a Microsoft Azure MVP since 2014 and is a frequent speaker at national and international events. Currently, he’s mainly focused on designing and building secure, scalable cloud-based solutions on Microsoft Azure. His blog can be found on https://glenncolpaert.github.io/.
Karel De Winter
Karel is an Azure Technical Trainer at Microsoft and former Microsoft MVP Azure, who loves to share his knowledge with others and give them a different perspective based on hands-on experience. He helps customers, partners and others to achieve more and empower their Azure skills to ensure they are successful on the Azure platform. His core areas of expertise are Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Platform. As a technology enthusiast and a community member, he frequently shares his knowledge about experiences with Azure and other Microsoft technologies. When offline and not working, he enjoys having family time and running into the wild. His blog can be found on https://kareldewinter.com/.
Tim Schaeps is a Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, where he helps Microsoft Partners to get the most out of the technology that Microsoft has to offer. His current focus is mainly on Data&AI, but his experience goes a lot further than that. Having been active in technology for many years, Tim has a very broad background and draws on that when working with Microsoft Partners. Before joining Microsoft, he has been active professionally as a DevOps expert and Azure Solution Architect where he helped (development) organizations become a better version of themselves. Tim has a personal website (timschaeps.be) where he likes to write about technology & learning new stuff. His professional profile can be found on LinkedIn.
Since the beginning of AZUG, several highly appreciated people helped out as board or crew members and helped shape the Belgian Azure Community as we know it today.