Interview with Chris Finlan, Group Program Manager for Paginated Reports on the Power BI team

Chris shares his insights about working hard, playing hard and disconnecting before work life consumes you. He tells us how he shares advise to work colleagues in his team and to members of the community. Paginated Reports remains awesome. We talk about the Microsoft data platform and Power BI community, the Bear and assorted things. This was an excellent and insightful discussion with Chris at his home in Sammamish, near Redmond, Washington.

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Data On The Road – a day with Matthew Roche

Someone once said that life was like a box of chocolates. Such was my experience spending the better part of a day with Matthew Roche from the Power BI Customer Advisory Team at his family home in Bothell, Washington. We were later joined by head of Power BI Engineering, Bogdan Crivat. Matthew schooled us in the art of HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts. Some might refer to this as “sword play” but it is a hobby that Matthew takes very seriously. He not only demonstrates and teaches the craft but travels and competes in tournaments. After we talked about data culture and community, we talked about swords – and got to put some of his swords to use. For a better description of HEMA and the HEMA community, check out this great video.

Matthew is a life-long teacher and has several interesting hobbies, which also including cooking and fostering cats. He is very active in social media and maintains and active blog titled BI Polar, where he frequently blogs about topics like Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Mental Health, Diversity, Martial Arts, and Heavy Metal. He is active on Twitter and he helps moderate the Power BI live stream on Saturday mornings with Patrick Leblanc and Adam Saxton.

We actually shot the interview twice, on Saturday and again on Sunday, after my wireless lavalier microphones failed during the first take. Afterward, Matthew demonstrated sword techniques used to slice bamboo mats. Bogdan was a natural, having serval years of competitive Karate experience.

This was one of our short trips in the Data Bus tot he Seattle and Redmond area. We stayed at a beautiful park on the Skykomish River near Monroe, Washington. While visiting Microsoft on this trip, we also caught up with Chris Finlan and Kelly Kaye from the Power BI community, and those interviews will be posted shortly.

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