Interview with LLPA Battle 2015 winner

Read a short interview with EMEA´s Best IT Pro – Slavko Kukria. He won LLPA Battle in 2015 and went to Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta.

First congratulations, you are the best IT Pro in the LLPA Battle. Please tell us briefly something about you, where are you from, how old are you, what do you do, what are your interests?

Thank you, I’m honored to win title Best IT Pro! My name is Slavko Kukrika, I’m 45 years young and I’m living in Ljubljana (Slovenia). I’m working in IT for almost 20 years, mostly with Microsoft technologies and products. I’m proud father of two sons and I try to extend each day to at least 25 hours 😉 On more serious side, I try to follow Microsoft products as close as possible and I specialized in Windows, Active Directory and Hyper-V virtualization. I passed over 110 MCP exams and that was definitely helpful in winning LLPA Battle.

Where did you learn about LLPA Battle?

To be honest, this was pure coincidence. I learned about LLPA Battle at NT konferenca, which is biggest Microsoft conference in Slovenia with 20 years of history and almost 2000 attendees each year. Kompas Xnet, who is LLPA partner in Slovenia, was exhibiting on the conference and they were organizing local LLPA competition. I was immediately attracted, as I’m quite proficient in solving such type of questions and also winner award was very nice.

Was the Final LLPA Battle hard for you or you managed to finish it quickly?

It depends on length and complexity of the questions. Luckily most LLPA Battle questions and answers are fairly short and you can answer them quickly if you know the answer. If you don’t, you shouldn’t spend too much time, you should go to next question, as you have only 15 minutes for 40 questions. This is like blitz chess… Saying that, I found final LLPA Battle quite interesting 🙂 Several questions were quite easy, few were a bit tricky – incorrect answer seemed very appealing and if you were not sure, you could be easily tricked, some answers required quite deep and specialized knowledge to be able to answer them with certainty and for two-three questions I’m quite sure that no contestant was able to answer them with certainty. But you always have at least 25% chances to guess the correct answer 🙂 I could be a bit faster, I finished my first run through the questions in about 12 minutes, but I rather spend remaining time to review some questions then to finish.

What was the most important for you during the Microsoft Ignite 2016?

Microsoft Ignite is huge conference, this year there were almost 23000 attendees. It’s important that you are aware that you can experience only a small bit of it and try to focus on things that can not be accessed after conference is over. Most breakout sessions are recorded and available on-line. Hands on labs are available on-line for half a year. But interaction with speakers, exhibitors and other attendees is possible only during the event. I’m happy that I was able to network with them and also attending the keynote is unique experience.

Microsoft Ignite is all about getting knowledge direct from the source, what did you learn from them?

For me professionally Windows Server 2016 GA that was announced during the keynote will have biggest impact in next 12 months. But during the conference I tried to learn as much as possible new things by talking to experts in exhibit area and attending several hands-on labs. I’ll watch recordings of many relevant sessions in following weeks.

Which experience do you consider as the most valuable for you?

For me most valuable experience was live interaction with experts on the Microsoft exhibit area and meeting many friends from around a world – conferences such as Ignite are a great opportunity to meet them in person and not only via e-mail or Skype. But in longer run, I’ll try to slowly “digest” recordings of sessions that are relevant for me; recordings are great because you can fast-forward to parts that are interesting for you and can quickly finish the session if it does not meet your expectations.

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