People Behind Valo: Erwin van Hunen – Contributing to the Community Through PnP

Erwin van Hunen is our lead Architect at Valo, and uses his years worth of knowledge of SharePoint towards our Valo Products! Also, Erwin is part of the Microsoft PnP team in which he tells us all about.

In this series, we get to know the People behind Valo! More behind the scenes and the introductions can be found under the “Careers” and “People” tags. If you want to be one of us, see our open careers or hit us up with an open application.

Professional Background

Being part of the Microsoft 365 world is a great accomplishment to say the least! Our very own, Erwin van Hunen is valued as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM). Known as the ‘Father’ of PnP PowerShell, Erwin overlooks an open source PowerShell module that is used millions of times everyday worldwide to perform automated tasks towards Office 365 and SharePoint.

For those who may not know, Microsoft 365 PnP is an community effort, Patterns and Practices, providing tools, videos and documentations to help you make the most out of Microsoft 365.

Erwin van Hunen

Erwin van Hunen

Joining the PnP Team

Erwin joined the PnP team in 2014. He began by building a set of PowerShell cmdlets to solve issues. With a few close connections to the PnP team, Erwin offered his cmdlets as a part of an open source library. From this, Erwin was asked to join the team! And what is Erwin top tip in joining the team? He says: “high level of community engagement”! As applying for membership is not an option, he says that engaging with the team can lead to positive attention resulting in getting noticed by the team!

Erwin tells us that Vesa is leading the effort from the Microsoft side. In addition, he explains that being part of the PnP team is an asset to everyone’s life. For some it is a side job, hobby project, and for some the work is done in the evenings and weekends. The team is very diverse; most of the people are strong on the backend/api level of technology, but there are also designers and JavaScript/Front-End coders.

Erwin van Hunen during a PnP Event

Erwin van Hunen during a PnP Event

“The goal is to share knowledge”

Erwin puts the PnP team goal quite simply: “The goal is to share knowledge”. Erwin describes it as showing patterns and practices that people can use to tackle challenges in their day to day job.

“[PnP] want to share knowledge that is common in the community so other people do not have to reinvent the wheel”.

He explains that along with the team, Erwin strives to provide coded solutions, while partaking in presentations on their YouTube channel. Every week, they they interview a community member, and work together with Microsoft on showing what the community needs. For developers it’s a huge set of samples and libraries. For companies it allows them to see what is possible, what can be done and what can not be done with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

6 Years of Hard Work

From the start of Erwin’s PnP journey, he has been building the PnP PowerShell cmdlets, but has also been heavily involved in the PnP Sites Core library. Both the PnP Sites Core library and the PnP Framework library are heavily used in PnP PowerShell. From working mostly on the PnP Provisioning Engine, to speaking in countless conferences about PnP as well has introducing his very own tutorials on YouTube, we can say that Erwin has been keeping busy during his 6 years with the PnP team!

PnP Ft. Valo

The PnP solutions are used all over Valo. For instance, the Genesis install scripts for Valo Intranet are  using PnP PowerShell. Also, the backend code used in the Azure functions that are behind several of our Valo products are using the PnP Sites Core library. Additionally, the PnP Provisioning Templates are used with the PnP Provisioning Engine and are also used in various Valo products to provision artifacts to Microsoft 365.

Erwin van Hunen during European SharePoint Conference

Erwin van Hunen during European SharePoint Conference

Key Learnings

Erwin tells us how strong the community is, and leaves us with this important and crucial point: “Share as much as you can as it will pay back, know what you know and know what you don’t know and never confuse those two. Every person is unique and has competence that others don’t have: share that, it will pay back”.

And we can’t agree more!

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I think we can all learn something from Erwin and couldn’t be prouder to have him as the Lead Architect in Valo! If you want to be a part of this ever-growing Valo Team, take look on why you should join us from the video below.

We are always looking for new talent to join the already 60+ big Valo Team! Check out our open careers or send over an open application.

OPEN CAREERS

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