Episode 52: Johnny Crockett Lopez Tech Maven

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Okay. Hello everyone. And here we are for another episode of the Mavens Do It Better podcast where we interview extraordinary experts who bring a light to our world. And I could not be more excited to have a wonderful friend and colleague on today. We have Johnny Crockett Lopez coming to us from Houston. Yes? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Hey, yes, good morning. Good afternoon. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Awesome. Yay. Uh, yeah, so, uh, Johnny and I were together couple months ago at, uh, the SharePoint Saturday New York City. Uh, that was amazing. Tom Daly and crew put on a great event there, so we had a chance to chat a little bit and um, also go to a dueling piano bar. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  That was interesting. Yes, that was fun. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, absolutely. So, I don't know, I'm like trying to think about how long we've known each other. It's been a while. It's, I don't know. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Three plus years? Three maybe four years. It's been a good while. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, that's three or four years. And so you are currently working at, and we just talked about this Schlumberger. Yes. See if I pronounced it correctly. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yes. Schlumberger. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. And what do you, tell everybody what you do there? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, so at Schlumberger, um, which is an oil and gas services company that spans over about 185 countries and has over a hundred thousand employees. Um, I am an Office 365 and SharePoint, um, architect slash engineer, slash evangelist, slash just doer. Um, I focus mostly on the Office 365 suite of things. Um, I come from a SharePoint background and I also manage the Power Platform here at Schlumberger. So 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  That's amazing. And, and slash you're an awesome, sweet person. So let's put that in there too. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Well thank you. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  You're welcome. And so, you know, you, looking at, you know, obviously knowing you a little bit and getting to know you over the last bit, but you've also like you, you've really been in the either oil and gas or energy world forever. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  I have over 10 years of experience with the oil and gas energy. Um, and then also some experience in the military. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yes. Thank you for your service by the way. Thank you. The navy right? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  My pleasure. Yes. I was in the navy for 10 years. Um, collectively, some active duty and some reserve. I served on two aircraft carriers, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Nimitz. Um, I've been on two deployments and, uh, I was actually an electrician in the navy on aircraft carriers. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Wow. That's amazing. I've been on the Midway down here in San Diego before and they're just, they're so big and crazy and amazing and just, yeah. Wow. How was that? What was that like? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  It's a floating city. 5,500 people on ship. Um, and um, there's, it's just, it's, it's, it's just amazing. Uh, watching the planes fly off and land on, on the aircraft and watching the helicopters go to and from. And it's just amazing the amount of, um, manpower it takes to run these ships. You get three square meals a day. Um, and then they also have, you know, hot dog bars and certain types of things. So the food is kinda different cause they, they cook for bulk. I think that's my biggest experience of the food. You can't just go dine out and, you know, eat those fancy dinners every night. You had to get what was served. So it was, um, 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Wow, that's amazing. And I, I don't know enough about this, but as far as the other two aircraft carriers, do they deploy out of the same places all the time? Like are they like they have like their place and then you get deployed from there or do they move around a bit? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, so there's home ports, um, I think they relocate the home port probably every five to 10 years. Um, from an aircraft carriers perspective, uh, I haven't been on a, an aircraft carrier that moved their home port, but I know like the Nimitz has gone from San Diego to Seattle, you know, could go sometimes on the east coast. It just depends on, it depends on what's needed by the country. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, yeah. The missions that are happening. That makes sense. Wow, that's such a cool experience. Um, and I know that you and I share a bit of community leadership and that, you know, I work here on Los Angeles on a lot of things, our SharePoint Saturday and our user group. And you've been the head of the SharePoint Saturday and the user group for a long time in Houston. How, how have you seen that grow from the time you sort of took things over? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  It's had its ups and downs. When SharePoint was really popping, you know, in the, uh, late two thousands and you know, 2010 timeframe. Um, we had, we would get anywhere between a hundred and hundred and fifty per session, um, which is a 150 people each month. So we meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Microsoft Center here in Houston. Um, it's grown, it's gone down. We're about 60 to 70 people. Um, so it, we renamed ourselves, uh, last year, uh, we used to be called the Houston SharePoint user group. Now we are the, uh, Houston Office 365 community. So we just went from a user group to more of a community based focus where we can, um, we have a more wider range of, um, technologies that we can speak about. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. I think everybody, like a lot of us who are in, in this, you know, who have been involved in user groups or their SharePoint Saturdays are feeling that too. Right? Like SharePoint still as wonderful as it's ever been going like gangbusters. But I think obviously with the onset of Microsoft teams and some of the other technologies and just Office 365 in general as a productivity, technology platform, it makes sense, right? The brand is so strong for SharePoint though, right? And the community is so strong, it's kind of hard to go there, but I think that people are making that transition. You know, a lot of the different user groups. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Absolutely. SharePoint is definitely has a strong awareness. It's pretty much the backbone to a lot of things like teams and one drive and the different types of technologies. So, um, definitely there's a user, there's a user presence there, a technology presence. But because of the larger ecosystem of Office 365, Azure and Power Platform, um, you know, it's just going to be, uh, you gotta keep SharePoint in there. So, we also changed SharePoint Saturday. Um, it's Aka SharePoint Saturday. It's the Houston Office 365 Saturdays. So we've, we've brought in more, uh, we bring in about 10 to 15 Microsoft MVPs from across the country, sometimes across the world. And we have about five Microsoft speakers that usually speak at our events. So, and then, yeah. And we try to get some local up and coming speakers. I always save slots for them because we all, we've all started from somewhere. Um, and you know, we have to make sure that we're getting fresh faces and fresh topics in, um, the communities to present, um, to our user base here in Houston. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, I believe in that too. I think that's super important. I, we worked on this year for ours because it's, ours is coming up September 28th. Um, and Oh my gosh, I can't even believe it in like two weeks. And, um, or like less than that. And, uh, uh, like kind of even a more like 101 track. You know, cause I think sometimes we forget that, that, you know, we may have been doing this. I mean I've, I, I realize it's been 18 years for me since I started on the team, way back in Redmond, you know, when it was called the code name and all of that. But there's still people that are new to this and haven't had, you know, all the experience. And so like having some more of those 101 tracks and, or first-time speakers giving those. I love that too. I love that you're doing that. That's super cool. Um, oh, I have a question. So when, I know you're a beautiful speaker, by the way, I love your sessions so wonderful at all of that. And what was your, do you remember? What was your first speaking, and it could be in the tech space or wherever, but when did you like step on the stage for the first time? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, so I actually did a Share conference. I don't know if you remember Share. So, yeah, my first speaking was at a Share conference. I want to say it was back in like 2008, 2009. Um, I met Dux Raymond Sy during that time and you know, since then we've always stayed in touch and become friends in the community as well. So, um, I think it was, that was the first time I spoke, and it was about SharePoint, so I did a lot of that SharePoint training back, um, in oil and gas. So, doing a lot of, um, how to use SharePoint, when you use it, you know, building lists, building library, SharePoint sites, permissions. You know, the whole gamut of SharePoint 2007, 2010 and then 2016 and 2013 and 2019 and whatever flavor they come out with next. And that's my passion and my passion is, you know, educating and helping people become more proficient in the technology to better, um, their workload or better their lives in general. So, um, and that's why I do this. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Right. Yeah, no, that's totally awesome. Yeah. And you were just at a SPTechCon too, right? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  I was, I did a couple sessions, a couple of workshops, uh, did two workshops and I did a session. Um, I've been doing a lot more around Microsoft search. Uh, I think it's a really good technology that could help, um, tremendously improve search, uh, in organizations. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. That's cool. I love that show. I, it's, you know, it's like, remembering when all of these things happened, you know, when first started it was, you know, it was like SharePoint TechCon and SP Fest, you know, and I think, gosh, it was like some of the, even the E2.0 and some of those things, you know, and like to see them have blossomed into what they are is super cool and that they're still around, you know, and that their drawing people, it's pretty cool. I have a question about your hashtag learn it all versus know at all. Where did that come from and will you talk a little bit about that? I think that's so awesome. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Absolutely. So I stole this from someone else. This was a speaker at, um, uh, it was, I can't remember exactly who it was but she was talking about the learn it all mentality versus the know it all mentality. And I think it's very important, especially in today's technology with the combination of, you know, you have a lot more IT pros slash business analysts slash, I need to work with a business to get a common task done so you, you see more personality in IT than you did 10, 20 years ago. Um, so I think it's very important to learn it all. So you're always learning. So once you stop learning is when you, you start turning stale. Um, instead of having the know it all mentality where you walk into a room and you just, you know, you just think you know everything and then it just becomes a very, uh, a very difficult situation, you know, with other people as well. So always willing to learn, always wanting to learn, um, and you know, makes it a lot easier to work with people when you're constantly learning with them and it builds rapport, right? So if you can learn something from them, they feel empowered. And that's the other thing is you want to empower people. You want to make them feel, um, like they're, they're contributing just as much as you are. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean I think it's about empowerment and value. Right. And I, I, it's funny, I giggled cause I used the Hashtag always learning a lot as well. And I was like, you know, like great minds, peas in a pod. So that's super cool. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, I liked that. I just, I just gravitated towards it cause that's my personality. Like I'm always, I'm always looking to learn something, whether it's a SharePoint, more SharePoint or PowerApps, Flow, you know, those different types of things or just learning about the business. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And um, you, so tell me about, let's go back. Let's go way back to the way back, like in the station wagon, which millennials, a station wagon is a very large car that we all used to ride in the way back facing out, which was, I don't know, kind of silly if you think about it, cause when you put the kids back there and it's like, well if you get rear-ended, that's trouble. But anyway, you're way back. Like where are, where are you talk about where you're from and where he came up and all that fun stuff. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  So, I came, um, I actually started out as a user. So, one day, um, many moons ago, I guess 10 plus years ago, uh, we had this thing called SharePoint 2003. And, uh, I actually learned it in the military. So, we would use this to manage some of the, kind of like our standard operating procedures or task work orders in SharePoint. So I was like, Hey, this is pretty cool. I like this. Um, so I started doing, you know, started learning this or doing more research, and then I got interested in like, hey, there's a free training for learning how to be an administrator on SharePoint 2003. So the CBT the military provided, uh, it was like a 10 hour, you know, self-paced course. Took it, passed it, got that badge and just from there, just decided this is what I wanted to do in my career. I was already going to school for business information systems, so I kind of had the business savvy, uh, and then also a little bit of IT. So I decided just to go full fledge. Hey, I'm going to start my way through working as a user to a business analyst, to, uh, administrator to IT pro to architect. And that's kind of where I come from. So, um, I started at SharePoint 2003, so, and I've kind of grew up with the evolution of SharePoint and how it's helped and how it's hurts and how it's come in between. So, um, very good platform. I think it's very, uh, very collaborative. And, and, uh, user friendly, um, as we can see it. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, absolutely. And so you're a busy fella, you run around and you know, do all these speaking engagements. You obviously have a full time job. And I love seeing on Facebook all your pictures of your, your sweet breakfast crew a lot of the times and all of that. So how do you balance being a dad and doing all this, all this amazing stuff that you do, you know, not only to get paid for it, but for free and all of that. What's your balance? How do you do that? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, for sure. I mean, cause you know, managing the, the user group and the SharePoint Saturday and then I also, uh, operate, I'm a CO owner for the Houston PowerApps and Flow user group, helping them get started. Um, but yeah, you know what? I surround myself with good people. Um, you know, we have a good, a good support crew. Um, not only from, um, the community perspective but also from my home life. Um, you know my, I have two, two beautiful kids of my own. Um, and then I foster my nephew full time. So, um, it, it, it can be challenging sometimes, but it's a lot of late nights. So kids go to bed at eight, you know, I plug in and get some stuff done in the evening time or you know, early morning, those different types of things. But I always find a good work life balance. I don't work too much. I want to focus on family. I'm to that point in my career where I really want to focus on my family. My, my son's four, my daughter's going to be seven. Missing her second front tooth. So I want to make sure that I'm there for those memories and there for their pickups at school and drops off and those different types of things. Cause I'm heavily involved. I love family, very family oriented. I think I look at the community as a family as well. Um, you know, so, uh, I, I really make time for that and to make sure that yes, there's work on the desk, but at the end of the day that it works going to be there when you get to the next day. Um, and it's not as critical as time with your family. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Absolutely. I think that's a thing I love about our, our SharePoint community, our Microsoft community in that, you know, we know each other. You know, it's, it's not just that we like pop in and speak and take off or whatever, but that, you know, I actually know that you have kids cause we're connected and we've talked, we talk about those things or, or you know when things happen and we need each other. Yeah. I've seen that in my own community recently here with some things where people needed some support and I love that we feel brave and, or vulnerable enough to say, Hey, you know, I need some help or could you give me a shout out or I just put all of this stuff together might you just hit the share button once or whatever it is. You know what I mean? And I, I'm glad that, that we have that and cause not every place does, you know, 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Not every place does. Yeah. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. And how, and how has, so you've been at, um, Schlumberger for I, I kinda just want to say that word over and over cause it sounds so fun in the mouth. Um, you've been there almost a year. Yeah. It's a big company, right? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  It's huge. Yeah. Um, you know, I really like working for the larger organization but I also like working for the mom and pops. Um, Schlumberger has been really good to me as far as allowing me to advance in my, and my personal and also my career growth. Um, and that's really hard to find. So, you know, when you go interview for a company and you go work for a company, they're evaluating you, but you should also evaluate that company. Um, because of the fact that this is where you could potentially work for the rest of your career or this could be a learning, um, uh, stone for yourself to be able to, um, move up and out. And that's when I had to do early in my career, I had to learn, okay, is this something that yes, I can probably stay here for 20 years and just do the same job, but I needed to move up and out to in order to, to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. And you know, I worked for, you know, a fuel and gas companies, um, you know, like Halliburton and Anadarko, which is now Oxy, um, and you know, energy transfer, large pipeline company. And I've been in management from manager to director, those different types of things. But you know, I really have passion for that daily contributor kind of architect, uh, role. And again, this company has allowed me to do that and allowed me to grow and, and just be more productive in my career and have a family life. And that's what I looked for. That's what I've been looking for the last, you know, five plus years, um, to be able to do those types of things. So, um, 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  I love it when companies connect that sort of trust-based, positive culture into, you know, of course we all, you know, we all need to work and pay for our lives and all of that stuff. But it also, it's like when it's a good place to work, we spend what a third of our lives at work and if, and if they're actively creating programs and, or just trying to connect people on a larger level. I love that. And it's nice to hear that a company that big does that sort of thing for you. That's super cool. Cause that's not always the case. Yeah. Do you, um, do you find that, uh, let's talk about Texas for a minute. Um, I, I lived in Texas for a little while. Um, I lived in Dallas for three years when my ex-husband was in Grad school. And, um, it was interesting because coming from, I was from the Midwest and then spent a lot of time on the west coast, which is all very, you know, kind of crunchy and, you know, uh, like all of that. And then living in Texas, I was just like, wow, everything's so big here. Like everything's big, big cars, big hair, big teeth, big ideas, big, big, big. And you’re a Texan and you, you're, you're from Houston, right? Originally. That's your hometown? 


HEATHER NEWMAN:  What's, what's Texas like for everybody, I mean like what's your, where's your heart about that? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, so, um, you know, I was born and raised in Texas, uh, born and raised in Houston. Um, I've lived outside of Texas for a number of years, you know, being in the military and kind of traveling a little bit. Um, Texas is, you know, it's my home. It's a great place to be for me. Um, you know, the, the state and the communities take care of each other. I mean, as you see in the news, we have natural disasters, like hurricanes, like just like you guys have, you know, the earthquakes and mudslides and fires. We also have that, the disaster here, but there's a really good community that comes together. Um, you know, we're Houston as the fourth largest city, I think. I think it's fourth, maybe third now, largest city in the country and it is growing. So, I think at one point in time there was a thousand people a week coming into Houston, um, each week. And yeah, it, the growth here is just tremendous. Um, you know, it's, it's, it's historic too as well, so I can drive three hours anywhere in the state and, and see history, um, and be part of it, be at the Alamo in San Antonio, go to the hill country, uh, you know, in Austin, um, and go up to Dallas and, you know, look at, hey, the cowboys are up there, right. So, um, go down to Corpus and we have, we, we have the battleship of Texas that's still there for now, supposed to be moving in November, but there's so much history here and so much culture and its diversity and I really enjoy that about Texas. I've been to other places. I've lived in the Midwest, I lived up in Michigan, I lived in near Virginia, um, in Chicago. I've been on the east coast. I actually played baseball on the east coast in San Diego for a while. Um, it's just, you know, it's just the home, you know, you get rooted and you get grounded and um, yeah, you can drive in Houston for an hour and still be in Houston. Um, it's very nice. Uh, you know, I have family here, so my mom’s here, um, siblings live here, uh, you know, cousins, um, out the woodworks. But uh, so it's very, again, it's just diverse and I really enjoy Texas and being here in Houston. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, I love that too. We did a bunch of sort of day trips and different things out to different places. And I've, I've been to a lot of cities in Texas and you know, you're right, the history part of it is so grand and so cool. I definitely loved that about the state, but yeah, driving in Texas and you're just like, when I'm trying to get somewhere, I'm like, and I'm still here and it's eight hours later. It's just like, it's so big. It's so awesome. Yeah. And I remember in 2005 when Katrina happened, when, um, you know, so many people, you know, lots of people stayed in New Orleans, but lots of people did leave and, and Houston was a city that really embraced people and said, you know, groovy, come on, you know, and that was really cool. Um, yeah. How was the, as far as, you know, having, I know that there's been many hurricanes, but the last one, um, how is recovery going for all y'all there? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  I think we're pretty much recovered from a point I; a Houston had a lot of flooding that it happens when you get dumping rain. Um, so in the last, the last year or so, it's not really, you know, when I really worried about the hurricanes is we've had, um, downpours that just kind of flood the city because we're growing so fast and there's a concrete, you know, city stove, um, there's, there's nowhere to go with the water. So we tend to flood a little easier. But, uh, I, I think the recovery is great. I think the economy is strong here in Houston, you know, the barrel, the price of the barrel, um, runs Houston. Cause we're, we're an oil city, so I think that's been, the price of the barrel has been at a good midpoint where it's thriving for everyone. Um, yeah, there's lots of companies moving here. We had Chevron and Slumberger, Occidental, we have a large, uh, presence here. Uh, even for, from a financial perspective, um, there's, you know, hospitals, there's lots of hospitals here for, you know, cancer patients burn patients and stuff like that. So, um, yeah, definitely have a, a huge, um, hub here in Houston. And, we have two airports. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  And a lot of good food. I love that Montrose area of Houston. It's very colorful and also a lot of good food. But I tend to kind of hang out there when I've come to the city before and visited friends. It's kind of fun. That's awesome. Um, so with what you're doing in oil and gas and, and all the, you know, you, you're, you know, you, you mentioned search. Is there anything else that you feel right now is sort of that top of mind tipping point for companies as far as technology goes that you're seeing maybe a trend of like, oh, you know, everybody's doing this or everybody should be doing that or that sort of thing. Is there anything that pops up besides the search? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  You know, Microsoft Teams is, uh, Microsoft is pushing Microsoft Teams. So you're going to see a growth in collaboration, but also you're going to see a growth and support on the infrastructure side. And when I say that, it’s mainly your day to day operations, um, you know, our environment, we have probably 30,000 plus sites and it grows, um, frequently because, you know, we add more groups. We had more teams, we had more yamm, we use Yammer as well. So I think, um, search is definitely a hot topic. Microsoft Teams would be up next, but the Power Platform is, is the main one that I, I see, um, especially here is just getting so, so large. Um, you know, there's, our numbers are just, um, tremendous, uh, of what we support for a hundred thousand plus users. So we have, you know, a thousand apps probably created a week. Or, yeah, it's, it's amazing how quickly we're, um, we're growing. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. Will you talk a little bit exactly like tell our listeners like what the Power Platform is and what that means? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Absolutely. Yes. So, when you hear PowerApps, when you hear Microsoft Flow, when you hear Power BI, um, the Power Platform is the, the backend that kind of manages and runs those workloads. Um, so the Power Platform is comprised of those three things. Um, some people say logic apps and Dynamics, uh, Dynamics is also part of the Power Platform, but it depends on how you consume it. Um, so that's being used as a way to enhance citizen development. So, what that means is that citizen developers, non-IT pros, can come in and quickly spin up an app, create a workflow for themselves without the help of a developer or, um, an IT organization. So, there it's empowering, um, the, the business to be able to build their own, um, applications or, or workflows or reports and dashboards, um, within a, uh, one area and be able to manage those. Right. So, um, let's talk about governance. So with governance, we have. Let’s talk about governance. Yeah. It's the biggest elephant in the room all the time. When you have that capability of empowering citizen developers, you also have to have governance around it. So, um, you know, data loss prevention policies, you have to make sure that your permissions are being set up where, um, you won't lose data, company data cause it's so easy to hook something up to a PowerApp and potentially lose, you know, the integrity of the data. Um, so there’s a lot of things you have to think about. How many, who can create apps, who can create Flows and there's limitations on licensing and all this other stuff that you have to think about. So, um, yeah, definitely the, the Power Platform is something that um, can, can benefit to the business and also, they create more, um, empowerment around creating solutions to solve business problems. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Absolutely. And I see the hashtag power addicts all over the place all the time with tons of colleagues. And I know that you, I see that with you too. Will you talk about that and what that is and how people might be able to get involved with that. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah. So there's a tee shirt for that. Just letting you guys know. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  I've seen the t-shirt. Yes. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, for sure. And it's not as it's not snowboard apparel. Just to let you guys know that because there's a, there is a, uh, power addicts, uh, apparel line. Yeah, it's pretty interesting. So, power addicts are, um, it’s a bunch of Power Platform enthusiast, right? Or, or evangelists that are, that's creating, um, buzz and, um, educating folks and showcasing their work. So, it's almost like what we're doing, um, in SharePoint Saturday is like, hey, you have an idea, you put together a presentation, you can go to SharePoint, you can go to SharePoint Saturday and show what you did on this migration. Um, that's what power addicts is. It's a small, you know, it's a group of folks that, um, uh, come together just like a community, from communities across communities, um, that can showcase, uh, anything from PowerApps, Flow, uh, Power BI. So, it's a really nice, uh, community that's built to, again, educate, um, folks on the Power Platform. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Right? Awesome. So if you're looking up Hashtag power addict on Twitter and other things, you can get involved that way. Because people are putting on different webinars and hangouts and I, there was one, uh, like on the third that was like come to a power addicts hang out. And those obviously seem to happen a lot. I keep seeing more and more. Okay, cool. That's awesome. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah. So thatAPIguy.tech/poweraddicts, they host, um, they host the hang outs. So it's a hang out once a month. Um, I, I'm not sure exactly when they meet, but they meet, I know they meet once a month and um, actually my colleague was on the previous month, uh, with the, with a couple of other folks, but they were talking about governance on Power Platform and all that good stuff. So yeah, it's a good community. If you want to, um, talk about power, power out Flow, give questions or you want to hear what other people are doing, it's really good community to be part of. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Cool. Yeah. Well everybody we'll make sure, and I'll get the information. I'll put it in the show notes for sure. So people can follow up on that. That's awesome. I have, I have another question. So I'm, I think from the learn it all know it l and then my always learning, I'm kind of obsessed with, you know, digital literacy, learning paths. Obviously, that's what I do with Content Panda, but I also do it in conjunction with just marketing and how do we see again that create those positive productive places to work. Um, I'm curious what you think about as far as, you know, you obviously work in this every single day and you've come up, you know, working on it for a long time. Um, do you feel that it's, you know, to really get in, one to keep up, I'm gonna ask you 14 questions in one. So hang on. To keep up with everything that's happening. And then also for somebody who is trying to get ahead on learning, is it about like go take classes, go do that or just go get a job, learn on the job? Or is it a combination of all things? I Dunno. What do you think that learning path or a learning path looks like or what's worked for you? There you go. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah, I mean, yeah, I mean, from a learning perspective, you know, uh, I'm no expert on, on training, but from my years of doing training and being trained, you know, there's different types of people, right? You have your doers that need to kind of learn and build, and you have people that can just watch a video and say, oh, I know how to do that. I can go do it. And then you also have the people that need a little bit of handholding and more courses. So I'm seeing a lot now that there's so much self-help out there right now that people are going out and doing it on their own, whether they're taking a class, whether they're doing, going it, you know, looking at Daniel Christian's, uh, PowerApps, you know, videos on YouTube or Shane Young's PowerApps videos on YouTube or going and taking a traditional class. Um, you know, or you know, Pluralsight, those, you know, Wonder Laura's stuff. Um, there's so much in even Content Panda, how about we build this cool intranet or this collaborative space. How can I get contextual hints on my screen to help the users get where they need to go? Right. So, you know, it's really, it's a lot of mixtures of a bunch. But it depends too as well. Like it depends on where the organization's journey is in Office 3`65. So if they're early in their journey, um, they might bring in some people to help training. They might buy a training platform, you know, like brainstorm, um, ```does all the office training for them, um, and construct that stuff for them, you know, Content Panda that can help out as well. Um, so it just depends on where they're at in their journey and this organization is all self and helping each other. Um, I can't tell you how many times, you know, I don't have an office. Um, I sit in an open cube area. People will walk by and see me sitting down at my desk and come ask me a question. Um, and it's just because, you know, they, we help each other and I've done the same thing. I need this to Flow the pull data from SQL and read the specific table and put it in the SharePoint list, um, and be able to put some filtering on it. Well, I know this guy knows some really good o data queries, so let's go talk to him. So stuff like that. I mean, it's a, it's a community. If you keep the community mentality in your organization, in your, um, your user base, you have, um, a better success rate. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, no, no, totally. No, I agree with you. I also, it's like I, I love connecting with other people in this space. You know, like I know the brainstorm folks and the storyal ladies and uh, you know, vitalist and we all sort of have come together under the auspices, Microsoft brought us together for the, that new learning pathways offering that they put out, you know, and they brought us all together as partners and we've been sharing like, here's how we do what we're doing and how we're leveraging it and stuff. And I love that about it because, you know, the world is big, there's a lot going on and there's, there's enough pie for everybody in my opinion, you know, and on the end user adoption level, like I love, you know, like the, we partnered with Combined Knowledge, but you know, I was just in Australia with, um, lovely Debbie Ireland who does that kind of stuff. And Darryl Webster, who is from adopt and embrace and Sarah Hasse and, and I go see a lot of the presentations, you know, cause I'm like, I talk on that, what are they talking about? And we're all very close on at least the pillars and, or like the 10 steps of Xyz to do it. And I love that we're kind of coming together more and more on that and you know, and then clients have the choice of, you know, it's like maybe I want somebody in my geography because it makes sense for it to be a New Zealand New Zealand thing or whatever it is. Um, but yeah, I really, I am enjoying learning from the other colleagues and the other people who are building cool products, you know? And I, I like that it doesn't seem like as competitive, I guess maybe, or maybe that's just me or I don't look at it that way, you know? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Well, I mean, you have to, you have to know your competitors too, right? You have to know. But I, you know, every conference I go to, I sit, I will sit in sessions and sit there and like you said, listen to what they're saying, listen to what they're doing. Even if I don't want to speak on this session, you know, or I go into a session, yeah, I spoke on that last week. What are they talking about? It's always properly educating yourself. Um, and competition is good. It's healthy. As much as I would love to see Content Panda, just like being at every everyone's internet in the world. Yeah. You know, it, you know, there's, again, there's a piece of pie for everyone, right. That's just, you have the right attitude and I think that's excellent. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. Thanks. I try for sure. Um, so, uh, what is the one thing that you love doing that has nothing to do with your work? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  I love spending time with my kids. I think kids are our greatest investment. You know, some folks, yes, they don't have kids, you know, they, they find other investments. But I think when you have kids, that's your greatest investment and in shaping, um, helping shape their legacy and, and coming up into the world to be prosperous and to be, um, to make a difference. Right? So, that's, that's one, that's the most enjoyable thing that I do outside of work. The second one would be, um, would probably just be running, going out for a run at a different park. In Texas when it's 110 degrees, you know, I'm not going outside. I'm going from my office, to my truck, to my house, to my, in my house. Um, but it's, you know, running is enjoyable for me. Um, I, yeah, it's a, it's one way to disconnect from everything cause being so busy. If you constantly stay connected, um, you know, gray hair starts coming out on my beard and I don't want that. Not yet. Um, but yeah, I just, yeah. Um, you have to find a physical and a mental release to be healthy. Um, and I think in order to be the best you, you have to go find that mental and physical release. So when you, when you, when you're with your family or you come to the office, you can be the best you. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah, I agree. It's becoming, I give, I've been giving a presentation about becoming the expert of yourself and I was like, I put that together and there was some of it that's like, be hydrated, get outside, self-care, you know? And it's people who are like, I know that. I'm like, yeah, but do you do it right? And I think we all sometimes need reminders of those things. So that's why I love that question. So thanks for answering that. Um, oh, I'll hit you up with my last one. And, uh, it is, uh, what in, and I love sharing this with our, with our listeners. So something that someone, an experience, whatever comes to mind, but that's really sparked you, that was a real big force and an influence on where you are today and makes you who you are. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  So, I can name, I can name two people, um, for, you know, especially those, and this is one of them is not a general person. It's one of those, uh, it's the person that really took risk, um, of hiring me at a young point in my career and let me prove myself. And I've had a couple of those folks that did that. So, um, as you know, coming through your career as an intern or you're, a recent Grad, you're a new hire, um, who's going to give you that chance? So I've had a couple people that have given me that chance to prove myself and for me to show, um, how I can, you know, benefit what we're bringing to the table. Um, another one is a person that's one of my uncles. So in high school, um, I lived with one of my uncles up in Michigan. I mean he really pushed me to become a better person, become a better athlete. Um, he really pushed me to, uh, become who I am today with hard work ethic and inspiration to not only make yourself better, but also make the people around you better. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. That's awesome. I am from Michigan. I don't know if you knew that I was born there. Yeah. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Go blue go blue. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  I've got go blue in my family. Yeah. But I also have go Spartans. So, um, and then I have some that are, that were boiling that popped down and we're boilermakers too. But yeah, Michigan's a beautiful place. I was just there for my aunt's 80th birthday and you know, when we live in these big urban centers, um, you know, here I'm in Los Angeles you're in Houston. And you don't have to go for a foot outside our cities to have big changes of the way people, you know, socioeconomically and all that stuff. And it's always really good for me to go visit my family and remember, you know, that I'm from a small town, and the values and also just the struggles that happen there are different, you know, and I think we forget that sometimes living in our bubbles, me sitting here in, you know, Marina del Rey looking at the boats or whatever, you know, and I, I love that, you know? And where were you in Michigan? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  I was actually, I graduated high school, the class of 2000, um, with about 70 people in [inaudible], Michigan. So if you're familiar with that, um, it's, no, it's south of Holland, Michigan and north of Kalamazoo. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Okay. Gotcha. All right. I know where the, I, yeah, west side and that, Holland, Michigan is one of the coolest places in the world. It's with all of its windmills and everything. My grandfather actually created a windmill in the backyard. We were in Bay City, Michigan and he created a like working actual windmill because of Holland, Michigan. Funnily enough. Yeah, it was pretty cool. Well, awesome. Well, you're a love. I love talking to you and, and listening to you speak and talk about all this stuff. I really appreciate you being on and sharing your story with everybody today. It's great. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Yeah. Thank you for having me. I appreciate you taking the time and I appreciate what you do as well in the community and thank you for your contributions to making SharePoint great again. Right? 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  SharePoint's always been great, but, but you know, it, you know, everything can always be better. Right. Another level, uh, on it for sure. So awesome. Well, Johnny, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So, and where am I gonna see you next? 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Um, so Cincinnati is my next stop. I was going to do Los Angeles, but it just didn't work out with my schedule cause I have my kids every other weekend. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Yeah. We're sad, but we understand. So, 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  yeah, I'm always said that I can't go to LA, but, or San Diego or you know, Seattle or anything like that. Um, so yeah, I had, I signed up for Ignite, um, they sold out, so I'm on the wait list just like everyone else. Um, but I have Cincinnati, I'm thinking about doing, um, San Juan if they have it. Um, and what other ones that I have on my list, I have to look at the sps event site. Are we still, are we still on? 


JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Okay. Yes. So, so if you are interested in SharePoint Saturdays, um, they're, they're global. So if you go to s, Sam, Papa, Sam, events.org, um, you can find out when the next event is and one close closest to you. Um, as you, as we spoke,, Los Angeles is a September 28th. Uh, we have Boston in October, Ottawa, Cincinnati, um, Denver. So I will be in Cincinnati next and I think that might wrap up my year. Um, I'm looking at Charlotte. Um, yes, I think you're going to be in Charlotte. 

HEATHER NEWMAN:  Uh, I'm not sure yet. Not sure. Yeah. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  So, yeah, so I'm looking at Charlotte, um, in December, but other than that, I think I'm done for the rest of the year. Um, and then San Francisco, um, in 2020 in February 2020, um, SPTechCon will be in San Francisco in February, 2020. 

JOHNNY CROCKETT LOPEZ:  Right. Okay. Gotcha. Lots of opportunities. Probably say hello and give you a hug. All right, cool. Well, again, thank you for being on and folks, that was another episode of the Mavens Do It Better podcast. You can catch us on a iTunes, on Spotify, on stitcher, on Google play, all the normal, wonderful places. And here is too another beautiful day on this big blue spinning sphere. Thanks everybody. 


Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.