In October 2017 I got the privilege to speak at my first Microsoft-organised conference in the Netherlands. It was 2 days (well, 3 days if you count travelling) of packed talks, meetings, interesting conversations and general geeking out. I've spoken about why you should attend these kind of events either as a speaker or attendee many times and this event definitely proved me right.
Apart from the awesome talks that I had the chance to attend, I met with many Microsoft and non-Microsoft developers from around the world and got the chance to learn from them and expand my network . Even the chance to hang out with people between talks was great because I was able to follow up on interesting things I heard during the talks and expand my knowledge around existing and new products. There were far too many good talks to choose from but I definitely got blown away by the quality and variety of talks available.
I was also fortunate enough to be invited to deliver 2 talks which were very well attended and I got some useful and constructive feedback. I've put a quick summary and links to my talk videos below:
Visual Studio 2017 Productivity tips and tricks
This is usually a talk I deliver to many of our customer when they decide to move to VS2017 and it's a mix of many of the things I picked up throughout the years as I worked with many developers in different teams. What was even more surprising is that Kasey Uhlamuth (Visual Studio Product Manager) was at the same conference delivering similar talks but her focus being around VS2017. My talk was bit more general and slightly version agnostic (2015 and 2017). Prior to my talk I made sure to sync up with Kasey and remove and duplication or content overlaps. That way, audiences attending both talks could get the best value and learn different things. After attending Kasey's talks, I was even more confident that my decision to alter slightly my talk was right. It did add a bit of stress (just a tiny bit) but no talk is fun without last minute changes (don't do it unless you're prepared for anything that can go wrong). Luckily, I wasn't sort of content and the demo gods where kind to me. I also worked with a "script" to keep myself straight as there are way too many features in VS and the script can help stay on track with my story and have continuity between demos. I've delivered this talk a few times so far and it's always fun knowing that developers can leave the room with their minds blown away with the various features that exist but not many know about. If you want to find out what this talk was all about (and possible what you've been missing all this time), make sure to check out the video below:
Azure Serverless with Functions and LogicApps
My second talk was on Azure Serverless with LogicApps and Functions. I can't express how much I love this subject and how fun it is to deliver it in front of like-minded people. Serverless is taking the developer community and enterprises by storm because it provides a novel and extremely efficient and cost effective way for solving real world problems. Serverless should not be treated as a "hammer" and not every problem can be solved with Functions or LogicApps. Consider yourselves warned. On the other hand, I find that there are many cases that Functions and LogicApps can be used as part of the overall architecture design. From IT Ops and automation to scalable APIs etc. What I find even more compeling is the developer story and the tooling around these services. I love the end-to-end process from local development to production deployments and the recommended practices around it. Yes, there are rough edges and many things changed recently due to the rewrite of the Azure Runtime to target .NET Core. However, the team is hard at work to iron out any problems and I would recommend that you reach out using one of the many communication channels (GitHub, Twitter, MSDN, StackOverflow) to let them know if you have any problems. Remember that Functions are Open Source all work takes place in the open on GitHub where everyone can go and check on the progress, issues and the roadmap. My talk at TechDays was a nice intro to the Azure Serverless platform touching on the various serverless concepts and then jumping straight into demos. The video from my session is below:
TechDays Netherlands has been a great experience and I hope I'm invited again to attend this and similar events. It's nice to be outside the UK and speak in front of other audiences as well. Who knows? Maybe one of these days I'll be invited to speak at Microsoft's //Build and Connect() conferences. I look forward to seeing you in one of the many conferences in the future.