Techorama Netherlands 2018 - The one conference to rule them all

TechoramaNL has been a fantastic experience and I was very lucky to be invited to this inaugural event in the Netherlands. Techorama, if you don’t' know, is one of the best if not the best conference on, predominantly, Microsoft technologies outside Microsoft. That is, outside of events that Microsoft organizes. Techorama has been running for 5 years in Belgium but this was the first time that the conference was run in the Netherlands.

Despite the fact that this was the first year, the Techorama team are seasoned developers, speakers, and conference organizers. Therefore, it's no surprise that everything was perfect from the beginning to the end. The track selection, the speakers, the venue and the rest of the logistics all handled properly and timely.

However, there's another reason this conference has been so special. After doing over 110 conferences in the past 4 years, I decided to take a break from public speaking. After moving to the US to take on a new and more challenging role at Microsoft, I want to focus more on my career and personal development while spending a lot more time with my family at home. Techorama was my last conference so I wanted to 'go out' talking about things I'm truly passionate about: Azure, Serverless, Functions, and DevOps.

This time I tried to focus more on the things that matter and bring practical experience from the field. It was not so much about the technology but more about how best to use it to solve problems. For Azure Functions, the possibilities are endless and unfortunately, 1 hour is not enough to even scratch the surface. Before moving to my marketing role, I used to spend a whole day with clients talking about the potential of the Azure Serverless platform which extends beyond just Functions. I also tried to focus on the REST API capabilities of the platform and how it can help customers be more Agile and efficient when creating new APIs. You can find the slides published on SlideShare

My second talk was about DevOps, because everyone loves DevOps or should anyway. However, with Donovan Brown 'in the house' talking about, you guessed it, DevOps, I didn't want to duplicate our message. Instead, I focused on how to leverage the various Azure DevOps features to create secure and scalable CI/CD pipelines to ensure that any code and architecture deployed meets best practices. This is another favorite sessions of mine, one that I've delivered many times to customers and or helped implement end-to-end. Once again, the 1 hour felt inadequate as I had so much to share but I tried as best to convey the right message and highlight these features in hope that everyone will go back to work and implement some of them.

After delivering my talks, I got to spend a lot of time with other speakers and catch up with many friends (new and old) I hadn't seen in a while. This is always my favorite part. Networking is the best part of these events, beyond learning new things of course. It was a little bit unfortunate that I only got to hang out with the other speakers as it would have been great for attendees to reach out and have a chat. I sincerely hope that eventually, this will change in the near future. To my surprise, we also had quite a few Microsoft people (Cloud Developer Advocates and Product Managers) all with which I work with in my current role so I got to combine pleasure with business in a nice, relax manner.

Overall, this has been an amazing experience and jet lag free - which was a nice surprise. Once again, I want to extend my thanks to all the organizers and helpers who worked to put this together and invited me to be part of it.

Till next time….

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