This year I was fortunate enough to have the company I work for sponsor a trip to Build.
It was a nice conference, but as always not all the sessions were equally good. I want to highlight 3 must see sessions, that in my opinion didn’t get the attention they deserved.
Some of the algorithms that the Microsoft Research team have been working on for the last many years, have made it into a developer focused product, named Project Oxford.
Microsoft Project Oxford is a set of machine learning based REST APIs and SDKs that help developers easily add intelligent capabilities such as language understanding, speech recognition, image understanding, and face recognition into your applications.
It was announced as part of the keynote, but I don’t think the keynote really did it justice. So it was first when I viewed this session dedicated to the product that I really understod how powerful and easy to use Project Oxford is, if you have an 45 minutes see all of it, it’s a really well put together presentation. If you don’t have that much time, skip to the last 20 minutes and watch project LUIS.
Modern Web Tooling in Visual Studio 2015
If you are a web developer that uses Visual Studio, then this video with Mads Kristensen (who you hopefully know of already) is a must see. It’s a 1 hour tour de force on how they modernized the web developer experience in Visual Studio 2015. Mads also introduces a lot of useful Visual Studio extensions that can help you be more productive. If you have seen some of his other channel9 videos, you might have seen many of the tools before, but if not, this video is so packed with useful info that you shouldn’t miss it.
Azure Resource Manager
A lot of good news about the Azure Resource manager was announced at Build, and in this session Ryan Jones does a pretty good job at explaining how to use it and what the benefits are. It’s not that the resource manager concept is new to Azure, but before this session, I didn’t really like the json-template schema. But Ryans presentation and down-to-earth walkthrough of how it works, made me realize that it’s really useful.
I was at this session, the best part was Ryan honestly answering the questions from the audience afterwards, most of the questions (even mine) are recorded on the video. One thing that we didn’t get him to answer while recording was how to use resource manager to deploy cloud services, his response to that was kinda important (this is just cited as I remember his answer), We don’t really want you to keep using cloud services, we want you to move forward and use our new options (e.g. docker and service fabric), he did say that it’s possible to use resource manager for deploying cloud services, but we shouldn’t expect Microsoft to put out documentation on it.
There’s a lot of other good sessions from Build I just wanted to highlight 3 in this post. Finally I want to warn you about a few session that I didn’t get much value out of.
I was really interested in Service Fabric, that was annouced just prior to build, so I attended the following sessions that all had some info on Service Fabric.
The Next Generation of Azure Compute Platform with Mark Russinovich
Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Architecture
Deploying and Managing Services with Microsoft Azure Service Fabric
Unfortunately only Marks session was good, the two last ones didn’t do Service Fabric justice, and was poorly executed, which leaves you with a kinda bad impression of the framework in general, so hopefully more quality content will be released over the comming months. I felt they showed too little on how to actually use Service Fabric for real life workloads and talked to much about the theorectical background, that people who are into the topic most likely know already.