The Power of Community: #GlobalAzure  


Editor’s note: The following post is guest authored by the Global Azure Bootcamp Team: Microsoft Azure MVPs Mike Martin, Magnus Mårtensson, Alan Smith, Mike Wood, and experts Martin Abbott, Maarten Balliauw and Wesley Cabus.

gabc 2016

Over the past three years something special has been happening each spring: an event where people come together to learn about cloud computing on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. While developers and IT Pros are learning about Azure all the time, what makes this event so special is that it gets to the heart of what the technical community can really be. See, it's not just a forty-or fifty-people gathering from the local user group, this is thousands of people at hundreds of locations around the world. This is the Global Azure Boot Camp (#GlobalAzure) event and in 2016 the event will be held on April 16th!


What started as just a simple idea between friends has grown tremendously over the past few years. Last year we had 182 locations in 64 countries. Those locations were spread across six continents, with the event running a total of 26 hours from when the first groups in Japan and Australia started to when the group in Hawaii finished up and headed to the beach to celebrate. For that day over 6,000 attendees learned about Azure, either for the first time, or picking up news skills with the fast changing features and offerings. New skills that are crucial to, in an Agile way, rapidly or even continuously build, deploy, diagnose and monitor modern applications in the post-Cloud world!


Beyond the presentations and hands on labs the attendees at the locations have had the chance to participate at truly "Cloud Scale" by getting involved with the extra labs managed by the Global Azure Boot Camp team. Last year we had two labs: The science lab, which helped perform research for breast cancer on a global "super cluster" of compute power, and the racing game lab, which pitted attendees around the world against each other in who could get the best times.  Both labs ran on the Microsoft Azure platform, of course, and both helped drive home the power of a massive compute scale system and the flexibility of the services that Azure has to offer.


The idea of community at this scale is awesome. Each one of these locations is led by community volunteers. People local to that area that want to provide an environment for others to learn from each other. Often leading the charge as main organizers are MVPs. Last year we had 45 MVPs who were lead organizers at the events, but many, many more served as presenters, lab helpers and more. The event locations benefit from the strong community ties that MVPs help build locally, and then, through the MVP program, can leverage globally.


The concept of this event started with a handful of ambitious MVPs, but has grown to be a truly global scale event. We the Global Azure Boot Camp team simply host a web site and then we sit back and let the brilliance and community heart of the organizers around the world shine for itself! It would be awesome if the event continues to grow each year, helping more developers and IT Pros to learn about what's possible with the Azure platform.


If you'd like to get involved, check out if there's a location near you by looking at the global location map.

If you don't see an event near you, think about hosting one. We provide a lot of guidance on how to organize a location, and there are many, many other organizers who are happy to share their experiences.