Build 2014 Day 2: Guest Blog by Neil Turner

Neil Turner, our man on the ground in San Fran reports on Day 2 of Build.

Neil Turner is one of Ireland’s top independent Windows developers having built Bus Nearby, Broadsheet, Fuel Nearby and Xbox apps and a convention veteran. Neil has agreed to be our man on the ground at Build and provide daily reports on the announcements, the sentiment amongst developers and things you might not see in the keynotes.

Day two and another big keynote packed full of news and announcements. First up was Azure with some impressive usage figures - 3.2 million organisations rely on Azure every day. And don’t forgot all those Xbox users and TitanFall!

Enhancements were announced for Azure Websites, Mobile Services, Active Directory, Hadoop, and Office 365 Apps on Azure but the big news was about .Net - and the creation of the new .Net Foundation which will handle the project that Microsoft will open-source such as ASP.Net and the Entity Framework. This includes the newly announced .Net Compiler Platform, codenamed Roslyn, which will mean faster compiling and better performance for existing code.

This, of course, is a very small slice of what happened. For a full recap, head over to Channel 9 to watch the full keynote now (

The keynotes are great, but what else is going on at Build?


Well, one of the best things about being at Build is the opportunity to meet and chat with so many people. Whether it’s other developers you randomly bump into or maybe that well-known Microsoft person you recognise. If you see anyone you think you recognise, just go say hi, the environment is friendly and everyone is happy to talk. And I think for many, it’s the reason they come to Build.

As well as the attendees and many Microsoft staff on hand to answer questions about anything from Azure to Windows Phone, there are many partner show cases such as Intel and AMD, Marmalade and Unity, AdDuplex and several other agencies who create very interesting apps for various Microsoft platforms include Xbox 360, Xbox One and even the Perceptive Pixel - that really large 82” touch screen!

There’s an Expert Zone which has both technical and design experts on hand to answer questions, simply walk over and start chatting. But if you need some one-on-one time with a design or technical issue, it’s possible to book an appointment as well.

And if you have time in-between sessions or you really have an itch to get some coding done, there’s a Code Challenge area where you’re asked to build certain app features like Live Tiles, Nokia Imaging SDK integration, etc