BUILD 2014 Round-Up – Part 1

Reflecting on the Week

Well, it’s Friday night and BUILD is now officially over, yet I can’t help but feel most, if not all, attendees walked away with a deep sense of excitement over Microsoft’s vision, direction and announcements from this week. This week was not just about further extending the “Cloud and Mobile” vision, but it was also about further embracing the broader developer ecosystem and technology landscape—and then some.

Across the Day 1 Keynote and Day 2 Keynote, there were roughly 55 new announcements, some more surprising than others but all contributing to this enthusiasm. You can also view the keynotes online here:

For me personally, I can only say that this week was hugely impactful; it provoked a number of very positive emotions and optimism on where we’re heading as a company and as a technical community. There is a significant evolution underway, and it’s amazing to not have just been here to experience a piece of it this week, but also to be thinking about the open road ahead. 

How about the sessions?

So, what about the sessions, you ask? Well, there was a ton of great sessions, most of which are now on C9. In an earlier post, I mentioned a few areas of interest I was targeting this week. Between meetings with customers, colleagues and vendors, I managed to take in a few sessions. In this post, I’ve included a few of my favorites. I will, however, follow up with a few more favorites as I work through the offline videos.

Session Videos already posted…

What’s New for ASP.NET and Web in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 and Beyond – Scott Hanselman and Scott Hunter

You may have heard the saying: “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out” If not, when the “lesser Scotts,” as they self-referenced, get on stage together you always feel something dangerous or angry could bust out. Nice. The Scotts covered off on a few areas, such as:

  • One ASP.NET – e.g. one web template with the options built into the template, as opposed to multiple project templates within VS 2013
  • Web Essentials:
  • New features such as Bootstrap, which comes default within the MVC 5 templates (awesome), improved Web API and Azure support, evolved EF, attribute routing, tracing and logging, and so much more.

You can catch a recap of “the match” here: 

Windows and the Internet of Things – Steve Teixeira

Steve is the Director of PM in the “Internet of Things” team at Microsoft. A solid session with some really interesting scenarios highlighted—which will make you think about Windows in quite a different way.

You can catch the session online here: 

Azure Media Services: An Around-the-World Tour of Customer Case Studies – Martin Wahl

Martin works in the Media Services team at Microsoft and outlined a number of great customer stories that are using Media. This is a big and growing area, so it was very cool to see the different applications taking shape from both a customer and partner perspective.

You can catch his online here: 

Take Your Solution Worldwide from the Start with Bing Translator – Chris Wendt and Jan Nelson

Bing often feels like the “sleeper cell” of services—it’s incredibly powerful and is showing up in a number of places (such as the newly announced “Cortana”). What appealed to me about this session is the fact that we live in an increasingly global-from-the-start development philosophy, and multi-language support is key. Having spent some time in natural language years ago, this proposition is tough—language is nuanced with colloquialisms, dialectical utterances, and the like that make disambiguation challenging. Things have come a long way. Wendt and Nelson covered off on how to build rich client and web translators—through client libraries or rich services using the Microsoft Translator libraries and the Bing Translator, which you can try out live.

You can check out this session online here:

Session Videos not yet posted…

What’s New in IAAS for Developers – Corey Sanders

If you were following the news and keynotes this week, there is a ton of new Dev/Test features built into the Azure Infrastructure Services. And Corey is a great and fun speaker. His session is not yet posted, but you can check the link below to get it.

Building End-to-End Video Experiences with Azure Media Services - Mingfei Yan

Mingfei is a PM in the Media Services team at Microsoft and a rock-star speaker—always informative and entertaining. As of today, her session was not yet posted, but here is a link to where you can go and check to download it.

What’s New for Azure Developers in Visual Studio and Azure SDK – Dan Fernandez and Paul Yuknewicz

Dan and Paul focused their attention on the 2.3 version of the SDK talking about a number of the new features such as tracing, logging, in-template subscription integration, deeper views/property setting in the Server Explorer view, and much, much more. You can download the SDK 2.3 from Dan and Paul are always fun and entertaining to watch, and while at the time of writing their session was not posted, you can find it here:

Well, I have a few more that I’m working through so will post on those in Part 2 of this post.

In the mean-time, for those that attended this year’s BUILD, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I also hope you walked away as invigorated as much as those I had the opportunity to talk with throughout the week.