Microsoft Ignite: Day 2


So after the first, exciting, day, arrived the second one. It was a very enjoyable one, with strong emphasis on the development aspects of Azure.

Application Dev Keynote with Scott Hanselman

Before diving into the keynote contents, I have to pause a bit and talk about Scott Hanselman.

I’ve been to a lot of Scott’s talks, in various forums, and each and every time I came out extremely impressed with his engagement level with the audience. Scott has a great stage presence, and a very sharp sense of humor, which he does not hesitate to use generously.

He speaks so good, that whenever I have a chance to hear him, no matter what the topic is, I’m going.

So do yourself a favor, and go listen to him.

BTW – it looks like I’m not the only one thinking like that. The keynote took place in a large theater, and was fully packed:

Scott Keynote (again – sorry for the quality…)

So what did we hear in this keynote?

Scott began with some announcements, some of them were introduced yesterday, some are new:

  • VS Online, duplicating the VS Code environment in the web browser. Looks very impressive.
  • No cold start for Azure Functions! The Premium SKU keeps the functions “warm”, and avoid the dreaded cold start.
  • Azure Spring Cloud, allowing all you Java developers to build Spring Cloud-based apps on Azure.

He went on with a great demonstration of the new website, together with a dev lead from the company. The new website was built using ASP.NET Core on Azure, and utilizes a lot of the services Azure has to offer.

And then came the highlight of the talk – Scott took us through the process of building a Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard and Spock game, (yep, that’s a real thing), using micro services built using various platforms (.NET, Java, node. PHP, Python), deployed using Kubernetes, and utilizing GitHub. All is peppered with some fancy AI.

This keynote gave a great overview of the app development features in Azure, and is highly recommended for viewing (all of Ignite sessions are recorded and publicly available on the Ignite website).


Cosmos DB (Andrew Liu, Microsoft)

In this demo-packed session, we were introduced to some advanced features of CosmosDB, the globally distributed, multi-API database in Azure.

Cosmos is a NoSQL db, supports various APIs such as Mongo, SQL, Gremlin and more. It’s blazingly fast, and, as mentioned, globally distributed which gives it amazing SLA.

So after a short intro, we delved into some new and improved features, among them:

  • Group By support
  • Auto Pilot for auto scaling
  • Analytical Storage
  • Transactional Batch
  • Support for Mongo API v3.6

I’m most excited about the Auto Pilot feature, since, as an Architect, it makes my life much easier, and instead of implementing complex monitoring mechanism and manually scaling CosmosDB, I can just leave it to the Auto Pilot and call it a day.


Building Personal Brand in 5 Steps (Josh Blalock, Cloudway)

A short (15 mins) and focused talk about the importance, and creation, of personal brand.

I won’t discuss the importance of personal brand here, since there are a lot of websites, articles, books etc. about it, but the speaker outlined 5 steps that can greatly help you achieve it:

  1. Focus – Deal with what you’re good at, and you’re passionate about.
  2. Differentiate – Adopt something that will differentiate you from the crowd. It can be something physical (clothes), or something that you do (podcasts, speaking)
  3. Consistency – No matter what you do, be consistent. There is a little benefit in writing blog post once a year. Decide on the frequency, and be consistent.
  4. Accuracy – Doing something consistently is not enough, it must be correct. So if, for example, you love to talk about Angular, make sure you don’t make stupid mistakes.
  5. Connect – always be in touch with the community. You can’t have brand if no one knows you.


Azure Pipelines (Martin Woodward, Damian Brady – Microsoft)

This demo-packed, funny talk was one of the best I’ve been to so far.

Martin and Damian demonstrated Azure Pipelines, one of the most crucial elements of Azure DevOps.

Using Pipelines, developers can define tasks to be executed on the code after it’s committed, which can make it for production. In the demo, the tasks where responsible for the build, test, and publish of the application, and all of this was done using a very easy to use UI or the CLI.

Also discussed: Parallelism, multiple OS support, extensibility and more.


Exploring Containers and Orchestration in Azure (Shayne Boyer, Microsoft)

This session provided overview of the various methods of using containers (read: Docker) on Azure.

After a brief introduction of containers, we talked about :

  • Azure Container Instance, which allows us to run a single container easily, using a single command.
  • Azure Container Registry, which manages private container images registry
  • App Service Container, which is the PaaS offering of Azure, but with containers
  • Azure Kubernetes Services, which is basically Kubernetes, but managed


Between the sessions, I’ve had a great time with some colleagues, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the partners zone, learning and discussing various cloud products.


So, that was day 2. Looking forward for day 3!


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Don’t forget to check out my courses:

The Complete Guide to Becoming a Software Architect

Rest API Design – The Complete Guide

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