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Erald Gjoni

This past week I had the opportunity to attend my very first Microsoft conference, Microsoft Ignite in Chicago, IL. Aside for the intimidating size of McCormick Place which played host to 23,000 attendees over the last 5 days, I was surprised to see the number of vendors which their whole business revolves around implementation of Microsoft Technology. I was handed enough T-Shirts to clothe a small town, and honestly I loved walking around and collecting all that swag. 

Leading up to the conference, Ignite published a tool that allowed me to have access to the hundreds of sessions that would be available. I carefully chose 2-3 sessions per time slot (in case any of them would fill up before I got a chance to find a seat), based on the technology needs that my company has as well as my interest in what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the future of technology. 

The logistics that went behind coordinating Microsoft's first ever Ignite conference was remarkable. Almost every hotel in the downtown area cooperated by providing lodging and also discounted food and beverages for the attendees. Networking was easily feasible given that every night, many professionals around the world got together in the lobby's of their hotels sharing stories amongst many drinks. 

The conference was opened by a keynote where all of the Microsoft executives shared their vision of the future of the company. Most of the speakers shared news about the new Windows 10 as well as Office 365 and Azure. I was a little disappointed given that most the breaking news about technology innovation were first brought a week earlier at the Microsoft Build conference which I happened to catch in the live stream. In an era where information gets shared almost instantly across the world, I would guess that most of the surprised faces in the audience would have been more authentic if there would have been actual "breaking news" in the technology forefront. The rest of the conference was all about 75 min long sessions spread out through the venue covering almost all areas of technology that Microsoft creates. It was a lot of good information shared by a lot of good speakers. As I try to organize in my head that wealth of information, I will extract some of the things that were shared and elaborate further in the near future. Breakfast and lunch were complimentary everyday, and while they weren't exactly 5-star restaurant meals, I applaud the venue for feeding 23,000 mouths. Coffee, refreshments, and snacks were complimentary and available in every corner of the venue which made every IT-Pro very very happy, and functioning.

At the end of it all, I am happy I attended this conference. I would like to go back next year, although it would be a toss up between Build and Ignite. Thanks to everyone that put together this gigantic conference, and above all thanks to my company for financing my week long trip. 

Erald Gjoni
Posted on Saturday, May 9, 2015 3:38 PM devops , development , Microsoft Ingnite | Back to top

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