Monday, July 1, 2013

Sunshine with cloud focus at Build

My week at Build here in San Francisco is at an end, it’s been a blast. The initial day of the conference had more of a device and OS focus going through a lot of what’s new in Windows 8.1 and the devices it will run on. The other half focused more on the Azure platform together with new features in Visual Studio. On a side note I’m writing this on a Surface Pro that they were nice enough to hand out to all attendees. It’s a cool piece of hardware, and basically a laptop with the tablet form factor. It’s powerful enough to run Visual studio which is great, but don’t have enough “oomph” to replace my dev laptop. If you already have a somewhat portable laptop and a tablet the Surface Pro is probably an unnecessary addition to your gadget collection. In theory it  could replace both but the design makes it more a tablet than a laptop. I’m looking forward trying it out as an “on the go” alternative to my laptop, and with the included stylus – using one note to take notes is a breeze.

Session wise my second part of build was mainly Azure and VS 2013 focused. The line to Hanselman’s ASP.NET session rivaled the goodie bag line and I ended up watching that session online. The developer of Web Essentials, Mads Kristensen showed off some of the new features in VS 2013 and Web Essentials available for html, css & javascript editing. The new browser link functionality they have as a proof of concept in 2013 seems like an awesome tool, it’s also easy to extend which means we’ll most likely see a lot of great plugins created by the dev community for this one. It’s utilizing signalR to send updates in real time to the browser and keeping them synced with the changes made in visual studio. Really looking forward to using this in future development.

Other sessions showed us how to combine the ease of setting up sites in azure with build automation, test scripts and even on-premise build server such as TeamCity. Interesting stuff!

Thursday night ended in the judging of the Hackaton competition and the attendee party. Impressive what the devs in the Hackaton managed to put together with just in just a couple of days. The party was held down at pier 48 stacked with pool tables, pinball machines, air hockey tables and classic arcades. Add some live music to that and I’d say they manage to create the perfect environment for the 6000 geeks at build to hang out Smile

All in all I think it was a great event, well organized, great sessions and an overall feel that the MS dev community is exited over what’s coming. Before leaving San Francisco I managed to catch the Pride Festival going on this weekend, people everywhere and a parade with about 199 different groups spanning for about 4 hours. Great way to end an exiting week here in San Francisco.

Here are links to some of the sessions I found really interesting. I really recommend watching them when you have some time to kill Smile