AzureConf Reflections

I had a great opportunity last week to work with some Azure community leaders in Redmond at Channel 9 studios to put on Windows AzureConf. These community members travelled from all over the world to put on some great presentations. This post summarizes the event and thanks some folks for all their hard work. The event was a great day, and really gave me an opportunity to do my favorite thing in this role – work with the community to create awesome content for the community.


Thanks for the Inspiration

My good friend and teammate Jon Galloway inspired a lot of us with what he made possible through aspConf, so we followed he and his team’s been able to do with that event and drew inspiration from the idea during the planning of AzureConf.  We had a smaller-sized goal in mind for the first (and hopefully not last) AzureConf than what Jon was able to achieve with aspConf, especially this past year, which was a huge event featuring tons of sessions and presenters.

aspConf was, absolutely, the inspiration behind AzureConf, so when I brought the idea to Jon he had tons of great experience from which I learn, and as always, Jon was happy and eager to give me some advice. I’d like to thank him, Eric, and Javier, and all the other aspConf presenters and organizers for their hard work. Your output was an inspiration to me and the team of people who put on AzureConf, and we thank you for setting an amazing standard to work towards and for all the wisdom and advice you provided during AzureConf’s planning.

Thanks for the Support

Scott Guthrie, Channel 9, and countless other people at Microsoft and in the community made AzureConf possible and successful. All along the way, various folks helped in so many ways. Mark Brown gathered videos for filler breaks, Cory Fowler and Chris Risner managed the question/answer features, Hanselman mentioned the event at //build/, James Conard believed I would be able to pull it off and had faith in me to do so, Scott Cate helped with the facilitation, the community blogged and tweeted about the event to build steam...

The list goes on and on and on and I could never name anyone, but you get the point. The team of people who worked to put on AzureConf and make it a success were absolutely vital to it happening. No one who works for Microsoft or who does business with Microsoft is unbusy, so I want to let everyone know who helped, how much I appreciate your doing so. Time is something none of us seem to have any more, but so many people stepped up in so many ways to make the event a success.

Whether you spoke, tweeted, forward a meeting invitation, or mentioned it in your own speaking engagements to help drum up support for the event, your contribution to the event is something that was absolutely vital to the event, so thank you for your time and your help.

Thanks for the Effort

Giving our community members a stage to do what they do for a larger audience than normal was the driving force for me behind AzureConf. They work so, so, so hard volunteering to keep the Azure brand’s growth continuing, and we wanted to give them one of those bucket list moments with Windows AzureConf. Anyone who loves Microsoft’s development world probably loves or at least has some interest in what happens on Channel 9, so we figured the best way to thank someone for all the work they do evangelizing Azure would be…

Give them free reign in Channel 9 for a day to evangelize about Azure! Brilliant, right?

We thought so, and brilliance is a good word for what all these guys did. You can see for yourself on the Windows AzureConf Channel 9 event page, where we have all the content* posted for your on-demand viewing pleasure.

For now, I’d like to thank all the amazing speakers who took time out of their work schedules (many lost billable time, too), sacrificed time with their families, and travelled great distances for 1-2 hours in the studio to talk about one of the things they love using – Azure.

You guys totally rocked out all day, you were a joy to work with, and you made the event a success with your enthusiasm and willingness to deliver such awesome sessions. Thanks so, so much for all you put into your presentations, and for coming all the way to Redmond to deliver them in person.

* Johnny’s talk was eaten by the hungry honey badgers that roam the Channel 9 studios hunting for prey. We’re going to have him back in the studio on his next trip to Redmond to re-record the session. When it’s done it’ll be posted on the event page.

Thanks to the Community

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without thanking you guys for watching, tweeting, and lifting us up. The event trended on Twitter for a little while, got some amazing feedback, and overall seemed to have a great, positive impact in the community. I’m so proud of you guys for helping us spread the word about the event. It made it all worthwhile, and sure does bring a smile to my face to have had such great support from the community.