It's been a little over a week since the end of Microsoft Ignite 2022, a hybrid event -onsite and online- that took place at the Seattle Convention Center between October 12 and 13, 2022, and this time I've decided to write a few lines about what I thought. What made me decide to write them? Well, I had the good fortune to be physically present at the event, hearing first-hand all the news that Microsoft has accustomed us to in an event of this magnitude (as they say themselves, "a Tier 1 event").
If you want to access the news book yourself, you can skip the rest of the post via the link below:
TL;DR – Microsoft Ignite 2022 - Book of News
As you can see in the link, "Petete's fat book" is made up of 105 sections, each with specific details of changes or new features for a particular service. The nine areas comprising what's new are: AI, Azure, Business Applications, Edge, Industry Cloud, Microsoft 365, Power Platform, Security and Windows.
Does it seem too long and you want to see a video summary? Well you can not miss the opportunity this coming Wednesday, October 26, in the CompartiMOSS Unplugged nº62 in which we will be Alberto Diaz ("travel compitrueno" to MS Ignite), Santiago Porras, Diego Zapico and myself, precisely reviewing that book of news. So if in addition to watching this summary, you want to hear the comments on the best plays, you can't miss it. Note: due to time constraints, we will focus on the Azure news.
CompartiMOSS Unplugged Nº62 – Microsoft Ignite Azure
And if you ask me: "How about this Ignite? Well, I answer: "Different". And while this is the first Ignite I've physically attended, I have not missed Microsoft Tier 1 events in the past, such as the Microsoft Partner Conference, Microsoft Build, etc. for more than 25 years. And when I mean different is that after several years of no in-person Microsoft events (and in most of the world), is that obviously something different was going to be when so much emphasis is being placed on the hybrid format: being able to access sessions both in-person and virtually, but also having spaces to be able to network better in the in-person format.
If you are a "Swag-hunter", forget about the typical event with an "expo" area full of sponsor booths or the usual Microsoft areas where you can see "gadgets" (with the exception of Surface, which deserves a separate section below). In this event the rules have been redefined, and what I found was:
- An impressive Microsoft space with open rooms where collateral sessions took place one after the other, as well as areas where you could ask questions to Microsoft experts (be careful, you could find Product Managers there). In the central area was where the Key Notes were broadcasted live (with the exception of Satya's, which was done from the studios in Redmond) and in a format where you had to arrive early and be lucky enough to sit at one of the nearby tables to enjoy them. From there I enjoyed the first day, with surprises such as Microsoft Designer, a new tool that allows you to create attractive designs even taking advantage of the power of AI with DALL-E 2 for image generation.
The area for face-to-face sessions, such as those of IT or DEV. That's where I spent almost half of my time, because apart from the fact that the content of the sessions was very TOP, there were celebrities for which in some sessions more than 400 people were lined up even when the room was full to see if anyone left the seat. There I could see live sessions of Mark Russinovich, Scott Hanselman, Scott Hunter or Donovan Brown, of course with many friends to tell us the news of each area. The list of some of my favorite sessions and the links so you can watch them right now are:
- The relax and dining areas, with plenty of food and drink at any time. There was so much that I brought back four new kilos when I arrived in Spain. Good thing the event this year only lasted two days in this sense, because it is seen that my visits across the pond make me increase several pants sizes. Luckily I've almost burned them out, although I still have some work to do.
- The Surface area, which was SPECTACULAR. The truth is that it was where I most wanted to walk between sessions, especially with the surprise, upon arrival at the event, the announcement of the new Surface 9, Surface Laptop 5, the Surface Studio 2+ and many new peripherals such as a webcam, headphones, a dock station with audio (which caught my attention), etc.. The exhibition areas covered many areas, and you could participate in a raffle for 10 Surface packs valued at about $5,000 each. Did I mention at some point that Alberto Diaz took one of them? The only downside, to put it mildly, is that there was no Microsoft Store in which to purchase anything, even if it was a peripheral.
- The Partners area, which was perhaps the strangest for me. In other events of this style we are used to those exhibition areas where you can find a lot of Partners showing their products and services, making demos of them and creating connections. In this edition, to access this area you had to go down two floors in the building, to walk through corridors in which there were a kind of offices in which inside were the sponsors. Outside these rooms it was difficult to see even a simple "roll-up" of the sponsor, so my feeling to enter some of them was rather because there was some detail that I needed more information and I encouraged myself to enter, but not because the design of the experience invited me to do so. It is perhaps the part of the event that I liked the least, precisely because it even caused me stress to know what was going to happen to me after passing the entrance door: was I going to be bombarded with commercial questions? what if I was not interested in what they were telling me? There were sponsors I didn't know and I probably would have been more interested in approaching them in another format. Could I leave the conversation comfortably without noticing that they had closed the door behind me? I hope that in the next edition it will be rectified, because I was not the only one to share this opinion.
What could not be missed were the after-parties that many Partners did during and after the event, which extended the face-to-face experience by sharing more moments with those we have not seen in years. Although I had received some invitations, here is a good trick that will surely help you for the next events you go to. Visit https://conferenceparties.com and see if the event is there (the Ignite one was https://conferenceparties.com/ignite22/). It's an unofficial website, but big events like this one are usually there, so you have a good plan when the doors close.
Cloud Skills Challenge
As with all editions, the Cloud Skills Challenge is open from October 12 and ends on November 9. By completing a challenge within the Microsoft Learn Cloud Skills Challenge, qualifying individuals will be eligible for a free Microsoft certification exam.
Eligible exams include the following:
Alignment of the challenge: Microsoft Ignite: Intelligent Cloud Challenge
Alignment of the challenge Microsoft Ignite: Cloud Developer Challenge
Alignment of the challenge Microsoft Ignite: AI Automation Challenge
Alignment of the challenge: Microsoft Ignite: Field Service Automation Challenge
Alignment of the challenge Microsoft Ignite: Modern Work Challenge
Alignment of the challenge: Microsoft Ignite: modern work challenge
Alignment of the challenge: Microsoft Ignite: App Maker Challenge
Alignment of the challenge: Microsoft Ignite: Comprehensive Protection Challenge
Don't miss the opportunity!
And as usual, at the end of one big event, the date of the next one is announced. Mark your calendar for November 15-16, 2023 or sign up now for more notifications to secure your spot at the event early. I hope we can repeat those of us who went and have new friends. From here a hug to Alberto Diaz, Manu Sanchez, Txema Gonzalez, Rodrigo Diaz Concha and many others with whom I had the pleasure to share this trip and who make it really worthwhile.
Bonus Track – RD Connect 2022
Taking advantage of the fact that the Pisuerga river passes through Valladolid, I also had the opportunity to participate in the RD Connect on the 11th, which took place at the Microsoft campus. This is an event in which we met participants of the Regional Directors program with Microsoft executives, and although it also took place in hybrid format, a good group of us met in person. I'm not going to dwell on this previous day, except that it was great to see many friends and new program participants in person again, as well as do the obligatory tours of the Redmond campus and take a look at the construction of the campus expansion.