DevIntersection Las Vegas 2016: a full review

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The Raygun events team attended DevIntersection 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Convention Center. Held over October 25-28, DevIntersection is actually a group of mini-conferences combined into one covering a variety of general software development and Microsoft-centric technologies. The other mini-conferences at DevIntersection covered topics including:

  • Visual Studio
  • SharePoint
  • Office 365
  • ASP.NET
  • SQL
  • Azure

Who is DevIntersection for?

DevIntersection is great conference to attend for any software engineers or developers interested in emerging technologies in and around the Microsoft ecosystem. But don’t think that DevIntersection only focuses on Microsoft!

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Image credit : DevIntersection

DevIntersection offers plenty of information in a variety of sessions covering both theoretical use cases and practical applications of technologies like Angular 2, Ionic framework, and S.O.L.I.D (object oriented) design patterns.

Keynotes

Some of the particular treats DevIntersection offered were the opening keynote presentations by Scott Hanselman, Giorgio Sardo, and Pete Brown. Scott went over Microsoft’s open source journey in his usual informative, casual, and always hilarious style. Giorgio and Pete wowed the audience with a display of emerging technologies coming from Microsoft including a mobile robot with machine learning connections to the Azure cloud, image/facial recognition with Windows Hello, and exciting applications in the business and public sectors. You can take a look at Scott’s talk over on Channel 9.

Notable sessions

While I did attend most of the sessions at DevIntersection, I did want to share my two favorites:

Angular 2 in 60-ish minutes

Dan Whalin and John Papa

This presentation did a great job exposing the audience of mostly .NET developers to Angular 2. Dan and John spent most of the time covering the basics of an Angular 2 application, model-view-controller architecture, and database interaction. On a side note, John and Dan gave three talks about JavaScript related technologies (Angular 2 and Typescript) back-to-back, which is pretty impressive!

Hacking fitness with the M.E.A.N stack

Daniel Egan and Jeremy Foster

The Hacking Fitness presentation focused on a project to build a racing application with the M.E.A.N stack (a collection of JavaScript-based technologies). This application aimed to connect water-based rowing machines to the cloud and then pit them against each other. The demonstration highlighted  the process of connecting the rowers to Raspberry Pi’s, connecting those Raspberry Pi’s to the Azure cloud, and then writing the Angular application to run the racing program. The presentation featured a mixture of slides and live coding based on the project which gave a valuable perspective.

Key takeaways

While the event was Microsoft focused at times, I did learn a great deal about other technologies as well. I hadn’t had the opportunity to really dive into Angular 2 before and so the keynotes I attended gave a fresh perspective on practical use cases. On the Microsoft side of things, I picked up a new appreciation for the progress Microsoft is making to make development easier and more powerful. With the power of Visual Studio, the new features of .NET Core, and a lot more cross-platform support Microsoft is starting to shine again.

Looking forward to DevIntersection 2017

DevIntersection was a well rounded conference with something for just about everyone. Even if you aren’t a Microsoft developer or company, the information provided in the sessions and keynotes still held real value. If you have a chance to attend DevIntersection I highly recommend it for teams and individuals wanting a more holistic view of Microsoft-leaning software development tools and practices.

It may be worth a mention that the 2017 conference is moving from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to the Walt Disney World Swan in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Additionally, the conference is being held earlier in the year from May 21-24  2017 instead of late October. Given the great Spring weather in Florida and the wealth of information at DevIntersection, I highly recommend attending if you can make it!

 

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