At the end of September three of us made our way to Orlando Florida to join another 20,000 IT professionals for the Microsoft Ignite conference courtesy of Kainos. This is a 5 day conference, or 6 if you attend one of the pre-conference workshops. This is the largest Microsoft technology conference and presents the opportunity to see the latest new offerings and updates from Microsoft and the opportunity to meet with the engineers and decision makers at the very top of the Microsoft organisation. In fact one of us managed to meet Jeffery Snover – credited with the invention of PowerShell – who had a massive influence on his career and was able to thank him in person.

To try and make it a bit easier to determine what talks are most relevant to your interests there are a number of different tracks which can then be used to help identify what you should attend. This is useful as there were over 700 talks and more than 100 workshops! This gave a great opportunity to find out about the latest technologies and approaches that Microsoft was promoting. At the Expo hall we met and talked to many of the companies who are working with Microsoft services and products. With exhibitors from all over the world this gave a unique view on the global landscape of IT providers and use of cloud services.

At the conference, Microsoft announced many new services and products. The talks showed the latest technical trends, such as the move to containers/serverless hosting and use of AI/Machine learning to add intelligence to services.

It wasn’t all work though, we did find time to test some of the latest hardware – Xbox Ones with Fifa and Forza still count! And for the celebration event Microsoft hired out Universal Studios for the Attendees on the Thursday night, which we took advantage of despite some initial impressive rain showers as well as lightening!

The connections that we made, and the learnings that we have taken away are already being shared with our colleagues and now that we have one under our belt we are already thinking about how we can best tackle next years event!