Chris Alexander

On Engineering

MSP Launch Event: Day 2

22nd September, 2009

So the second day of the MSP Launch Event at Microsoft TVP is over, the freebies have been collected, and it’s time to reflect on the events of the past two days.

Today was another excellent day of presentations and demos. Starting off with an overview of the programme with Ed and @SarahMelrose, we had a brilliant overview of social media with Marc Holmes (@MarcHolmes), followed by Dom Green (@domgreen) with a brilliant presentation finally delving into working with Windows Azure.

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Azure is something that has intrigued me for some time, but among all the marketing buzzword bingo and pretty blue logos, I’ve never been shown the nitty-gritty get-your-hands-dirty sample code and design style that I’ve been craving and somewhat require to get me kick started with something new like this. Today Dom started that off with some excellent analogies and demos as to what you can use Azure for, and to be honest I’m seriously liking what I’m seeing.

The concept of using a common processing queue to manage scaling and the interaction between the frontend webpage serving scripts and the backend is definitely not something new to me, but the formalisation and robustness provided by the Azure framework looks truly superb.

I also managed to get my hands on a Surface for the first time, which was everything I was hoping it to be - sensational. I will be posting much more on this in the future, including an exclusive video walkthorough with Microsoft DPE Evangelist Paolo Barone (@pbarone) and more exclusive videos of the Surface in action, but suffice to say for now I was very impressed by the interaction experiences that the device provides.