This will be a "short" review of a recent trip my great colleague Mikulas and I went on. We went to Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Washington to go to the LEAP conference.

TLDR; If you get the opportunity, YES - you should go.

To be honest I'd never heard about the conference, but another colleague of mine showed it to us last year and recommended that we'd go a few developers/architects. The conference is aimed at Enterprise Architects, at Umbraco I'd say we're neither Enterprise or Architects, but we're great generalists, and the sessions at the LEAP conference just looked to exiting to not go. Among others the conference would include sessions from

  • Scott Gu - EVP of Cloud and Enterprise
  • Jessica Deen - Senior cloud Advocate and member of #LoECDA - Talking DevOps
  • Bridget Kromhout - Principal Cloud Developer Advocate - Talking Kubernetes and Containers
  • Brendan Burns - Distinguished Engineer - Co-creator Kubernetes - Talking Kubernetes
  • Noelle LaCharite - Principal PM, Applied AI - Talking Artificial Intelligence
  • Scott Hunter - Director of Program Management - Talking .NET Core 3.0
  • Mark Russinovich - CTO of Azure

Personally, I've never gotten the chance of seeing any of the above live at a conference. I've seen them recorded multiple times, the .NET development and Azure related ones more specific. This was the change to see them live and learn the latest and greatest.

The conference was held at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, which also was an attraction. Being a long time Microsoft fan-boy, coming to the HQ and seeing a "real" tech giant from the inside, was very appealing. The organizers had also arranged tours in the lunch breaks, where we were able to go see parts of the Campus.

The conference was held over a week, meaning it was 5 days, with sessions every day, stretching from 8-9 in the morning until 17:00 in the evening. Besides the conference, the organizers had also arranged an evening on the Campus, where we were able to meet some of the speakers, over a casual beer and some food, and an evening out in the local bowling center.

I won’t go deep into the details of any of sessions, but let’s just say that we did learn a lot, and have brought home some new knowledge, that we can utilize in our day-to-day work.
Among the inputs that we have been starting to implement, or playing around with is

  • More Application Insights in all our products
  • Containerizing new services, and investigating Service Fabric Mesh as an Orchestrator
  • Building new services in .NET Core

Even though most of the things talked about at the conference was good, there were some talks/topics that fell besides of what we could use. Personally, there were too much talks on Kubernetes, and how to work with it. The topic is very hot now, so I guess the amount was ok, but I would have liked more focus on i.e. Service Fabric, or Azure Functions.

I was afraid that day 4 would have been a bad one for me, its topic was Machine Learning and AI, but thanks to some amazing speakers that day, it turned out being one of the best days.

Anyways, check the full schedule to see what exactly was at the conference. Feel free to reach out to me as well with questions etc. regarding the conference.

Schedule 2019: