Global Azure Days London
This year the Global Azure Community hosted https://globalazure.net/
A Global Event from May 11th to May 13th 2023, with 483 speakers, presenting 445 sessions in 6 continents.
The UK event was hosted by Microsoft and Umbraco MVPs Poornima Nayar and Callum Whyte, at Microsoft Reactor in London. With 6.5 hours of talks, both online and in person, it was a chance to make new friends, catch up with old ones, as well as learn and share knowledge. Despite the train strikes the event was well attended. With one speaker saying "I don't want to start an argument, but getting into London via public transport while there was a train strike is easier than getting into Auckland via public transport."
The London event had 6.5 hours of content both in person and online.
Each talk included demonstrations, and the talks were as follows. In the morning we had:
- Developing and Deploying Containers and Microservices with Azure Container Apps by Will Velida. Will included demos of how to create and test Azure Container Apps. I hadn't known about container app versioning before Will's talk, I definitely need to explore container apps more.
- Accessibility: Building and Deploying Accessible sites by Rachel Breeze (Me). I demonstrated accessibility testing throughout the development process, and how Azure DevOps can be used for Automated Accessibility Testing, along with some Chrome Plugins that work with Azure DevOps. This was my second in person live demo, this time with no real backup screen shots prepared. Those fickle beings the "demo gods" were on my side and I managed to demonstrate Azure DevOps configuration for automated accessibility testing.
- How to improve application resilience with Azure Chaos Studio by Mert Yeter. Mert's talk included a demonstration of Azure Chaos Studio. Chaos engineering sounds like a natural progression from disaster planning. After Mert's talk I am keen to start playing with Azure Chaos Studio to confirm website reliance, it definitely looks like a really cool tool.
- Passwordless authentication between GitHub and Azure using federated credentials by Marcel Lupo. Marcel demonstrated configuring GitHub Actions authentication methods for Azure. I left Marcel's talk feeling like federated credentials were the way to go with Azure and GitHub, and this has gone on my list as the first thing to check out.
Over lunch there were online talks followed up with talks by:
- Introduction to Azure Open AI and developer guide by Usama Wahab Khan. Usama showed how to use Open AI Azure API and Azure Cognitive Services. I really need to start playing with Microsoft Open AI, I've just got to come up with a use case for it...
- Using Infrastructure as code to deploy Azure Workload using Terraform and Bicep by Nicholas Chang and Mark Allan. Nicholas and Mark demonstrated how to deploy Azure workflow using Terraform and Bicep. They also discussed when to use Terraform and when to use Bicep.
- Sentiment Analysis using Azure Data Factory by Alpa Buddhabhatti. Alpa showed how we can know customer perception by applying sentiment analysis on customer feedback data without knowing Maths, Data Science and Machine Learning. Alpa combined four Azure services, Azure Data Factory/ Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Blob Storage and Azure SQL Server for sentiment analysis. Adding cognitive services to the data processing mix was so cool. Again I need to think of a use case for this as I really want to give this a try.
- Unleashing the Power of Code-Driven Virtual Desktop Deployments: AVD & Windows 365 by Jake Walsh and Jon Jarvis. Jon and Jake walked us through the process of deploying Azure Virtual Desktop and its supporting infrastructure, using Terraform, Packer and PowerShell
The final talks after a short break were:
- Using the ESP32 and Meadow F7 for .NET IoT Projects by Clifford Agius. Clifford showed how IoT has moved to the edge, and also how when gathering data from IoT devices, there's a lot of information to work with. This sparked an interesting conversation between myself and my other half, who is a C++ programmer in his day job, and between us we own a few microprocessors. I think we are going to look at automating the greenhouse.
- Abusing the Azure Functions Runtime for Fun and Profit by Joel Hammond-Turner. Joel showed how he had developed a (Microsoft Approved) hack, for the Azure Functions Runtime, to enable uptime monitoring of Azure Functions. Joel's talk was thought-provoking; I hadn't considered the need for load balancing Azure Functions and left me wanting to learn more about Azure Functions.
One of the common themes in many of the talks was the importance of infrastructure as code, to ensure consistency of environments.
I also discovered from Mert and Marcel it is possible to obscure the Azure GUIDs using a Chrome Plugin called AZ Mask. This is a really useful plugin for client calls, talks and demonstrations.
There was a lot of knowledge shared, in a really friendly environment. It was a great chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones and meet those people I knew from social media in real life for the first time.
Thank you to the event organisers Poornima and Callum, all the speakers and everyone who attended. Hopefully, I will see you all soon. Maybe at Umbraad on 18th May for more accessibility talks?