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CTTDNUG’s Windows Azure Cloud Camp Wrap Up

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:23 AM

This past Sunday, CTTDNUG hosted its annual workshop. This year, the focus was on Windows Azure and it was held at The Tannery Event Centre in downtown Kitchener. For those of you that live in the KW area, you know that the Tannery is a pretty prime location for hosting events. So I was really excited about securing this venue for this year’s workshop.

In the months leading up to the workshop, I had a campaign going to convince the “Cloud Guy”, Jonathan Rozenblit, to come out to our event to give the keynote presentation and assist with running the hands-on labs. In order to convince Jonathan that we were a serious bunch of devs (aside from the fact that our CTTDNUG members are cool, amazing, and fun), I asked our members to start ramping up ahead of time, on any technology that their hearts desired, by watching free video sessions on the Microsoft Virtual Academy web site. For those developers that completed at least 2 courses, Jonathan was willing to award them an extra 100 points on their MVA profile.

As I expected, our CTTDNUG members rose to the occasion to watch as many MVA sessions as they could. It really was a win-win deal for our members. Free training videos on the latest technologies, plus bonus points just for learning, plus the fact that we could convince one of Microsoft’s very own Cloud Experts to participate in our camp!

We welcomed just over 30 people at our camp on Sunday! True to his word, Jonathan delivered a great keynote presentation to kick off the day long workshop, followed by a hands-on lab where our camp attendees learned how to build ASP.NET web sites in Azure.

Next up to bat, our very own CTTDNUG volunteer and Azure Community Expert, Tom Walker was up to talk about Windows Azure Virtual Machines. He wrapped up his great presentation with a hands-on lab to walk the group through setting up VMs in the Cloud.

Last but not least, I had the opportunity to present the final session on Windows Azure Mobile Services, demonstrating many of the cool features that are included (data storage and dynamic schemas, push notifications, scheduler, authentication, and so much more!), which was also followed by a hands-on lab to allow the attendees to get a Windows 8.1 app connected to Azure Mobile Services up and running.

We wrapped up the day o’ fun with some pretty sweet prize giveaways including a Telerik DevCraft license, Telerik Kendo UI license, a 1 year subscription to Pluralsight, books donated by O’Reilly and Apress, and a Lenovo Miix 2 8” Windows 8.1 tablet!

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Thanks to….

Thanks to my fellow presenters, Jonathan and Tom, for helping out during the camp. Tom was also our resident photographer, who took some great photos during the camp which are posted on the CTTDNUG Facebook page. Jonathan assisted with troubleshooting issues during the hands-on labs, and for some of the demos that weren’t working quite right. He also saved the day by assisting an elderly lady who had fallen outside in the parking lot. A Superhero cape is awarded to him for this alone!

Thanks to Bingeman’s who catered the event at the Tannery! Everything was setup perfectly for our workshop. The food was fabulous, including a great selection of drinks during breakfast and lunch, and there was a never ending supply of coffee and water throughout the day for our attendees!

Thanks to everyone that attended and participated! You are the reason we continue to host these types of workshops. We hope you enjoyed learning as much as we enjoyed teaching!

The event was a huge success because of the active participation from our members and the support we received from our sponsors.

Special thanks to our event sponsors for supporting CTTDNUG and helping us to make this the event of the year for our members: Microsoft Canada, Telerik, Pluralsight, Apress, O'Reilly, and Solola Solutions Inc.

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Jonathan Rozenblit schooling a table full of students on the ways of Azure

I’m happy to say that we had a great turnout for the event and we received positive feedback from those that attended.

Missed our workshop?

If you missed our Azure Cloud Camp and are feeling remorseful at having missed this wonderful opportunity for learning, networking, socializing, and potentially walking away with some great prizes (along with a new set of skills), I have good news! Another Azure Cloud Camp is being held in London, Ontario on March 16th hosted by the London .NET User Group. To check out details on that event and to register, check out their registration page on EventBrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/windows-azure-cloud-camp-tickets-9017428371

If you can’t make it out to a full day’s workshop in person, then go to the Microsoft Virtual Academy site to watch videos at your own pace, on a variety of technologies…for free!

Ready to start building cloud-connected apps?

If you attended our camp, or watched a ton of training videos on the MVA site, and are ready to start building cloud-connected apps, be sure to register for the Developer Movement first, so that you can earn points for your efforts! Those points can then be cashed in for prizes! If you haven’t heard of the Developer Movement, check out my recent post, “The Developer Movement Is Back”, to learn more about it!