Croatia, thanks for having me!

This year I got the chance to engage the Croatian developer communities in Porec, a beautiful Croatian city at the Mediterranean sea side, during WinDays – the largest Microsoft driven event in Croatia.

As I said in my interview with the WinDays media crew, this was my second time in Croatia. Whilst my first experience in Croatia as a tourist (when I got to visit Dubrovnik) blew me away by the historical culture Croatia has to over, my second time in Croatia blew my away by the quality and software developers, their deep knowledge and familiarity with the latest technologies and trends. Good job, Croatia!

WinDays

WinDays is by far the largest Microsoft driven event in Croatia, which brings together developers, IT professionals and IT business managers and decision makers, making is thus the best opportunity to learn stuff and meet interesting people. Right before I got to the WinDays island (yep, you’ve read that right – the event was hosted in a private resort, on a car-free island! How cool is that?!), I was mindblown by the logistics behind this many-thousands-attendees large event. For example, a few kilometers before arriving in Porec, I started following road signs with the conference’s logo. Second, I had my car parked in one of the largest parking lots completely reserved for the conference, where a minibus got to pick us up. Once we got to the sea-side, a shuttle boat reserved for the conference cross us over to the island, and they had such a boat trip every roughly 15 mins. Once I got to my room, the TV automatically turned on and started playing the conference’s teaser video; in addition, all the WiFi SSID, both in the hotel (room, restaurant, lobby etc.) and in the other conference venues were named WinDays. That’s as much branding as you can get, honestly! Great job, WinDays team!!!

I got to deliver two sessions at WinDays, one on Application Insights (my already traditional ‘Know Your Customers, Know Your Apps!’), where it is my turn to blow people’s mind with the power of usage and performance analytics Application Insights offers almost completely out of the box.

My other session covered features specifically designed for SQL users, named ‘SQL Database from a Developer’s Perspective’ – during this session, I’ve covered my top favorite security and performance features which have either been around for a year or so or were recently added to Azure SQL Database.

Queens

One of the biggest surprises I had at WinDays was the party they’ve put together for attendees and speakers alike. This was also the moment when they offered a prize of 40,000 kuna for the winning Software Startup Academy competition which ran for a few months. Anyway, during this party, they got a Queens cover band to entertain us. At first, especially because of the ‘cover band’ part, I have to admit I didn’t really have high expectations. However, this turned out to be one of the BEST concerts I ever attended -really! I mean the songs they chose, the impersonation they did on Freddy Mercury, the way they got the entire crowd cheered up and in the right mood… WOW!

I’ve also added some photos taken at WinDays, below.






Alex Speaking User Group - Community Event

During a Community Engagement in Oradea

Given my less-frequent posts this year, you probably realized by now that it has been quite a busy ride for me and the team. We’re just about to launch two new products (stay tuned!), signed a few sweet deals and kept the great flow going – I’ll keep you updated as I can disclose more stuff; right now, everything is very hush-hush. And yet, I’ve quite the busiest agenda for the upcoming months, community-wise, ever!

Here are some of the public conferences, meetings and user groups which I will attend as a speaker. If you happen to attend any of these, make sure you drop by and say ‘Hi!’. I’d love to chat with you over anything related to Azure, Microsoft, Xamarin, SQL or whatever your favorite topic might be.

Community Engamgement Cvasi-calendar

  • March 25th, DevExperience Iasi – I’ll talk about ‘High Scalability and Security for Web, Mobile and API Apps‘ running in Azure and was also invited to be part of a discussion panel about Microservices – guess which Fabric I’ll get to talk about (hint: it start with Service…)
  • April 16th, Global Azure Bootcamp Oradea – yet again, Oradea is part of this fabulous global community event and this time it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before. I’m hosting the event in a new location with fellow MVPs who’ll attend as speakers and given this year’s topic, it will be a blast! Stay tuned, if you happen to be in Oradea on April 16th! (link coming up…)
  • April 23rd, CodeCamp Iasi – the gang in Iasi is doing it again: 1200+ developers will most likely show up to one of the largest community-driven events for software developers in Romania. My session at CodeCamp Iasi will be about Cloud Patterns and Best-Practices. And if you think I could talk the entire day about this, think again: I could keep on going for months, honestly. Instead, I only have 50 minutes available to cover the best of cloud architecture and thus this session promises to be a lot of fun!
  • April 26th-29th, WinDays – hosted by Microsoft Croatia in the beautiful country of… you guessed it: Croatia! I will deliver not one but two sessions at WinDays this year, both related to cloud topics: ‘SQL Database from a Developer’s Perspective‘ and my favourite ‘Know Your Customers, Know Yours Apps!
  • May 7th, CodeCamp Cluj-Napoca – basically more or less CodeCamp Iasi, but on the other side of the country, for an entirely different group of talented software developers
  • May 16th-18th, Microsoft NT Konferenca, in the wonderful country of Slovenia. Again, this is a conference I’m very excited about, especially since my last trip to Slovenia which left me utterly surprised – Slovenia is a great country and exceeded my expectations in absolutely every aspect you could imagine. Here are some (huge) numbers about Microsoft NT Konferenca: 3 days long, 1700+ participants, 10+ one day, trainings, 150+ speaker and a tradition of 21 (yes, 21!) years. You could almost think of this as a mini-Build, European-style. Consider that the event is hosted at the sea-side in a luxurious hotel which also offers a with pool warmed salty water – did you start to search for a plane ticket already? At Microsoft NT Konferenca, I’ll talk about ‘Using Azure for Dev-Test Environments’ and about ‘Knowing Your Customers, Knowing Your Apps’
  • I’ve saved the best for last: May 26th-27th, ITCamp Cluj-Napoca. This is the kind of conference which doesn’t need an introduction any more. This year however, given the list of speakers and their background, you’ll get the chance to learn a lot (and I mean A LOT) about security. The agenda is still being put together, so I don’t want to spoil any surprises the organizers are preparing…

So, there’s a lot of community-stuff going on across Europe. And as I happen to be part of some of these events, either as an organizers or as a speaker, it’s my pleasure to declare the conferencing-season OPEN!

See you there 😉