What I am excited about after attending Visual Studio Live 2018

Visual Studio Live 2018 in Las Vegas just passed. With my organization’s support, I was able to attend and have a great time learning about all things .Net, Microsoft, and More!

I wanted to share my personal highlights from my trip and what has me most excited.

What has me excited:

Azure Bot ServiceAzure Bot Service

The first session I attended at Visual Studio Live was an all-day workshop called “Add Intelligence to Your Solutions with AI, Bots, and More”. This workshop led by Brian Randall had topic points around Azure’s bot services, various cognitive services, as well as their DevOps techniques.

I was already familiar with the Azure cognitive services but never heard of the bot service. This talk was eye-opening. It has gotten me even more enthusiastic about using bots and cognitive services together.

My favorite part of the talk was using bots. It showed how setting up a simple bot could be done in minutes. I have a bot I’m working on now and plan to add in text analysis for even more Azure power.

With the following tutorial Create a bot with bot service, you can have your very own chatbot set up in minutes. This simple tutorial opens many possibilities for automation of customer interactions, providing better support, and overall better online experiences.

I encourage you to make your own bot, a lot is possible even with the free payment tiers on Azure. And I will share my further exploration of bots and cognitive services.

Azure Machine Learning StudioAzure Machine Learning Studio

Machine learning has become a popular topic. It has been something that I have always wanted to learn more about. I was excited to attend this session and learned a lot from James McCaffrey.

This session was an introduction to using Azure Machine Learning Studio but nothing on the technicalities of machine learning. We used the platform to analyze Iris flower data. By using various measurements of the Iris flowers, we could predict the species variety.

Unfortunately, all the technical aspects were glossed over but the power of the engine was shown. With existing data, and knowledge of machine learning settings, one can start doing analysis in less than an hour.

I hope to, in the coming months get a better understanding of the machine learning details. Get to understand and use the true power of Azure Machine Learning Studio.

There was plenty of other great content provided at Visual Studio Live 2018 in Las Vegas. I am bringing back knowledge to my team and my students. Visual Studio Live is a conference I want to attend again.

If you liked this check out my post about exciting notes after attending Microsoft Build 2017 

What I am most excited about after attending Microsoft Build 2017

I was lucky enough to attend Microsoft Build 2017 this year. A ton of great products were announced and released at Build. And I want to list out some of the ones that got me the most excited while at the conference.

Microsoft Visual Studio for Mac

This is a big deal as I am using a Mac every day for development. Previously we had been using Xamarin Studio for Mac but with Visual Studio (VS) coming out for Mac we will definitely be switching over. Even though I do want to switch over it is not entirely a choice. Now that VS for Mac is released it seems that Xamarin Studio will be phased out. This is not a bad thing as VS for Mac is supposed to have all the Xamarin Studio features and more.

Having all the power of Visual Studio while doing Xamarin development on Mac is very exciting.

What’s New in Visual Studio for Mac | Visual Studio

Xamarin Live Player

Xamarin Live Player is an app for Android and iOS that allows you to pair your Visual Studio (VS) instance on Windows or Mac to your phone. To pair your phone to VS you simply scan a QR code and now you can build your app, push it to the phone, and test all wirelessly. It is even capable of showing your changes in VS live on the phone.

I have not had a chance to try this yet but I am really excited to give it a shot in the next few days. Note that the VS 2017 preview is required to use this feature. The app is available now in your phone’s app marketplace. As of now, it is still in beta, so give your feedback if you see anything buggy or difficult.

https://www.xamarin.com/live

Visual Studio Mobile Center

This is Microsofts all in one build, test, and deploy engine. It is in preview right now and estimated to be GA in Fall of this year. For mobile development, mobile center sounds perfect. It can connect directly to Github, TFS, and vsts to start builds, tests, and deployments on every push.

There are plenty of other services available like this but the features included and ease of integration are intriguing. One thing my team like is the ability to notify specific users via push notifications when successful deployment happens. This lets us easily notify users with release notes included of new things they can try and test.

Mobile Center | Mobile App Development | Visual Studio

Story Remix Video Editor

This one will not be out until the Fall creators update of Windows 10 but still, I am excited about it. From the demo, during the keynote of Build, it looks like it should make my GoPro video editing streamlined. It can take a series of videos and utilize artificial intelligence to determine how to organize the videos. It makes cuts and transitions all on its own. It can even recognize faces in the videos so if you want the video to feature a particular person it’s as easy as selecting them as the main focus in settings.

I am really looking forward to seeing what Story Remix can do for me and my GoPro footage.

Conclusion

Microsoft Build 2017 was an eye opening experience. The conference had a few main focuses two of which were cross platform development and utilizing artificial intelligence. I look forward to what the future of these two things means for myself as a developer and all other developers in the Microsoft sphere.