Windows AzureConf – A Recap

Last week I had the honor to present at the very first Windows AzureConf.  AzureConf was a 1-day live, online conference dedicated to sharing real-world experiences with Windows Azure.

If you missed my presentation, “Elevating Windows Azure Deployments“, you can watch it online or download it from the Windows AzureConf event page on Channel 9.

My whole experience related to Windows AzureConf was amazing!  The day before AzureConf I traveled to Redmond to get in some rehearsal time in Microsoft’s Channel 9 studios.  I’m fairly comfortable now giving presentations in front of a group, but giving a presentation in a studio is something different all together.  The studio is much smaller than I anticipated.  If you’ve ever been to a taping of a TV show, you know the studio is much smaller than it appears on TV.  Same thing with the Channel 9 studio.  Being in an enclosed room with bright TV lights, a few cameras, and no audience is kind of strange.  Having some time in the studios before the LIVE show was very helpful – just to get comfortable with the surroundings and general logistics.

It’s Showtime!

Wednesday, November 14th was game day – time for AzureConf!  All the speakers arrived at the Channel 9 studios early that day.  We had a group picture with Scott Guthrie before his opening keynote, and then it was showtime.

Scott kicked off the event with a great overview of Windows Azure.  After Scott’s keynote, it was time for presentations from Windows Azure MVPs and Insiders.  There are two studios at Channel 9 – studio A and studio B.  Studio A is the larger studio you see on shows like Cloud Cover and Web Camps TV.  Studio B is a smaller studio were the presenter sits at a desk – kind of like the nightly news.  Presentations were being streamed LIVE from both studios.

A lot goes on behind the scenes to make an event like Windows AzureConf a success.  It was really interesting to see how the production staff at Channel 9 works – amazing staff!  Brady Gaster was the main “cat herder” for Windows AzureConf.  He was simply awesome!  There’s no doubt a ton of moving pieces to get in place for such an event, and it all seemed to come off flawlessly.  Thank you! Special thanks also to Cory Fowler and Chris Risner for providing additional support during the day and helping to moderate the questions asked online or via Twitter.

The Presenters

I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with all the other presenters.  The passion for doing great, exciting work with Windows Azure is amazing!  These guys came from all over the world!  My trip to the Redmond area was relatively easy – about 7 hours total.  Some of the speakers spent a good part of a day, if not more, traveling to Redmond.  Great guys with an amazing passion for Windows Azure and the community!

If you missed a session, you can watch all the sessions from the event page at  I know I’ll be downloading several sessions that I missed (either busy preparing for my session or was watching another).