Sjoukje Zaal is head of the Microsoft Cloud Center of Excellence at Capgemini, Microsoft Regional Director and Microsoft Azure MVP with over 20 years of experience providing architecture, development, consultancy, and design expertise. She works at Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation. She mainly focuses on Cloud, Security, Productivity, and IoT.
She loves to share her knowledge and is active in the Microsoft community as a co-founder of the user groups Tech Daily Chronicle, Global XR Community and the Mixed Reality User Group. She is director of the Global AI Community and board member of Azure Thursdays. Sjoukje is an international speaker and involved in organizing many events. She wrote several books and writes blogs.
Sarah Laan: When superpowers combine; Azure & Octopus Deploy
Microsoft Azure is a great option for organisations looking to host their IT infrastructure in the cloud or as a hybrid partner. While Octopus Deploy is a tool that can help you automate the deployment of your infrastructure and software releases all in one place.
In this talk, we’ll cover off the possibilities of using Octopus Deploy to help your developers, release managers, and operations folk deploy and manage their Azure resources.
Kendall Roden: Azure Container Apps
At Ignite, Microsoft announced Azure Container Apps, a serverless application-centric hosting service that enables users to quickly deploy containerized applications and microservices to Azure without the need to configure and manage underlying infrastructure resources or container orchestrators. Azure Container Apps runs on Azure Kubernetes Service, and includes several open-source projects: Kubernetes Event Driven Autoscaling (KEDA), Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr), and Envoy. This open-source foundation enables teams to build and run portable applications powered by Kubernetes and open standards without the operational overhead and management complexity of working with the platform directly. Join this session to hear from the container apps PG about the offering, how it fits into the Azure Portfolio and where it is headed!
Esther Barthel: Transitioning Ops to the Cloud, adding Dev skills to the mix
This session offers tips and tricks to add core Developer skills to your skillset, so you can transition from (on-premises) Operations to a Cloud DevOps role. This session will zoom in on some basic knowledge and terminology that will make it easier to understand the shift in work and competencies for DevOps engineers.
Keep in mind that this session is not a technical deep dive that helps you pick the right tool for the job at hand, but it focuses on some basic knowledge of DevOps processes that will help you to plan the next steps in your career and pick those DevOps competencies that will put the fun back into your work.
Barbara Forbes: Infra as Code: Bicep for the Azure enterprise
If you work with Azure, you will want to use infra as code. Maybe you have are familiar with ARM templates already. Have you heard of Bicep? It has a lot to offer when you use infra as code in an enterprise environment. How do you make use of all the possibilities that are available to deploy your Azure infrastructure? We will consider a few of the great code solutions that Bicep has to offer and how VSCode can help you create templates. To see a real-life scenario, we take a look at how Bicep can be used to ensure the right mix between flexibility and usability. And to bring it together, let’s see how it fits into your CICD process. In the end, you will have the tools to start and the insights to take it all to the next level.
Frank Buters: Getting rid of silo’s, Embracing MLOps, Democratize data all sounds catchy but how?
Having come across of many examples, especially within the financial sector (Banks, Insurance, Pensions), where data, modelling and IT activities take place in different teams across departments, we know about some of the pains of our customers. So how can technology, and in particular Azure technology, help here? During this Azure Thursday event we will discuss and experience how Azure Synapse Analytics together with Azure Machine Learning can help relieve some of these pains. We will show you how a model can be deployed as a stand-alone API, and how easy it is to use the same model to score records in a traditional data warehouse. In this way, we hope to give a flavor of how state-of-the art techniques can go hand-in-hand with more traditional ways of processing and storing data.
Anna-Maria Wykes: Terraforming the Cloud: A guide to using Terraform to control cloud deployments
Azure provides us with many ways to deploy our workloads, but how can we do this repeatable and cross-cloud? During this session, I am going to start with the basics and work my way up to managing dependencies, managing state, and how to leverage Terraform in Azure DevOps.
Gianni Castaldi & Jeroen Niesen: How to run an Azure SOC like Ninja’s
Most companies use Microsoft Azure as their cloud. With the use of Azure, companies are bringing sensitive data to Azure. Just as on-premises you want to make sure that your data is well protected and is compliant with the law and regulations of your company’s industry. Azure has all components available to create a next-gen SOC. In this session,
Jeroen and Gianni will tell you how you can build a SOC in Microsoft Azure and make sure that you get the best alerts, and do not get overloaded with security alerts. Jeroen and Gianni will Discuss Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft 365 Defender, Kusto, API, and much more.
Suzanne Daniels: Hej! An intro to Backstage
Backstage is Spotify’s Developer Portal, and now a thriving Open Source project donated to CNCF with a growing community of contributors. It’s been adopted with companies like Expedia, Netflix, American Airlines, and Epic Games.
Suzanne will share the story why Backstage was developed and why it became the core of Developer Experience at Spotify. You’ll get a brief tour of the Backstage platform, the plugin ecosystem, and get an understanding of the key use cases for Backstage. Suzanne’s passion is finding ways to help developers and engineers get the tools and skills to do what they do best: creating the software this world runs on while trying to innovate and make sense of buzzwords at the same time. She’s organizer of events, host and a speaker on both technical topics and more in general on transformation & innovation.
On December 15 we wanted to zoom in on accessibility opportunities in (web) tech at the Tech A11y Summit.
Disability never hold anyone back. Disability is not something that people need to overcome. The barriers that exist are created by society and it’s up to every single one of us to work together to remove those barriers.
During the event interpretation into International Sign was provided.
The October event was a collaboration with our sponsor Capgemini. This was a fully virtual event recorded in our studio and streamed to our YouTube channel. This time we had three speakers:
Arjan Nieuwenhuis: Keeping track on all your apps
Managing your apps during the whole software development lifecycle and beyond is hard as apps come in all shapes and sizes and can target multiple platforms. Keeping track on your apps from early stage development to production can be a handful, especially as target platforms are whole ecosystems.
To help you bringing these ecosystems together Visual Studio App Center provides a integrated service on Azure. Assisting in all the stages of the software development lifecycle, bringing it all together in one integrated place.
Join me in exploring the current state of Visual Studio App Center and sneak peek on what is coming soon.
Marilag Dimatulac: Applying Message Brokering & Event-Driven Architecture on Azure
The most fun part with any cloud architecture styles is seeing it in action. In this session, I’ll demonstrate how we can design and implement event-driven applications on the cloud. We’ll look into several building blocks, from using event modeling to communicate our specification, to implementing in-process messaging in .Net Core with the mediator pattern, and finally using Queues & Event Grid on Azure to wire things together and complete our story.
John Papa: You’ve built an app and you want it to scale.
Do you want CI/CD, custom domains, SSL certificates, APIs, global scale of your static in assets, authentication, and authorization? And whether your favorite web framework is Svelte, Vue, React, Angular or something else entirely, you’ll learn how to build a static web app on Azure and go from GitHub repo to global scale.
On September 23 after our summer break, we organized another Global XR Talks! This time we had the following awesome session:
Zaid Zaim: Mixed Reality for Cultural Heritage
Zaid is going to share his journey and experience on how he came to Mixed Reality and working with HoloLens. Then He will take the audience on a journey to the ancient city of Palmyra (UNSECO Cultural Heritage site in Syria) and will demonstrate within his talk a live demo with HoloLens 2 bringing Palmyras monuments back to life.
The September event was the first event after summer break and our first in-person event since March 2020! Of course, we streamed the event to our YouTube channel as well. This time we have two amazing speaker again:
Stacey Cashmore: Building your personal online brand using Static Blazor Apps, one step at a time
We’re told that by using services such as Medium, dev.to etc that we are diluting our personal brand. That we should be posting to our own site and building ourselves up. But making that move can seem huge! Rather than eating the elephant – which can seem impossible – how about slowly moving to your own space? Build your brand whilst still using those great features that attracted you to your chosen platform in the first place. With the joint power of client-side Blazor and static web apps in Azure you no longer need to run web servers or App Services in order to host your site online. You can get set up in minutes! In this session we’ll set up a new Blazor Wasm Application and Azure Function, deploy to Azure and then fetch blog posts from dev.to to link to them in our page. We’ll also talk about next steps – and how to eat the elephant one bite at a time – to create your personal brand!
Marcel de Vries: Azure Cloud Transformation done right
The past years we have been involved in many so-called cloud transformation projects. Many of those projects had big issues, and we learned a ton of things how not to do the transition! Think about things that will cause problems like: A cloud Competence Center, A Cloud Platform team, Asking the operations team how to move to the cloud, etc. These are common mistakes made every day that prevent you from gaining traction and speed. You might succeed, but you will go through a lot of pain and suffering. In this session, I will share an approach that we build based on our mistakes and learnings that will help you move to the cloud at speed. I will share the organizational, human an cultural side of things, a strategy on how to onboard teams and how to avoid common mistakes that are even promoted as best practices by high paid cloud consultants! I will also cover some technical details like setting up subscriptions, permissions and tools in the right way, so it won’t hurt you after your 10th team is onboarding! This session is all about what we learned and how you can avoid these issues yourself.
Watch the stream
You can watch the full recording of the stream here: