Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Microsoft Ignite...My Initial Game Plan

ignite.microsoft.com


Greetings True Believers,

So with Microsoft Ignite just a couple of months away, seems like a great time to talk about what I'm looking forward to and how I plan to spend my week. As Microsoft brings together many of it's major conferences, it will be interesting to see if how everything works out.

2015 for me is going to be a year of learning the cloud, specifically Office 365 and Azure. To that end I'm planning to take the Office 365 MCSA exams at Ignite. While not announced yet, usually Microsoft provides some sort of benefit for testing on site and hopefully we'll see the same this year.

Networking

For me, that is one of the top reasons for going to Ignite (or TechEd previously). The connections I've made throughout the year have provided many personal and professional growth opportunities. That is where The Krewe got it's start and I look forward to catching up with old friends, along with meeting new ones.

For the more social side of Ignite and the IT Pro community, check out The Krewe at iamkrewe.org. We have an active Facebook community that will start buzzing with all the happenings at Ignite, and how to get the most of out your "Evening Sessions".

Once the Scheduler Builder is available, make sure you plan to have time for "hallway sessions". These are those times when you just need a break from content and spend time networking with others at the conference. IMHO you can always revisit a missed session, but you can never revisit a great conversation that you cut short to get to a session.

Sessions

Reviewing the session catalog, it looks like a lot of stuff I'm interested in. I'll most likely focus on deep dives into Office 365 and try to catch some 200-300 sessions on Azure and Windows 10. Normally I don't do hands on sessions but may if a topic peaks my interest.

One downside of the current session catalog is that you can only share a session with others. There is no way to mark them for later viewing. Until them, I won't spend much time pouring through the sessions until I can actually mark them for later viewing. Also, speakers are not listed (which is not surprising). I normally base many of my session decisions off of speakers so expect a post later on my session guide.

Also, I haven't seen the listing of pre-conferences on Sunday, May 3rd so I'm not sure if I'll attend one of those. Traditionally, I pass on those as Sunday is usually a busy day preparing for the week ahead.
Updated: I found the list of pre-cons. Looks like some nice offerings. If I was to take one, probably lean towards  Microsoft Azure Cloud for IT Pros. Unfortunately, 6 days of content is just too much for me. As I've told the peeps as Microsoft, I'd gladly pay additional funds to be able to access materials and a recording of the pre-con that I could view at a later time. I doubt that will ever happen but you never know.

Fun

I am a HUGE Chicago fan. It's one of my favorite cities and I can't wait to share all of the cool things in the city with many of my friends visiting for the first time. From Food, Coffee, to Craft Beer, there is some much to offer compared with other conference cities I've been to...I'm stoked! May is usually quite nice in Chicago so you'll get a chance to see the "Windy City" at it's best. For some great city info, follow @chooseChicago on twitter.

What You need to Know if Going

Knowledge is power and having a game plan is key.  In the current post, my good friend Denise Begley shares some new info about the session catalog and other things. Check out the Channel 9 MS Ignite Blog to keep current on what Ignite is doing, Also, make sure to follow  the official Twitter Handle for Ignite @Ms_Ignite. Also, get engaged on the Channel 9 forum for MS Ignite

And save some time on will take place on February 3rd at 11 AM Central Time for  an #IgniteJam . The Ignite team, speakers and other conference attendees will be there to discuss all things Ignite. Great time to catch the wave and get engaged!

Not Going?


Well you should. If you are a Windows IT Pro, it's a great place to continue "leveling up" your career and get much needed training. Also, it's a great way to make professional contacts. If you need to convince your boss, check out this.

Can't wait to see you in Chicago!

Mike

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