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Microsoft TechEd 2012 Coverage – Day 1

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This is the first day of Microsoft TechEd Australia 2012. We don’t really have sessions yet apart from the 2 sesions at 3:15 p.m. I picked a session called “Stuff Developers Will Want To See” which was lead mostly by Andrew Coates.

Most developers stumbled into the same problem – we often waste our time to code on stuffs that are not part of the solution (for example data connecting codes, database interaction, and many other repetitive boring codes).

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According to Andrew, a good developer has to be:

  • Boastful, to be proud of his/her creation.
  • Lazy, don’t have to do stuffs they don’t need to do – which is the highlight of the session, and how Microsoft can help you to be a lazy developer (in a good way!)

Nick Harris then came up on stage to talk about Windows Azure Mobile Services. It’s basically a service that makes it easy to connect your client and mobile applications to cloud services. From the demo, it looked pretty simple to setup a new mobile service which connects to an SQL database in the cloud, without writing a single code. Nick demoed to us how simple it is to create a new Windows 8 application through a step-by-step wizard in which Windows Azure Mobile Services provides all the foundation codes for you. Lazy, lazy, lazy, it’s good!

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No longer do you have to create your own queries to create columns and the database schema, as they will be done for you dynamically as you pass along data to the new table that you just created.

Windows Azure Mobile Services take away all the usual chores that you normally have to code manually. As this is my first time being exposed to Windows Azure, I was quite amazed!

A few more speakers demoed Windows Azure Web Sites, Developer Operation, and also LightSwitch.

Nick Hodges, who invited me personally to TechEd 2012 (man, he’s a funny guy), was on stage as well to demo a Windows 8 App he named “bookbookbook” (which was also integrated into the Windows 8 Search through the Charm sidebar). The platform provides interfaces for sharing and searching within an app natively. Through Windows Azure Service, Nick also demoed that it only took 5 minutes to make a notification feature works on your app (there’s also a handy step-by-step on how to get started with push notifications in Mobile Services), which may normally take days for you to learn and code.

Andrew was then showing the way of the future of creating apps by just using your Windows Phone (by selecting code fragments, actions, and all that). Andrew demoed this by building an app that randomly displays 5 photos from the Photos Library, applies some filters, and vibrates the phone. Check out touchdevelop.com if you want to know more about TouchDevelop, which is still under research.

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App developers, feel free to head off to wp.msdeveloper.com.au if you want to contribute to Windows 8 Phone apps development.

During the Keynote, we saw some really awesome presentations – things that I wouldn’t expect from TechEd (this is my first, by the way). I recorded some videos of the shows but unfortunately I don’t have my video editing software with me so the videos may have to wait til I’m back to my desktop computer in Melbourne.

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With that, the Keynote was closed and TechEd 2012 is now open officially!

We then head off for a nice dinner, beers, and wines while some of the attendees were browsing for freebies and a chance to win prizes on the Exhibitors’ booths. I couldn’t be bothered as the freebies are all t-shirts (I want some squishy toys or cute stress balls!) in expense of giving away your email address.

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Some took the liberty to take a picture with the Sergeant from Halo:

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There’s also a really cool Fruit Ninja Kinect stand with a real artist “cutting off” the fruits (no fruits are actually being thrown and cut mid-air, disappointingly):

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The fruit is of course, edible!

It’s been a wonderful experience here at TechEd Australia 2012 on Day 1. Definitely looking forward for tomorrow’s heavy sessions from 8:15 a.m til 7:45 p.m! Til tomorrow, for my Day 2 Coverage!

Update – All Microsoft TechEd Australia 2012 coverage posts:

Disclosure: I’m invited and sponsored by Microsoft to cover TechEd Australia 2012