Build 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Microsoft Build is the ultimate conference for me. It’s a developer conference that focuses on Microsoft’s roadmap for the coming year. Every year after the keynote and first day of sessions I rush to a computer to try out what I’ve learned. It’s such a rush to, as everyone says, drink from the firehose. This year, however, was different.

The first day was about server technologies. Normally they save that for the second day. There’s some interesting advances in Cortana , and I think it might be fun to code up a skill for her. ASP.NET Core 2.0 is coming soon, but the major feature there, Razor Pages , is like a giant step into the past with Web Pages. Not really impressive. I’m working on rewriting my web sites using Core, but I’ll probably stick with ASP.NET Core 1.0 for them.

Day two was about Windows. This should have been the day that excited me the most. Really though, the most inspiring part was the new Fluent Design Language . The major building blocks are: Light, Depth, Motion, Material and Scale. It looks great and I was excited to learn more, but it’s XAML only. They said implementing it in HTML/JS/CSS would be difficult. I may have to prove them wrong on that. In fact, aside from the TypeScript talk, there was very little in the way of JavaScript. It’s almost as if Microsoft is pushing XAML and not recommending HTML for building apps. This is further exasperated by the fact that Microsoft introduced XAML Standard 1.0 . I bet next year we’ll see a tool to convert XAML to HTML so that you can build your web sites in XAML and not have to touch HTML. The problem is that it makes it really convenient to share code between apps if it’s written in HTML. I’ll have to think on this more, but expect samples to come from me of how to do things in the Microsoft Universe in HTML. I’m thinking of starting with some Surface Dial examples.

The Parties!

First I’d like to thank everyone that invited me to a party. I had a great time at all of the parties that I attended. There was a Windows Insider’s Party and I think that was the best one. It wasn’t crowded and everyone was friendly. There wasn’t a super star that everyone crowded around, except maybe Brandon LeBlanc . I didn’t get to meet him, but I also didn’t talk to Mary Jo Foley or Paul Thurrott at the Windows Weekly party.


Tuesday night when I first arrived I was invited to a Visual Studio Developer Day. It was like speed dating mixed with a job interview. It was scary and took a lot out of me. They sat us at a table then we’d have 20 minutes with a product team that would grill us on an aspect of Visual Studio. They were trying to learn as much as they could about customer usage of Visual Studio. After the 20 minutes were up they’d switch. This went on for a couple hours. Then they had some drinks and appetizers down in the lobby outside the Company Store where we were given vouchers to spend $200.

Final Thoughts

Build was a lot of fun. It wasn’t as exciting as previous years, but I am still glad that I had a chance to go. I’ll definitely go next year (given the opportunity).

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