Three days. Microsoft Connect(); was three awesome days of technical content, cool demos, the latest news on Microsoft technology like Visual Studio, bots, Xamarin, Azure, AI, and much, much more.
I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite sessions, but in an enormous act of self-discipline, here goes:
Let's start with keynotes (yes, I know that normally keynotes are so much marketing BS, but this is Microsoft, and their keynotes are packed!) With demos and A-MAZING announcements.
Scott Guthrie Keynote, Journey to the Cloud
This keynote starts with Stephen Hawking (yes, THE Stephen Hawking) and has so many interesting announcements and demos that I'm not sure where to start. If you want to cut to the chase of the most interesting announcement, see below for "Visual Studio Live Share" . But there was lots of other stuff including SQL Operations Studio, support for Cassandra API, MariaDB foundation support, x-plat info, VS Tools for AI and lots more.
Introducing Visual Studio Live Share with Chris Dias
What is VS Live Share? It's a really, really amazing collab tool for VS. With Visual Studio Live Share, you can share the full context of your code with your teammate instantly and securely. Your teammate can edit and debug with you in real-time in their personalized editor or IDE, enabling real-time collaboration.
Abel Wang is a tech guru at Microsoft who offers some great info on DevOps including how to build agents on Windows, Linux and Mac, shows a a visual pipeline editor (agent phases and cloning environments) and demos an Azure DevOps project. He makes it so easy to get started on DevOps.
DevOps for any language and any platform with Donovan Brown and Jessica Deen
Another great session where Donovan and Jessica go hands-on and show how to use VSTS to deploy any language (!) that targets any platform. When you've been working with Microsoft for as long as I have, it's great to see them embracing x-plat and open source. Even better, it's great to see them making VS more accessible to x-plat and open source...
This is a GREAT session if you're looking for a quick way to get some really good tips and tricks for VS IDE. They show a bunch of keyboard shortcuts, new features, and give a great overview of new debugger features. I found this session to be one of the most useful of all the sessions.
Developer tools for app innovation with Julia Liuson
Julia runs Visual Studio so if you want to know the latest announcements and see some cool demos, be sure to watch this session. She talks about VS Code (that's x-plat VS) and the latest on .NET, Xamarin, Kubernetes and more. She also shows what's going on with VS for Mac.
Azure DevOps Simplified with Brian Harry
Another session LOADED with content. Brian Harry talks about mobile work item experience, richer wiki, Git forks, GVFS support, graphical release definition editor and so much more. He also goes through a great demo of Azure DevOps Projects. This session is totally worth watching all the way through.
Testing your app with VSTS with Abel Wang
Another great hands-on session with Abel where he gets into the gritty parts of VSTS and how to do thorough, end-to=end testing. I have talked with thousands of developers, and everyone struggles with testing. This is a session that provides real guidance and a sound approach.
Yup, it's Abel again. Greenlighting is a new features in VSTS - it is using monitoring and automated systems to complement your release approval gates. This session covers why you need greenlighting in your release pipeline, and how to set up greenlighting.
Two other things from Connect: