ITDev Connections 2016 Las Vegas

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From October 10 until October 13 the annual IT/Dev Connection was held in the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, for the 15th time this year.

IT/Dev Connection is a relatively small tech conference with approx. 1000 ~ 1250 attendees (my guess). Because of this size the event is very accessible, attendees can approach speakers, vendors and sponsors easily without being too crowded. It happens regularly that a speaker is walking through the hallway or having lunch at the venue, and it being approached by attendees, this makes an event like this much fun, both for speakers as well as attendees.

The event has a strong Microsoft technology focus although you can see some other sessions as well like sessions about Docker or Amazon Web Services for example. The good thing about this event is that it is an event about Microsoft technology, not organized by Microsoft and sessions are presented by non-Microsoft employees so you get plenty of real world scenarios instead of the marketing talk you typically get at Ignite. Even better, this year there weren’t even keynote sessions since they contain too much marketing blahblah J

IT/Dev Connections is separated in several tracks:

  • Cloud and Datacenter (42 sessions)
  • Community (17 sessions)
  • Data Platform & Business Intelligence (49 sessions)
  • Development Platform, Tools and DevOps (49 sessions)
  • Enterprise Collaboration (58 sessions)
  • Enterprise Management, Mobility and Security (59 sessions)
  • Solutions (7 sessions)

These numbers include the preconference workshops that were delivered on Monday, the actual break-out sessions were delivered on Tuesday till Thursday.

What kind of sessions are available? Just to name a few from this years IT/Dev brochure:

Management using PowerShell, Deploying Windows 10, Desired State Configuration, Azure Web Services (AWS), Deploying Office 365 ProPlus in VDI Environment, Intune, Office Graph, SSIS Automation, Windows Server 2016, Exchange, SharePoint, Office 365, OneDrive for Business, SQL Server 2016, ASP.NET, C++ and CLR Memory Models, Delve Analytics, Azure Automation, Docker, Git scenarios, hacking Cortana, Azure PowerShell Automation, RMS DeepDive, Migrating existing apps to the Cloud, Protect your files and rest and in transit, design global voice solutions, Office 365 mergers and acquisitions, Autmating Linux configuration for Windows Admins, Writing desktop apps using web technologies, Dynamic optimization, PowerShell on AWS….

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This picture was take just seconds before I started my “Migrate to Office 365” session on Tuesday. I also did a session about Message Security where I was talking about SPF, DKIM and DMARC.

On Thursday there was a session with a delegation from the Microsoft Exchange product group from Redmond, “Bamboozle the Exchange Experts” where attendees could ask their burning Exchange questions directly to the Exchange product group members:

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From left to right: Ross Smith IV, Jeff Mealiffe, Greg Taylor, Brian Day and David Espinoza.

When it comes to the Enterprise Collaboration track, a lot of the sessions were delivered by Exchange and Office 365 MVPs:

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Exchange team on ITDevConnections 2016, back row from left to right:

Tony Redmond, Paul Cunningham, Gareth Gudger, Jeff Guillet, Konrad Sagała, Gary Steere, Paul Robichaux, Jaap Wesselius, Michel de Rooij, Siegfried Jagott

Front row left to right:

Michael van Horenbeeck (VanHybrid), Andrew Higginbotham, Ingo Gegenwarth, J. Peter Bruzzese

The venue

For years IT/Dev connections is held in Las Vegas, this year the venue was the Aria Resort and Casino, a large and luxurious hotel on the strip in Las Vegas, and a beautiful (IMHO) building, nice location and beautiful view:

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View on the Aria hotel from the pool aria.

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View on Las Vegas and the mountains from the 54th floor of the Aria hotel.

After 15 years in Las Vegas the IT/Dev Connections is going to move on, next year’s event is being held in San Francisco from October 23-26 in the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Some people think it’s a pity it’s no longer held in Las Vegas, but personally I like the fact that it’s not held in Las Vegas, but maybe it’s because I’m not American Glimlach

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Hope to see you next year in San Francisco at IT/Dev Connections 2017!

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