Code on the Strip! Visual studio LIVE! Las Vegas 2015

27 Mar 2015, by Garrett Carson in Developer

Where is the most exotic location you have ever written code? I can now add the Las Vegas Strip to the top of my list. I had an exciting 5 day conference at Bally’s Casino and Hotel, and learned a lot about some of the technical goings on at Microsoft. I would definitely say there were recurring themes:

  • coding for the cloud (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, ASP.NET vNext, Angular, Web Api, WCF)
  • coding for mobile devices (Xamarin Platforms/Forms, Apache Cordova, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows Store)
  • coding cloud services for mobile devices

There was lots of discussion and examples on how to program cross platform but keep an 80% or greater ratio of shared code in a single code base in relation to mobile development and scalable cloud solutions.

Outside of the code, I was intrigued by the amount of social interaction that was encouraged. During the welcome ceremony, attendees were given bingo sheets with cells like “My first computer was a commodore 64″ or “I played a musical instrument in high school” and told to find other attendees to whom the phrase applied and could sign off that square to win bingo prizes for the first 3 bingos, first blackout or raffle prizes for everyone else. Additionally there was a “High Roller Evening Out” event sponsored by Amazon sporting rides on the “world’s tallest observation wheel” with an open bar and live DJ. My favorite event, however, was the “Birds of a Feather” lunch. Attendees were given a chart of tables, where each table had guided discussions or conference speakers present for a 1 1/2 hour lunch discussion. I joined the magnificent Laurent Bugnion, the humbly self-proclaimed “curator” (rather than author) of mvvmlight among other things. I was fortunate to get to ask some technical follow-ups from his session and get to ask about his rise to personal and professional fame from humble blogger to Microsoft MVP to Microsoft Regional Director.

Some of the sessions seemed a little basic, but the rest were exactly what I would expect: a balance of lecture, examples, humor and intensity. I found the workshops to be more intense, but delightfully so. I had debated with myself about not purchasing the workshop days, but looking back now I find they were the some of the most informative sessions.

All in all Visual studio LIVE! Las Vegas 2015 was a great experience. I would recommend it to my fellow coworkers and industry professionals.


P.S. Yes, I did gamble. $50 became $200 became $0 over about 3 days with maybe an hour each day on penny slots, with my wife and I taking turns.