Global Azure Bootcamp Goes Virtual

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Global Azure Bootcamp, much like the rest of the globe, was thrown into disarray by the threat of coronavirus. And, much like the rest of the globe, creativity and resilience were integral to strive through the pandemic and bring this year’s edition of the annual community-driven event to life.


The event seeks to bring Microsoft Azure to the masses and that is exactly what organizers did by hosting the expanded three-day event online for the first time.






This year’s event organizers – Microsoft MVPs Alex Mang, David Rodriguez, Karl Ots, Magnus Mårtensson, Martin Abbott, Sjoukje Zaal, and Wesley Cabu – made the most of the virtual medium by including localized live streams with bespoke content relevant to specific regions.


The event, hosted from April 23 to April 25, enabled everyone to join and learn about Azure from best-in-class community leaders across 248 speakers, 319 sessions, 15 languages, and 22 tracks.


Co-organizer and Microsoft Regional Director Magnus Mårtensson said the format of the event differed, but the community spirit and passion for knowledge transferred seamlessly online.


“From what we’ve seen with this event, where we turned around and said ‘let’s do this virtually’, we’ve seen that the passion is the same and the joy for knowledge in cloud technology is the same. We did send out a brief survey to the speakers that joined in our group and it was overwhelmingly positive and everyone was really, really happy.”


World-class speakers and community leaders Isidora Katanic and MVP Rik Hepworth served as event hosts, with stream attendees reaching upwards of 20,000 viewers.


Co-organizer and Microsoft Azure MVP Alex Mang said there were logistical challenges to overcome in delivering one seamless stream. “We’ve learnt a great deal of how to put together a live stream and restream it to various social platforms,” he said.


“As a viewer, you don’t see the immense hard work that happens behind the virtual curtains. During virtual streams, for example, breaks should be kept at a minimum. This implies that you have to be able to quickly switch from one presenter to another without requiring your audience to switch to a different stream. Therefore, this requires some sort of a commercial or countdown moment while your hosts prepare to introduce the next speaker.”


“You don’t see nor hear this on a live stream, but there’s a lot of yelling of ‘wrap, wrap, wrap!’ as countdowns occur,” he said.


The team demonstrated their willingness to work under pressure and ultimately overcome, Magnus added.


“In this community of Azure that I’m happy to be apart of, I’ve met some of the most excellent people in the world and there’s no pandemic in the world that is going to hold us down, that is the sentiment,” he said.


It remained to be seen what form the next edition of Global Azure Bootcamp would take when it returned in the spring of 2021, but Magnus said it would likely have a virtual component regardless.


“I think now we’ve done it once, with these circumstances, the next time will hopefully be more organized and a little smoother,” he said.


For more information, visit the Global Azure Virtual 2020 website.

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