Microsoft Ignite Recap
This week I had the opportunity to attend and speak at my first Microsoft Ignite event. I thought I would share a short write up of my experience. I hope you can indulge me as I walk down memory lane.
The SharePoint + Teams Wedding
I arrived late Sunday afternoon, just in time for SharePint. This was no ordinary SharePoint though. It included the SharePoint and Teams Wedding which was organized by Joel Oleson. This “wedding” was a tongue-in-cheek event to counteract the abundance of things you hear about Teams replacing SharePoint. The goal was to highlight that Teams and SharePoint really are better together.
I had the opportunity to take part in this wedding to represent PowerApps by taking out the InfoPath zombie. It was just the kind of lighthearted fun that I needed to kick off my Ignite experience. If you missed the wedding, you can catch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sSeoDwawDmA
Keynote and Announcements
The conference kicked off on Monday with the keynote. I watched with excitement and took in the new feature announcements. Here were the things that stood out the most to me:
Project Cortex – A new M365 service that uses AI to take content and turn it into a knowledge network.
Power Virtual Agent – A new tool in the Power Platform that allows you to create no-code bots.
UI Flows – This is the newest Flow (oops I mean Power Automate) feature. It takes robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities to allow you to automate tasks in Windows and web applications.
Sessions, Parties, Swag Oh My!
Over the next few days of the conference I got a chance to attend several sessions, parties and walk the expo hall. On Monday I caught a session by MVP Elaiza Benitez on her journey traveling the world and meeting the community.
Later on that day I had the chance to feel like a movie star for a day when I was picked up for a photo shoot for the Power Platform website.
Tuesday I had the chance to catch two great sessions by dual-MVP Melissa Hubbard. Her session on Flow Approvals was a good entry level talk that you should check out if you are getting started using Flow and need to have an approval process. I also enjoyed her session on Teams and Flow Integration where she showed off how to work with the Flow bot and Adaptive Cards.
That evening was the infamous AvePoint Red Party I had heard so much about. It definitely lived up to all of the hype!
Serge Luca’s session on Flow (aka Power Automate) Patterns, Tips and Tricks was one of the most informative Flow related sessions that I attended. Doctor Flow really knows his stuff!
Between the sessions I enjoyed walking around the expo hall. Besides the vendor booths, they had several interactive areas. There was a cool Microsoft logo cube where you could take pictures:
They had daily trivia in the Microsoft Learn section which I participated in and got 1st place.
One of the things that I love the most about these conferences is getting to see other people in the community that you look up to. I had the chance to catch up with several of these people, including Brian Dang. Brian was instrumental in helping me get started with PowerApps.
Judgement Day is Inevitable
Day 4 of the conference was here. This was the day that I was waiting for, it was time for me to present. I had prepped for months for this exact moment. My first session was a 20 minute theater session on “Top 3 Tips for Beautiful PowerApps”.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this type of session but I found that I really loved the format. In the expo hall (which is HUGE by the way), they had 10 different stage areas set up for presentations.
I found the vibe of the Theater sessions to be more my style. The breakout sessions were great but they were more like your traditional conference sessions. These theater sessions were more open, inviting and energetic. When I got up there to present I fed off of that energy. Even though I had some technical difficulty I still felt like the presentation went really well.
If you missed it, you can catch the recording here: https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/78776?source=sessions
Thursday evening was the big attendee celebration. Microsoft rents out Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure just for the attendees. I got to spend time with other speakers and friends while we drank butterbeer and had a blast riding as many rides as we could. My favorite rides were The Hulk Coaster and the Spiderman ride.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
The final day of the conference had finally arrived. I was still riding the high of my session the previous day.
I had the opportunity to catch a great session by David Warner on SPFx Development Techniques to boost performance of SharePoint Solutions. David has such a great presentation style. He is able to explain things so clearly and made it fun by incorporating Parker the PNP Porcupine into his session. If you’re working with SPFX you should definitely watch the recording: https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/79435?source=sessions
My session was one of the last sessions of the conference. This was a 45 minute breakout session on “Microsoft Power Apps Makeover: Basic to Beautiful”. It was an expansion of my talk the previous day. In it, I went over the PowerApps Pyramid, which I explain in this blog post. I showed a lot of tips to help boost the performance, UX and look and feel of Power Apps applications.
It was great to hear the “oohs” and “aahs” when I showed some of the demos. You can watch the recording of this presentation here: https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/78775?source=sessions
The session went by fast and before I knew it my Ignite experience was over. I am immensely grateful to have been given the opportunity to speak at an event of this scale. It was a beautifully exhausting, bucket list level whirlwind experience. Thinking back to my painfully shy adolescent self, I never would have imagined that I would be where I’m at today. I owe it to my mom who always gently nudged me to come out of my shell and my husband, friends, family and this wonderful tech community for the constant encouragement. It is true what they say, you can do anything that you set your mind to.