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Property Tree at Microsoft Ignite Conference

Rick Jones

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Rick Jones

What was your main purpose for going?

“The Microsoft Ignite conference is the annual developer event for all those who work with Microsoft platforms. Rockend and Property Tree uses a lot of Microsoft technologies, both desktop and server as well as the Microsoft azure platform. The purpose for attending was to ensure we keep up to date with the latest trends with the Microsoft platforms, speak with some of the keynote speakers and to do some further investigation into the best way to use this technology.”

What were the key themes of the conference?

“There were some big emerging themes, Azure is now a part of Microsoft so there was a lot of discussion on what’s happening with that platform. There was a lot of talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) and best developer practices. One particularly interesting topic was the emerging technology of Cognitive Science. This new technology can analyse someone’s video or blog and work out the context of the blog and whether the writer was happy or sad and what the blog was about.”

Is Cognitive Science a part of Artificial Intelligence? It's another big buzz word which has been thrown around the tech industry for a while now

“It’s applying artificial intelligence to the spoken word or even voice and video. There’s API’s that can look at a video of someone walking and tell you if they are angry or joyful, and if they’ve ever seen the person before - tell you who they are. Scott Guthrie, the main Keynote Speaker, the Head of Cloud at Micorsoft, demonstrated this technology by hooking up our live conference Twitter feed to one of these API’s so that as people were sending Tweets you could tell whether the tweet of positive or negative and if it positive we could automatically reply or if it was negative you could send it through to escalation. This type of technology can be built in 10 minutes and with the example of the Twitter feed, this API will have huge impacts of corporate social media monitoring.”

You also mentioned the IoT, which is another buzzword at the moment, what was said about this topic and what developments can we see in the near future?

“The Internet of Things is rapidly expanding as more devices are connected to the internet. The IoT refers to the interconnectivity of physical devices. An example of the IoT interconnectivity is switching on your household lights from a smart phone. The IoT has been around for quite sometime, but what it’s really about now is large scale data, if you have to encapsulate it into one thing. It’s about your toaster, your fridge and all your things at home sending data. It’s all about managing big data and the communications which has to happen to make this work. There’s a lot of really exciting things which are happening in that space.”

Who were some of the keynote speakers at the conference?

The primary Key Note speaker was Scott Guthrie, he is Microsoft’s most experienced engineer he’s been around for a long time, he wrote the dot.net framework and now runs cloud globally for Microsoft, he’s a very impressive person. His keynote was about the division of Microsoft in the future and where they are going and all the exciting things they are working on.”

So what is happening with Microsoft in the future, where is that heading?

“The big take away from me is that Microsoft is now double the size of their competitors combined. They have been playing catch up with their competitors for many years now but they are now twice the size of Amazon and Google combined and growing at a massive rate, investing billions of dollars of development into their platforms. The Rockend PropertyTree application sits on the Azure platform and we want to make sure that our objectives are aligned with theirs. We get best benefit and our customers get best benefit out of the platform when we use the platform to it’s full potential.”

What can you bring back to Rockend from this conference?

“Learning about the full capabilities of the Azure Platform and how we can utalise this at Rockend. Up until now PropertyTree has only used a small part of the Azure platform, and we can now embrace it 100%. By using all of the features we can accelerate our time to market with new features, that’s probably the most exciting thing I brought back from the conference.”

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