America. Probably the first ever item on my bucket-list as a kid but year after year i’d failed to get across the pond.
Just over 12 months ago I’d crossed off a huge item on my bucket-list; starting my own IT business, in partnership with Matt Hughes.
So fast forward a year, I get home from the office one day and just as I pulled up I got a phone call from Matt “Do you want to go to Florida for Ignite?”. Yes I want to go to fucking Florida!
I love every aspect of travelling;
getting up at 5am for the 2 hour taxi from Leicester to Manchester airport.
Lounging about the airport for hours, making each other laugh at whatever expense.
Getting on the plane to realise with booking premium, we get bottomless Brewdog Punk IPA (it makes the 9 hour flight easier, right?).
Landing at Orlando Sanford and realising we should have flown to Orlando International (add another 2 hours).
Who cares, I’ve finally set foot in the US of A!!
Our hotel, the Hyatt Regency, is pretty sweet too. Plus Ignite itself is held here. Win win.
Ignite Day 1: Disappointment?
The opening keynote. It started out ok but overall seemed pretty flat.
Kudos to Li Chen for bringing the keynote some life with her session on connecting colleagues via LinkedIn and the graph people card, simplifying the process of becoming BFF’s.
Demoing Bing for Business was pretty cool. Ive never really been a user of Bing myself, but I can see the value in the new Machine Learning and deep knowledge features allowing users to quickly pull company data relevant to the search terms. Fuzzy logic helped understand the users request even with typos. It was a flawless demo.
Hey Cortana! I’m going on holiday next week.
Yes Cortana can now schedule calendar events, change your out of office and set up the auto email responder. Pretty cool.
A common theme I heard from attendees post-keynote was regarding the talk on Quantum Computing. Sure some people may have been able to relate to it and understand the technology, but was it really the right audience? Probably not. Even the jokes were flying over peoples heads. I won’t dive into this for obvious reasons but if you want read more about it, check it out here.
Ignite day 1 ended overall on a positive, we headed out for a meal with Heather Newman and friends from the community. Some of the guys I’d met before at ESPC Vienna so it was good to catch up, others were met over over great food, great beer and hysterical jokes.
Bring on Day 2 at Ignite.