I spent some time at the 2015 Microsoft MVP Global Summit event. The event was held from Nov. 1-5 on the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. Microsoft MVPs are independent (meaning they don’t work for Microsoft) leaders in the software community who share their expertise. Every year Microsoft hosts an event where the MVPs gather to listen to talks from Microsoft employees.
I work at Microsoft Research in Redmond and was asked to come over and say a few words about machine learning and artificial intelligence, two of my areas of interest.
I estimate there were about 1,500 people at the MVP Summit. I’d say about half came from outside the United States. I ran into a lot of acquaintances and colleagues, including Brian Randle (a very smart guy who always has interesting opinions), Jamie Dixon, (very articulate and broad range of experience), Mathis Brandewinder (his blog site about the F# language is my go-to resource on that topic), Ward Bell (a regular speaker on the software development conference circuit), and Alessandro Del Sole (both he and I have authored books for Syncfusion publishing).
The photo above is of Alessandro (on the right) and me at the 2015 event between talks.
The role of conferences and events like the MVP Summit has changed over the years. Before the rise of the Internet, conferences were a major means of communication. Now, conferences serve multiple purposes, including the ability to make person-to-person connections which are critically important with regards to career opportunities.