At the 2017 Microsoft TechReady Event

Once or twice a year, Microsoft puts on a large conference for its employees called TechReady. I attended the 2017 event which ran from February 6 to 10 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The conference is intended primarily for employees who are in customer-facing roles — although that can mean several different things.

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Invitation to TechReady is by invitation only and employees greatly value the chance to attend. This year’s event had about 5,000 attendees plus about 1,000 speakers, presenters, and event organizers.

I usually give a technical talk at TechReady, but this year I manned a booth for a new internal training effort called the Microsoft AI School. The goal of the AI School is to educate Microsoft employees about Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence tools and concepts so that they can add intelligence into Microsoft products and services.

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Interest in the AI School was huge. I printed approximately 1,600 information flyers and most were distributed. It was actually quite exhausting trying to explain what AI is many hundreds of times. I think I’ll switch back to being a regular speaker at the next TechReady.

One thing that I always enjoy at TechReady is visiting the gigantic lecture hall. You can see from the photo the hall is big, but the photo doesn’t really capture the scale of the room. There’s a rumor going around that TechReady may be combined with Microsoft’s two other large (about 8,000 people each) internal events. If true, that will be a truly enormous event.

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TechReady – for me, an interesting event and good use of my time.

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