Recap of the 2017 DevIntersection Conference

I recently spoke at (and attended talks at) the 2017 DevIntersection Conference. The event was held October 29 to November 3, 2017, at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas.

There are actually several DevIntersection conferences every year, but the Vegas event is the original, and the one I never miss. See for details.

I estimate there were about 2,500 people at DevIntersection. Most were senior developers who use Microsoft technologies, from medium and large companies (banks, state and federal government, and so on) but I met developers, managers, and business development people from all kinds of companies.

My talk was “Introduction to the CNTK Machine Learning Library”. I walked developers through an end-to-end example of using the recent (mid-2017) CNTK library. My main observation is that the software developer community is far, far behind the research community when it comes to understanding state of the art machine learning tools and techniques.

Overall, the DevIntersection Conference was terrific. I heard some excellent talks. The attendees I spoke to also had many nice things to say about the event too. Microsoft was represented by about 50 speakers, including excellent keynotes from VPs Scott Guthrie (Azure cloud services) and Steve Guggenheimer (Microsoft AI Business).

The conference had an associated Expo. I estimate there were about 30-40 companies represented at the Expo, and they ranged from the well-established to the very new.

All things considered, the 2017 DevIntersection was a good use of my time. I learned a lot, both technically and from a business perspective, and I’m confident I was able to educate a lot of developers about Microsoft machine learning technologies. If you’re a software developer or database person or IT engineer who uses Microsoft technologies, give strong consideration to attending a DevIntersection event.

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