Azure Lowlands 2022

Introduction

We attended Azure Lowlands 2022 in Utrecht, Netherlands. We took part in multiple sessions and really enjoyed the music and great food. Almost everything was great and all the things went as planned. So we could really do the things that we scheduled and got the most out of this wonderful event. In the following, we look over some sessions and the things that happened there.

The Opening

A music band including a woman singer, a pianist, a guitarist, a drummer, and a cellist

In the morning, we got our cards and after entering the main stage, we came across a nice band, singing beautiful songs and a warm atmosphere filled with talented people which was getting more crowded by the time. We took a morning snack and met some of the sponsors and had a little chat with them.

Welcome slid of event

At 9 o'clock the event officially started with some music and breakdancing. Then Henk and Sjoukje (the organizers) welcomed everyone to the event.

Henk and Sjoukje welcoming everyone

Hackers at the Gates

By Paula Januszkiewicz

Paula presenting

In this session, Paula introduced some common security vulnerabilities which most great companies already experienced. She told us some stories about the history of attacks and the huge amount of money that companies lost in these incidents. We also learned six important techniques to be prepared for the battle with the hackers and attackers. Meanwhile, she demonstrated some demos of how these attacks can simply and quickly happen and how vulnerable we are against them.

A revival of Azure Automation

By Aleksandar Nikolic

Aleksandar presenting

Azure automation is the oldest automation service in azure which delivers a cloud base automation. Actually, it was a serverless service before “serverless” became a thing. Aleksandar talked about the history of this service and the challenges they had to overcome the speed of changes and some other services replacement. In the past year, the team of Azure Automation could modernize it amazingly and we got to know the story and the new features that the service could support.

Using the power of GitHub Codespaces to launch your productivity

By Daniel Paulus

Danial Presenting

GitHub Codespaces is a local version of VS Code in the browser which enables developers to kickstart work on projects in a preconfigured IDE. So, we could get rid of dealing with the initial setup part and installing various services and plugins on our local machine. It means we can start right away to develop with just a simple and cheap device with all the power of VS Code. It supports the whole development workflow so the entire process could be implemented in the cloud from the initial setup to the final deployment. Daniel walked us through various features and demonstrated demos of how we can easily work with the Codespaces.

End-to-End DevOps

By April Edwards

April presenting

It was an amazing talk by April in which we learned a lot about DevOps, the good culture of a team, and the new features that would help us to be more secure and mistake-free. Here are some points that April shared with us. We always make mistakes and that is OK, because we are human. We want to cover the gap between teams, so, we have to take our responsibilities. Mistakes happen in deployment, which is the reason we want a secure and full end-to-end DevOps environment. We need an environment to recover fast from incidents, to have a secure image of the product, and a secure pipeline and infrastructure. GitHub Codespaces is a huge help because it is so fast to work with it and it removes the phrase “It worked on my machine!”. Also, with GitHub Actions, we literally can automate anything. To reduce deployment mistakes, Codespaces enables us to have multiple environments like Dev, Test, etc. Also, it has a feature to scan your code for text passwords and the pipelines won’t go forward if it is not secure. DevOps is a union of people, processes, and products and we have to keep it up to follow the process.

NetApps & Azure, migrate the un-migratable

By Geert van Teylingen

Geert presenting

In this session, Geert talked about how Azure NetApp Files enables hybrid cloud data services to give us more insights, more security, and better management. In a nutshell, He said “as you assess your business transitions to Azure there is a need for equivalent enterprise storage services to run your business in a similar performant and reliable fashion. This is where Azure NetApp Files come in”.

Azure Quantum & Microsoft Q

By Johnny Hooyberghs

Johnny presenting

This session was so short but Johnny managed well. He introduced some theoretical knowledge about quantum physics, quantum gates, and quantum algorithms. In addition, Johnny explains important concepts like qubits, superposition, and entanglement and how quantum computing can hopefully help us to solve exponentially large problems. We had a chance to see some Q# codes, and it was one of the best talks in Azure lowland.

Moving our enterprise app to the cloud

By Rik Hepworth

Rik presenting

Rik’s company had an enterprise application running on-premises for security-conscious customers for more than five years. Even though they designed it to be straightforward to move to Azure. In this session, Rik talked about how They originally planned for cloud migration, what really happened, and what they had learned on the journey.

Scaling your .NET app with Azure

By Callum Whyte and Busra Sengul

Callum presenting

They started off by exploring the auto-scaling options available in Azure App Service, using Application Insights to guide the thresholds they set and monitor how our app performs. Also, they talked about scaling by Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and scaling in Azure Container Apps.

Logging tracing and metrics: instrumentation in .NET and Azure

By Alex Thissen

Alex presenting

This was a great session about logging and tracing. Alex showed us some great demos about Azure Application Insight and Azure monitor. Also, He thought us how to instrument using Application Insights and add W3C compliant tracing for correlation across cloud resources in a distributed application.

From ACK to ZOI: The Story of Software in Three-Letter Acronyms

By Dylan Beattie

Dylan presenting

The closing keynote was awesome. As you may know, Dylan has incredible power on stages. His speech mainly was about acronyms in the programming world, from WWW to JSON. He also narrated some old stories about BBC, IBM, Microsoft, and so on which were pretty interesting and full of fun. After his presentation, he opened a bottle of bear with one of his colleagues and sang a rock song about HTML and Microsoft Teams and how much it is terrible. 😀

Dylan and his colleague performeing

Sum up

During the break times between sessions, we had a chance for a small snack, a chat with sponsors and other community members, and an interesting scavenger hunt! Also, there were multiple bands performed their amazing and joyful music during longer break times.
Also, we have to mention that there were also other parallel sessions that we could not participate which definitely were interesting and could share great knowledge.

Timetable

Azure Lowlands 2022 timetable

Screenshot from AzureLowlands official website.

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