TechDays Update – Windows Lounge and Developer Foundations

Hi Everyone!

It’s Friday,  I trust you’re all enjoying the summer or if you’re in Ontario perhaps looking at building an ark 🙂 Well, it has been wet in Toronto, yet it’s not damped our efforts or enthusiasm. Lot’s has been happening with my team over the last few weeks and I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an update on Microsoft TechDays Canada and share with you some exciting news!

I’m very excited about this coming year and amazed by the level of interest we’ve seen across Canada for TechDays. I appreciate all of the feedback you’ve given us, from one-on-one conversations to the discussions on Twitter (#TechDays_CA) and across various blogs. It’s been an incredible experience for me to hear your thoughts and opinions on how we can support your technical skills. I think it’s pretty special that it was your feedback that guided us to a conference that comes to you, supports the local ICT ecosystems and focuses on training and connecting each other to help grow/build our skills!

Recently, we published a list of tracks with sessions at and the team is now locking in the speakers as well as adding to the learning kit! We confirmed that the learning kit will include a 12-month TechNet Plus subscription and this year's TechEd content which has a value over $700 with more still to come.

When we started TechDays we not only wanted to get the best and the most experienced speakers, we had a goal to provide an experience where you can learn from each other and share some foundational skills. This year, we’re going to make sure that the speakers, subject matter experts and my team are available to you during the conference at the Windows Lounge. The Windows Lounge is a new addition to the experience and one in which you can see new technology and share ideas in a relaxing enviroment!

As well, we’ve received more feedback on the type of skills that are needed to support you. Across Canada, we’ve heard that - in addition to professional developers - there are many technical professionals for whom development plays a primary focus or part of their day-to-day role, working with technologies like PowerShell, ASP.NET, Office, SharePoint and Win32 APIs. Given the breath of individuals developing, its clear from what we captured that there is an opportunity to support your growth by providing foundation skills on how to better develop and be a better developer.

So, we’ve heard this feedback and now I feel that it’s time for us to take some action. As such, I’m really happy to share that we are  going to pilot an additional track in Toronto and Vancouver this year that has a focus on foundational skills for software development. We’ve asked prominent members of the Canadian technical community, Justice Gray (@JusticeGray) and Peter Ritchie (@PeterRichie) to design, support and get the right people to deliver a new track for TechDays entitled, Developer Foundations. The purpose of this track will be to share and teach TechDays guests on concepts and practices that support a solid foundation around software development. This year we will pilot the track in Toronto and Vancouver and if it is successful, we will build on it next year and take it to all the cities. This decision was made for two key reasons:

  1. We want to ensure that Justice and Peter have enough time to organize this track while meeting the high standard of quality content that our attendees expect from an event like TechDays, and

  2. We want to observe any outcomes from this track and incorporate any new ideas going forward. At the end of the day, we want to do “what’s right” for you by continuing to listen to your feedback.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing more about this track from both members of my team and from Justice and Peter. In the meantime, please continue to send me your feedback.

Until next time


John Oxley

Director Technical Audience Marketing and ICT Evangelism
Microsoft Canada | Direct (905) 363- 8589|Messenger | twitter:joxley

Comments (2)

  1. Steve Syfuhs says:

    That’s pretty awesome.  I can’t wait to see the presentations.  I’m curious though as to how it will affect the scheduling of the other developer tracks.  Will there just be another room for them, or will some of the other presentations be moved/cancelled?

  2. What a great idea for a track!

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