Learn, then Drink to Celebrate!


Even though it hasn’t really been a typical winter for many areas across the country, it’s still cold enough for most of us to want to stay inside. The question is, what are you doing with your indoor time? If you’re like me, this is the time to catch up on the latest and greatest, taking the time to sit and learn something new.

If you’ve had a chance to watch the D³: LIVE & INTERACTiVE special with Paula Rainford, Current IT Market Conditions and Hiring Trends in 2012, you know that the need for developers with Cloud Computing knowledge and skills is increasing. So, take that as a sign, or a forcing function if you will, and try out something new, expand your skill base and become either a Hero in your current company or more attractive for new companies.

2502.AzureCamp_5F00_32BE32F8[1]If you’re wondering why Cloud Computing and Windows Azure skills and knowledge are being sought after by companies of all sizes, watch the Windows Azure Camp Online videos that teach you all about Windows Azure and what you can do with it. If you prefer to learn in-person with an instructor, look for a Windows Azure Camp in a city near you.

If the industry demand or the things you can do with Windows Azure aren’t enough to get you interested in getting the jump on your skills adjustment and checking out what the Windows Azure platform can do, how about I sweeten the deal for you? The title of this post is Learn, then Drink to Celebrate for a reason right?


I believe the best way to learn is by trying. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Download the Introduction to Windows Azure hands-on lab.
  2. Follow the steps in the lab manual to complete the lab. If you prefer to work backwards, you can start from the completed solution (also included) and look at the code to understand what’s going on.
  3. When you’ve completed the entire lab, take two screenshots like those below, showing the complete DNS name of your hands-on lab and all of the instances running in production.



  4. Send your lab’s DNS name (something.cloudapp.net), your mailing address, and the two screenshots to cdnazure@microsoft.com.

That’s it! I do recommend watching the Getting Started with Windows Azure video, but that’s entirely up to you.

Drink to Celebrate

So why bother doing all of the above? Seeing how easy it is to start using Windows Azure with your existing applications, of course! Aside from that, I’ll be sending you a gift card for about 5 drinks so that you can reward yourself for learning something new. You’ll be on your way to becoming the Cloud guru at your company in no time.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you don’t stop or delete your deployment until you hear from me. I have to verify that you completed the lab, so your lab needs to be accessible at the DNS name you submit.

(By the way, the drinks are from a famous Canadian coffee retailer whose name rhymes with Jim Morton’s. What kind of drink did you think I was talking about?)


Don’t Delay – I’ve only set aside a certain number of cards. Once they are gone – they are gone! And before anyone asks – this offer is valid and available to Canadian developers who deploy their hands-on labs to their Windows Azure accounts. Those accounts can be Windows Azure trial accounts (you can get a free one for 90 days), MSDN, BizSpark, or MPN Windows Azure benefit accounts as long as you don’t have any other deployments in the account*.


* Offer good only in Canada and is available to the first 200 individuals, including residents of Quebec, who complete the hands-on lab, are verified by the Microsoft Canada Team, and have received a verification email from cdnazure@microsoft.com. Limit one gift per person. The gift is a $10 Tim Horton's gift card. The offer is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. Due to government gift and ethics laws, government employees are not eligible to participate. This offer is valid until all 200 gifts have been awarded. Any gift returned as non-deliverable will not be re-sent. Please allow up to 3 weeks for verification and 6-8 weeks for delivery of your gift which will be provided to you via mail. We reserve the right to substitute a gift of equal or greater value.

Comments (2)

  1. Jawahar Rajan says:

    When I run the labs ex 1 I see that my project is different in structure it is missing "ServiceConfiguration.Cloud.csfg" and "ServiceConfiguration.Local.csfg".

    According to the labs documen these two files should be there. In stead I only have "ServiceConfiguration.csfg" and "ServiceDefinition.csdef" files

    Do i need to have some other component installed.

    I am getting an error that the configuration string cannot be found.

    Jawahar Rajan

  2. Jawahar, these files are located in the Cloud project. If you don't have a Cloud project has part of your solution, then you need to add one and the files will be there. If you do already have a Cloud project in the solution and are still missing these files, you can copy them over from the "End" folder (the completed lab) and then add them manually to your solution. If that doesn't help, send me an email to jonathan (dot) rozenblit (at) microsoft (dot) com and we'll work together to resolve the issue you're experiencing.

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