Many of you know that Windows Azure is my favorite topic these days. I think the shift to cloud computing over the coming years will represent a monumental change for our industry.
For those designing systems and implementing them, having the overhead of managing infrastructure removed will be liberating. It will enable new opportunities and the ability to focus on what really matters: Building stuff that gets stuff done and makes users (lots of them) happy!
Like any shift in technology, there will be a new set of skills to learn. You can migrate apps to the cloud and bring many of your existing skills with you. But to take full advantage of the power cloud architectures make possible, you will have to skill up.
What are your options? Different folks learn differently. The standard ones are always available: Books, search engines, blogs, online references, classroom seminars, technology conferences, etc.
One learning resource that is often underestimated, but usually of high value is through your fellow developer peers! Those of us living in the tri-state area are fortunate to have a thriving user group community. As listed on the left pane of my blog, we have over 25+ groups focused on Microsoft technology alone! There are many for other technology areas too, including the cloud.
I’d like to let you know about two new user groups that have formed in our area focused on the topic of Windows Azure!
NYC Windows Azure User Group
First up is the New York City Windows Azure User Group! This group launched last summer in July 2011. Since then they have been meeting monthly in the Microsoft offices in midtown Manhattan. This group is organized managed by Ira Bell. The group is graciously being sponsored by Ira’s employer, Nimbo. Like many area groups, the NYC Azure UG maintains its online presence on Meetup.com.
To date, the group has covered several great topics, including:
- "The Windows Azure Marketplace"
- "Empowering Mobile Devices with Azure Push Technology"
- "Putting Excel on Steroids – Bursting Excel to Azure"
- “On-boarding Java Apps to the Azure Cloud”
- “Overview of SQL Azure Data Sync”
Microsoft NYC Offices
1290 Ave Of The Americas
New York, NY 10104
Monthly meetings are currently hosted on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. (The monthly date might be subject to change in the near future as the group sorts out the Microsoft facility availability.)
New Jersey Windows Azure User Group
Next up, I’m excited to announce the launch of a brand new Windows Azure User Group in New Jersey! The NJ Windows Azure User Group will be hosting their inaugural meeting on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012! The group will be meeting monthly at the Microsoft offices in Iselin, NJ (a.k.a “GSP Exit 131” or “Metropark”). The group is being organized by Shagun Labroo. Aditi has offerred to sponsor the group and cover pizza.
Microsoft NJ Offices
101 Wood Ave South
Iselin, NJ 08830
Monthly meetings will be hosted on the 1st Wednesday of each month from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
I’m planning to be at the NJ kick off meeting on the 1st and should a be a frequent attendee (and speaker) at both groups in the future. Hope to see some of you at one of these groups soon!