Attending the first in-person Microsoft Build since 2019
Microsoft Build is always one of the highlights of our year, but Microsoft Build 2023 was a unique instance of the conference—it was the first one to have an in-person element in four years! Being present with thousands of other developers after years of a virtual-only Build experiences gave the conference a lively, electric atmosphere. The excitement radiated from presenters and attendees alike. Adding to that special feeling was its location, the new Summit building of the Seattle Convention Center, just a block away from the original Seattle Convention Center buildings where Build took place from 2017 to 2019. Summit is very inviting. Daylight fills the space through stories-tall windows. Giant escalators carry visitors all the way from the first floor to the fifth, and a long mirror suspended over those escalators give the illusion that the already-cavernous entrance is twice as large.
The Syncfusion presence at Microsoft Build
Several members of the Syncfusion team had the pleasure of not only attending Microsoft Build 2023 in person, but also hosting a demo station in the .NET area of the conference. Alongside us were other developers representing technologies like C#, F#, Visual Basic, and EF Core, and stations that showcased machine learning, AI, and distributed systems.
At our station, we showed off the performance and formatting capabilities of our DataGrid; some of our vast collection of data visualization charts; unique and complex components like Diagram, Word Processor, TreeMap, and Kanban; and the easy theme customization across all our components. We also demonstrated BoldSign, our embeddable digital signing solution, and attendees were particularly interested in its built-in features for templating, branding, and sending documents on behalf of other users.
We talked to some long-time Syncfusion customers who were happy to meet with our technical team in person after working with them on projects for years. Vijay, general manager of the Chennai office, and fourth from the right in the previous picture, had a couple such customers.
Syncfusion Senior Product Manager Michael Prabhu gave a presentation called, “Boost Dev Time: Blazor Hybrid App + .NET MAUI = 2X Faster Results!” He talked about the importance of modular architecture and leveraging code reuse through Razor components. He emphasized taking advantage of platform-specific features, following best practices, and implementing touch-friendly designs.
It was so great to see customers, partners, and potential customers at our demo station. I especially enjoyed reconnecting with many people we have collaborated with at Microsoft for many years. We met up with several people on the .NET MAUI team like David Ortinau, Maddy Montaquila, and Beth Massi, plus James Montemagno from the .NET Community team, and many others.
In addition to speaking with visitors to our demo station, I was able to meet with Lan Kaim, a director on the Azure marketing team, about the Visual Studio Dev Essentials Program. Currently, Syncfusion offers several benefits through the program, including access to Essential JS 2, Xamarin controls, Bold BI Cloud Edition, and our Succinctly series. We discussed the possibility of adding more Syncfusion benefits in the future.
The keynotes at Microsoft Build
Throughout the keynotes, AI was featured in the form of Copilots. Kevin Scott, Microsoft chief technology officer, defined a Copilot as “an application that uses modern AI, that has a conversational interface, that assists you with cognitive tasks.” One such example was a series of Copilot plugins that review text within a document to ensure it complies with California state law and standard legal terminology.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and other speakers invited developers to build Copilot plugins to extend AI functionality to any application or use case. Many new products involving Copilots and AI were introduced, as well, especially for Azure, Microsoft 365, Teams, and Windows. Nadella stressed that the purpose of this technology is to enhance human potential and creativity.
What does AI mean for the future for Syncfusion customers? Well, that depends on what our developers and our customers decide to build that integrates Copilot plugins. It is an exciting time to be in our industry to see what massive changes in productivity and processes can happen with these advanced tools.
While keynotes are great, free stuff is always a highlight of any conference. Build attendees were invited to visit all the demo stations with a “passport,” a small brochure listing all the partners, which they could get stamped by each exhibiting partner and then redeemed for goodies. The more demo stations they visited, the more stamps they earned, and the more prizes they could get. The prizes included a water bottle, our Syncfusion travel coffee mug, bucket hats, tote bags, socks, and more.
See you at Build 2024!
Overall, we were pleased to participate in and attend Microsoft Build 2023 in Seattle. We enjoyed reconnecting with colleagues, customers, partners, and the greater developer community. Cheers to Microsoft for another great event and here’s to more exciting updates next year!