Recently I held the first public event for the Zero to Cloud in 1 Day with Microsoft Azure training workshop.

I was very lucky that Robert Hogg and Linda Hogg from Black Marble have been really supportive to helping me launch the training course like they are with many community events and offered to let me use the board room at BM HQ for the first event.

On the day I was joined by some familiar faces from the integration community.  The guys were all experienced developers who have played a little bit with Azure in a personal capacity but have limited exposure to commercial use of Azure.  The guys all saw this as being important for future roles they may take.  They had chosen to come to the course as they felt it would give them an excellent way to absorb a lot of content in one go and get a lot of hands on exposure to a range of Azure features.

Below is a picture of us at the event.

photo 1

From my perspective it was interesting to have a group of experienced developers where as during the private instances of the course I have run previously the group was more mixed and involved Business Analysts, Architects, Developers, IT Management and Support Team members.  The feedback from the group was excellent and I was very happy.  It also validated my thinking that the course offers a lot for experienced developers.  The content seems to work well for a wide range audience but its just that some of the questions and discussion points that come up during the day had a more technical nature this time.  It was fun to be able to drop out onto the whiteboard at times and do a little bit of a deeper dive occasionally like around Azure Active Directory where we discussed how an organisation may use Azure AD in the real world.

I’m hoping to do more training workshops very soon


Some of the feedback from the day is below:

Friday was excellent – well done!

Rob’s Blog goes into more detail –

Rob Bowman, More Info
I have been wanting to get into Azure for a while, but as a BizTalk Freelancer this has been challenging.

When you work with BizTalk you often find yourself locked into older versions of Visual Studio and its associated tools because you are working with an older version of BizTalk (say 2006 R2) which only supports an older version of Visual Studio. So you do not routinely get exposure to the newer tools and in addition technologies like Azure are often not being used by your clients.

Consequently you have little or no opportunity to acquire these skills during normal day to day working. Some form of training is therefore essential, but as a freelancer time for such things is very limited as it imposes a double hit of the cost of the training and the lost opportunity cost of time off contract. So you try to use the usual methods of low impact skills acquisition: books, blog postings and tutorials but these often do more harm than good because they contain inaccurate/incomplete information and they do not keep pace with the rate of change of these tools and technologies So we need a different approach to training – something more agile, more current and something more concrete.

This is where the Azure Coach comes in. This form of training allows you to produce something tangible in a day. Rather than separate topic-based isolated activities, each exercise builds on the previous one to create an evolving solution where real-world skills are being developed which will form a proper foundation on which to build a deeper understanding .

Michael’s deep knowledge of the subject coupled with a willingness to go off-piste to share detailed ‘tales from the field’ covering best-practices, pitfalls to avoid, etc. make this course all the more effective.

I look forward to the next training days which could perhaps cover things like the Resource Groups/Manager (to help organise solution assets), use of PowerShell scripts for automation/repeatability, deeper exploration of web apps and SQL Azure and so on.

Highly recommended.

Simon Young, More Info
I did this in Leeds last week; ‘Zero to Cloud’ is a hands-on course where we went from setting up a dev vm, through to building and deploying a web-app, and beyond. As we progressed, we set up
auto build and deploy, as well as multi-factor authentication. To cover all this in a day was good, but throughout Mike injected real-world use cases and hard-won ‘gotchas’. The course works for a range of IT pros, and is not limited to the devs. If you or your team want to utilise the Cloud, then this course will kick-start that process.
Phil Chalk, Integration Architect @ Manheim Auctions