Northumbria University is an interesting organisation because they have been doing pockets of work with Azure and have delivered some really cutting edge solutions. They have even been recognized by Microsoft for the great work they have done with Azure and been chosen to be a HiPo organisation for Higher Education. This means that they are considered an organisation with a high potential to do some interesting stuff with Microsoft technologies.
At Northumbria University one of the aims is that by being an organisation that embraces the cloud this means that using the cloud becomes business as usual just like using any other technology where a decision is made about how and where the cloud may fit in their architecture. Underpinning this aim is the requirement to make sure that the cloud is something everyone has some knowledge and experience with. Think about your organisation. For many people the cloud is just a word and something they hear people talking about. Maybe a few people are using it.
At Northumbria University, to properly embrace the cloud the aim was to make many people get an understanding of the cloud and actually get some hands on experience using it. This includes people from the IT Senior Management Team, the architecture team, infrastructure team, developers, business analysts, testers and support team. Many people have a desire to learn but one of the challenges when you want to learn about the cloud is where do you start. Once you’re up and running there are lots of resources to help you but that first step of getting up and running can be too steep for many people or take a long time to get over. This is where Zero to Cloud in 1 Day was a great fit for Northumbria University.
We undertook the first of a series of training days with members of the team and completed the course which took everyone from a start of Zero. They went through the experience of building a development environment. They continues to build an application which could be deployed to the cloud. They were then introduced to best practices for automated build and continuous deployment. We then looked at a lot of Azure features which could be helpful to our development environment and building the application in the real world and included them in our project. We covered things like:
- Application Insights
- Azure Active Directory
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Operational Insights
- and many more
The soup to nuts style approach for the Zero to Cloud in 1 Day course worked well for Northumbria University and on the day we had a mixed group of people from the disciplines I mentioned above which gave a good range of perspectives on what the cloud means and everyone went away with a much better understanding of what the Microsoft Azure Cloud can offer and was in a position to continue learning more and could use the application they had built in the workshop as a basis for further study.
Below is a picture of some of the team on the workshop where you can see most of them are watching their automated builds running in Visual Studio Online which will then auto-deploy their application to Azure.
Some of the feedback from the day is below:
The Zero to Cloud in 1 Day course has provided the team with a solid foundation understanding of the cloud, and where it can be most effectively used to help bring solutions to life. Colleagues completed the course with a clear vision of how they can begin working with Microsoft Azure technologies, and have already begun developing and deploying cloud based solutions as a team