What an amazing Saturday! Have you attended one of the 96 local Windows Azure Bootcamps? Are you one of these crazy 8,000 people around the globe?
But let me start at the beginning. Nearly two months ago at the MVP Summit in Redmond some of the Windows Azure MVPs (ahead was Magnus Martensson a.k.a. @noopman) had an idea: One big event in several cities in several countries. I think they had no idea how big it really will become. With the enthusiasm of the Windows Azure Insiders and the help of several Microsoft employees it came bigger and bigger.
As I first heard about this idea I thought “cool, but what is special about it?”. I had no idea how special it really will become!
Some weeks later Magnus asked in an email why there is only one German event location (Bad Homburg) and I thought “should we also make one in Berlin?”. I talked with Alexander Singer (@salexsinger) if that is a good idea. He said “why not?” and so we decided to make it happen. But two guys are not enough to organize an event like this. We asked Holger Diekhoff, Hans Laubisch, Malte Lantin (@MalteLantin), Peter Kirchner (@peterkirchner), and Nico Wilhelm if they could help us.
Every time when organizing an event you ask yourself whom could you invite as a speaker? In my case it was very easy. Malte connected me with Anton Staykov (@astaykov), a Windows Azure MVP from Bulgaria. He was our first speaker. But only one speaker for a nine hour event? That shouldn’t be enough. I asked the Windows Azure Insiders if someone is near Berlin and would like to speak at our event. Just a few hours later Markus Eilers (@pulsd) answered that he would be happy to join us. Speaker #3 was Oliver Michalski (@ol_mic) who was the only one from the speakers and organizers (except Hans) who actually lives in Berlin. To top the speaker list off Peter agreed to hold the keynote.
Four speakers should be enough, right? I was happy that we had so many great speakers in one room, but something special should happen.
A few weeks ago I met Dion Hutchings (@dionhut), who is a technical evangelist at Microsoft, at the Student Technology Conference in Berlin. I had an idea and asked him if he could join us via Skype during the keynote. His simple answer was “of course, I would love to do that!”. With him we had five speakers collected in just a single week!
Enough of the organizational stuff. Let me tell you something about the event itself. It all started Friday night (German time) with the kickoff in Australia and Japan. Nearly ten hours later it was our part to make this event bigger than everything else. 24 people from all places of Germany joined us in Berlin.
After the kickoff made by Peter and Dion I had the opportunity to introduce the attendees to one of the big things of the bootcamp: The render lab!
The render lab was a competition (and also a cooperation) between the different countries and event locations. Alan Smith (@alansmith) created an environment on Azure where you can run instances and render a video which was recorded with a Xbox Kinect. Just have a look at the following video to get an impression what it looks like.
At the end of the day we made it to the #1 location in the world! Together with Bad Homburg Germany was #2 in the countries list.
But how does it look like to create a video for the job queue? Here’s an impression from Berlin.
All in all there were 9,904 worker roles which rendered 727,059 with almost sever years of compute time in just 24 hours. During the event there were nearly 2,105,773 requests per hours (that means 585 requests per second) on the render queue. If you would like to know more about the render lab, just have a look at the blog post from Alan.
During the day we had an awesome agenda with a lot of interesting topics, ranging from the Windows Azure Media, Windows Azure Websites, to best practices on Windows Azure.
Throughout the event you could feel the passion of the community. It was proved by the participation in the render lab, the conversations on Twitter, and so on.
At the end of the day I was happy that nothing has gone wrong and was amazed by this awesome Windows Azure community around the globe.
Before I stop here I like to make some acknowledgements. First of all I would like to thank all attendees. Without you it haven’t been that funny! I also like to thank all of our speakers and their families for lending me their husbands/fathers. A big thank you goes to the people which helped me to organize this event. Alex, Holger, Hans, Malte, Peter, and Nico: You did an amazing job and made my live one of the easiest in the history of event organizers!
To conclude this article I have only four words for you: “I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY!”
- Jan (@Horizon_Net)