Microsoft Build 2017

Microsoft is a key partner for us. They are a cloud service provider that we aim to support soon, but they are important far beyond being another infrastructure provider for Stackery. Microsoft has a renewed focus on helping developers build great software, and that dovetails with our mission at Stackery.

Our amazing contact at Microsoft, Steve Seow, invited us to attend the Microsoft Build conference held this past week. It was inspiring to see the energy put into helping people build amazing software experiences.

Those who know me know that I’m not a Microsoft fanboy. I abandoned the Windows platform for Linux early on while I was still in high school. For many years Microsoft seemed focused more on extracting license fees for IT products than on building the next wave of amazing software experiences. While it’s unlikely I will ever rejoin the Windows ecosystem for my own development purposes as I am already stuck in my UNIX ways (vim FTW, though I have started using VS Code), I do envision working with the rest of their services.

In particular, it is clear to me that Microsoft is doing everything they can to make it easier to write, test, and debug code running in the cloud. It’s already hard to debug many cloud application issues, but it’s becoming even harder with the advent of serverless technologies. When a serverless function dies due to an error or a timeout, it ceases to exist and therefore can’t be inspected for the root cause. Fortunately, it’s clear Microsoft is starting to tackle these challenges. They have announced innovative solutions like Azure Function integration with Application Insights.

Another interesting thing for me personally is Microsoft’s adoption of open source development. For a long time Microsoft irrationally feared open source development. One can understand why they felt the way they did, but it still hampered their developer focus. I’m excited to see how much Microsoft has embraced open source. As an example, most of the Azure tooling is open source.

I personally look forward to working with Microsoft in the future. They are doing really interesting things in the right ways, and we are happy to help their customers build serverless apps on top of their Azure platform!

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