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Going Social at Microsoft Ignite

by | 09/12/2019 | Conferences

A month ago, I really had the time of my life. One of my biggest wishes was becoming reality. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at Microsoft Ignite, a big Microsoft conference in the US.

This trip was my second trip to USA in my #7ThYearMagic year. Microsoft Ignite was in Orlando, an awesome hood.

The climate is very warm and humid. Let’s say it was my second summer of 2019.

Because a lot of developers blog about Microsoft Ignite (and this is because it’s such an awesome conference) I am going to blog about a specific topic: social topics like Diversity and Inclusion.

Creating an inclusive community event

Lars Klint, a hero from Australia gave a session about building inclusive community events. Lars is the Organizer of DDD Melbourne. For Lars and DDD Melbourne it’s very important that the event is inclusive. Diversity and Inclusion is Key for them.

Lars explained about gender diversity, about newcomer speakers. I liked the session. It was good.

Lars explained about gender diversity, about newcomer speakers. I liked the session. It was good.

Recognize exclusion, design for inclusion

A talk from Bryce Johnson. People that know me already may know that I speak about accessibility and also visit often other talks about accessibility.

But this one was another one. This talk was exceptional good. My number one talk about accessibility I ever saw. And I saw in my last 2 years great talks about accessibility.

This talk was the story behind the XBOX Adaptive Controller, about how to enable people with disabilities to get engaged with their gamer friends  / community.

Bryce has a strong vision and the vision behind the Adaptive Controller can go way further. Bryce also told about the Inclusive Design Series from Microsoft and a bit about Inclusive Hiring, that people with disabilities deserve a paid job.

So folks, you all know that I am a volunteer. And I am really happy with my life. But the vison Bryce shared about being paid or not was strong.

Being a Social Developer

Scott Hanselman, a hero, a Rockstar. Scott presented a talk about being visible and on social media for developers. A talk about blog attitude (that is a working point for me!) and about personal branding.

I loved it. The talk had some awesome take-aways. And I try to blog more. (But can I say this, if this blogpost about Microsoft Ignite is already a month later?)

So I am on the good way going to this type of talks and try to be a better blogger.

Mental health, It’s time to talk

A talk by Ryan Yates from the UK. Very good talk. A talk about the explanation of having another state of mental health. And in this sentence I don’t say mental health issues .I say a different state. And this is with purpose!

A good talk with a lot of metaphors and theories in the field of mental wellbeing. Some concepts come back in the scope in support for people with autism.

I remember the Swimming pool theory. I try to explain: You could ask to your coworker (or your friend) how the level of their swimming pool is. Imagine that you stand at the ground (bottom) floor of a swimming pool? How high is the water? The lower the water is the safer and comfortable you are. But if the water comes to high you start to drown.

Another theory I liked is the Spoon theory. I try also to explain: Each person received a set of spoons. You need the spoon for each task you have to do during the day. But each person starts with a different amount of spoons. Also, the amount of spoons you need for each talk differs from task to task, person to person and mental health state to mental health state. If your spoons are empty, you cannot enjoy your day, complete you day comfortable anymore.

My talk: Building inclusive workplaces: Supporting coworkers with autism

My talk was about supporting coworkers with autism. About how to be the best coworker for your coworker with autism. And how to make most of your work situation. I give some theory about autism. Then I talk about specific issues people on the spectrum can have at work scenario and I give concrete advices for each of these situations. I say what to do, and what you better avoid.

People loved the talk. I got great feedback and awesome conversations after my talk.

What you don’t see

I end this blogpost with what you don’t see in blogpost and what not everybody know. But Microsoft Ignite is all about the hallway track, of how many speakers call it. It’s about being there and making connections. About talking to people from product groups you never met before .About experience sharing and helping each other.

And of course I visited a lot of technical sessions too. But I see most people telling, blogging and spreading the word about technical sessions already. I tried to deliver you another view of the conference. But in a conference of 6 day (5 + a pre day) you can visit a lot of technical sessions and a lot of social talks.

And the last night, it’s about partying. Microsoft rented the 2 Universal Studio’s park and everything was free. You could enjoy all rides and have some awesome drinks and foods.