Microsoft MVP Summit 2015 Debrief
Most of the sessions and content shared during the MVP summit is under NDA – so I cannot share any details about them. One topic we got approval to disclose information about is the hackathon.
The concept of the hackathon in a nutshell:
- Prior to the summit the MVP’s could submit ideas, improvements and features they would like to have in the product.
- The Product Group made a shortlist out of the proposed items.
- A mixed team of MVP’s and Product Developers is assigned to work on each of the items on the shortlist.
- After a short kickoff meeting on Monday each team has a few checkpoint meetings during the week to further discuss and follow-up on the progress.
- By the end of the week the solution is presented to the entire group. Everyone involved can cast 2 votes and based on those votes the rankings are listed on a scoreboard (Note: there are no prices … just bragging rights).
- These are the topics that got shortlisted:
- Project Active : real time information on active clients
- Project ANT : aka Twitter for ConfigMgr
- Project SCCMARA : Azure Remote App Integration
- Recursive Task Sequences
- Wizards of Wizards : ability to save templates for settings
- In console reporting on TS progress steps
- Server Patching
- Alternate UPN for cloud synching
- Hybrid Intune enrollment troubleshooting tool
- Powershell support for creating CI settings
I was a member of the Project ANT Team. A quick line-up of the team:
- MVP’s : Collin Smith, Kenny Buntinx and myself
- Microsoft PM : Dune
- Microsoft Developers: Rae, Chris, Pong and Anton
Purpose of our project was to be able to send real time notifications to end-users via the Configuration Manager console and to log end-user consent. Additionally we wanted to be able to include similar notifications when defining deployments. It is all about involving the end-user in (sometimes complex) scenarios.
This all started on Monday and by the end of the week all projects got presented (and live demoed!) to the entire PG and MVP group. Everyone in the room could cast 2 votes for their favorite projects. Based on those votes our project ended taking the second place on the winners podium. At that time we also got approval from Microsoft to also present this solution at the MMS conference in Minnesota (more on that in a separate blog post).
Seeing an idea evolve into a working feature in the product in just a few days time is just an amazing experience. Big thanks to the Microsoft team for making this happen. Do note that this is lab work only – whether or not this feature will ever make it into the final product in any form or format is undecided at the moment.
The hackathon was definitely the top item on the agenda for the week but the content shared during the other sessions was very valuable as well. For those who were in doubt whether Configuration Manager would be dead in a few years from now: I can only say they should not fear: the product is more alive than ever!
This was the first time I have attended the summit and as such I cannot compare to previous editions. All I can say about this edition is that it has been an amazing experience: from meeting the product group, visiting the Microsoft Campus to spending time with my fellow MVP’s – it has all been great.
Until next time!