Microsoft Build Community-Led Parties for All Technologists
Published Aug 31 2023 08:30 AM 3,069 Views

Your learning goes beyond Microsoft Build – Microsoft MVPs organized their Microsoft Build Community-Led Parties and delivered the key updates of the global conference, Microsoft Build in May 2023, in their own words. As we introduced in May, we had two different types of the events: the "Watch Party," designed for viewing the Build sessions live with the community, and the "After Party," dedicated to recapping the latest technologies unveiled at the Build. In total, MVPs organized over 140 community-led events in 21 languages across 45 countries, assisting attendees in enhancing their skills.


In this blog, we feature the Watch Party in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the After Parties in the United States, Canada, Italy, and China, emphasizing the community engagement efforts of the organizers.



Watch Party – Microsoft Build Watch Party @ FIT

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Community, gathering, technology, discussion, and the future – Developer Technologies MVP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Mušić, looked back on his event, Microsoft Build Watch Party @ FIT, with these five words. Held at the Faculty of Information Technologies, University "Džemal Bijedić"​ in Mostar, the event attracted people who wanted to learn about the latest technology, including a very large number of young people.


Starting the event, he led the opening session, two speakers presented technical topics, and all of them viewed the Build sessions together. To foster interaction among participants, he added an enjoyable segment, which included a special Microsoft Build cake. He shares his overall event experience, “We tried to make this event, first of all, a pleasant gathering where we will learn something about upcoming technologies. The main drawback was that everyone presents, due to the delicious cake that was customized in the context of the event itself, gained a few extra grams”.


Another highlight of this event was showing a bright future through student developers’ presentation about their achievement. The members of Mimea Team joined this event and talked about their journey to be the world finalists in Imagine Cup 2023. Denis is an Associate Professor of university and fulfilled this perfect collaboration to show their achievements because he knows the potential of the youth.

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What he felt by participating in the Microsoft Build is that Visual Studio and Microsoft Azure have become the default environment for modern application development. And he shared important ideas with us as we entered a new AI era, “We should not forget the fact that we still need to deal with the traditional way of development and older applications (for which we need to ensure transition/transformation), but the support that developers expect from new services is not science fiction but has become a reality”.


His community leadership contributed to diverse attendees in this event to open the door to learn about the latest Microsoft technologies and to meet new community friends to grow together. He expects further opportunity and reach, “My wish is to make the Microsoft Build Watch Party a traditional event that will be recognized and anticipated by community members”.



After Party – Two After Party events in North America

Douglas Starnes, Developer Technologies MVP in the United States, hosted his first After Party, Microsoft Build 2023 Memphis After Party, in Memphis, Tennessee. This event focused on one of the new updates at the Microsoft Build, Microsoft Fabric, and attendees, and organizers watched the Build sessions together and discussed the future of Power BI and the Power Platform.


As an organizer of this hybrid event, Douglas paid full attention to provide a great event experience both for the in-person attendees and online attendees. He says, “Hybrid events are a different animal from in-person or virtual events. It's not just a combination of the two. You have to create an experience that addresses both attendees simultaneously.” He also shares his learning, “Tech checks are mandatory because Microsoft updates the AV equipment in its offices often”.


He had a good time with the community at his first Build After Party, and the great news is that he is looking toward another opportunity. “This was the first Build after party I organized and didn't know what to expect. I was pleased that even with the AV issues, we had no attrition. There was also good engagement and participation from both the in person and virtual attendees. I'll definitely do another one.”

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In Canada, Business Applications MVP Haniel Croitoru co-organized the Microsoft Build 2023 Toronto - After Party at the Microsoft Toronto office with M365 Apps & Services MVP, Manpreet Singh, and the Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, Mauricio Chiprut.


Community members who eagerly wanted to learn about the new announcements in the Microsoft Build event gathered together under one roof. Haniel says, “Attendees and presenters were overwhelmingly excited about the latest AI related announcements, including Copilots, Azure OpenAI, and Microsoft Fabric”.


Learning about a lot of AI-relevant updates announced at the Microsoft Build, Haniel shares his key learnings, “AI will fundamentally change how many tasks are performed from simple tasks, such as summarizing meetings to complex data analysis and automation”.


After hosting his After Party, he continues to engage with community members, such as delivering a session, Personal Case Study: Managing Diabetes using AI and the Microsoft Power Platform, at the Microsoft Community Days - Healthcare Edition. If you would like to learn more about the latest AI topics, please join an upcoming AI-focused conference by his community, Microsoft AI Day on September 1-2, 2023.



After Party – Microsoft Build 2023 After Party / Microsoft Build 2023 After Party Imperia

The Italian community DotNetLiguria organized its post-Build community party at the headquarters of the Ordine degli Ingegneri (the official Italian engineer register association) in Genova. The community organizers, MVP Raffaele Rialdi, Giampaolo Tucci, Andrea Merlin, Marco D’Alessandro, and Andrea Belloni, didn’t expect having such a big success, with 30 people attending in-person and 90 online attendees and lots of session reproductions post event. During the panel talk at the end of this event, they showed a live demo of Azure AI showing how OpenAI services work and got so many questions from the attendees. There was no time left, and they had to skip some of the demos.

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Everything related to Microsoft AI Services and the Open AI development platform attracted huge interest both from technologists and non-technical audiences. The success of their first post-Build event inspired the DotNetLiguria community organization team to move it to the nearby city of Imperia, and they organized another half-day event.


The second event took place on July 18 in collaboration with the “Associazione Industriali di Imperia” (Industrial Association of Imperia) that is very committed to generate industrial growth in the area. They have been actively offering real up-skilling opportunities to professionals who want to update their knowledge or re-orientate their careers in the technology sector to make further contributions to foster a strong technology industry in this area. It stays within DotNetLiguria’s DNA bringing free and high-quality technical learning opportunities to professionals to enhance their knowledge about Microsoft technologies. The collaborations with the “Engineer Association”, the local university “UniGe”, the “Industrial Association of Imperia” as well as with other local institutions perfectly reflect their mission and values.


It was the first collaboration with this association that would surely open the door to reinforce their impact in the region and expand their activities to other locations to develop a strong technical community around the latest Microsoft technology. Maybe, this will become one of the software development poles in the future.

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After Party - Microsoft Build After Party - Shanghai AI & Azure Meetup / Microsoft Build Watch Party - Shanghai MVP Meetup / Data analytics for the era of AI

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Business Applications MVP Fenghui Wang says, “With AI, we can achieve better collaboration, communication, flexibility, and efficiency, simplifying and streamlining modern work.” Getting to know about the updates of recent AI services, such as Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot, Chinese MVPs were surprised, rather shocked, and eager to share the excitements with community members. They rode the latest wave of AI and inspired local community members through organizing their Microsoft Build After Party event.


Yu Liu is a Business Applications MVP who has been advocating low-code solutions to help people reduce the complexity of using applications. He highlights Copilot in Power Platform as the best learning in this opportunity and says, “With the introduction of Copilot in Power Platform, we have discovered that people can now tell the program what to do using their familiar language. This is truly exciting, and I am eager to share this progress with more people and find more opportunities as soon as possible”.


Internet of Things MVP Jiong Shi shared his excitement about Azure's seamless edge-computing services through the demonstration of Azure AI cognitive Services with Raspberry Pi 4 and Nvidia Jetson Nano. He says, “The practical implementation of advanced technology garnered significant interest from the audience.”


Windows Development MVP, Zheng Xing, says his learning from this opportunity is “Enhanced communication and learning from skilled experts in cutting-edge .NET development.” Its example is he and attendees were able to explore practical insights on Blazor technology from Developer Technologies MVP James Yeung’s .NET 8 session which redefined full-stack web UI applications. Meanwhile, James, who is an expert of Blazor, also has a strong interest in learning and sharing about OpenAI even though he is an expert of Blazor. “I'm eager to integrate OpenAI with our existing real-world applications as soon as possible to empower businesses,” James adds.


As you can see, the MVPs in various MVP Award Category were invited to this opportunity. As a result, their events covered a wide range of topics from AI and Azure to development technologies, Power Platform, Microsoft 365, and more. “Organizing more than two parties posed challenges, but it also presented a unique opportunity to enhance collaboration with MVPs and various teams,” AI/Azure MVP Hao Hu shares his event experience as a co-organizer.


Diverse people get together and share own insights on common topics – it is why joining technical community is one of the best ways to learn and grow. Their initiative demonstrated this principle and gave inspiration to the attendees.

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To learn more about Microsoft Build, please visit the following websites.

Microsoft Build (Official website)

Microsoft Build 2023 Book of News (Stories)


Microsoft Learn for Build (Microsoft Learn)


Microsoft Build 2023 (YouTube)

Microsoft Build 2023 Demo Sessions (YouTube)


Another global conference, Microsoft Ignite, will be held in Seattle and online in November 2023. Join the mailing list to receive updates on the Ignite.

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