** Meant to post before Dog Food 2015, apologies as this was written in the context from Dog Food 2008 – 2014**
Picture below: Travis Swank presenting on Unified Communications
Thank You Dog Food Conference attendees!!
You have taken off from work, met with us, brought your passion, curiosity and positive attitude. You make Dog Food Conference such an amazing gathering. Being an Ohio native and Midwest homer, I have been honored to chat with you in the hallways and listen to your feedback. It was humbling to see attendees from Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and all points in Ohio. The conference has grown; in 2008 there was 150 people for one day to 800 people over two days in 2014
I will be taking a break from organizing the Dog Food Conference for a couple of years. Cassandra Faris, Tony Milne, Trey Mayer, Mike Austin, Mario Fulan, Andrew Sloan and Bill Walker will now be running Dog Food 2015 going forward. The team has brought new energy, relationships and ways for it to evolve and stay relevant.
Huge thanks to DeVry University for giving us the space for free; we could not have founded the conference without you, PERIOD. From the beginning in 2008, we focused 100% on content, passionate speakers and relevant sessions. Two of classrooms fit only 10 people; but the topics were well received and let us cram in many sessions in the Microsoft & DeVry building
There were 2 main goals. One was to bring the speakers, best practices and product overviews to you once a year; versus traveling to the traditional conference locations of Orlando and Vegas. The other goal was to give back in knowledge and empower the 52 state agencies I covered in Ohio and Kentucky. Brian Cassidy, myself and Tony DiTullio made it a goal to over-educate and build trust with our awesome customers.
As I with Microsoft in 2008, I would go to training 2 weeks a year and my brain was crammed with ideas to share. It was challenging to have strategic discussions on the entire MS stack to my customers who located over 2 states. I feel that Dog Food accelerated these strategic IT discussions and had positive impact from IT product to community solution.
Moving Dog Food 2014 to a conference center was a financial risk, as the budget had tripled and asking for funds Dog Food was at an increased focus( Read: Tin cupping with huge amounts of desperation, guilt, reverse psychology, crying etc..and being a complete pest to MS partners) We somehow pulled it off in 2014. It ran in the red, we paid a portion out of personal funds and we learned how to better plan finances for next year.
For the conference going forward, change is the only thing that is permanent. Dog food will always have the Windows Server, Office 365, System Center, SharePoint, Dynamics, Skype, SQL, .Net and BI topics. I predict to see more sessions on Docker, Xamarin, ASP.NET 5.0, Adobe Creative Cloud, Chef, Suse Linux, and integration with iOS, Android with open source .Net.
Interesting points from Redmond magazine:
The Proof of the Software Pudding
Don’t believe me? Look at what Microsoft has been doing. In the year-and-a-half since Nadella has taken over as Microsoft’s CEO, the company has gone full throttle in its embrace of the open source community. Among some examples:
· Azure clearly has become a multiplatform cloud. Indeed, 25 percent of Azure virtual machines (VM) are now running Linux. In addition, Azure now supports five Linux servers as VMs: CoreOS, CentOS, Oracle Linux, SUSE and Ubuntu.
· Windows gurus Mark Russinovich and Jeffrey Snover had starring roles at the recent Chef Software Inc. ChefConf 2015.
· Last year’s open sourcing of the Microsoft .NET Framework.
· Support for Android emulation in Windows.
· Microsoft hasn’t joined the Linux Foundation… yet. But, it has joined many open source consortiums such as: AllSeen Alliance, Internet of Things (IoT), OpenDaylight, software-defined networking; and the R Consortium, R language development. Microsoft also financially supports the Apache Software Foundation.
With the growth, Dog Food Conference was established as a 501 (C) 6 non-profit in 2014. So if you see more legal mumbo jumbo & tighter financial control, it was everyone’s best interest to protect all parties with more corporate structure and liability protection.
Thanks again to all attendees for coming year after year; we appreciate the trust and partnership! I am humbled and grateful to be part of the IT community and to build trust with so many of my former customers! It was always the attendees that made it a great conference.
~Danilo Casino, Dog Food co-founder