Summary: Microsoft Azure Tour at Frankfurt

Wow! What a day!

We woke up at 4 a.m. on Friday to catch the train to Frankfurt. The initial plan was to drive to Frankfurt but we had to take the car to the service on Thursday because the break light was on (and we know not to risk it when there is a problem with the breaks). The service called on Thursday afternoon that they have found some other issues too which had to be fixed and they will keep the car 1-2 days longer. This was really bad timing because we needed the car to drive to Frankfurt but we had no choice but to buy the train tickets and go with the train instead.

So awake at 4 in the morning, we take the train from 5, pick up a cappuccino from McCafe and catch the connecting train to Frankfurt at 5:30. We get some great seats with a table, I pack out my gadgets, my most loved HP Spectre that I got at Build last year :), my Kindle and get comfortable for the 2,5 hours train ride.

I packed breakfast for the road and snack for the day for when I need a quick bite to eat. I read about How Google Works on my Kindle, do some coding and eat my breakfast before we arrive to Frankfurt. We switch to the S-train that takes us to Frankfurt Messe within just 4 minutes. As we arrive there, we are a bit confused because the email said Frankfurt Messe but Frankfurt Messe is huge. There are lots of other confused people around us so we figure that they are here for the Azure Tour as well. We approach them and have a short conversation, then we decide together to go in the direction of the Convention Center.

We get to Festhalle where many are heading towards the entrance. Follow the crowd is always a good idea which we do and then we spot the billboards with the Azure Tour and we know that we are at the right place.

Registration goes smoothly, the badges are already printed out, I get some stickers too and we head to breakfast after we drop off our jackets. I am pleasantly surprised at the healthy breakfast choices that is offered to us. Usually it’s sugary muffins and such (which is why I packed my own breakfast) but this time we have a choice of fruits and wholemeal sandwiches. I grab some fruits and get some water and decide to set up my notebook for the sessions. I prepare my blog and my Twitter when it is announced that we should head to the keynote room because it is about to start.

There is no jam on the way, no waiting in line and no overfill room for the keynote, which I experienced unfortunately all too often at Build for example. The Panorama rooms are huge and the room fits everyone who came to the Azure Tour. We have a small present from Microsoft waiting on our seats, a screen wipe with the Azure logo on it and I love it. It’s these little things… ❤️

A quick coffee break after the keynote and the next sessions are on. Time passes fast. Next up is lunch break. We go downstrairs and realise that there are huge lines and all the tables are occupied. I shortly think about skipping lunch but eventually decide to try my luck at one of the lines. It goes faster than I expect and I check out the healthy choices: appetizers, vegetarian curry with rice or calf with rösti and vegetables. I am happy and some conferences could learn from this. We are sitting all day in sessions and burrito and cake is not a healthy lunch choice.

The afternoon passes quickly and I am enjoying all the sessions very much. Many are interested in the German cloud so the rooms are switched so more can attend those sessions. The last session is hard, I am tired and many others are too because some are yawning constantly and others even leave the session.

Here is a summary of the sessions that I attended, which were mainly developer sessions and I wish I could’ve been at the others too, especially the German cloud.

We head upstairs for the party. I am pretty disappointed by the main course, I have a choice of sausage, sausage or sausage with a side of country potatoes. I decide to grab some appetizers instead, this will have to do. They announce a raffle with some cool prizes but I am busy with my food when te girls arrive so I decide not to participate. I ask for a alcohol-free Radler at the bar but they have no Sprite. 😦 So I drink some water instead and then it’s time to announce the raffle winners. Only 50% of the participants answer the questions correctly, that’s quite a shock for all of us since we spent whole day learning about the cloud.

 The prizes are handed out, we pick up t-shirts (I get a really large Medium because it’s the smallest they have, I love the message and I wish I could wear it to work on Monday but it’s too big. why no women sizes?? 😦 ) and we decide that it’s slowly time to make our way to the train station. We want to walk because we’ve been sitting all day inside the session rooms.

Frankfurt is a lovely city. Frankfurt Messe is in the financial district and I stop and look at every huge building. We enter in the main train station and check the shops and cafes. My beloved Starbucks is too small so we decide to sit at Coffee Fellows and I have a Ginger Lemon Booster, which is hot lemon water with mint and ginger. It’s perfect. We go back to Starbucks to get a Frankfurt cup for my collection and buy some magazines for the train ride. All my gadgets are empty and I need something to read so I can stay awake. The ICE is full, it’s only 5 minutes faster than the IC from this morning but we arrive home shortly before midnight.

Thank you #azuretour for this amazing day. It gave me the opportunity to learn about the cloud, to meet people in the community and to connect with so many on Twitter and these are the things that I love so much when I go to a conference. I hope I get to do this again soon but until then I will think about how I can use my new skills to build something awesome.