I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help organise the Belfast chapter of the 2018 Global Azure Bootcamp. This was the first time I’d organised a meetup like this – I’d run hackathons before, but not something that required me to find speakers, corporate sponsors, accommodation and swag for the attendees.

Kainos Software kindly agreed to sponsor the event location, which was in the beautiful building of Riddel Hall in Belfast.


Paul Breen was the other event organiser, and he secured sponsorship from Civica Digital which paid for lunch and refreshments – we couldn’t have had the event without both of these local sponsors.

We were also extremely lucky to have five knowledgeable local speakers agree to talk at the event and share their knowledge with the community.

First we heard Heather Campbell give a fascinating talk about her experiences with API management in Azure – the hall was really interested to hear about how Azure policies make fine-grained control super simple for API service providers.


Next we heard Peter Farrell talk about how to achieve scalability in Azure to make a performant solution while maintaining control of your costs – Peter had about 10 minutes of questions from an audience that was clearly interested in how to make their applications faster!


Following that, Paul Breen gave an introduction to Azure functions – Paul gave a live demo of creating and running different types of functions, which really made it real for the audience (some feedback from after the event was that they wanted to hear more from Paul!)


Following this, Chris McAtackney and Connor Dickson from Automated Intelligence gave a very interesting and valuable talk on securing data in the Azure cloud – particularly important given the imminent start of the GPDR era.


Finally, Gareth Rooney rounded out the day with a talk about creating Azure infrastructure using code and ARM templates – this lead to some of the audience feeding back to me later that they would like to participate in a hackathon building on some of the principles Gareth talked about.

Summing Up

I think this was the first Global Azure Bootcamp in Belfast, and since there was lots of positive feedback about the event I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to have another one next year. Thank you to all the speakers!