As my main business is software for people with disabilities I was very happy that Accessibility was put high in the agenda of Microsoft Future Decoded in London. I travelled for the third time in a row to Future Decoded, and I really had blast!
For me Future Decoded was separated in 2 parts, as any good conference should. The first part are the sessions and technical learning. The 2nd part is the networking and getting in contact with the ‘big people’ at Microsoft and other companies. I call them ‘Big People’.
When I say: “two parts that any good conference has to have “ I mean the following: As some of you may know me I am diagnosed with autism. In the past, the technical sessions were the only part where I got something from. Getting in touch with the others was difficult for me. Since I am also speaker at conferences myself I learned to network!
First I cover the sessions.
Keynotes Day 1:
The morning keynote started with a history of Microsoft and also a history for Future Decoded. I am really happy with my attendance at 3 of 5 FD’s! Then it was time for the focus of this year Future Decoded! AI, AI, AI! I really do love AI for Good, and the investments in AI for Accessibility!
In the afternoon keynote I really loved Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE. I really love talks about people with our without disabilities that makes their dreams come thru! This was my most loved keynote of day 1. Congratulations Dr Maggie! Keep doing what you do and love most!
Keynotes Day 2
Satya Nadella and Jenny-Lay-Flurrie, a real dream team! Satya was talking about Tech intensity and inclusion. Of course he also covered a lot of the Microsoft stack. But this 2 are the most important to remind if you ask me! Jenny ‘s talk was an overload of accessibility and a view into the Microsoft’s Autism Hiring Program, for me a childhood dream. But #DreamingIsBelieving! Metthew Syed talked about Growth Mindest!
I went to a session about Microsoft Teams from Keith Hudgell, I really like what Microsoft is doing with Teams! I try to visit often a session about Microsoft Teams – yes I do a lot of conferences! – In the future I plan to give also talks about Teams. It was a good talk! Has the content that it has to have!
DevOps, DevOps, DevOps!
Rik Hepworth, for me a well-known speaker and one of my favorites presented a session about Azure DevOps! To the point, with the latest news about the name shift and so on! Rik, I love it! I also really do love Rik’s famous quotes! In each talk he put his own and right quotes!
Future Technology Trends Explained
Michael Wignall rocked the stage about new hot topics. Really relevant and to the point. Always a clear explanation about the newest topics.
Here I write what I learned in the breakouts and theatre sessions about accessibility. First a big shout out to Hector Minto! I knew Hector via Twitter, I really love his effort on accessibility he shares in his talks! I learned a lot about accessibility baking into Windows and Office 365.
I develop new apps for people with disabilities but Hector showed me what Microsoft already has baked-in in their own products. Even things I really didn’t know! Now it’s time to start to use this features.
At conferences I take a lot of pictures. Also a lot of pictures from slides. Hector hammered on the fact to take pictures with Office Lens! It’s really accessible! Honestly I knew this feature but never use it! Since the first talk of Hector (he did 3 talks! In 2 talks he was co-speaker. One talk he did on his own) I started to use this feature!
A word about dyslexia.
In many talks about accessibility there was a link to dyslexia. As I focus on mostly people with intellectual disabilities I really have to expand to people with dyslexia. For me an business eye-opener.
Part 2: Networking!
I had awesome talks with other speakers like Rik Hepworth, Stephen Haunts and Shadid Iqbaal and with organizers like Dave Evans. I did take the time to discuss the hottest topics! I liked it.
And I am really happy that I got the opportunity to meet Jenny Lay-Flurrie in person A real life-dream! Thanks a lot Jenny to put your time to discover my ideas! And after Tweeting for a year (I guess) I had the time to discuss accessibility with Hector Minto! Thanks for you time and the given opportunities.
So Future Decoded 2018 really had a blast! Thanks to all!