3Squared at Build 2015

19th May 2015

In March we wrote about how 3Squared team member Richard Lander won our internal competition and secured himself a place at Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference. Here’s how he got on.


Registration took place the day before, April 28th, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.


The evening then saw 1,400 people head to the Xamarin kick off party. Despite the huge queue to get in (nearly all the way down the block), I got the chance to chat to some developers using Xamarin and also some of the Xamarin team. I spoke to one developer that is currently using Xamarin within the company he works for to write a secure email client, he recommended that if we were to use it, we should implement MVVM light.

The Xamarin Test cloud looked very impressive, providing the ability to upload tests to the cloud, to then be run on tons of devices and multiple platforms.


Build Day One

I arrived at the Moscone Center early at around 7:30 AM. This meant that I managed to get a seat in the Key Note, rather than one of the overflow rooms. Some of the main key note points announced were; that Visual Studio Code is free and available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux; that Microsoft are scrapping Internet Explorer and replacing it with Edge (it supposedly performs better than other browsers in some tests); the ability to port iOS and Android apps to Windows 10 easily – if this doesn’t get apps in to the Microsoft store I don’t know what will.

There were also plenty of demonstrations and application examples, including a demo of Hololens being used to help train surgeons which looked pretty amazing. They also showed off the Surface Hub – a 4K, 84-inch productivity tablet/TV/mounted smart table – I think we should get a couple for the office. As a bonus, everyone got given a HP Spectre X360 (13 inch with an i5 processor and SSD) laptop! A few of the more interesting case studies to note included ‘connected cows’ with pedometers to track movement, and the How Old tool.

If you missed it, the whole key note can be viewed here.


It was an extremely busy event; in total I attended the following sessions:

  • Strategies for Developing Cross-Platform Application with Visual Studio 2015
  • Azure Active Directory: Identity Management as a Service for Modern Applications
  • Getting Your Hands Dirty with Office 365 APIs, Authentication and SDKs
  • Debugging Tips and Tricks for .NET Developers with Visual Studio 2015
  • Integrating Web Apps with Office 365
  • Using Git in Visual Studio
  • Introducing ASP.NET 5
  • Dive Deep into XAML and .NET Universal Windows App Development
  • Building Big Data Application Using Azure HDInsight Service
  • Build the Next Big Thing with Azure’s NoSQL Service: DocumentDB
  • Developing for Outlook.com and Office 365
  • What’s new in JavaScript for Fast and Scalable Applications
  • Go Mobile with C#, Visual Studio and Xamarin
There were so many sessions to choose from, and it was quite an intensive agenda – it was pretty tiring. However, it was great to see the Key Note focus on integration with some amazing use of software and hardware (e.g. HoloLens, predicting diseases). The event was an amazing experience and I’m very grateful to 3Squared for the opportunity and my team members for voting for me.