Just a few weeks ago, our entire SoCreate developer team took a short flight from San Luis Obispo to Seattle to attend the 2018 Microsoft Build Conference. The annual conference, which took place May 7-9 in Seattle, Washington, featured over 350 presentations from experts on the latest and greatest Microsoft technologies.

The Microsoft Build Conference has proven itself to be one of, if not THE most useful conferences for our developer team. Over the course of 3 days, our team can attend sessions geared towards projects they are working on and learn from experts on the technologies that we are using to build our SoCreate platform! The conference provides an accelerated learning environment where our whole team can get up-to-date on the cutting-edge of software development.

Beyond the instructed sessions, the conference also offers an amazing trade show-like opportunity where attendees can meet directly with the engineers who build the technologies. You better believe that our team took FULL advantage of this vendor floor time to network and discuss any and all questions that they have come across while working in the technologies. Our CEO and Founder, Justin Couto shared that there is “no better way to learn” than being able to sit down with these experts and whiteboard out ideas.

Our Chief Software Engineer, Jami Lurock, who has been to this conference 11 times, said he still feels it's the most valuable event we can attend. First-time attendees, Jon McElroy (Lead Software Engineer) and Tim Stoddard (Software Engineering Intern), found the conference to be incredibly useful for helping them better understand the Microsoft technologies and SoCreate's overall company goals using these platforms. Our intern, Tim, (who "hadn't previously considered himself to be a Microsoft Fan Boy") even shared that the conference helped sway his personal opinions about Microsoft technologies compared to its competitors. 

Aside from all the great educational opportunities that the conference provides, another invaluable piece of attending this event is the team bonding aspect of the trip. During downtime before and after the conference, our team had the chance to explore Seattle and spend time together outside of a work environment. Work hard, play hard! The team enjoyed some of Seattle’s most exciting attractions including a visit to Pike Place Market, an underground tour of the city’s streets and buildings, fun dinners out, and a quick trip to the movies to see John Krasinski’s drama/thriller, A Quite Place.

Unlike many other companies who may take only 2 or 3 top level developers to an event of this size, SoCreate has decided to make the huge investment and allow EVERY developer on our team to attend the conference and receive the exact same experience, regardless of their seniority or standing. That’s 10 conference passes + 10 plane tickets + meals + hotels…the total starts to add up quickly!

While it is a major expense, our CEO, Justin, says this is one of the best investments he feels SoCreate can make for the company and its employees. There’s nothing more valuable than investing in the people you care about. One amazing and unique thing about SoCreate is that we always strive to do the best we can to be a mutually beneficial company. We want to ensure we help those who work hard for us to be as successful as they can possibly be!

From learning the new technologies to bonding with their team, the conference had a meaningful, long-lasting impact on all of our developers and their experiences as part of the team at SoCreate.

While I’m sure they are all glad to be back home, they are already gearing up for the excitement and opportunities of Microsoft’s 2019 Build Conference.

Thanks for reading! 
Alli Unger, Director of Community Outreach