TWIL: January 30, 2022

Most of this week’s learning came from the Building the Future event, but I’m also highlighting four interesting podcasts and a few articles on topics such as Azure DDoS Protection and Azure Service Connector, and more. I hope you find them interesting.


.NET Rocks

Episode 1778: Pro Microservices in .NET 6 with Sean Whitesell, Rob Richardson, and Matthew Groves
How do you build microservices? Carl and Richard talk to the authors of Pro Microservices in .NET 6 – Sean Whitesell, Rob Richardson, and Matthew Groves. The conversation digs into how microservices have evolved, the role of containers, and how the different tools that go together to make a successful microservices architecture. Then there’s a whole discussion on reliability, security, scalability, and testing – there are a lot of things that go into making professional microservices!

The Azure Podcast

Episode 409: Azure Service Connector
Xin Shi, an Azure PM focused on the Developer Experience, tells us about the Service Connector service in Azure which makes is easy for developers to ensure apps have all the right connectivity and security in place to access their Azure resources.


Episode 824: Exploring COVID Vaccine response with Shawn Carbonell, MD, PhD
Dr. Carbonell has been a Scientist for decades. He is an evangelist for STEM careers, science communication, and scientist-CEOs. “Learn On TikTok” Creator. He is Oxford-educated with both an MD and PhD as well as Post-doctoral work. He dropped out of Brain Surgery to focus on curing brain cancer and a drug he invented is being tested now!

Episode 825: Game Console 2.0: A Photographic History with Evan Amos
Evan Amos is a video gaming photographer of high-quality stock photography of video game consoles, which he releases into the public domain. Known for contributing these images to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Amos has recently release The Game Console 2.0, a book with extremely high-quality photos of classic (and modern) consoles. Why is it so important to share and preserve history in this way?

Building the Future

This week’s highlight was Microsoft’s Building the Future event, the largest technology-focused event in Portugal, spanning over three days packed with great sessions and top-notch speakers from around the world. I was fortunate to present a session on Transformation through Serverless Integration alongside all those brilliant folks. Here are a few of the sessions I attended.

From Fictional to Real Futures (Monika Belskyte)
SciFi & popular media headlines often give us an illusion of the “technologically predetermined” direction our world is heading. However, many of these narratives exhibit discriminatory bias, limiting our understanding of what is really possible. Monika’s talk will explore how the cultural lens of the Dystopia vs Utopia binary futurism influences the innovation avenues we embrace or ignore, & – most importantly – what it takes to increase our agency in hopeful & truly inclusive future-making.

Building the Future with Microsoft Azure Space (Stephen Kitay)
Steve Kitay, Director of Azure Space, highlights how Microsoft is combining the potential of space with the power of the cloud to help people and organizations achieve more, both on and off the planet. Through its unique ecosystem approach, Microsoft is building infrastructure, products and partnerships to address customer needs across various industries.

Agile Governance in the 4th Industrial Revolution (Loren Newman)
Technology is evolving so quickly that regulators can’t keep up. How can government walk the line between ‘anything goes’ and ‘not without my blessing’ to harness the power of technology while mitigating its risks?

It’s a Great Time to be a Developer (Scott Hanselman)
Scott delivered a great session on the new tools available for developers, from the new Windows Terminal, WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), Oh My Posh (prompt engine), Visual Studio Code, and more.

Crypto: After the Hype, Comes the Future (André Mestre, José Brandão de Brito, Paula Antunes da Costa)
Panel discussion on financial services and in particular crypto assets. Evolution, impacts and analysis of this future will be some of the themes addressed by the speakers. Paula delivered a wonderful description on the five main trends in the crypto ecosystem.

Cosmos Within Us (Tupac Martir)
Cosmos Within Us is a daring storytelling experiment blurring the boundaries between VR, performance, cinema, and music. Through a combination of state-of-the-art tech, immersive soundscapes, scent, and touch, the groundbreaking piece, directed by Tupac Martir, explores the intricate connection between memory and the senses. The piece performed live at Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon is viewed by an audience of up to 310 people and is driven by real time technologies and live improvisation.

Science and Tech as a Catalyst for Social Change (Gitanjali Rao)
Gitanjali will share her journey, some of her recognized innovation, the role of future technology and the need for innovation with a call to action for all of us to recognize and alleviate the problems our community faces.

Holographic Medicine (Alison Sundset, Manuel Dias and many others)
The Lisbon School of Medicine and HoloCare AS have partnered to launch a Holographic Medicine project, running on Microsoft, for clinical research and enhanced medical knowledge. At Reynaldo dos Santos Technological Centre (CTRS) the project is empowering clinicians with mixed reality technology for better patient treatment. Together with HoloCare AS, we are developing a mixed reality medical platform to provide a streamlined service that turns CT and MRI images into interactive holograms.

Deja Two – You in the Metaverse (Verónica Orvalho)
Verónica talks about who will populate the metaverse, who gets to participate and on what terms, and what is its value to humans. She focuses on the topics of trust and identity, and the main challenges of building digital humans.

Changing what it means to be Human (Sukhbinder Gill, Peter Scott-Morgan)
In 2017, Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan, a renowned British-American scientist, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND/ALS) and told he had only 2 years to live. Not willing to give up, Peter assembled a team of doctors and tech companies to develop solutions that would enable him to not only stay alive, but to thrive. The goal isn’t just to save himself, but to push the boundaries of what it means to be human and to give hope to others. Join this session with Dr. Peter and Sukhi Gill, CTO, DXC Technology, to learn more about Peter’s story and meet Peter’s new digital avatar – Peter 2.0.

Planet Futures: Let’s Reimagine our World (Nicholas Haan)
Human activities have brought our home, planet earth, to the brink of collapse with climate change rampant, biodiversity plummeting, and our oceans filling with plastics and acidifying. We now have the tools of exponentially growing digital technologies to not only solve these challenges, but to reimagine our world. Seize your superpowers to help create a more prosperous, harmonious world.

Empowering Everyone in the Fight Against Food Waste (Mette Lykke)
Mette Lykke is the CEO of Too Good to Go, a company that fights food waste in multiple coutries around the world. She showed us that one third of all the food in the world is being wasted. That is a tragedy in multiple aspects, from the social, to the environmental as well as financial. The “Too Good to Go” app works as a marketplace for both stores and consumers, where users can pickup surplus food from stores at a low price.

Replacing Fossil Fuels with Fuel from Air (Stafford Sheehan)
Air Company was founded five years ago to contribute to stopping climate change. As a carbon dioxide utilization company, we make products using new technology that requires only carbon dioxide, water, and renewable electricity as inputs, and with oxygen as our only byproduct. This talk will discuss our progress scaling our technology from a laboratory prototype, to a ton-per-day industrial carbon removal system, and beyond to utilize gigatons of greenhouse gas toward protecting our climate.

Planetary Computer for a Sustainable Future (Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño)
Bruno Sanchez is the Planetary Computer programme director and he explains what is the Planetary Computer and how it can be used to help tackle the main challenges our society is facing.

How to Protect our Kids with Technology? (Lara Próspero, Susana Felício)
Lara and Susana discuss their experience and several insights into how to protect our children with technology.

New Pedagogical Methodologies with Minecraft (Joana Simas, Tiago Costa, Bruno de Andrade)
Minecraft: Education Edition is the pedagogical game that goes beyond the way educators teach and students learn. Joana, Tiago and Bruno share how they use this tool in their educational efforts with students and what the worlds they have created.

The power of soft skills (Nick Van Dam)
Professor Doctor Nick Van Dam, Academic Director and Faculty of Leadership Programs Director at IE University (Madrid), discusses how the world is changing fast, with a lot of uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, and why soft skills are so important in this digital revolution.

Bringing Mindfulness into Education (Catarina Lorvão, Ana Belinha)
Catarina Lorvão, responsible for the reMINDchoice atelier, and Ana Belinha, a primary school teacher and inclusive education specialist, discuss the advantages of bringing mindfulness into education.

Skilling in the Digital Era (Alexa Joyce)
Alexa Joyce, EMEA Digital Transformation & Skills at Microsoft, presents the most important skills needed in this fourth industrial revolution and how Microsoft is helping business, individuals and schools to develop these skills.

State of the Nation – Education for a better future (José Neves, Carlos Oliveira)
In this session, José Neves and Carlos Olivera – founder and co-founder of the José Neves Foundation – will present the State of the Nation on education, employment and skills, which aims to share knowledge and open the discussion around the weaknesses and opportunities of the nation.


Implementing single source of truth in an enterprise architecture
Describing the basics of an SSOT (Single Source of Truth) approach is the purpose of this article. I’ll begin with a scenario that illustrates a hazardous environment. Next, I’ll describe how to use the SSOT approach alongside GitOps to create an accurate, reliable source of knowledge that allows workgroups to collaborate effectively.


Azure DDoS Protection—2021 Q3 and Q4 DDoS attack trends
At Microsoft, despite the evolving challenges in the cyber landscape, the Azure DDoS Protection team was able to successfully mitigate some of the largest DDoS attacks ever, both in Azure and in the course of history. In this review, we share trends and insights into DDoS attacks we observed and mitigated throughout the second half of 2021.

Azure Services

Azure Service Connector Overview
The Service Connector service helps you connect Azure compute service to other backing services easily. This service configures the network settings and connection information (for example, generating environment variables) between compute service and target backing service in management plane. Developers just use preferred SDK or library that consumes the connection information to do data plane operations against target backing service.


Create documents using content assembly in Microsoft SharePoint Syntex
You can use SharePoint Syntex to help you automatically generate standard repetitive business documents, such as contracts, statements of work, service agreements, letters of consent, sales pitches, and correspondence. You can do all this quicker, more consistentently, and less prone to errors by using content assembly in SharePoint Syntex.

Cool Stuff

Learning to say “No” is a Leadership must
It may sound counter-intuitive, but “learning to say no is at the very heart of leadership,” says Valia Glytsis, CEO and founder of The Paradox of Leadership, a boutique leadership education firm. A key part of demonstrating what you stand for is to learn how to “start choosing what to say yes and no to,” Valia explained. To do that, it is necessary to learn how to respond rather than react and understand that a response is a choice while a reaction is a habit.

Rightsize to maximize your cloud investment with Microsoft Azure
If you are running on-premises servers, chances are that you utilize a fraction of your overall server cores most of the time but are forced to over-provision to handle peak loads. Moving those workloads to the cloud can greatly reduce cost by “rightsizing” server capacity as needed. Rightsizing is one of the key levers you have for controlling costs and optimizing resources. By understanding cloud economics, and using what Azure provides, you can identify the smallest virtual server instances that support your requirements and realize immediate savings by eliminating unused capacity.

Have a great learning week!

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash