IActionable at Microsoft

Posted by on Apr 8, 2011 in Blog | 45 comments

Here at IActionable we are Powered by Microsoft. That may be kind of weird for a startup. We’re a bunch of .NET developers though, so it was a natural fit for us. While this blog is WordPress and hosted on WPEngine, the rest of the IActionable empire runs on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud. We were early adopters of their cloud technology and have been pretty happy with it.  It’s not quite as full featured as some other offerings, but it’s getting there quickly.

Our office while at the Microsoft campus.

In March we were invited by Microsoft to come out to Redmond and spend nearly a week working directly with Microsoft engineers, designers, and product managers to make our product even better as part of the Azure Deep Dive. For some long time .NET developers this was almost like a pilgrimage. We thought about it for a minute and then declared “To the Cloud!” (doo-da-loodle-loodle-loo!)

The program was pretty neat. There were a handful of other companies there. Each company had their own office and could work on whatever they wanted, so we didn’t really interact with the other companies too much outside of meals. We used our time to take a good look at our overall architecture and run the main ideas past  various Microsoft guys to make sure it was a solid approach and see if there were any ways to increase efficiency. Turns out we did a pretty good job as most of the suggestions were things we were already doing. Whew.

Overheard while at Microsoft:

OK, guys, false alarm: Steve Ballmer is not an idiot. – Microsoft employee who shall remain nameless

We were able to talk to lots of people while at Microsoft, spanning all sorts of Azure products like Table Storage, SQL Azure, Caching, App Fabric, etc. We really enjoyed the program and were able to get questions answered, talk to people we had previously been working with on forums, and learn more about what’s coming down the line. We were also very well fed. They provided breakfast, lunch, and snacks while in the office and even took us all out to a nice Brazilian Steakhouse one night.

We appreciate Microsoft thinking enough of us to have us out there and show us some developer love.

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