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Meet me at Build 2018!!

Azure Functions, Build, Conferences, Microsoft, Xamarin
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As I am on my way to Microsoft Build in Seattle right now, I want to post my schedule so as many of you as possible can come say hi! I really love to meet people from the community and hope that we have a good chance to talk in Seattle too!

My session about Azure Functions and Xamarin

I will have the pleasure and honor to present a short theater session at Build, title “Mobile apps built with Xamarin, using a serverless Azure Functions back-end”. You can find it in the Build mobile application under the code THR2433. In this short time, we will explore creating a new Azure Function in the Azure web portal, then how to do the same in Visual Studio 2017 (including testing), and finally build a Xamarin.Forms client to connect to the Function and use it.

May 9th, 14:30 – 14:50, Modern Workplace Theater

In person learning (Xamarin labs)

There are two Xamarin labs that I will be helping this year. The labs are prepared and given by the awesome Xamarin University staff and some of us Cloud Developer Advocates will be around to help and assist you.

Build your first Xamarin.Forms app across Android, iOS, and Windows where we will see an introduction to the world of cross platform programming.

May 8th, 3PM – 4:15PM

Connect your mobile app to the cloud with Azure App Service Mobile Apps where we will go deeper and explore how to connect these cross platform apps to Azure.

May 9th, 4:30PM – 5:45PM

Xamarin booth

I will help at the Xamarin booth with other Xamariners and that should be a great occasion to talk about the latest announcements or about your experiences. We want to hear what is good and what is not so good so we can fix it.

My “official” schedule is as follows:

May 8th, 9:30 – 12:45
May 9th, 8:30 – 11:45

I will also surely hand around the booth at other times, so don’t hesitate to check it out and to ask for me if I am not there.

The lounge

This year the Cloud Developer Advocates are in charge of the Lounge where I am told that you will be able to relax, chat with a lot of technical experts and even pet some cute animals :) my daughters are jealous. I will be at the Lounge a lot, probably every time that I am not busy somewhere else. Also a great occasion to meet other of my colleagues!

Non binary happy hour

We will host a non binary happy hour on Monday the 7th, from 5PM to 7PM. SO if you are non binary or want to support the non binary community, join us at the Lounge!

Language Lunch

The Language Lunch is a new experiment! We know that sometimes it can be tough to speak in English all day long when it is not your primary language. At the Language lunch, you will have the opportunity to speak in multiple languages with Microsoft experts. I will be there to host French and German tables, so make sure to check the signs in the lunch area!

Hopefully I can meet a lot of you there! In the meantime, safe travel and enjoy Seattle!!
Laurent

2017 in review… welcome 2018!

Cloud Developer Advocate, Conferences, Microsoft, Personal, Technical stuff, Work, Xamarin
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As we just started 2018, it’s been a tradition in the past few years to pause for a moment and take a look back. This was definitely an interesting year, both in good and bad ways, and definitely a year of changes. As such I must admit that I am looking forward to 2018 being a hopefully more stable year. Change is exciting, but it can also be taxing.

Privately, 2017 has been marked by some difficulties that I don’t want to expand on here. On the professional side, of course the exciting news was that I was proposed (and I accepted) a job at Microsoft. The second half of the year was spent getting to know the new team, understanding what the requirements were, getting up to speed with my partners and management, etc. It was also full of travels to old and new locations, meeting and making friends, speaking to new audiences about new topics. Professionally, it was a really good and fascinating year.

The story of how I joined Microsoft

Now that a bit of time has passed I guess I can tell more about how I joined Microsoft. It all started with a Skype call in March. My good friend and fellow Cloud Developer Advocate Scott Cate who had recently joined the team wanted to know if I was interested to talk about it. Funny thing is that he didn’t think I would be interested because after many years of interaction with Microsoft, I didn’t take any jobs there… and yes, I guess the timing had never been right, or maybe I had never been offered the right job there…

On a later call, I learned that I would be working under Tim Heuer, a long time friend and someone I respect tremendously in our industry. That was one more point for Microsoft. I requested to interview around the Build conference timeframe, since I was going to be in Seattle anyway. That proved impossible however because everyone was so busy. Microsoft offered to bring me back to Seattle for the interview, which I accepted with gratitude because I was not feeling like doing all the interviews online. At Build, I had the occasion to take advice from a few close friends from the community as well as some friends who had recently joined the CDA team. One week later at the Techorama conference in Belgium, I had the chance to talk quickly with Scott Guthrie, whom I have known since 2007, and his CVP of Azure Growth Charlotte Yarkoni, who was instrumental in the creation of the Cloud Developer Advocates. Both were very enthusiastic and I received some great feedback and was really pumped to go interview to Redmond.

The interviews went great, I spoke to people whom I either knew in person, or knew of, and I think that everyone was excited about the prospect. We finished the day with dinner and ice cream in Redmond with Scott Cate, Tim Heuer and James Clarke. I think what I will keep from this day is the feeling that everyone was rooting for me, from the AVIS rental car clerk to the Redmond Marriott desk lady, to the receptionists and everyone I talked to. I am glad I decided to go all the way to Redmond for the interview, it was really worth it.

On the way back home, I noticed that whenever people asked me why I had been in Seattle,  I was starting to talk as “we” whenever I was mentioning the team. That’s when I realized that I had almost taken my decision. While I always loved the team I worked with at IdentityMine and then Valorem, I have to admit that I felt ready for a change after more than 8 years. As such the call came at the right time, and the fact that the job is pretty much the perfect job for me was really a fantastic event.

My only regrets are that I had to give up my Most Valuable Professional award as well as being a member of the Microsoft Regional Directors. And of course working with my friends and colleagues Frank Preuss and Rene Schulte, amongst others. We had such a great time together. I will continue to see Rene at conferences (we just spent a few days in Malmo for Oredev). As for the MVPs and RDs, I will also hang out with them in the email distribution lists and should also be there at the MVP summit in March, which should be really exciting, being on the other side of the fence and all :)

2017 was a whirlwind

2017 continued the trend of more travel, more people to talk to about coding. In fact it is the year I traveled the most, ever.

Since I joined Microsoft, I had the chance to speak and meet coders in Redmond, Amsterdam, Singapore, Koeln, Lima, Hyderabad, Malmo, Sofia, Toronto and Zurich. My center of interest remains around Xamarin, Windows, MVVM, XAML, Visual Studio, and more Azure gets added to the mix as I go of course. Honestly I am really excited about “the cloud”. In the past few years as a Regional Director, I kept thinking that I should really invest time into cloud computing and especially Azure. Well what better occasion than this? Ever since August I started learning what the various services are, and which ones are the most relevant to my area of expertise. I am really digging serverless computing, app services, trying to find my way through the various kinds of data services we have, and making sure I am not missing something important on the way. I predict more of this for 2018 and trying to keep up with all the cool new stuff that the teams are creating.

Amongst others, I am really happy about a few events I was lucky to take part to:

  • The chance to speak to MVPs in Lima (my first trip to Peru ever), in Hyderabad (my first trip to India since 2007!) and in Paris (with the group with which my MVP adventure started 11 years ago).
  • Being backstage with Scott Guthrie and helping him during the Red Shirt Tour (RST) in Boston and New York City. While the RST is a smaller event than Build or other mega conferences, its more intimate nature makes it a great occasion to bond with Scott and the team. I can’t wait for the Red Shirt Tour European edition in the beginning of next year (see below)
  • My first speaking engagement in Singapore. I really want to have the possibility to speak more in South East Asia as well as in India and China, regions where a lot of great coders can be found, and where we are not present enough in my opinion (this counts for South America too!!)

What’s next for 2018

The busy season of 2018 will start early, with a trip to Redmond in the second week of January to meet up with my Cloud Developer Advocate colleagues. It will also be my first trip to campus since August 17, which is unfortunate (but there was no other way because of busy fall schedule). In general I would like to be in Redmond more often, so that I can speak to the teams there and take advantage of the Channel 9 studio, etc.

Right after I come back from Redmond to Europe, Scott Guthrie will be on tour again with four European dates. I will follow him on the tour and should present some Xamarin demos at this occasion (though the schedule is subject to change, so we’ll see :) You can click on the images below to get more information!

       

In Paris I will also talk at a local Meetup the day before the Red Shirt Tour event (the meetup is on the 22nd of January). I will present about Azure Functions, more specifically how to use them to build an API suitable for cross platform applications. In Birmingham, I will also be a part of the TechSummit and present my “Cross platform development with Xamarin” session. Make sure to come say hi if you are at any one of these events!!

More events will follow, so stay tuned to my Twitter feed for more events in February. I can’t wait to present the latest Xamarin and Azure news to you and get in touch with all of you!

Very happy new year and as always Happy Coding!!
Laurent

Live blogging the Microsoft Build keynote, day 2 #msbuild

.NET, Build, Conferences, Technical stuff, Universal Windows Platform UWP, Visual Studio, Windows 10, Work, Xamarin, XAML
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And the show continues on day 2! In this post, I will be live blogging the Microsoft Build keynote on day 2. This should be a very exciting event with focus on client development, Windows and Mixed Reality. Get ready!!

Live blogging the Microsoft Build keynote, day 1 #msbuild

.NET, Build, Conferences, HoloLens, Technical stuff, Universal Windows Platform UWP, Visual Studio, Windows 10, Work, Xamarin, XAML
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Build day 1 is a wrap and you can find all the live notes taken during the keynote in this post!

My plans for Build 2017 #msbuild

.NET, Blog, Build, Conferences, Technical stuff, Universal Windows Platform UWP, Visual Studio, Windows 10, Xamarin
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Days are passing and the time is getting closer to pack my stuff and fly to Seattle again. This will be my first trip to my third home this year, and I am really impatient to be there. I just love that place.

Getting there

I will be arriving in town on Saturday evening, quite late. My plan is to pick a rental car and get to the hotel in Pioneer Square and get to bed :) The next morning, based on experience, I will be up super early (thank you jet lag). This is a droning day! I am not 100% sure yet where I will drive but I am considering getting close to Rainier National Park if the weather is good enough. Alternatively maybe take the ferry to Bainbridge to make footage of the islands. Or maybe the Snoqualmie area. Or maybe all of the above. This will be a day like I love, driving around on my own schedule, relaxing, flying, filming, editing pictures at a cafe… Should be a lot of fun if the clouds are cooperating!

Visiting the office

Monday will be an office day. Seattle is an important hub for Valorem, and this is the office where it all started for me. I love going there and seeing the new and improved space. So as usual I will be looking forward to meet new colleagues and meet old colleagues again!

The conference: Live blogging

During the conference itself, I will try something new this year: I will be live blogging the keynotes and the sessions that I can attend. In previous years, I was always taking notes during the events and posting these notes to my blog every so often. Surprisingly, this has been quite popular, even though these are my raw notes without much commentary. I found out that not everyone can watch the live stream, and people were reading my notes and getting some of this keynote feeling there. But of course posting a blog post is a lot slower than taking the actual note. So this year I installed a new plugin on my blog called 24LiveBlog. This will allow me to publish my notes about the keynote in real time as well as hopefully post pictures too. That should be a fun exercise!

You will be able to follow the live blogs at the following URLs. However please note that these links will only be active on and after the keynote day 1 and 2 respectively!

Keynote day 1 (Wednesday May 10, 2017): http://blog.galasoft.ch/posts/?p=1601
This keynote will take place from 8AM to 11AM PST
(4PM London time, 5PM Zurich time).

Keynote day 2 (Thursday May 11, 2017): http://blog.galasoft.ch/posts/?p=1606
This keynote will take place from 8:30AM to 10AM PST
(4:30PM London time, 5:30PM Zurich time).

I am really looking forward to this exercise and hope that it will be useful to you all!

Wednesday: Mix2017 party with iHeartRadio and Valorem

Yes yes I know, the name is really significant… this is not a revival of the MIX conference! I know we all miss this amazing conference… No, the Mix2017 event is Valorem’s and iHeartRadio’s party at Build!

Join iHeartRadio and Valorem for #Mix2017, a fantastic night where music meets mixed reality. iHeartRadio’s DJ will mix your favorite music and Valorem will mix your reality with exciting HoloLens experiences on Wednesday, May 10, at the Living Computers Museum + Labs. As a bonus, event attendees get free admittance to the museum.

More details and registration on the Valorem website! I hope to see many of you at this event!

Happy coding!
Laurent

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Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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Le matériel pour ma présentation “HoloLens 101” du DevDay à Mons

Conferences, HoloLens, Personal, Technical stuff, Work
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J’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à participer à l’événement DevDay à Mons en Belgique. Cela fait déjà quelque temps qu’Olivier Matis me demande de participer, et malheureusement cela n’avait pas été possible pour des questions de temps. Enfin cette année j’ai pu dire oui. Connaissant au moins certains membres de l’équipe organisatrice, je me réjouissais vraiment de faire le voyage pour cette ville que je ne connaissais pas encore.

Après un court vol et une heure en train, je me suis donc retrouvé dans cette ville dont le nom signifie « montagne », ce qui est assez drôle pour un Suisse. Très jolie ville, que j’ai traversée à pied dans un froid de canard, mais en admirant la cathédrale et la place centrale avec l’hôtel de ville. Au soir, souper avec certains des speakers et organisateurs, dans une super ambiance, et avec de la bonne bière.

Le lendemain, j’avais l’honneur de donner la première session dans une salle de cinéma à l’écran géant, une chouette expérience pour un speaker. Quelques soucis de micro, et un peu de stress parce que j’ai décidé de donner la session en français… Ca peut paraître drôle mais je n’ai pas l’habitude de parler de programmation en français… d’habitude c’est l’anglais, voire l’allemand.

Au final, tout s’est bien passé, et j’ai pu montrer les différences entre VR, AR, MR, parler de l’environnement de développement, et montrer une démo d’une petite appli commencée depuis zéro, pour donner un petit peu le goût de la programmation 3D. Enfin, j’ai fini la session avec des démos d’applications que nous développons pour des clients.

La fin de la journée s’est passée à faire des démos HoloLens et discuter avec plein de monde dans une super ambiance. Un petit tour en Tesla X de démonstration avant de reprendre le train et l’avion…

Un grand merci aux organisateurs pour l’invitation et le super travail sur place, ainsi bien sûr aux nombreux spectateurs qui sont venus assister à la session et me parler par la suite.

Vous trouverez le fichier PowerPoint, le code ainsi que quelques vidéos de démonstration sur mon site.

Amitiés à tous
Laurent

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Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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Code and slides posted for my latest talks

.NET, Conferences, HoloLens, MVVM, Technical stuff, Universal Windows Platform UWP, UX, Windows 10, Work, Xamarin, XAML
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October and November have been quite busy with travel. I talked at a few occasions in some cool events and want to take a moment to share the code and slides below:

Xamarin Dev Day, Zurich, Switzerland

I love the concept of the Xamarin Dev Day. It’s a great way to reach out to local communities and have a day of fun teaching and training with Xamarin content. This year I took part to the Zurich, Switzerland occurrence. It definitely didn’t hurt that it was help in a very cool space, under a train viaduct in the previously industrial area of the city, which is these days a pretty cool place to live and work.

I held my talk titled “Building truly cross platform applications with Windows, Xamarin and MVVM Light” which comments on the fact that the so called “UWP” (Universal Windows Platform) applications are only for Windows (hence the W) and that if you want to target mobile iOS and Android devices, you need something more. Xamarin and MVVM Light are great solutions in this scenario, because they maximize the amount of code that can be shared, all the while increasing the testable surface of the application. You can find the code and slides at this page.

KC .NET User Group & Xamarin KC Dev, Kansas City, Missouri

You might have read that the company I joined in 2008 (IdentityMine) was acquired this year by a company based in Kansas City named Valorem Consulting. On November 1st and 2nd, I spent time at the head office to meet with a maximum of new colleagues. It was a nice stay in a city (and state) I had never visited before. In fact I even “visited” two states during that stay, because Kansas City is laid over Missouri and Kansas! Earlier on I had tweeted about me visiting KC, and the local .NET developer user group contacted me and asked if I wanted to speak at a user group meeting on that evening. Of course the answer was a resounding yes! And the best part is that the Xamarin KC user group also joined the fun for their first ever joint event. We had a great attendance with a full room of about 65 people, and a very nice interaction. After the event, a small group gathered at a local bar and we had pie and drinks (I had a root beer float, because why not). Excellent way to make new friends in a new city! I also held my talk “Building Truly Universal Applications with Windows, Xamarin and MVVM Light”.  You can find the slides and code here.

DevIntersection Europe, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Right after my return from the US (with the visit to Kansas City, a few days in the office in Seattle and then the MVP and Regional Directors Summit in Bellevue/Redmond), I had another short trip to the Netherlands. I spoke at the DevIntersection conference in Haarlem, a small city not far from Amsterdam. The location was superb, a convention center close to the historical center of the city, the hotel was great too (though the bed was wayyyyy too soft for me :) and the audience was very nice. It is definitely smaller than DevIntersection in the US (where they have events in Vegas and Orlando), but I had a good albeit small audience nonetheless and some great interactions with attendees and fellow speakers.

I spoke about the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform, a dense session which contains information about creating a new UWP app; adapting the user interface to the various form factors, resolutions, orientations etc; porting classic windows applications to the Windows 10 ecosystem with the Desktop App Converter (also known as Centennial bridge); the Windows Continuum; and Microsoft HoloLens. Unfortunately because of unknown technical issues, I was not able to stream the HoloLens output to my phone nor to my Surface like I used to do. Unfortunately we ran out of time before I was able to solve the issue (which would probably have required restarting the HoloLens and the phone). I want to apologize to the audience for this technical glitch. I hope that the people who joined me later for a quick trial of the HoloLens were happy anyway, and that the others didn’t go back home with a bad image of this amazing technology :) I recorded a few videos showing the various demos I wanted to give, you can find all the material including code and slides on this page.

Thanks all for attending and happy coding!
Laurent

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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#Microsoft #Experiences in Paris: Code and slides

.NET, Conferences, HoloLens, MVVM, Technical stuff, Windows 10, Work, WPF, Xamarin, XAML
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Last week I had the pleasure of taking the TGV from Zurich to Paris, and after a quick 4 hours of comfortable travel, to make my way to the Porte Maillot and the Palais des Congrès.

TL;DR: All slides and source code is available from here.

A podcast

After a good night sleep I made my way to the speakers lounge and prepared the last steps for my talk. Then I took a moment to head to the meeting room where the Live Tiles podcast was being recorded. A band of podcasters got together and talked about the future of Microsoft. It was so nice to “see these familiar voices” in action. Even nicer when Christophe (Toss .NET) and Denis saw me and pulled me in to talk about HoloLens and our experiences with this device. You can hear the recording here, my contribution starts at 36:30.

My talk: Really universal apps with Xamarin and MVVM Light

My talk was titled (in French) “Construisons des applications vraiment universelles avec Windows, Xamarin and MVVM Light”. This favorite topic of mine shows how you can structure an application to share a maximum of code without any compromises. You can build healthy layers of Model and ViewModel, unit test them so you can feel secure about not breaking anything with future changes. Then you can build a thin layer of real native user interface for any supported framework with XAML or Xamarin (Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows 10 Universal, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android). And if you are in an enterprise scenario and looking for maximum productivity, you can also of course use Xamarin.Forms and render the same UI to all supported platforms.

The MVVM Light Toolkit assists you in these tasks, notably by providing a Data Binding framework for Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android, as well as components that make it very easy to connect a list control to an ObservableCollection, with automatic refresh in case the collection changes. This open source toolkit is in it’s version 5.3, has been downloaded almost 1.7 million times and is even used by Microsoft to build parts of Windows 10.

I was really pleased when I headed to my conference room and saw a long queue in front of the entrance. I gave my talk to a standing room of about 270 people, and loved the interaction during and after the talk. A lot of very positive feedback, and we stayed and talked until the hostess kicked us out of the room :)

Thank you to everyone who came and made this a memorable moment. You will find all the details of the talk, the slides and the source code from this portal.

Some tea

Before I made my way to the Palais des Congrès, I took a pit stop at one of the most wonderful shops on Earth: the Mariage Frères tea store. This old fashioned store is stock full of amazing teas from all over the world. It’s a must-visit if you are a tea enthusiast or if you just want to spend a moment living in an atmosphere of luxury and pleasure.

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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Slides and sample code for my presentations at #VSLive Boston

.NET, Conferences, Universal Windows Platform UWP, VSLive, Windows 10, Work, WPF, XAML
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Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions at VSLive Boston. I had a great time. I hope it was informative and useful. I am aware that you take time out of your job to come and see us speak and I really hope that you found it worth your time.

I had two sessions:

Windows 10 – The Universal Application: One App To Rule Them All?

You can find the slides and sample code for this session here. This page also links to a video showing how Windows 10 Universal apps work on HoloLens!

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) 4.6

Here are the slides and sample code.

Thanks again for your warm welcome in Boston!! I even had some time to visit the city and had a blast in the historical places.

Happy coding
Laurent

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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Back from Sweden! Slides and code for my #DevSum16 session

.NET, Conferences, HoloLens, Technical stuff, Universal Windows Platform UWP, Windows 10, XAML
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I am back from Stockholm and the DevSum conference! It was a great trip, what a beautiful city and lovely people! It was great to be there with so many friends from our beautiful community, and especially my colleague and friend Rene Schulte.

On Thursday, I started by helping my good friend Tim Huckaby with his keynote. My role was very limited, just monitoring the live stream coming from Tim’s HoloLens. Tim is a great speaker and his keynote was very interesting and funny. So nice to see him! Later, Rene did a talk about HoloLens 3D development. Always a great pleasure to see Rene show how to use Unity and build 3D apps!

image6

On Friday, it was my turn to speak. I have a Windows 10 Universal session and I decided to spice it up with a few demos of new platforms. It was a bit scary because there were quite a few moving pieces, and everything had to play together perfectly. And it almost did! The only thing I didn’t think about is that the Continuum dock is “protected” with HDCP. That means that you cannot connect the Dock to a projector. Such an annoying (and useless) feature! Thankfully, the conference center where DevSum took place had awesome technicians, and one of them saved my day by connecting an HDMI-to-VGA adapter which circumvented the issue.

The talk was quite beefy: We defined what a Universal app is, then we talked about Adaptive UI. We discussed the Centennial and Islandwood bridges before talking about Continuum and HoloLens. The final demo saw me switch my presentation to my Windows 10 mobile phone (950XL), show some slides in Powerpoint, then demo some Universal apps on this platform. Finally I started the HoloLens application on my phone, in Continuum mode. Since this is also a Universal app, it adapted to the big screen beautifully and I could stream what I was seeing through my HoloLens. I demonstrated how universal applications run on the holographic platform, including our own apps. It’s just as simple as deploying them to the HoloLens!

image4

We definitely live exciting times, and it’s really great to be working on these new platforms. You can find the slides and sample code for this talk on my website. The session was recorded, and I will tweet when the recording is available for your viewing please, so stay tuned to my Twitter feed. Thanks to everyone who came to see this session. I really hope it was informative and useful to you!

Happy coding
Laurent

GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion
Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft)
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