Microsoft names keynote speakers for Ignite NZ 2016

Microsoft has announced two new keynote speakers for its developer conference, Microsoft’s Ignite NZ 2016 be held 25-28 October at SkyCity, Auckland, and has posted the conference session schedule on the web site: https://msignite.nz

Joining previously announced lead speaker Dona Sarkar on stage at the keynote will be Donovan Brown, senior DevOps program manager on Microsoft’s US Developer Division team — who ran one of the most popular sessions at last year’s conference — and Jennifer Marsman, principal software development engineer at Microsoft US. Both will also be running sessions elsewhere in the program.

Before joining Microsoft, Brown spent seven years as a process consultant travelling the globe helping companies in the USA, Canada, India, Germany, and the UK develop solutions using agile practices, Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server.

He has worked in the communications, health care, energy, and financial services industries. According to Microsoft he will take to the main stage this year for this keynote to “Rub a little DevOps” on a scenario common to many developers – mobile app development. His other session is titled Manage Modern Enterprise Applications with Microsoft Mobile DevOps.

Jennifer Marsman – who has been recognised as one of the “top 100 most influential individuals in artificial intelligence and machine learning” – will, according to Microsoft “be sharing some of the crazy futuristic ideas she works on every day, such as lie detectors, which utilise the predictive capabilities of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.”

She holds two patents for her work in search and machine learning algorithms, as well as a ‘Best in Role’ award for technical evangelism. Her session in the body of the conference is titled Intro to Azure Machine Learning: Predict Who Survives the Titanic.

Nigel Parker, DX director for Microsoft New Zealand says this year’s sessions were sourced following feedback from delegates that they enjoyed the technical depth of the sessions last year and wanted deep content to sink their teeth into.

“This year’s Microsoft Ignite NZ keynote is returning to its technical roots, going back to what delegates have loved in the past; high energy, plenty of demos and great coverage of the deeper technical content that will be covered throughout the sessions during the event,” says Parker.

Previously announced keynote speaker Dona Sarkar, Windows insider program lead at Microsoft, is also the founder of the diversity in STEM organisation, Fibonacci Sequins, a published author and is about to launch her first fashion line, Prima Dona Style.

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