Lankford: You're Already a Cloud Developer

At Visual Studio Live! in San Francisco, keynote speaker Kris Lankford urges developers working with C#, ASP.NET, and a number of Microsoft dev tools to embrace the cloud or get left behind.

There's no need for developers to acquire new skills to move toward cloud development. If you're already proficient in C#, ASP.NET and the like, you already have what you need. That was the message of the Wednesday morning keynote delivered by Kris Lankford, vice president of marketing at Falafel Software and Brian Randell, partner at MCW Technologies. The pair presented their keynote address to kick off the second day of Visual Studio Live! on June 17 in San Francisco

Speaking to a full house, Lankford delivered his simple message. "You've got to get started in the cloud. It's already here," he says. "If you don't, you're going to be left behind." Lankford and Randell led a demo-packed keynote that focused mostly on cross-platform apps, using two Macs and a Surface. "We used the Macs for all the demos. We were running virtual machines running through Windows and Linux," Lankford says.

The demo was a mix of apps, all showing how the OS matters little these days. "We actually did little bit of Visual Studio online. We ran lots of ASP.NET 5 apps, showing them first on Windows. Then we showed things running on the Mac. It was .NET code compiled and running on the Mac. Then we also showed it running on Linux, which was really cool. We used same code for all platforms and didn't have to tweak a thing." Lankford and Randell received a lot cheers for that seamless cross-platform demo.

When it comes to applying existing development skills to cloud-based apps, Lankford describes a fundamental mental block many developers when it comes to making that move. "We didn't show anything out of the ordinary -- ASP.NET and Visual Studio. But now instead of copying to a machine, you have a Git repository in the cloud," he says.

"Nothing has changed from a skills perspective. You're just storing and working in a different place. The core skills in C#, Visual Studio and ASP.NET are still required. Being a cloud developer doesn't change that at all," Lankford says.

This follows a transition the development world and the IT world in general has seen over the last few years, Lankford says, as we've moved from physical machines to virtual machines to platforms like Azure. "Now we're turning more toward containers. We're seeing a trend of developers building where they need to build. Then they can run it wherever they need to run it. They don't care about the OS. They just care about uptime."

The time is now for developers to start developing their apps for the cloud, Lankford says. "If you don't make the leap, you'll be left behind."

About the Author

Lafe Low has been a technology editor and writer for more than 25 years. Most recently, he was the editor in chief of TechNet magazine. He has also held various editorial positions with Redmond magazine, CIO magazine and InfoWorld. He also launched his own magazine entitled Explore New England, and has published four editions of his guidebook The Best in Tent Camping: New England.

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