Thanks to Microsoft YouthSpark, I had a wonderful time at the 2015 Microsoft Ignite Conference in Chicago (May 4-8).
I remember feeling excited as I sat at my college dorm desk, booking my flight to Chicago for the weeklong Microsoft Ignite Conference. Having never been to a tech conference before - or to Chicago! - I was hyped to spend a week with Microsoft YouthSpark, network with tech professionals, learn about innovative technologies, and have fun exploring Chicago. Before I knew it, finals were done. Less than aweek after my semester finished, I was packing, Microsoft Ignite-ready and Chicago-bound!
During Microsoft Ignite, I met Microsoft YouthSpark Ambassadors, pictured with me below at the expo YouthSpark booth.I attended the Keynote, Microsoft break-out tech sessions, and wandered through the expo. I enjoyed eating at the Microsoft Women in Technology luncheon and listening to the luncheon's female panel Q&A. At the opening Keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the new features of Windows 10 and described what he saw as "the future of Microsoft and the IT industry."
Ignite was over 23,000 people - 23,000 people with ideas and hopes for the future of technology. Standing next to the North American Eagle, a jet-powered car that uses Microsoft cloud technology to track speed to meet their goal of surpassing the current land-speed record of763 mph, was amazing. It was fascinating to listen to the Microsoft Research team, and learn about their work to better understand and implement quantum computing.
In Chicago, I enjoyed stepping out on The Skydeck at The Willis "Sears" Tower, tasting crazy-amazing Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo with my friend Abril, cruising around Chicago with the Dell Computer company, eating real Chicago deep-dish pizza and desserts with YouthSpark, visiting The Art Institute of Chicago, and being touristy, shopping and taking classic Bean photos at Millennium Park.
I am grateful to have attended Microsoft Ignite. Although we (as people in technology) may come from different cities, states, and countries, we share a passion to "ignite" change. Thank you Microsoft Ignite for allowing me to meet so many incredible people while in beautiful Chicago; I was blown away in the windy city!