MMSMOA 2019: The one with curling

MMSMOA 2019 is in the books, and it was another year of greatness. Now that my brain has had a little bit of time to recover, I wanted to note a few things:

It’s just not to be missed

“What’s MMSMOA,” you may ask. You’re one of the lucky ten thousand. MMSMOA, or Midwest Management Summit at Mall of America, is a deliberately-smaller conference specializing in management tools like ConfigMgr, held in Minnesota once per year in spring (with a second “traveling” conference held in different locations in fall).

What makes this conference so amazing is the community and the interaction. Sessions sizes are small; you’re invited to ask questions during a presentation; you’ve got easy access to speak with community leaders, MVPs, Microsoft employees, and even members of the ConfigMgr product team; and–again–time to hang out with the community which absolutely rocks. If you’re an administrator who gets to pick just once conference per year, I can’t recommend MMS enough.

Once More, with Feeling

Every year we see immense development in the ConfigMgr space, yet every year we hear someone say that “ConfigMgr is dying.” This couldn’t be further from the truth–products like Intune and Autopilot aren’t here to provide migration paths away from ConfigMgr, they’re here to provide transformation paths for workloads that make sense to run in those scenarios. It really is a “better together” scenario.

Doing it Live

One of the coolest things to see at this conference is the ConfigMgr product team working directly with customers’ feedback and coding changes into the product on the spot. By the end of the week, a list of fixes and quality of life improvements were ready to show off. User Voice and the in-console feedback (the smilies at the top right) are still the best places for submitting your feedback, but having that face-to-face interaction is absolutely priceless.

Be the Changelog you wish to see in the Documentation

Have you ever used any of the documentation found at https://docs.microsoft.com? It’s a fantastic resource that’s constantly growing, and now you can have a direct impact on the quality of that documentation. If you stumble across something as simple as a typo or translation error, or find a code example that’s lacking (or just straight up missing!), scroll down to the bottom of the page to the “Feedback” section and click on “This page.”

The Docs are powered by GitHub, so you can submit your change and help make the documentation better for everyone!

Say no to testing in production

Without a lab, your production environment is just a high-stakes testing environment that also happens to be critical to the business. Check out the Windows and Office Deployment Lab Kit — a pre-built lab environment for you to test your changes without all the risk!

The future is so bright

There’s so much more I want to talk about, but I wanted to keep this as non-technical as possible. For now, I just want to say thanks to the event organizers, the speakers, the sponsors, and the attendees–old friends and new. Looking forward to seeing you all again next time!

Jacob

*Note: curling is fun, just remember that ice can be slippery.

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