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Chris Ayers

Chris Ayers

Senior Customer Engineer @ Microsoft

Tampa, Florida, United States

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Chris Ayers is a seasoned professional navigating the dynamic landscape of technology as a Senior Customer Engineer on Microsoft's Fast Track for Azure team. With a focus on modern applications, DevOps, and cloud technologies, Chris brings a wealth of experience to the table. He co-leads the DevOps Category within the Fast Track Team, driving initiatives forward with expertise honed from past roles leading Azure and DevOps practices.

Chris's extensive background spans various technical domains, including software development, architecture, and cloud solutions. From his early days tinkering with code in 2nd grade to assuming roles as a Consultant, Cloud Architect, and beyond, he has always been driven by a passion for learning and sharing industry best practices.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Chris is a devoted father and an unabashed nerd. Whether he's speaking at international events, delving into the latest technology trends, or immersing himself in gaming adventures, his enthusiasm for exploration knows no bounds.

Connect with Chris through his website, blog, and social media channels to follow his journey and tap into his insights on technology, agile practices, and more.

Awards

  • Most Active Speaker 2023
  • Most Active Speaker 2022

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology

Topics

  • .net
  • .net core
  • ASP.NET
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Powershell
  • MVC
  • Angular
  • devops
  • Microsoft Azure DevOps
  • Cloud & DevOps
  • DevOps Journey
  • DevOps Skills
  • Azure DevOps
  • DevOps & Automation
  • dotNet
  • dotnet core
  • Testing
  • ASP.NET Core
  • Raspberry Pi
  • IoT
  • Azure Key Vault
  • Git
  • GitHub
  • GitHub Actions
  • Containers
  • Containerization
  • Kubernetes
  • Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)
  • Terraform
  • Bicep
  • Azure Bicep
  • ARM Templates
  • Security
  • Cloud App Security
  • Application Security
  • Azure Security
  • DevOps
  • DevOps Transformation
  • Software Development
  • Web Development
  • DevSecOps
  • DevOpsCulture
  • Software Deveopment
  • Agile software development
  • DevOps Agile Methodology & Culture
  • devops security
  • Azure DevOps Pipelines
  • Azure Services and DevOps
  • Github Copilot
  • GitHub Codespaces
  • GitHub Advanced Security

.NET in a Box: Containerizing .NET Applications

The rapid rise of microservices and cloud-native applications underscores a pressing opportunity for developers: achieving seamless scalability, portability, and amazing efficiency for .NET applications.

In this session, participants will be taken on a journey into the heart of containerizing .NET applications. From understanding the core tenets of container orchestration to discovering the secrets of achieving peak application performance within a container, this talk is a deep dive into the world of .NET and containers. We'll also touch upon ensuring top-notch security in a containerized ecosystem, and how to best leverage tools and technologies to supercharge your .NET container deployment.

Don't miss this opportunity to redefine your .NET development paradigm. Join us and be part of the container revolution, ensuring your .NET applications are future-ready!

How I study for and Pass Certifications

Some people are good test takers, others aren’t. Leveraging the tools and resources available you can increase your chances of passing your next certification. During this session I’ll go over how I study and prepare for certifications.
We’ll cover:
- Resources
- Free
- Paid
- Practice Methodology
- Microsoft Certifications
- Linux Foundation Certifications
- Cloud Native Foundation Certifications
- Test Taking Tips
- Testing Center vs Taking it at home

From Zero to End-to-End Tests: A Beginner's Guide to Playwright

Playwright is a framework for building end-to-end tests for modern web applications that are resilient and run on any browser, any platform, and is cross language. Playwright tests are easy to author, fast to execute, and run on all popular web browsers. 

In this session, we'll cover the basics of Playwright, create a new React project from scratch, and create end-to-end tests. We'll add them to our CI process so that the tests run automatically.

After this session, you'll understand why and how to use Playwright to test your applications.

SRE, DevOps, and Platform Engineering: Unraveling the Differences

In the dynamic world of software development, the concepts of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), DevOps, and Platform Engineering have become increasingly prevalent, often used interchangeably and causing confusion among practitioners and organizations. This talk aims to demystify these terms and provide a clear understanding of their distinctions, objectives, and best practices for successful implementation.

We will begin by exploring the origins and core principles of each discipline, highlighting the differences in their focus and approaches. We will discuss how SRE emphasizes the reliability, scalability, and performance of software systems, while DevOps concentrates on bridging the gap between development and operations teams for seamless collaboration and continuous delivery. Moreover, we will examine how Platform Engineering focuses on creating robust, reusable infrastructure to empower developers to build, deploy, and operate their applications efficiently.

Join us for an enlightening journey into the world of SRE, DevOps, and Platform Engineering, and learn how to harness their potential to drive innovation, agility, and excellence in your software development lifecycle.

SlideOps: Presenting with MARP and GitHub

Delivering engaging presentations is essential for effective communication, yet traditional tools often hinder creativity and teamwork. Presenters grapple with rigid interfaces, limited sharing options, and the absence of version control—leaving them longing for a more agile and innovative solution. Fortunately, the answer lies in MARP, the trailblazing presentation tool that transforms the way we create and collaborate on slides. By harnessing the elegance of Markdown syntax and integrating with modern development workflows, MARP empowers you to craft visually stunning slides with unparalleled ease and efficiency.

In this session, we'll introduce you to MARP, the game-changer for presentation creation. We'll demonstrate how MARP's intuitive features, such as real-time preview, customizable styles, and integration with Visual Studio Code, revolutionize the slide-making process. But the innovation doesn't end there—MARP's compatibility with Git and GitHub Pages opens the door to even greater possibilities. Imagine hosting your presentations on GitHub Pages for easy sharing and automating updates with GitHub Actions—effortless and accessible presentations are now within reach!

Join us as we explore the full potential of MARP and guide you through the process of creating, hosting, and automating your slides. We'll delve into practical use cases, live demos, and best practices for using MARP in conjunction with GitHub Pages and GitHub Actions. Whether you're a developer, a technical writer, or an educator, this session will equip you with the knowledge to elevate your presentations and communication skills. Say goodbye to presentation woes and embrace the future of slide creation with MARP.

Kubernetes Resiliency

Kubernetes is a platform many organizations choose for running scalable, reliable applications. However, configuring and running applications on Kubernetes can be complex and filled with pitfalls.
This session will focus on Kubernetes resiliency, from the Infrastructure to Components to the Applications themselves. We will talk about Kubernetes in general as well as AKS on Azure. We will talk about:
Infrastructure
- Single points of failure
- Availability zones
- Node pools
Components
- etcd
- API server
- kube-scheduler
Applications
- Pod disruption budgets
- Resource requests and limits
- liveness and readiness probes
After this session, you will know the things to look for in a cluster, and how to ensure your cluster and applications are more resilient.

Continuous Load Testing with GitHub Actions

Load Testing is an important part of our solutions. I've seen many organizations save that until right before release, which can lead to major issues and increased costs. Just like with security, we should shift-left on testing and incorporate it into our DevOps processes. By combining ephemeral environments through Infrastructure with Code and automated testing, we can reduce costs while increasing our confidence in our solutions.
After this session you will learn:
- Understand Manual Testing vs Testing in pipelines
- Review the typical problems with load testing
- Learn how to create and utilize JMeter tests with the Azure Load Testing service
- Learn how to integrate Infrastructure as Code and Continuous Load Testing on GitHub Actions

Securely deploying Infrastructure as Code

We routinely scan our code for vulnerabilities, but what about our infrastructure? Our infrastructure as code can have as many secrets as our codebase. Many organizations are using Terraform with automated pipelines like GitHub Actions. How do we automatically scan our Terraform modules for misconfiguration or secrets? How can we configure Terraform to store state securely in the cloud for each environment?

During this session we will examine how to leverage open source tools to:
Scan for security and configuration issues using tools like tfsec, terrascan, and checkov
Securely configure Terraform backends like AzureRM
Securely pass variables and input into Terraform
Securely deploy Terraform to clouds like Azure

After this session you will have the tools and examples to securely deploy terraform to the cloud.

Building in the Cloud with Bicep

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a vital part of the operational excellence we strive for in modern scalable solutions. IaC allows us to create repeatable environments and reduce environmental drift.
There are many flavors of IaC supporting Azure: ARM, Bicep, and Terraform.
Bicep simplifies the authoring experience over ARM with a cleaner syntax, improved type safety, and better support for modularity and code re-use. Bicep also differs from Terraform in how state is managed, simplifying the deployments.

In this session, we’ll cover:
- Bicep Basics and Advanced Topics
- Parameters and variables
- Conditionals
- Loops
- Modules
- Private Registries
- CI/CD for Infrastructure as Code
- Repo structure and layout
- Deployment

After this Session you have the concepts and skills needed to build your infrastructure using Bicep.

Hands-On with Docker and Kubernetes

This workshop will be hands on along with presentations and demos. We’ll cover the basics and more advanced topics, starting with the fundamentals of containers and moving onto Kubernetes, attendees will learn how to create containers and run them on Kubernetes.

This workshop is great for attendees who are beginners to containers but also relevant to those with some knowledge of containers/docker and have heard of Kubernetes but not really worked with it.

Docker fundamentals
Running containers locally
Using container registries
Kubernetes fundamentals
Networking concepts
Kubernetes Secrets and Network Policies
Kubernetes Persistent Volumes
Readiness and Liveness Probes in a Kubernetes cluster
Using Applications Logs
Upgrade and Rollback Applications

.NET Configuration In Depth

Working as a consultant, something I often saw was teams moving from .NET Framework to .NET Core and .NET 5/6. As they adopted these new versions, they kept similar patterns and libraries. The teams weren't taking full advantage of the improvements in .NET. One of those areas is Configuration.

Configuration holds our secrets, connection strings, application settings, and other data. We have checked it in, stored it in a web.config and transformed it in a pipeline. Today there are a variety of ways to configure our applications securely.

This session will cover:
Strongly typed configuration
Configuration providers - JSON, XML, INI files; Environment variables; Command Line;Azure App Config; Key Vault
Dependency Injection
The Options Pattern

Feature Flags - The Art of the IF and Deployment

Feature flags have gained a lot of popularity with the rise of cloud-native applications. Feature Flags help increase agility, allowing you to deploy new features into a production environment for selected users. Feature Flags allow you to release features without restarting the app or deploying new code. They separate the release of new features from their code deployment.

After this session you'll not only be able to start implementing feature flags, but you'll also want to separate your releases from your deployments. You will understand:
- What feature flags are
- The types of feature flags
- Operationalizing Feature Flags
- Best practices around feature flags
- Implementing feature flags using
- Azure Application Configuration
- Launch Darkly

The Power of Dev Containers and GitHub Codespaces

Dive into the future of software development with our session on Dev Containers and GitHub Codespaces. Dev Containers bring reproducibility and consistency across any platform with Docker, simplifying project onboarding and setup. GitHub Codespaces takes this a step further, offering scalable, cloud-hosted development environments, accessible from anywhere.

In this session, you'll gain insights into:
Dev Containers Fundamentals: Understand their role in creating consistent development environments.
GitHub Codespaces Integration: Explore how Codespaces enhances Dev Containers, providing flexible, cloud-based development.
Practical Implementation: Learn to configure Dev Containers for your projects, including tool installation, VS Code extensions, port forwarding, and software setup.
Maximizing Codespaces: Discover how to customize Codespaces for remote development efficiency.

Join us to embrace these cutting-edge tools, transforming your development process and team collaboration.

Dev Containers currently require:
VS Code
VS Code Dev Containers extension
Docker
Codespaces require:
a browser

Devops is more than just Dev and Ops

DevOps is so much more than just a DevOps engineer or a DevOps team. You can do DevOps activities like automation or CI/CD without understanding the why of DevOps. We'll dive into why and how of DevOps and how it will benefit everyone in the organization. You'll walk away with a clear understanding of what devops is, how everyone in an organization can play a part with a production first, iterative mindset, and where to get started.

Monitoring and Troubleshooting with Azure Application Insights

Monitoring and troubleshooting a live, production application is vital. One of the most stressful things a team can do, is trying to diagnose a distributed system without adding to the disruptions. Application Insights, part of Azure Monitor, is a tool that can you can plug into your applications to get the data you need. It goes far beyond a simple, logging solution by automatically detect performance anomalies and providing a live view into your applications.

We will cover how to enable Application Insights in our applications, both on prem, or in the cloud. I'll share examples in C#, JavaScript, and Python. We'll explore the integrations with DevOps and development tooling. Together we’ll look at the way Application Insights provides a deep view into application performance, errors, and usage. Finally, we’ll look at how to detect anomalies before they become complete outages and get alerted.

After this session, you'll be able to use Application Insights to help you continuously improve performance and usability. When issues arise, you'll have the insights to resolve problems quickly.

Monitoring and troubleshooting a live, production application is vital. One of the most stressful things a team can do, is trying to diagnose a distributed system without adding to the disruptions. Application Insights, part of Azure Monitor, is a tool that can you can plug into your applications to get the data you need. After this session, you'll be able to use Application Insights to help you continuously improve performance and usability. When issues arise, you'll have the insights to resolve problems quickly.

Automate Azure DevOps

Need to setup a new project? Script and automate the creation of repos and git ignore files. Create your build pipelines, branch policies and release in a repeatable manner. Let's examine the Azure cli devops extension and REST apis to find out how to script almost everything in Azure DevOps.

Git Good with Advanced Git

Most of us use git every day, but how well do you know one of your most important tools besides cloning, committing, and pull requests? Are you comfortable rebasing? Do you really know the difference between Resetting or Reverting? Lets 'stash' some info and learn all the advanced features of one of our most used tools.

CI/CD with Github Actions

Learn about building and deploying applications using Github Actions. We will learn diverse ways to trigger our builds and build different types of applications.
We will work up from basics and fully understand how workflows run, how to select and call different actions, and how to handle configuration and secrets.
After this session you'll be able to build and deploy your software from GitHub. You will understand:
- GitHub Actions Runners
- YAML workflow syntax
- Workflow Triggers
- Variables
- Job Dependencies
- Conditionals
- Matrix Builds
- Outputs
- Environments
- Secrets
- Deployments to Container Registries & Azure

Starting an Allyship Journey

As someone that has been in my field for over two decades, it's hard not to notice that many of my coworkers have looked like me. Having diverse teams means we can more effectively learn from each other. Everyone has a different point of view, and by recognizing that and embracing it, we can drive creativity, innovation, productivity, performance, and personal relationships.

Learning about different cultures, races, genders and lifestyles makes me thankful for the opportunities I've had. I've also learned to recognize the challenges others face.

I choose to be an ally; a person who makes an intentional decision to understand, empathize, and act in support of others. Diversity and Inclusion happens one person at a time. Change happens one person at a time. Let's talk about taking those first steps.

- Why Me?
- How do I get started?
- Unconscious Bias
- What is Covering?
- What is Allyship?

Come Cloud with Us User group Sessionize Event Upcoming

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Microsoft Learn Zero to Hero Community User group Sessionize Event Upcoming

Not scheduled yet.

Techorama 2024 Netherlands Sessionize Event Upcoming

October 2024 Utrecht, The Netherlands

TechBash 2024 Sessionize Event Upcoming

September 2024 Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States

Copenhagen Developers Festival 2024 Sessionize Event Upcoming

August 2024 Copenhagen, Denmark

Developer Week '24 Sessionize Event Upcoming

July 2024 Nürnberg, Germany

KCDC 2024 Sessionize Event Upcoming

June 2024 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

DevSum 2024 Sessionize Event

May 2024 Stockholm, Sweden

Techorama 2024 Belgium Sessionize Event

May 2024 Antwerpen, Belgium

PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit 2024 Sessionize Event

April 2024 Bellevue, Washington, United States

Orlando Code Camp 2024 Sessionize Event

February 2024 Sanford, Florida, United States

NDC Sydney 2024 Sessionize Event

February 2024 Sydney, Australia

WeAreDevelopers Live 2024 (Season 7) Sessionize Event

January 2024

90DaysOfDevOps - 2024 Community Edition Sessionize Event

January 2024

Granite State Code Camp 2023 Sessionize Event

December 2023 Manchester, New Hampshire, United States

Cloud With Chris Sessionize Event

December 2023

Festive Tech Calendar 2023 Sessionize Event

December 2023

.NET Conf 2023 Sessionize Event

November 2023

TechBash 2023 Sessionize Event

November 2023 Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States

#TampaCC 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Tampa, Florida, United States

2023 All Day DevOps Sessionize Event

October 2023

NDC Porto 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Porto, Portugal

philly.NET Code Camp 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Malvern, Pennsylvania, United States

Techorama Netherlands 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Utrecht, The Netherlands

BSides Orlando 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Orlando, Florida, United States

Atlanta Developers' Conference 2023 Sessionize Event

September 2023 Marietta, Georgia, United States

HashiTalks: Build Sessionize Event

August 2023

Developer Week '23 Sessionize Event

June 2023 Nürnberg, Germany

KCDC 2023 Sessionize Event

June 2023 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Prairie Dev Con Winnipeg 2023

Kubernetes Resiliency
Securely deploying Infrastructure as Code

June 2023 Winnipeg, Canada

DevSum 2023 Sessionize Event

May 2023 Stockholm, Sweden

NDC Oslo 2023 Sessionize Event

May 2023 Oslo, Norway

Devoxx Greece 2023

Starting an Allyship Journey
Working with Dev Containers

May 2023 Athens, Greece

PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit 2023 Sessionize Event

April 2023 Bellevue, Washington, United States

Orlando Code Camp 2023 Sessionize Event

March 2023 Sanford, Florida, United States

DeveloperWeek 2023 Sessionize Event

February 2023 Oakland, California, United States

NDC Security 2023 Sessionize Event

January 2023 Oslo, Norway

CodeMash 2023 Sessionize Event

January 2023 Sandusky, Ohio, United States

HashiTalks: Deploy Sessionize Event

December 2022

Festive Tech Calendar 2022 Sessionize Event

December 2022

Granite State Code Camp 2022 Sessionize Event

November 2022 Manchester, New Hampshire, United States

TechBash 2022 Sessionize Event

November 2022 Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States

.NET Conf 2022 Sessionize Event

November 2022

DevOpsDays Tampa Bay

Organizer for DevOpsDays Tampa Bay

October 2022 Tampa, Florida, United States

Momentum 2022 Sessionize Event

October 2022 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

#TampaCC Sessionize Event

October 2022 Tampa, Florida, United States

Code PaLOUsa 2022 Sessionize Event

August 2022 Louisville, Kentucky, United States

KCDC 2022 Sessionize Event

August 2022 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

THAT Conference Wisconsin 2022

Building in the Cloud with Bicep

July 2022 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, United States

Cloud Lunch and Learn Sessionize Event

July 2022

Azure Day Rome 2022 Sessionize Event

June 2022 Rome, Italy

THAT Conference Texas 2022

Feature Flags - The Art of the IF and Deployment

May 2022 Round Rock, Texas, United States

CodeStock 2022 Sessionize Event

April 2022 Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Microsoft Azure + AI Conference Spring 2022 Sessionize Event

April 2022 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

philly.NET Code Camp 2022 Sessionize Event

March 2022

DeveloperWeek 2022 Sessionize Event

February 2022 Oakland, California, United States

.NET Virtual Conference 2022 Sessionize Event

January 2022

Festive Tech Calendar 2021 Sessionize Event

December 2021

Automation + DevOps Summit Sessionize Event

November 2021 Nashville, Tennessee, United States

KCDC 2021 Sessionize Event

September 2021 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Music City Tech 2021 Sessionize Event

September 2021

Code PaLOUsa 2021 Sessionize Event

August 2021

THAT Conference Wisconsin 2021

Feature Flags - The Art of the IF and Deployment

July 2021 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, United States

Azure Day Rome 2021 Sessionize Event

June 2021

DevOps & Cloud Days Sessionize Event

June 2021

Orlando Codecamp & Tech Conference 2020 Sessionize Event

March 2020 Sanford, Florida, United States

Azure Advent Calendar

Video posted at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-i6s46uxdM&t=1s

December 2019 Tampa, Florida, United States

Tampa Code Camp 2019

Automate Azure DevOps - https://speakerdeck.com/cayers/automate-azure-devops
DevOps Is More Than A Title - https://speakerdeck.com/cayers/devops-is-more-than-a-title

October 2019 Tampa, Florida, United States

philly.NET Code Camp 2019.2 Sessionize Event

October 2019 Malvern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tampa Bar Camp 2019

What is DevOps? - A discussion of what DevOps is and how everyone can benefit and participate in it.

October 2019 Tampa, Florida, United States

Global DevOps Bootcamp

Local Keynote - Global DevOps Bootcamp is a global event that will be held on Saturday June 15th and is all about DevOps on the Microsoft Stack. Centrally organized by Xpirit and Solidify and offered to you by Nebbia Technology. During this 1-day event we will join (Microsoft) DevOps communities all around the world to talk, learn and play with DevOps concepts.

June 2019 Orlando, Florida, United States

Azure Global Bootcamp

Azure DevOps - How and Why we want to close our feedback loops and enable faster development using Azure DevOps.

April 2019 Tampa, Florida, United States

Orlando Code Camp

Application Insights - A discussion of what Application Insights can do, and how you can leverage it in your applications. There will be some demos in the Azure Portal as well as Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code in ASP.

March 2019 Orlando, Florida, United States

The .NETwork

Dependency Injection and Unit Testing in .Net Core - Looking at industry best practices as well as Unit Testing and mocking our .Net Core projects.

February 2019 Tampa, Florida, United States

Tampa Code Camp 2018

Functional Programming - Pure functions and the benefits of functional programming in C# and Javascript.
Good Software Development Practices - A discussion of the best practices in architecture and coding practices, including design patterns, naming, coding standards and more.

October 2018 Tampa, Florida, United States

Tampa Azure Meetup

Application Insights – A Deep Dive - Diving in to how to leverage Application insights in your MVC and Angular applications.

September 2018 Tampa, Florida, United States

Tampa Code Camp 2017

Dependency Injection and Unit Testing

October 2017 Tampa, Florida, United States

Tampa Bar Camp 2017

Unit Testing - How to write and name effective unit tests. Mocking, Faking, and using dependency injection.

October 2017 Tampa, Florida, United States

Tampa Bar Camp 2016

Raspberry PI - Developing applications on the Raspberry Pi and using pins to communicate with sensors and motors.

October 2016 Tampa, Florida, United States

Chris Ayers

Senior Customer Engineer @ Microsoft

Tampa, Florida, United States

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