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Barbara Forbes

Barbara Forbes

Azure technical lead @ OGD | Azure MVP | GitHub Star


Barbara works as the Azure technical lead for OGD in the Netherlands. She is a Microsoft MVP Azure, MCT and GitHub Star. Her focus is on Azure and automation. Think Serverless, Azure DevOps, PowerShell, GitHub and Infrastructure as Code. She loves teaching in an approachable way. She regularly writes posts for her blog and speaks at conferences and user groups. She helps grow the community as co-owner of the Dutch DevOps & GitHub community (DDOG), as well as co-hosting the Dutch PowerShell User Group (DUPSUG).


Make your company hate PowerShell in 3 easy steps

PowerShell is awesome. We all need PowerShell. Automate everything! Nothing can go wrong right?

Let's talk about the darker site of PowerShell. Is there such a thing as automating too much? Can solutions be too good? Code quality too high? I believe these can absolutely be true, especially in larger companies. So let's discuss the things you can do to make sure that your company will start hating PowerShell as efficiently as possible.
With that out of the way, we will walk through the business value of automating. What goal are you trying to reach and are you saving as much time as you think you do? In the end, everyone will love PowerShell as much as we do!

The Azure Cloud Adoption Framework in the real world

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is a universal guide to create a flexible Azure environment with freedom for developers while still keeping data and resources secure.You set up a standard to make sure all your workloads can find the most efficient implementation in the cloud. Sounds great right? It is, but real life implementations can pose some challenges. Including the first world problem of too much documentation.

In this session, we demystify the Cloud Adoption Framework and how you can use it effectively. I will take your through all the steps of the Framework and the challenges that came with them in the real world implementations. Spoiler alert: A lot of times the technology is not the problem! By the end you will walk away with actionable knowledge to shape your own Azure environment to its fullest potential

Coding in the Cloud: A guide to GitHub Codespaces

With GitHub Codespaces, you can enjoy coding effortlessly, straight from your browser! Use whatever device to write your code. No installation, no fuss. Codespaces are avaliable for everyone with a GitHub account for free. A great opportunity to get a better development experience, whether you are a developer or an operations expert.

In this session, I'll walk you through the ins and outs of Codespaces and show you how to create one from your GitHub repo. We'll cover a range of use cases, settings, and how to work with Visual Studio Code to get the most out of your Codespace. By the end of this session, you'll be all set to dive in and start using Codespaces with ease!

Start using GIT for PowerShell

So you have been working with PowerShell. You hear a lot of people around you talking about GIT and you want to get into the game. But there are so many possibilities, you have no clue where to start. You're not a dev, you just write small scripts every now and then. Then this session is for you.

Don't hesitate to bring your laptop in this workshop to getting started with GIT. We cover the absolute basics in a very practical way. In the end you will be able to use GIT for your own PowerShell scripts, as backup and version control.

Infrastructure as Code: Better safe than sorry

With infrastructure as code, you can deploy resources to Azure with just a few lines of code. It's easy to start, just click "export template", copy PowerShell code from the documentation or use the VSCode extensions for ARM templates or Bicep. What could possible go wrong?

With great power comes great responsibility. How do we make sure the code, the Azure resources and the team running it are all safe? In this talk, we will look at different ways to test Bicep and ARM templates before they are deployed to the real world. After that, let's not forget about the team processes to protect the environment and ourselves. In the end you will have some practical guidance to ensure your code is secure, risks are mitigated and you can work together to manage your Azure environment.

Automating Azure: Make the portal work for you

So you are settling in with Azure. Creating and managing resources, keeping track with Azure Monitor, Making use of the different IAAS, PAAS and SAAS offerings.
To take it all to the next level, let's consider an environment where you do not need the portal. It is possible to have a complete Azure environment running on automation and code, taking away all manual work and the need for the Portal. The quickest way to start with that? Use the portal.

In this talk we take a look at the different types of automation that Azure has to offer for daily tasks, resource creation and maintenance. For each tool, we look at how the portal helps you create your code and what other resources are available to start your own automation journey.

Deploying to Azure: Azure DevOps Pipelines vs GitHub Actions

When it comes to infrastructure as code, Azure DevOps is a great way to bring your resources directly to Azure with the pipelines. It helps you automate the processes around the code so you are always sure your environment is consistent.

Two years ago, GitHub announced a new pipeline on the block: GitHub Actions. You are able to deploy to Azure as well, but how do they compare? In this session, we will look at the similarities and the differences between these two tools. How much time does it take to learn, how much management do they require and how do they connect to Azure? Let's find out which of the two fits your own use case best!

No cartoons in Azure: Creating a solid naming- and tagging strategy

Working with Azure brings a very familiar challenge: the naming convention. Who remembers inheriting servers named after cartoons, vegetables, scientists or random jokes? It's always funny until it starts scaling. With Azure, you reach this point very fast and it pays to get it right directly.
In this talk, we will look at the choices to make, the technical and strategical challenges and some tips & tricks from the field. Last but not least, let's see how we can integrate that naming- and tagging convention in our Infrastructure as Code to help get the most consistent environment. You will thank yourself later!

Bicep: From zero to hero

If you're working with infrastructure as code and Azure, you've likely heard about Bicep. Still waiting for the right moment to dive in? Well, your opportunity has arrived!

Join me as we start a journey through Visual Studio Code to discover Bicep. We'll start with the basics and gradually unveil the full spectrum of features Bicep offers, from conditions and loops to modules, registries, and testing opportunities. This session is packed with demos and real-life examples. By the end, you'll be just as thrilled as I am to get started with Bicep!

GitHub Actions to deploy to Azure: Take it to the next level

A basic deployment to Azure from GitHub Actions can be set up in 10 minutes. And we will do that, to get the basics down. But let's take it a step further. How can you make sure a workflow runs as efficient and flexible as possible? What options do you have to make a connection? Can different Bicep templates interact with each other? How do you work with stages? How do you make the workflow act differently based on branch or pull request label? Can you implement manual approvals?

In this session we will start with the basic workflow and walk through these great options that GitHub has to offer to get your workflow to work for you.

Copilot for Microsoft 365: The things you didn't think about

Of course you already know about Copilot for Microsoft 365. And you probably want it! You're eager to jump in and simplify your work life. But hold on a sec, it's not just about snagging those licenses and diving in.

There are a few things to think about first. Like, is your Sharepoint dataa ready for an AI powerhouse sifting through? Is your data even on SharePoint? And let's talk strategy. Copilot for Microsoft 365 doesn't come for free, so who gets access? How do you make that call without ruffling feathers?

Then there is the added challenge of making sure your employees not only understand how to make the most of Copilot for Microsoft 365, but also use it in a responsible way. AI's got its quirks, and awareness is key.

By the end of this session, you will have all the answers to the questions you didn't even know you had to ask. You'll be prepped to roll out Copilot for Microsoft 365 across your company and make the most of its new opportunities!

Barbara Forbes

Azure technical lead @ OGD | Azure MVP | GitHub Star


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