Most Active Speaker

Mike Benkovich

Mike Benkovich

Exploring the possible

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States


A developer, business owner, consultant, cloud architect, Microsoft Azure MVP and an online instructor, Mike Benkovich is an alumni of Microsoft from 2004 to 2012 where he helped build developer communities across the US, thru work on Microsoft Across America, MSDN Events, MSDN Webcasts, DPE and Channel 9. He's helped to create and grow developer conferences and user groups in various cities across the US. While at Microsoft he helped create the Azure Boot Camp events that were run in cities across the US and at PDC and TechEd before it was transferred to the community. In 2009 he started a Toastmaster club for Geeks called TechMasters in Minneapolis where we still grow speakers for Conferences. He's a LinkedIn Learning Instructor for Azure, have developed many online courses. Mike actively works in Azure Cloud Governance, DevOps, Application Architecture and Software Delivery consulting.


Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Real Estate & Architecture


  • Azure Mobile Development Enterprise Architecture
  • dotnet
  • Azure DevOps
  • Azure
  • Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)
  • dotnet core
  • Azure PaaS
  • Microsoft Azure

What Manifests are These?

Working with Kubernetes means understanding more than just having an App or an API that we want to deploy. A manifest is a specification that Kubernetes uses that is expressed in JSON or YAML that defines a desired state for an object that Kubernetes will maintain when you apply it. Understanding how to define and configure the various parts of a manifest, as well as which objects do we need is crucial to success with orchestration. In this session we’ll dive into the core things you need to know to help you navigate your Kubernetes adventure.

Journey to a Well Governed Cloud

Explore cloud adoption with Azure as a developer and architect. We'll talk about the principles of a well run cloud, including resource consistency, observability, and access management. This session includes live demos on setting up Azure landing zones, integrating cloud services, and using Infrastructure as Code tools like ARM, Bicep, and Terraform. You'll also learn about automating processes with tools like Azure DevOps and GitHub, and how Azure Policy fits into the picture. Whether you're honing your skills or reshaping your cloud governance strategy, this session is your guide to exploring Azure's cloud governance landscape.

A Dive into GitHub Actions

GitHub is one of the most popular code sharing tools available, and Actions allow us to respond to changes in the code to automate tasks that need to happen to deliver value from that code. In this session we'll take a look at GitHub Actions, the YAML format it uses to define workflows and explore how we can apply patterns and practices to turn our code into running software.

Working with ChatGPT for Developers: A Hands-On Approach

In this session, attendees will learn how to work with ChatGPT, a cutting-edge language model developed by OpenAI. This session will cover the basics of ChatGPT, including how it works and how it can be integrated into various applications. We will also explore the potential use cases for ChatGPT, including natural language processing, conversational AI, and more. Attendees will be guided through a series of demos that illustrate how to work with ChatGPT in a hands-on manner, using tools such as GitHub and ASP.NET Core.

IaC Forged in Code: ARM/Bicep vs Terraform vs Pulumi

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a powerful way to automate the deployment of your Azure infrastructure. With IaC, you can define your infrastructure in code, and use that code to deploy and manage your resources. In this session, we will explore the different ways to use IaC in Azure, including Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Microsoft's Bicep language processor, and popular open-source tools like Terraform and Pulumi. We'll also compare the pros and cons of each approach, and discuss when it's best to use each one. Whether you're new to IaC or a seasoned veteran, this session will provide you with the knowledge you need to take your cloud deployments to the next level.

Permit to Cloud - Land with confidence in Azure

An application is an idea that has code, data and infrastructure, and choosing whether to build a conveyor belt or to put up guard rails along the path is important in maintaining velocity to the cloud. In this session, we explore the tools available in Azure for creating and enforcing governance policy, standards and infrastructure, including Azure resource template technologies and Bicep, Azure blueprints, as well as DevOps processes including GitHub Actions that you can use to ensure your cloud journey is predictable, secure and compliant. We’ll see how the tools work and share best practices for maturing your cloud journey.

From Core to Containers to Orchestration - Modernizing my Compute

Azure started as a Platform as a Service with Cloud Services, but since it launched has evolved to include several newer and very useful options for compute. Depending on your hosting model and how you do DevOps, requirements for scalability and availability you have tradeoffs that affect your long term costs and decision. In this session we look at how containerization has altered the landscape and to go from a monolith mindset to microservices requires more than wishful thinking or a management edict. As the cloud advances we need to understand the tradeoffs between compute options and make smart decisions on what makes the most sense to ensure you can get where you're going.

Oh My Dockerfile!

Containerization is a challenge that comes down to understanding how process virtualization works and what we need to do to define images. In this session we'll dive into what makes a Dockerfile, the commands we need to work with it and how we can leverage tools and technology to build containers that work for us.

Performance Tuning strategies for Cosmos DB

Understanding how your data works is crucial to taking advantage of the capabilities and power of Cosmos DB, from setting up and migrating data, to querying to understanding performance consequences of data manipulation. Designing your data access plan is critical to performance, from selection of partition keys to indexing strategies to change feeds. We'll explore data architecture topics and tuning practices to get reliable and predictable performance from your Cosmos investment.

Where's my Stuff? Exploring data storage options in Azure

Data is the currency of tomorrow, and with the explosion of IoT, edge devices, cloud computing and cheap storage it's never been more important to define and build around a solid data architecture. The tools of yesterday brought us to where we are, but the relational engine is not your only choice. In this session we look at storage options, including Relational, NoSQL and Document databases including SQL Azure, MySQL, Cosmos DB and Azure Storage, and show pros and cons of each. We walk thru converting a real application from using SQL Server to using storage options in the cloud, including SQL Database, table storage and Cosmos DB. We see how to leverage storage patterns to make the most out of our investment in the cloud.

Confessions of an Evangelist: Get Started Speaking at Conferences

You’ve been there, at a code camp or conference and you know more about a topic than the speaker. You want to get up and show your stuff but how do you make that happen? Delivering presentations at code camps and conferences requires some thinking, planning and execution to make it happen, and making it a success requires some skill. Fortunately these can be learned. In this talk we will look at what is involved in taking your act to the main stage, from the selection of a topic to finding out who to talk to. We’ll cover the logistics of responding to calls for content, where to get the speaking skills, to the tricks for how to successfully deliver a technical demo. We will show you what you need to know to add professional speaker to your resume and have some fun along the way.

NDC Sydney 2024 Sessionize Event

February 2024 Sydney, Australia

NDC London 2024 Sessionize Event

January 2024 London, United Kingdom

Live! 360 Orlando 2023 Sessionize Event

November 2023 Orlando, Florida, United States

Web Developer Conference '23 Sessionize Event

September 2023 Hamburg, Germany

Copenhagen Developers Festival 2023 Sessionize Event

August 2023 Copenhagen, Denmark

Louisville .NET Meetup User group Sessionize Event

August 2023 Louisville, Kentucky, United States

KCDC 2023 Sessionize Event

June 2023 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

NDC London 2023 Sessionize Event

January 2023 London, United Kingdom

KCDC 2022 Sessionize Event

August 2022 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Beer City Code 2022 Sessionize Event

August 2022 Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

dev up 2022 Sessionize Event

June 2022 St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Live! 360 Orlando 2021 Sessionize Event

November 2021 Orlando, Florida, United States

NDC Oslo 2020 Sessionize Event

June 2020 Oslo, Norway

Twin Cities Code Cam,p 2020

Where's my Stuff? Exploring data storage options in Azure

April 2020

Visual Studio Live! Las Vegas & Austin 2020 Sessionize Event

March 2020 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States


YAML Pipelines for Modern Compute

February 2020 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

dev up Conference 2019 Sessionize Event

October 2019 St. Louis, Missouri, United States

KCDC 2019 Sessionize Event

July 2019 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Mike Benkovich

Exploring the possible

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States


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