Rory Preddy

Rory Preddy

Microsoft Principal Cloud Advocate

Johannesburg, South Africa

Rory works in the Developer Relations team at Microsoft as a Principal Cloud Advocate. Cloud Advocates use their deep research skills to help professional cloud developers discover and successfully use Microsoft’s platforms.
A seasoned speaker whose talks are both meaningful and humorous, Rory speaks around the world empowering developers to achieve more.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • java
  • Azure
  • Accessibility

Git It Done with GitHub Copilot!

Are you tired of mundane tasks, human errors, complex algorithms or navigating a steep learning curve getting in the way of your success as a developer? Come discover how with GitHub Copilot by my side, it's like having my own Hal 9000 to guide me every step along the way. From repetitive scripting commands to automating tedious processes and double-checking for mistakes, this power tool packs quite a punch while ensuring I can stay focused on becoming an excellent coder. So join us and learn more about all that can be achieved thanks to GitHub Copilot – because coding should always come first!

Finding a needle in a haystack, except the needle is also made of hay - How AZD changed everything

Forget the adage "speed wins the race"; wise developers know it's all about using the right methods. Like the clever tortoise, we've learned that the key to developer velocity is not about being the fastest but learning the right tools and processes from millions of our developer's inputs.

But don't worry; their bungles have led to our code ninja tool - the Azure Developer CLI (AZD). We'll go deep into the wisdom gained from creating the AZD tooling and show you how to avoid the pitfalls and embrace the path to developer velocity.

You'll leave the session with easy-to-use commands that will take you from creating a local project, a development container, running everything locally and optionally deploying it to the cloud.

This high-energy, fun-filled session will serve a side of SASS and a sprinkle of hilariousness. It's like finding a needle in a needle stack - easy peasy! So join me for how we built our tooling and changed developing cloud apps from days to seconds.

Harnessing OpenAI to help millions

Are you ready to join the revolution of AI bots that spread like a virus, but instead of causing harm, they enhance for all? That's right, we're talking about a world where everyone can access and enjoy your platform with just a few simple clicks.

This high-energy, informational, and empowering session will be packed with actionable takeaways and tales from the front lines of OpenAI programming. You'll hear about our tools, our breakthroughs, and the emotional journey leading to them. So grab a seat, get ready to level up your app development game, and let's build a more inclusive future together!

“Stop right now and put your Repo up” – How to develop securely in the cloud.

Shock, you've been hacked – you don't even know what to do – you rush to your laptop, power it up, and panic, potentially introducing more risk. But wait, there is a better idea – query code as though it were data. Write a query to find all vulnerability variants, eradicating them forever.
In this session, we'll guide you through the following:
- Historical cybersecurity vulnerabilities
- Write a query to find these harmful patterns, eradicating them forever with suggested fixes.
- Hone your bug-finding skills and share your queries to help others do the same.
Are you concerned about the security of your projects?
Join us for live demos, highlighting the latest developer security and penetration testing techniques and the free tools to develop securely.

Automate an idea to production using Spring Boot apps

Imagine that you're an infrastructure manager who's been asked to provision your Spring Boot resources by using Terraform.

In this session, you’ll learn how to automate Spring Boot Apps from an idea to Production.

We’ll cover:

- Provisioning a database and an Azure App Service instance using Terraform and GitHub Actions

- Configure your repo to build and deploy your application on-demand.

At Microsoft we encourage you to use the tools and frameworks that you know and love - We go to where developers are!

You love GitHub - Now, you can learn how to use GitHub Actions with Terraform to provide the automation you need for your Spring Boot apps on Azure.

So, start your journey now with "Automate an idea to production using Spring Boot apps."

Programming for Accessibility

My life is a hilarious roller coaster of miss-intended programming bugs because at 120 cm tall and 50 kilograms I completely fall off your radar.

Why did my scale call me! Why does facial recognition see me as a child? These are all valid questions I often ask myself as I navigate my weird and different world. Have you heard the phrase “You have to be this tall for Micro-services”? well what about: “You have to be this tall to operate a mobile phone?”. I am finding it harder and harder to reach any button except for “#” and “9”.

Building accessibility into the planning stages of programming can eliminate barriers for participation and create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Programming for diversity serves as an unquestionable indicator that your software embraces the diversity of your users and cares about their safety and comfort.

Join me on a fascinating and thought-provoking look at how you can program for accessibility.

My Talk Overview - I begin my talk by explaining the everyday challenges that I encounter. Then, I show, how too often, adaptation and dissemination to technological innovations widen the gap towards equal access for persons with disabilities.

I then introduce the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), the technical guidelines created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to create accessible mobile and web-based applications.

I conclude by going through a straightforward design process that shows how accessibility can become a feature set and not a hindrance.

My Inspiration - I often forget that I'm a little person. It's the physical environment and society that remind me. In giving you an insight into who I am today, I wanted to offer you a new perspective. I wanted to challenge the idea that design is but a tool to create function and beauty. The design dramatically impacts people's lives, all lives. Design is a way to feel included in the world, but it is also a way to uphold a person's dignity and human rights. Unfortunately, design can also inflict vulnerability on a group whose needs we don't consider.

So today, I want your perceptions challenged. Who are we not designing for? How can we amplify their voices and their experiences? What is the next step? Design is an enormous privilege, but it is an immense responsibility. So, I want to open your eyes.

Why am I the best person to do this talk:
1) I will do the topic proud!: I have broad experience in public speaking on accessibility. I work closely with the Accessibility Team at Microsoft and co-lead Accessibility advocacy for Developer relations at Microsoft

2) I will do the conference proud!: As a seasoned speaker, I often speak at both conferences and user groups. I have experience in delivering talks to large groups (100,000+) and have been professionally trained.

3) I will make the community proud!: I believe strongly in accessible software, and this conference is privileged to address essential accessibility issues. However, I am also aware that this may be a sensitive topic and will ensure that I take the utmost care in wording my talk in the most discreet manner.

Revolutionize Your Development with Semantic Kernel: The Future of AI-Powered Applications!

🚀 Get ready to supercharge your development with Semantic Kernel and Semantic Kernel Tools! This powerful SDK and extension for Visual Studio Code lets you mix conventional programming languages with the latest in Large Language Model AI to deliver delightful and intelligent experiences. With SK, you can quickly and easily integrate AI capabilities into your applications without needing to train or fine-tune a model from scratch. And with SK's Skills, Memories, and Connectors, you'll have maximum flexibility to build new experiences that bring unparalleled productivity for your users. Plus, with Semantic Kernel Tools, you'll be able to develop your own semantic skills faster and with greater ease. So what are you waiting for? Join the AI revolution with Semantic Kernel and Semantic Kernel Tools today! 🤖

AI, Accessibility and 1.6 billion people

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, the tools we harness today shape the future we build tomorrow. As a Principal Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, I've had the unique opportunity to work at the forefront of this transformation, particularly in the realm of AI and developer tooling.

In this talk, I will guide you through an exploration of four revolutionary tools that are redefining the boundaries of software development: OpenAI, ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, and VSCode. We'll delve into how these tools are enhancing developer productivity, improving software quality, and even automating the process of code generation and bug fixing. I'll also be showcasing live demos using VSCode, a tool that I've had the privilege of helping reach 2 million active Java developers.

But our journey won't stop there. I'll also introduce you to a unique bot, powered by OpenAI and Playwright, that identifies and rectifies accessibility issues automatically. This bot is not just a theoretical concept, but a practical tool that is already making a difference for the 1.6 billion people who use Windows.

As we navigate this landscape together, we'll not only gain a deeper understanding of these revolutionary tools but also explore the broader implications they hold for our industry and the world at large. We'll discuss how AI and developer tooling can make technology more accessible and inclusive, and how we can all contribute to this important mission.

This is more than a session—it's a journey into the future of AI in developer tooling and accessibility, and I can't wait to share it with you.

Super charge your Java Apps on Azure

Your software requires a well-designed, performant and secure managed cloud environment. Did you know that all this is easily achieved with Java on Azure?

Join me as I show you recent Azure Java advancements and how easy it is to integrate these to design scalable, secure, and highly available Cloud solutions.

We'll be live-coding real-world applications that demonstrate:

- Migrate existing Java apps to Azure with no code changes with Azure Spring Apps
- Build Microservices with Container Apps and Dapr
- Drive higher utilization with Autoscaling and Distributed Tracing
- New Visual Studio Code Java features
- All deployed with GitHub Actions!

At Microsoft, we encourage you to use the tools and frameworks that you know and love- We go to where developers are!
You love Java - Now, you can learn how to use Azure to Supercharge your Java Apps!
You'll leave the session with a new understanding of recent and upcoming announcements and how to get started with Java on Azure.

Lessons learnt using CodeSpaces and Copilot to code apps anywhere, anytime.

My best moment of harmony is when I take a shower. I'm not even thinking, then suddenly BAM! The solution hits me!
In the past, I had rushed to my laptop, powered it up, and spent critical time setting it up!
Now I can spin up a whole project-customized development environment from zero in a few seconds!

Once set up, I can use the new VSCode extensions and Language Servers to cycle through coding suggestions and edit the suggested code in a fantastic flow.

The secret is it connects to Spring Boot Actuator Endpoints and navigates to Spring-specific elements of your source code with live request mappings of running apps, runtime beans, their auto-wiring, and more!
Once I am ready to test my app, I use the new lightning-fast testing extension – turn minutes into milli-seconds!

Join us for a fascinating reflection on our original vision, new achievements, and the Spring development tools that remove the friction of spinning up developer environments!

(Small print)
In my session, I'll guide you through:

- Spring tooling and the whole CodeSpace experience
- Write a REST API using GitHub Copilot
- Run, debug and deploy in the Browser

Zero-To-Hero with Container Apps

Join us in this beginner session, where we'll take you from zero to implementing and developing Container Apps.

We'll guide you through the following aspects:

- Start your development seamlessly in GitHub Codespaces without installing anything on your local machine.
- Create a new project using integrated tooling.
- Write a REST API using Test Driven Development and the comprehensive online code editor.
- Run and debug your Docker app—all from within Codespaces.
- Deploy to Azure with GitHub Actions on every "git push".
- Scale all the way down to zero or scale out to meet global demand in response to HTTP requests or events.
- Alternatively, run your app as always-on background services
This beginner-oriented session should empower everyone to write code on a production level.

Take the suckage out of Microservices with Container Apps.

Kubernetes is an "8k 120fps" platform — But even after years of its launch, the industry struggles to get the developer experience right.

If we want to empower developers to create end-to-end full-stack microservices architectures, we need to provide some way to mimic their standard developer flow. Until then, that last push to production will always reveal hidden issues.

Join us in this beginner session, where we'll take you from zero to implementing and developing applications using Container Apps.

We'll guide you through the following aspects:

- Create and develop your browser-based project
- Run and debug your Docker app—all from within GitHub Codespaces.
- Deploy to Azure with GitHub Actions on every "git push".
- Scale down to zero or scale out to meet global demand in response to HTTP requests or events.
- Use DAPR for seamless Microservice Integration or run your app as an always-on background service.

Join us to see how to leverage a natural developer flow for your microservices with Container Apps.

Rory Preddy

Microsoft Principal Cloud Advocate

Johannesburg, South Africa