Hey y’all, and thanks for joining us for another edition of Dux Quax: The Road to #MSIgnite!

For this installment, I’m privileged to be joined by Seth Juarez, a technical evangelist for Microsoft who also heads up Microsoft’s Channel 9 content. Make sure you check out his show on Channel 9 where he meets MVPs around the world.

In addition, I’m so excited that Seth and I will be co-hosting a Microsoft Ignite Live online show on Day 1 of Microsoft Ignite. We’ll bring the Microsoft Ignite action live from Orlando along with fellow Community Reporters to folks joining online. Also, for those attending Ignite, check out this catalog of sessions on the topics we cover in this video.

Join Seth and I on a smoky day in Redmond as we talk about all things Cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Hope you enjoy!

Dux: Hi, everyone, welcome to another episode of “Dux Quax: Road to Ignite.” Seth, it’s kinda hot for Seattle.

Seth: Yeah, and not only that, but it’s been kinda smoky. Apparently some fire in Canada or something.

Dux: Right. And is that typical this time of the year?

Seth: Well, we’ve had a really long stretch of, like, sun, which is not normal, but I think the weather is like, “Oh, we’re gonna be nice, but we’re gonna put some smokiness in there, because we can’t have it too bright.” It’s Seattle after all.

Dux: And not everybody has AC here, right?

Seth: I don’t, and it’s hot. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. We have to open the windows in the morning, close them in the middle of the morning, and then…

Dux: So also the smoke won’t come in and…

Seth: Yeah. Well, just so the house will stay cool. Now, again, I used to live in Nevada, and so this isn’t like super hot, but it is kinda hot for me now, I got accustomed to it.

Dux: It’s all good. I mean, looks like you’re having a fun summer.

Seth: Absolutely, yeah. Did a couple of vacation things, and I’m pretty happy.

Dux: So, before we get going here, Seth, why don’t you quickly introduce yourself to everyone watching and what you do for Microsoft?

Seth: So I’m Seth. I work for Channel 9. I work on Channel 9 content. Recently I’ve been made into a cloud developer advocate covering AI and ML. My background is machine learning, artificial intelligence stuff.

Dux: Channel 9, man, that’s like the go-to place for…at least for me and everybody I know in my company.

Seth: I hope so. I mean, we do our best to make good developer content. Our content is mostly focused on technical types, and so we try not to overproduce. We literally get in there in one take, you’re like, “Hey, talk about product X, or show us about how product Y works, or tell us about Z,” and that’s what we do. We really try to be authentic voice for developers.

Dux: So how long have you been doing this?

Seth: So really only two years. I started in February…not this February…two Februarys ago. So it’s been like two and a half years, not very long ago.

Dux: Got it. Do you have a dev background? What is your background?

Seth: Yeah, I got a computer science degree. I did research in NLP, machine translation. I got my masters…

Dux: Neuro-linguistics programming, right?

Seth: Natural language processing.

Dux: Natural language processing, yeah.

Seth: And so I got my masters at the University of Utah, and then I was a program manager, analytics program manager. I was a senior dev before that, and then I got hired here at Microsoft [inaudible 00:02:31].

Dux: So, in your vast experience, what are your observations with dev and how things are changing, especially with the onset of…and evolution of the cloud?

Seth: So, with the cloud, before…and here…I was in Peru for a show we were doing, and I was interviewing some people about how the cloud has changed stuff, and this is the anecdote they told me. They said, “Look, in Peru, if I was a startup, before I’d have to, like, make a server, and so I’d have to buy it. Then it would take three to four months to get on the boat to Peru, and then it would take another couple of months to get it out of customs, and then I would have to put it in a building and cool it. And so from idea to actual production, just to get even things installed, six months.”

Dux: It’s not only that, right? After you get it, then you install the software and the OS…

Seth: Yeah, and it’s a lot of stuff. And so…

Dux: …integration.

Seth: And so he was telling me, he was like, “Listen, Seth, now, with the cloud, I can go from idea to something out there in an hour.”

Dux: It’s crazy.

Seth: Right? Because the cloud has changed the way that we actually think about deploying and making software. It’s a concern we no longer have to worry about, and particularly in areas like Peru or other areas…

Dux: Or emerging markets?

Seth: Yeah, emerging markets. Like, you can actually create ideas and make things really fast, and the cloud’s really revolutionizing the way that happens.

Dux: And here’s the exciting part about the cloud. I know Satya talked about intelligent cloud, intelligent edge. When the cloud was just starting, you know, there’s the mindset, “Oh, the cloud is storage. The cloud is we’re gonna collapse our data centers, and we have, like, this virtual data center,” if you may. But then beyond storage, beyond compute, all these advanced workloads, we talk about AI and ML, there’s no way I can do it on-prem. There’s just no way.

Seth: And my particular passion is machine learning and AI. Like, before, when you had to do these kinds of workloads, like for example, when I went to school and I wanted to do something computationally expensive, I would have to go to the MPI lab and be like, “Hey, can I reserve time on the supercomputer?” And since I was, like, new there, I’d be like, “Yeah, you could do it at 2:00 in the morning for an hour,” and it’s just like, “Hey…”

Dux: And whatever you do is nowhere near what you could do today?

Seth: No, no. And so now I can actually stand up, like, a huge machine with, like, really powerful GPUs and do some amazing things and just tear it down when I’m done. And so for those that are doing, like, AI and ML workloads, it’s changed the way you actually do that kind of thing. And now with things like Azure ML, you’re able to do experiments a little bit easier, you’re able to reason about data a lot faster.

And then now with, for example…I forget what it’s called, but there’s this…oh, I think it’s called Azure Data Lake, now you’re able to put everything together into this entire workflow of AI and ML, yeah.

Dux: And not only that, talking about, like, learning and testing, you can actually test massive sets of data. And, like, again, if you are on-prem, fine, if you figure how to do it, great, but then how much infrastructure and hardware and computer power you need.

Seth: It’s literally commoditizing, like, the things that only giant organizations could do, anyone can do at any time. And, for example, if you have a visual studio subscription of any kind, you have some Azure money already there you can use, yeah.

Dux: Well, and then Microsoft encourages this, too. Like, there’s a lot of great programs. You know, there’s programs for startups. There’s programs for non-profits, or even you look at the community, right, the MVP ecosystem, a lot of the devs have access to this technology, and, like you said, an hour or two you may be able to create something phenomenal that you couldn’t before.