Microsoft Build 2021: My Sessions, Teams and Everything Else I’d Recommend

Written: 25/05/2021 | Updated: N/A

This has to be a quick one. In just a few hours time – straight after Satya Nadella’s keynote I am on and in a Table Talk concerning Dataverse for Microsoft Teams, and having just returned from annual leave yesterday and teaching Microsoft Teams Fundamentals all day long, it’s been an absolutely crazy last 48 hours. So Build. I love Build. As an IT Pro people have often asked me as to why I like Build considering I am not a developer. And the reason is not because it’s online and free. Nor is it because I am a huge advocate of Microsoft. Build is Microsoft’s principle event of the year aimed at developers – and whilst I am not a developer and will probably never think of myself as even a citizen developer even though I work quite a bit now with the Power Platform, for me the real value is twofold. First Build is in the broadest sense of someone involved in technology an event all about passion for innovation, for technology which can help others and make our lives easier. People come together, young and old, from every background, for the general good, to solve problems, to take things to the next level and redefine the art of the possible. In that sense, Build is the most positive and aspirational of all the Microsoft events. To me, it says I can make a difference. I can create something which matters to people. Secondly, Build is often a bellwether for what is going to happen over the course of the next year. Build sits pretty much at the end of Microsoft’s financial year, and what we see in Build is Microsoft is really starting to think about what it wants from the next fiscal which starts in July, where it want’s developers to focus and where it’s own developers are focusing. There is many insights we can glean before we get to Inspire and before he head onto Ignite. I tend to think of it now as the beginning of Microsoft’s event year.

If you haven’t already register here. It’s never too late


Having spoken 3 times at Ignite, this is the first time I am speaking at Microsoft Build. I am involved in 4 sessions, 1 of which I am speaking and 3 others of which I am moderating. The session will be a Table Talk on Dataverse for Teams with Vesa Nopanen, Mar Llambi, Reza Dorrani and Karoliina Kettukari. We all work a lot with Teams, and we all work on Power Platform Integration. We’ll be having a chat with the audience along with April Dunnum who will also be joining as a special guest. Now as mentioned previously I don’t class myself as any kind of developer, however this year I have done quite a lot on Bulletins, Milestones, Employee Ideas – Power Apps which are housed in Dataverse for teams, as well as Power Automate and App Security at both the environment and app level, so I guess this means I have somehow edged into citizen developer territory: and having done talks this year with Vesa Nopanen on Teams as a Platform and the approvals app which split out from Power Automate, I thought the time was right to apply, and was very happy to be accepted this time around. Hopefully, like Ignite, I can continue to make an appearance in the future

CON034 | Unleash the power of Dataverse with Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Speaker

BRK242-R1: Learn how to build exciting apps across meetings, chats, and channels within Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

ATEBRK242-R1: Building apps across meetings, chats, and channels within or outside Microsoft Teams
Link: Here
Role: Moderator

ATEBRK240-R1: Deliver value with apps that plug into the Microsoft Teams platform
Link: Here
Role: Moderator


I used to write out all the sessions at Microsoft Ignite which I would attend. However, Microsoft have done the very handy job of putting all of the Teams sessions into a PDF which you can open and use here

I’ll be watching the following sessions

Build the next generation of collaborative apps for hybrid work

Empowering developers with powerful tooling and enabling frictionless app adoption

Learn how the most successful apps in Microsoft Teams plug into the platform to deliver customer value

Learn how to build exciting apps across meetings, chats, and channels within or outside Microsoft Teams

Build solutions that span across Microsoft Teams, Viva Connections and SharePoint

Building great apps for Microsoft Teams using the Fluent Design System

Integrate with Microsoft Teams data using Microsoft Graph


Whilst my principle focus at Ignite is on Teams, I am professionally interested in pretty much the whole Microsoft stack. Here are 5 other sessions which I will watch throughout the conference, or be putting into the backpack to roll at a later date

Microsoft Edge: State of the platform

Getting started with Microsoft Graph Data Connect

Power Platform is the best way for teams to build together

Extend your Power Virtual Agents with Bot Framework Composer

Power BI for BI pros and Data Engineers


Being an MCT Regional Lead it’s really important to flag opportunities for learning. There are lots of sessions (over 20) which can be found at the Learning zone. Also recommended to watch is the Imagine Cup.

Learning Zone

Like Ignite, you can decide to take on the Cloud Skills Challenge.


I would like to wish you all the best for a great Build experience! A few tips which may help during the three days given my experiences at Ignite

  • There are a lot of sessions and it isn’t going to be possible to view them all during the conference. There will be conflicts. Use the backpack in order to go back and watch sessions you missed
  • Most sessions have repeats so look at all times as one could be better suited for your schedule
  • Sessions which are prerecorded can be watched anytime, prioritise live
  • Take regular breaks. You would take regular breaks at an in person conference. Stay hydrated and well fed and get away from the screen and stretch your legs
  • Get provisions in terms of eating, drinking and anything else you need so you are well prepared logistically
  • Ultimately, most things will be recorded so if you miss something you can always catch up. Don’t underprioritise family and friends!
  • Try and mix it up! There is a wide range of formats including Sessions, Learn Workshops and Table Talks. It could be more enjoyable to get involved in different sessions as opposed to just breakouts
  • Try to book a least a few sessions in every day, whilst you don’t want to take the spontaneity out of the event, having a few booked in will at least give you some structure throughout
  • Table Talks and Learn workshops are RSVP – book now to avoid disappointment
  • If a session is good, call out the session and the speaker on social and give them a boost for a job well done
  • Keep the conversations positive! We are all hear to have a great time and be together
  • Do technical checks early on Tuesday to ensure you are good to go for the keynote. Remember that the keynote is in AltspaceVR this time around so it’s important to follow the instructions and download it before otherwise you may have issues and miss the keynote
  • Stay in touch with colleagues and friends in Teams and even watch sessions together

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