HOW CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICE IS ENHANCING ENGINEERING PROCESSES IN THE TECH ECOSYSTEM; A CASE STUDY OF MICROSOFT AZURE – TechCabal

Microsoft Africa Development Center Set to Connects Azure Developers in Africa through Virtual Event - Rave Online News

Cloud Computing has become a leveraging platform in the tech ecosystem with a wide range of services used by developers and software engineers, institutions, and businesses from data storage, networking, and processing power through to natural language processing and artificial intelligence as well as standard office applications.

Cloud computing services have over the years benefited firms and companies helping to avoid the upfront cost and complexity of maintaining and owning their own IT infrastructure.

Quite a number of cloud service providers have emerged as the demand for cloud computing services by individuals and organizations is on a rise. Worthy of mention is the Amazon Web service(AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud service, Alibaba cloud among others. Each of these cloud services offers amazing functions and features to developers, engineers, and organizations at large. A user favorite that tops the list of most used  cloud platforms due to the fact that the public cloud computing platform is flexible and open with a high level of reliability is the Microsoft Azure (Azure)

Microsoft Azure is a set of cloud-based computing services that are accessible to businesses, developers, government agencies, and anyone who wants to build an app or run an enterprise on the internet without the need to install and manage hardware or server software. In other words, the cloud computing platform allows one to access and manage cloud services. Cloud computing services on Microsoft Azure available to organizations and individuals include- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS). Even though most people are cynical about the entire concept of cloud computing, their only focus is the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)-the replacement of physical hardware with cloud-based services. 

It should be established that a small part of the Azure business does not make up for the full range of Microsoft Azure which means while physical hardware is replaced with cloud-based services, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) gives and organization access to cloud-based services without necessarily managing a server. A vivid example in explaining this is one can build a Node JS site without a configuration of the underlying windows.

It is worthy of mention that Azure is not only accessible to organizations, businesses, and governments, but also to developers and software engineers. The Cloud Computing platform offers a wide range of benefits to developers of apps, web-based sites, and services to use Azure storage and services as building blocks, without worrying about the security or reliability of the underlying infrastructure.

Azure also offers developers and software engineers instant access to services for developing mobile apps, designing IoT devices, connecting to online storage and database resources, and deploying container technology. 

Microsoft’s investment in the evolving and development of the ecosystem cannot be underestimated as the tech giant through its engineering center Microsoft Africa Development Center (ADC) organized one of its user group series events on the best practices and way of inventing with Azure. At the event, participants were exposed to the capabilities of Microsoft Azure as it was important for them to know the uniqueness of the cloud computing platform and how it has provided the world’s most comprehensive developer toolkit whilst supporting developers to build amazing cloud apps with Azure. Some of the major highlights at the event were the practical demonstration of how developers and software engineers could leverage Azure for continuous deployment and integration- the first session of the event took participants through the CI/CD of Azure and the effective enterprise of DevelOPs. A practical demo on CI/CD has been shared as well as the numerous things developers can do on Github and how it is associated with Azure. 

Furthermore, there was a practical session on having Azure Function communicate with cosmos DB, the Azure storage, and how developers and software engineers can create an OpenAPI spec in 15 mins or less. Participants also learned how to build an op using a tool in the Azure function and how it can run on an event and the uniqueness of the Azure function which is to decorate the C#  functions with attributes. 

Participants also gleaned from the event the difference between Azure BICEP and Azure ARM. The Azure ARM and BICEP are different ways of creating resources on Azure through the Azure portal. While the BICEP is a domain-specific language that allows declarative deployment of Azure resources, the ARM is a way to save the configuration in code but their similarities are not far-fetched, as everything done on ARM can be done on BICEP. They learned about the BICEP modules- the deployment of a BICEP file from another. 

At the event, participants were opened to the various career paths that can be explored as an Azure software engineer, some of which are Full-stack Software Engineer, Data scientist, Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, Mobile, and Web Development, Gaming, and extended Reality Engineers. 

They were also given insight into the services available on Azure- Azure special anchor which is a fast way of building a 3D model, Azure cognitive services, and Azure machine learning.   

Clearly from the event, developers and software engineers can develop new applications or even upscale existing applications. This gives them the freedom to build, manage, and deploy cloud-native and hybrid applications on a massive global cloud using their favorite tools and frameworks. With a lot of cloud computing service providers, what seems to stand Azure out is simply its effectiveness and reliability when it comes to data storage. 

As the technology industry continues to evolve and advance in innovations, developers and software engineers can invent and develop next-gen apps with Azure and in light of this, the cloud computing program fosters and accelerates the development of each area of their digital innovation to drive global transformation.

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