Anyone can learn to be technical: Top non-techy takeaways from Microsoft Build 2024

Last month, I had the wondrous opportunity of attending Microsoft Build as an employee creator! Although Build is a conference for the global developer community, I still learned a lot from going behind-the-scenes of this incredible event and shadowing Scott Hanselman, VP of Developer Community at Microsoft and an inspiring creator.

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to tune in, please make sure you check out my LinkedIn & TikTok recaps and read on for my top takeaways as a non-technical folk.

Anyone can transition into a technical career 🐥

I met so many PMs and Developers who transitioned into the world of big tech from non-traditional backgrounds like social work, neuroscience, geographic sciences, economics and finance. I am excited to share their #MakingTheMove stories in the coming year, so stay tuned by subscribing to my free newsletter!

Look out for the Copilot+ PC 💻

The aesthetics are on point—I want all the Dune coloured ones! AI at your fingertips sounds pretty cool, no annoying fan noise is appreciated, and neat features like Recall can make it easier to find and search things up in a secure way. I know a lot of people were asking about the security and privacy features of Recall, so I recommend reading this post from Microsoft Support: Privacy and control over your Recall experience.

Skill up so you can show up as a competitive candidate 📚

Microsoft Learn is a great place to learn about Cloud and AI, whether you’re a beginner or expert. There are many learning plans and pathways for you to choose from that can help you skill up in certain areas and earn certifications that will make you stand out as a job candidate. You can find the beginner friendly ones here.

Fun Fact: I passed my Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900) certification exam without even studying, but it’s because I’ve been absorbing a lot of AI knowledge over the years! I would definitely recommend doing your homework through the Learning Paths before taking an exam.

Learn how to use Copilot and low-code/no-code solutions ⚡️

For business users, there are many ways you can optimize your work through tools like Copilot for Microsoft 365 or Power Platform. Saving time can help you focus on higher impact work and passion projects without having to go overtime.

Fun Fact: Over 90% of Power Users—people who are familiar with AI and use it several times a week to save more than 30 mins a day—say that AI makes their overwhelming workload more manageable, helps them feel more motivated and enjoy their work more! You can read more here.

If you’re not sure where to get started, check out these training resources:

Keep building your network 🤝

Going to conferences like Build are a great way to expand your network and make connections with people across the industry. I met so many creators, developers, PMs, managers and executives in the span of a few days and learned so many new things. I look forward to seeing where we will intersect again in the future.

Be curious, put yourself out there, and you never know what opportunities await.

Thanks for reading 📖

From getting an exclusive backstage tour to sitting front row while our CEO and senior leaders shared some of the most exciting news, I want to give a big shoutout to Will, Sean, and team for making this experience possible for employee creators like me! This was one of the best experiences that I’ve had at Microsoft so far, and it’s thanks to the creativity, organization, and execution of so many smart people.

I hope there will be many more opportunities to extend my learnings to help and inspire all of you~