2016 Sitecore Symposium – Day One

With the MVP Summit wrapped up, it was time to welcome the opening of Sitecore Symposium 2016. The Hyatt is looking very spiffy with all the Sitecore branding and lots of folks are arriving to check in. However, before I can get officially underway with my Symposium fun, I needed to put my body through some work. It’s running time!

Now, I do try to keep in some basic sense of athletic shape to keep up with the guys on the ball hockey floor, but after several ankle injuries I’ve only got a short time that I can put it through high impact before I start feeling it. A 2-minute shift? No problem. Several miles of running? Uhhhhhh…. Before the rest of my body gave out, the old ankle started acting up and I had to abandon the group and head back to the hotel. But not before one last sprint to the Gazebo by the river!

Thanks to Bas for organizing this!

With running out of the way, time to get cleaned up, put on some MVP socks, and check into Symposium! I really appreciated that there was a separate line for MVP/VIPs, made me feel all special and stuff 🙂 The jacket we got was really nice, and thank you to Hedgehog for the Camelbak water bottle!

Powershell all the things

With the workshops underway, I was lucky enough to get into the Sitecore Powershell Extensions session run by Mike West and Adam Najmanowicz. I installed everything the night before, but this morning was about figuring out how it all came together.

I haven’t had the free time to look into SPE, though some of my colleagues have been raving about what it can do. We’ve already started putting in features based on SPE into Keystone and some of the team is using it on projects. But me? I was but a simple N00b in this land of powershell goodies.

There was a lot to go through but my mind was most piqued by the scripted UI dialogs and the scripted reports. Even if the authors never saw these, the development and admin teams could really use these in an operational capacity to manage sites we maintain in production.

Remoting is also cool, but I worry about production security with this functionality. There was some discussion on this in the session, but my naturally risk-averse nature concerning production servers would probably keep me from using it there. Still, I can see some interesting capabilities of uploading/downloading files from a server using SPE to support deployments internally when needed.

Po-Boys for the Boys

With the workshop over, it was time to wander a little and catch some lunch. I ran into Nick and Jon, but these fine-looking gentlemen were already well fed and not up for another meal.

With luck, I happened to come across Mike, Adam, and Mickey who were all looking to go down to Mother’s for some Po-Boys. I’ve never had one before, nor did I have a chance to check out Mother’s last year, so this was pretty good. Great chats with great guys. Thanks for letting me tag along at lunch!

Party at the Pavillion

As is the tradition, the Symposium attendees gathered at the Partner Pavillion to mingle, get cool swag, and learn about what partners and Sitecore are doing around the world. Geek Hive had a popular line for custom T-shirts and Velir had their meme-game going strong.  The graffiti wall was very cool and I hope to get a chance to play around with that. Alex Shyba made data look sexy, as only he does, with his giant touch-screen and Path Analyzer.

Oh, and a giant hedgehog kept walking around… shouldn’t somebody call pest control?

The reception was a great way to kick things off and I look forward to all the sessions tomorrow!

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