Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Live, from SPTechCon!

After a frenetic morning of registering attendees and getting them headed toward the workshops they wanted to participate in, SPTechCon is officially under way! The unofficial count shows people coming in from more than 35 states and several countries -- including a delegation from Nigeria that needed many levels of approval (both corporate and governmental) to be with us.

One interesting note about the attendees: many of them appear to be doing more than one task. In this economic downturn, with companies shrinking their staffs, people who had been doing development also now find themselves taking on some IT tasks. And company executives are sending business types, or attending themselves, to learn how to use SharePoint on their own.

Today features four full-day workshops and four half-day workshops, and the attendees said the speakers were engaging and very informative. A session for administrators featuring Todd Klindt and Shane Young drew a sizeable crowd, as did workshops by Errin O'Connor's EPC Group (SharePoint Start to Finish), Mark Ferraz (Building a SharePoint Architecture) and Bjorn Furuknap (Customizing the SharePoint User Experience). Bob Mixon's session on search, "Seek and Ye Shall Find," was lively and well-attended, as was the session by John Ross and Jennifer Mason on building an effective SharePoint team. Attendees will be able to review the slide presentations on the Web site after the conference. I'll report on the afternoon sessions after the lunch break.

-- David

Monday, January 26, 2009

We're on site!

The SPTechCon team has set up headquarters at the Hyatt Regency SFO here in Burlingame. It's a really nice hotel, with a gorgeous atrium filled with a diversity of plant life (and human life too!)

The conference gets under way tomorrow, but registration begins later this afternoon, and the team, under the direction of conference manager Kathy Bruin (in photo) and our camera-shy conference coordinator Stacy Burris, has been busy filling the attendee bags, printing out badges, distributing the lunch vouchers, and doing all the behind-the-scenes things that most people don't get to see.

As conference chairman, responsible for the program, I spent the afternoon at Harry's Hoffbrau in Foster City, not far from the conference hotel. Now I'm a New Yawkuh born and raised, but I've got to give Harry some props -- the pastrami on rye was pretty good! Not piled a mile high as in New York, and not really hot (and what were those brown things in the mustard?), but it was quite tasty, and the bread was very good.

I'll be at the registration desk today to greet some of the early arrivals, and I hope to get a chance to speak to many of you over the next several days. We'll be making a major announcement tomorrow about another SharePoint event to he beld later this year, so watch out for that.

I'll be seeing you.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Share a Pint!

SPTechCon faculty member Joshua Haebets has set up a "SharePoint By Day, SharePint By Night" event, at which those of us seeking knowledge, interaction and libations can come together for the enrichment of our professional lives!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This event will be held Tuesday, Jan. 27. This is a change from the original schedule. Again, The event is Tuesday!!

Joshua has all the details on his blog; he asks that anyone who wants to talk software while hoisting a couple o' frosty ones simply post a comment there. It should be a really fun evening!
-- David

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today, Tomorrow and the Future

That's the title of the keynote address Tom Rizzo will be giving at SPTechCon. In his talk, Tom will highlight Microsoft's recent acquisition of FAST, for enterprise search, and other investments the company is making into the SharePoint Web platform to illustrate how SharePoint is posed to offer even greater economies of scale for companies that deploy it. He will point out innovative uses for SharePoint through actual customer examples. Finally, he will offer a "sneak peek" of where SharePoint is going in powering Microsoft's Azure, its next-generation cloud platform.
Tom's keynote is set for Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 8:30 a.m. You're not going to want to miss this one! I'm looking forward to seeing you all there next week.
-- David

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Technical Program Is Locked Down!

As with all conferences of this type, there are some last-minute changes in the program that cannot be avoided. Speakers find they have other (read: paying) obligations that take them out of the lineup, or they decide the name associated with their class doesn't most precisely reflect the offering and so request changes.
But now, with the conference set to begin next week, we've finalized the program. That's it. No more changes. No more adjustments. (Of course, the second I write this, someone will notice some horrible mistake in the catalog and we'll have to make a change!)
Anyway, the final catalog off class descriptions, and speakers, and the final grid for when the sessions will take place, is now available for download on the conference Web site. It'll give you a chance to begin to plan out which sessions you might want to attend.
-- David

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Beagle Is Barking!!

SPTechCon faculty member and Microsoft MVP Bob Mixon (who recently won the distinction for the fourth consecutive year!) yesterday completed the latest issue of the SharePoint Beagle newsletter! It's full of excellent information for the community; I found the three-part examination of the data form Web part especially interesting. You can hear directly from Bob at SPTechCon, where he will be delivering a full-day workshop on SharePoint "findability" and two other sessions during the conference.
Tomorrow (Jan. 14) is the last day to take advantage of the discounted price to attend the conference, which runs from Jan. 27-29. Response has been so good that we've had to go back to the hotel to increase the number of rooms we've blocked out for attendees, and we're just about at capacity for the technical sessions as well. So if you haven't yet registered, I urge you to do so today!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our panel of experts

We're pleased to announce today that we have seated an advisory board to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to help make this month's conference program so strong, and who have agreed to work with us on future events.

The board members are (alphabetically):

Todd Klindt
Jason Medero
AJ Mirwani
Bob Mixon
Errin O'Connor
Shane Young

We thank them for their efforts, and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with each of them!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Deadlines nearing

If you've already registered for SPTechCon Jan. 27-29, today is the last day to get the discounted room rate at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. If you haven't registered for the conference yet, the last day to receive that discounted rate is Jan. 14. Check out the full program on the conference Web site to learn about the classes offered for developers, business workers, IT architects and administrators, and project managers alike. I'm looking forward to seeing you all there!