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Recap and Resources from SharePoint Saturday–The Conference

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Organizing and maintaining a SharePoint Saturday can be hard work. LOTS of hard work. Luckily, the way we run SharePoint Saturday Boston, we have less hard work than other SPS events. We put the responsibility of ordering shirts, pads, pens, food, etc. on the sponsor, so we do not only have to deal with the event, speakers, sponsors, etc., so we do not also have to order shirts, food, etc. It makes life a lot easier.

Then there are other SharePoint Saturday events, such as SharePoint Saturday New York, they take it to the next level, and deal with all of that. Now, these are just single day events.

Now, with SharePoint Saturday – The Conference, this was a 3-day event, they had roughly 1800 people registered, well over a thousand attend. IMAGINE STUFFING 1800 ATTENDEE AND SPEAKER BAGS?! GAH! They had LOTS of volunteers however. It was not the best well-oiled machine, but, there was no chance of the motor seizing up on this one. They did one heck of a job. This is not to slight the conference in any way, the organizers of this event actually have day jobs, that are not all about planning and putting together conferences, so this was done in their spare time, if they had any.

I was amazed at the level of sophistication that a basically free ($39-$59 for a 3 day event is the best price out there for a SharePoint conference of this size). They had the ability to change name tags on the fly, lots of volunteers had radios, there were session and schedule updates on monitors around the campus, people all over the place directing traffic and offering help getting from building to building, and if for some reason your session time and date had changed, people to find you and drag you to them! (more on that in a moment).

Great job by everyone involved! I was happy to be a speaker and attendee at the conference, and look forward to another one down the road!

With that, I delivered 3 sessions. Below is information on each, as well as slide decks. Thank you to all who attended my sessions!

9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star

This was supposed to take place on Saturday, not Friday. So, when I arrived at the conference on Friday at 5 after 11 in the morning, I saw the lunch table, and headed over… got a plate of food, and then all of a sudden, I was approached by one of the volunteers, and a friend of mine, Jennifer, and the interaction went something like this…

Jennifer: “C’mon! You’re 15 minutes late for your session!”

Me: “What? I don’t have a session until the end of the day”

Jennifer: “No, you have one now”

Me: “Ok then, what session is it?”

Jennifer: “9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star”

[EDITORS NOTE: She did not exactly use parenthesis when she said it.]

Me: “That’s not until tomorrow”

Jennifer: “There are 40 people waiting in there for you now”

Me: “Uh oh, [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted], Let me grab my bag!”

Jennifer: ”Let’s go!”

[winded dash to another building … then walking, well, being dragged into the classroom]

Me: “Sorry I am late everyone! I slept late and am hung over, you know, living the rock star lifestyle”

…and then we began the session, after my laptop booted up. So we only got through about 6 of the 9 steps. Luckily, Christian Buckley (the band broke up before the session, so he wasn’t there), is starting a blog series at EndUserSharePoint.com here 9 Ways to Become a SharePoint Rock Star, which will cover each of our “9 Ways”.

For some background on “the best fake SharePoint band EVER, EVER”…

Our lightning talk from SPTechCon in Boston in June, 2011

 

Horse’s End–Behind the Music

 

Legal Notice from Christian for SPSTCDC

and without further ado… the slide deck.

Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles in SharePoint Development

This basically boils down to a best practices around SharePoint development. As well as a fun edu-tainment session with my co-presenter, Mark Rackley. We had a blast, had some good questions, and got through the entire session. Here’s the deck!

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010

And my last session, which after this was delivered, I had to run to the airport to head home. Again, a great session, great questions, and again, finished up on time. I hope to have that Cloudshare virtual image up and running soon.

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Speaking at SharePoint Saturday–The Conference

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The first event of it’s kind, SharePoint Saturday – The Conference (it’s not just for Saturdays anymore! However, this will end on one…), and I am pleased to be a part of it. I’m also very excited to see that SharePoint Saturday has grown so much over the past couple of years, and now there is a full 3-day conference. SharePoint Saturdays are great ways to share your knowledge with others, learn from peers, experts, MVPs and Microsoft Certified Masters. SharePoint Saturday holds a special place for me, as that is where I got my start speaking on SharePoint, back in the beginning of 2009 at SharePoint Saturday Boston. Since then I have spoken at 11 others to date from New York to New Orleans, and have helped organize SharePoint Saturday Boston since the beginning of 2010.

Unlike usual SharePoint Saturdays however, this one is not free, but pretty close to it as far as conference fees go. The current rate is $39, which will go up to $59 soon, so if you want to save twenty bucks… register today!

I could write-up all of the information about the conference, but it has already been done on the site, so why reinvent the wheel (http://www.spstc.org/Pages/About.aspx) – the text below is a copy of that.

WHAT

A community-focused, educational event filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and executives covering a wide range of technical and business topics.

WHO

Anyone who interacts with SharePoint and its related technologies: Tracks for IT Pro, Developers, End Users, Business Process Owners, the Cloud and more!

WHERE

Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale Campus, Annandale, VA

(Visit the website here.)

WHEN

Thursday, August 11 – Saturday, August 13, 2011: 8 am – 6 pm

Friday Night Attendee Event: 6 pm – 11 pm

WHY

SharePoint Saturdays are a community sponsored event with a huge following. As we take the SharePoint Saturday event to the next level, the goal remains the same: to encourage community participation and lower the barriers to learning SharePoint.

For attendees in any role (End User, IT Professional, Business Manager or Developer), this conference provides an unparalleled level of training, sharing, networking and one-to-one interaction with the SharePoint community. It’s not to be missed!

HOW

Registration Fee:

$39 Early Bird (until August 7, 2011)

$59 for Regular & Walk-Ins

(discounts available for groups of 10 or more)

And there are some FAQ’s on the conference about page as well… http://www.spstc.org/Pages/About.aspx

I will be presenting 3 sessions there, so please drop in to one and say hello if you go!

 

9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star

Co-Presented with Christian Buckley

Session Level: 100

Session Type: End User

So you want to become a rock star? We’re talking actual rock star – not a metaphor for “finding stardom” at your company, but that little “band thing” you do on the side after putting in your 9-to-5 each day.
In this session, we will lead you on a fun and adventurous journey where you can not only learn SharePoint, but springboard into that life of fame and rock stardom that you’ve been dreaming of, using the tools at your disposal during the daily grind. If, by chance, your wildest dreams of becoming a rock star do not come to fruition, you can be rest assured that you can apply what you learn in this session to become a SharePoint rock star. Because its always good to have a backup plan.

 

Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles and Avoiding Pain in SharePoint Custom Development

Co-Presented with Mark Rackley

Session Level: 200

Session Type: IT Pro / Developer

“Why am I getting a security error??” “Why does my code work sometimes, but not others?” “I wonder if McDonalds is hiring.” Writing custom code in SharePoint opens up unlimited possibilities but also throws many hurdles in your way that will slow you down if you don’t take them into account. So, before giving up and searching for careers in the fast food industry, equip yourself with the knowledge you need to succeed in writing custom code for SharePoint.
Attendees will learn:
1. Commonly used methods to improve functionality and performance
2. Best practices for disposing of SP Objects
3. How to avoid common issues when writing custom code for SharePoint
PREREQUISITES: Developers need to have a basic knowledge of SharePoint, know C# and be comfortable in Visual Studio.

 

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010

Session Level: 300

Session Type: IT Pro / Admin

Most companies, large or small, require contact and collaboration with external entities, whether they are vendors, clients, or contractors. SharePoint gives us the ability to open up portals for collaboration with these external entities – this session will show you how to accomplish this using SharePoint 2010.
We will review what is required to make SharePoint “open” to the external world, discuss scenarios regarding security and privacy, as well as walk through configuring Forms Based Authentication, Claims Based Authentication, as well as using Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010, to authenticate, and manage our external users.
Once completing this session, you should have a firm grasp on how to configure an extranet environment using SharePoint 2010, as well as what should be considered during the planning of your extranet scenarios.

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