Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer

Blog Feed Post

SPC12 Readiness Checklist

I started doing conference readiness checklists last year at SPC11 and I wanted to continue the tradition with #SPC12.  Mark Freeman (@SPHotShot) has already produced a great guide and I wanted to add my two cents.

What to pack:

  • Chargers / Power Supplies – I remember when I went to PDC05, I forgot my laptop charger.  I was quite bummed.  Don’t forget the chargers to your laptop, netbook, iPad, phones, etc. I have gotten a few of these new emergency phone chargers at conferences lately and they are very handy here.  Especially when you have a Nokia Lumia 900 and the battery life is terrible.  Keep in mind your average day can be 16 – 18 hours plus and you don’t want to be left in the dark and miss that big gathering because your phone died.
  • Laptop – As a presenter this one is obvious.  However as an attendee, you might not want to lug one around.  It can be worth it though.  You will find that you want some type of computing device so that you can keep up on twitter, follow the latest gossip, and find out about any impromptu #SharePint events that might occur.  Maybe even read a few E-mails.  As a presenter, I get the distinct pleasure of carrying a second laptop as well with my demos loaded on it in the event of an emergency / disaster.  Disasters will happen.  At SPC11, my virtual machine pretty much died on my primary laptop and I had to resort to the backup just twenty minutes before my session.  I was sweating to say the least.
  • Tablet – In lieu of carrying around your heavy laptop, I find carrying my netbook at conferences to be quite handy.  I haven’t invested in a Surface yet (mainly because I am not sure which one I want).  I’m not holding my breathe either that they will be handing them out like at Build.  Bring whatever device or combination thereof you prefer, but keeping up on what’s going on at the conference using one of these small devices is much easier than trying to look things up on your phone.  This year, I am foregoing this because of the second laptop and my bag will be heavy enough.  You also can use these to fill out session evaluations.  There are usually incentives for filling out evaluations so I try to complete each evaluation right before the end of the session so I don’t forget.
  • AirCard / MiFi  – The wireless networks at conferences are rarely good.  They are jammed with geeks trying to post updates on Twitter and check out what’s happening on Facebook.  If you have access to a wireless AirCard, bring one.  See if your company has any that you can check out temporarily. 
  • Cash – Just a little (more if you drink and gamble a lot :) ).  There are a lot of free events but you might go to something before or after the conference and I am not a fan of running tabs at busy restaurants and bars.   Don’t take it all with you every night.  Leave some in the hotel safe.
  • Snacks – After a long night, you will want something to eat.  At the minimum, you might want something to eat in the morning.
  • Business Cards – Even if you are not in sales, bring twice as many as you think you will need.  You will go through them faster than you think.
  • Bail Money – The Houston SharePoint Users Group has a running joke about always keeping a stash of bail money around when attending a #SharePint.  You never know what is going to happen.

Before you go:

  • Arrive early – Come in early and have some fun in Vegas before you get into the conference grind.  That means you (@fabianwilliams).  Many of us will be arriving Friday or Saturday. 
  • Don’t leave early – After a week of Vegas, I am sick of the place and I am ready to leave.  However, you don’t want to cut the conference short on Thursday by having to leave early.  Plan for an early Friday departure.
  • Set your schedule on My SPC  - This will make your SPC organizers happy when it comes to capacity planning.  You aren’t required to go to that session you schedule, but it will help you pick from the 10+ sessions going on at any given time slot.  Go to My SPC and set your schedule now (or at least when it finally comes out).
  • Create your Bio on My SPC – Whether you are an end user or a SharePoint rock star, take a few minutes to write about yourself.  Include where you work if you want along with what you typically do with SharePoint and what you want to get out of the conference.  Upload a picture of yourself to make things more personal.  Set your My SPC bio now.
  • Create a #SPC12 Search in Twitter – There is no question you want to keep an eye on the activity of the #SPC12 hash tag.  You will find out about sessions, events, and it will generally give you an idea of what is happening at the conference.
  • Follow @SPConf on Twitter – This is the official twitter account for SPC.  This account often posts useful stuff about the conference.  I’ve also used it to ask questions or provide general feedback and I’ve had very good luck getting a response.
  • Reach out to your local SharePoint User Group – Find out what your local SharePoint User Group is doing while at SPC.  Many of them are having meetings or socials.  For example, H-SPUG (#HSPUG) is having a happy hour on Sunday night.
  • Don’t forget to set your user group in your profile  - You can now set your SharePoint user group in your My SPC bio.  Set that to make it easier to find people in your group.
  • Register for Pre-conference Sessions – If you think you will be able to get up on Sunday morning, attend one of the pre-conference sessions.  Many of them are free.  Just keep in mind there is a $300 no-show penalty.
  • RSVP for Parties – There are a lot of them this year but many of them are not being widely publicized.  Many of them require that you RSVP or stop by a booth so be sure and find out before hand. 
  • Arrange for Ground Transportation  - Don’t forget to arrange for ground transportation.  You really don’t need a car in Vegas, but you do need a way to get there.  Taking a Taxi usually isn’t too expensive and there are plenty of shuttle options as well.  This may be less of a concern on arrival but more for your departure.
  • Leave space in your bag – Between the conference materials and the vendors you are going to end up with a heap of product information, trinkets, and T-shirts.  Make sure you have room in your bag to bring them home.  Otherwise you’ll be hand carrying them on the plane or leaving things behind.

What to do at the conference:

  • What’s in Vegas, will not stay in Vegas – Nerds have gadgets and they like to take pictures.  Do something stupid and you can rest assure it will be on twitter within seconds. :)
  • Make a habit of going by EyeCandy – EyeCandy in Mandalay Bay is a defacto SharePint hang out.  Make a habit of cruising by it from time to time on your way to wherever to see if anyone you know might be there.
  • Remember to eat - This one sounds obvious but it’s not.  You may be going to lots of parties with nothing but light appetizers.  This does not give you a good base to work upon before embarking on a night of massive consumption.
  • Ask Questions  - Don’t be afraid to walk up to the mic and ask a question.  That’s what you’re here for.  If you don’t want to ask it in front of everybody, wait in line and talk to the speaker at the podium just be mindful that the speaker has to clear out in a hurry.  Don’t be afraid to approach speakers outside the room either.  Most of them are friendly and are easily engaged using beer and cocktails. :)
  • Don’t worry about writing everything down – Remember the slides and content are all online.  Don’t stress out because you weren’t able to write down a URL or code snippet on a slide.
  • Make friends – You may run into lots of people you know, but many people aren’t active on twitter and aren’t familiar with the SharePoint community.  Find a friend if you didn’t come to the conference with any one.  It’s much more fun to go do all of the activities in a group rather than by yourself.
  • Visit the Exhibit Hall – The exhibit hall is a lot of fun.  Besides all of the SWAG and drawings, you are likely to find out about evening events that way. Make a point of going there every day.
  • Attend the sessions – Don’t skip out on the morning sessions.  If I have to get up early so do you. :)
  • Attend the Hands on Labs – If you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on SharePoint 2013, get down to the HOL and check it out.  This is a great way to experience the product without having to take the time to install it.
  • Take a test – The certification tests are in beta right now.  I doubt very many of us are prepared to pass them, but sign up for them any ways.  It’s free.  Do keep in mind that beta tests are longer than normal so you’ll have to commit quite a bit of time to them.
  • Don’t underestimate travel times – The walk to the convention center from a room at the Mandalay Bay is at least ten minutes.  When I stayed at the Luxor at SPC09, it was a full thirty minute walk.  Even within the convention center, there are long walks between sessions.
  • Arrive early to sessions – Many sessions will fill up and entrance will be denied.  Don’t get left out by showing up late.
  • Learn hash tags for the sessions you are attending – Every session you are attending has an associated hash tag that you can follow.  For example, my Windows 8 Session is number 025, so the hash tag for it is #SPC025.  You can go ahead and save a search for that one now. :)  I hear #SPC195 is also a good one!
  • Don’t wear your badge outside of the convention center – Nothing says you don’t have any game like walking out of the convention center with your badge on.  Take it off as you exit the area.
  • Don’t forget your badge (and lanyard) at the attendee party – At SPC09, your badge and the lanyard were required to get in.  I know several people that had to walk all the way back to their room just to get the lanyard.  That was a one hour walk since it was back to the Luxor.  I saw something in an E-mail that seemed to indicate that this might be a wristband this year so don’t forget that (or lose it).
  • Keep your phone charged – The battery life on LTE phones is horrible and even worse when you are tweeting non-stop all day.  Keep an eye on your phone’s battery life and charge up throughout the day. 
  • Don’t blow all your money – This one goes without saying.  I came to SPC09 on a budget and quickly depleted my designated gambling funds.  It prevented me from doing anything else for the rest of the trip.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave for lunch – I’m not a huge fan of conference food and it rarely gets along with my diet.  Usually by the second or third day I am grabbing anyone I can find and going off-site.  Find me at the conference and you can join me.
  • Attend #ShareHofbrau on Thursday – After the conference, unwind with friends at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas.  It’s an authentic German beer hall and it’s loads of fun.
  • Fill out your evaluations – These really are important to the speakers.  Let them know they did a good job and take the time to leave actual text comments in them.
  • Establish rendez-vous points – Establish meeting spots in advance with your group and set a time to meet.  Mine will probably be the slot machines immediately outside of EyeCandy. :)
  • Have a nice day – Be sure and see Bon Jovi at the attendee party.  If you are expecting to meet people there, do it before you go into the beach club.  The club is huge and they filter traffic to the area they want you in.  If you don’t walk in with the people you want to see, you will likely not see them that night.

That’s my list.  I’m sure there are other things to remember.  Do you have anything else to add?  Leave a comment.  This probably goes without saying, but if you are not on twitter, now is the time to join.  It’s the best way to keep up with what’s happening at the conference.

I’m also presenting two sessions at this year’s conference and I would love for you to come see them.

  • #SPC025Bringing SharePoint to the Desktop: Building Windows 8 Apps with SharePoint – This talk titled, Bring SharePoint to the Desktop: Building Windows 8 Metro Style Apps with SharePoint is centered around different ways we can leverage SharePoint data in a rich full-screen interface.  This developer-centric talk will show you the basics of building Windows 8 apps and then take advantage of the new SharePoint 2013 APIs to do data binding and notifications.  If you have an interest in Windows 8 and SharePoint, this talk is for you.
  • #SPC195PowerShell 3.0 Administration with SharePoint 2013 – In this session, we’ll cover everything from tips and tricks with PowerShell to key new cmdlets you will want to know about.  We’ll talk about installing solution packages, managing upgrades, provisioning the new service applications, and more.  I promise I’ll do my best to make PowerShell an exciting topic.  I know some of you out there love it, so I think it will be a fun talk.

Enough with the shameless plug. :)  Get ready and I’ll see you at the conference.

Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is an independent consultant specializing in Cloud technologies such as Azure and Office 365. He also specializes in mobile development. Corey serves as the product manager for two cloud-first mobile app platforms: BrewZap and HappenZap.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...