Reflections from Sitecore Symposium - Day 1

The first real day of Sitecore Symposium is always intense*. Lots of energy in the keynotes followed by even more energy in the breakout sessions. Frantic note taking followed by rushing to the front of the room to ask the speaker your questions followed by meeting as many people as possible (difficult for introverts like me), and if there's any time left, walking the pavilion floor and searching for swag.

* I say "always", but as I said before, this is only my second Symposium, so take that however you want.

Ed showcasing a sign saying Velir sponsored the day's meals

Velir sponsored the day's meal, and it wasn't even half bad.

Here are some Sitecore things I learned/observed today:

  • Cortex is really awesome, but it reminds me of the potentially-scary future of machine-learning/AI humanity faces in the near future (I, Robot is now required reading for all).
  • That said, guest speaker Kenneth Cukier made a great point that humanity has overcome previous tools-that-are-potentially-greater-than-us before, so maybe the future will be awesome.
  • Sitecore Commerce 9 is designed around a micro-service host, and the Sitecore devs used the same plugin process that other devs would use to add in all the Commerce features. I just think that's really neat, dogfooding like that.

Some general things I learned and/or observed today:

  • When giving a demo as part of a presentation, have a fully-baked backup demo ready to go.
  • If you have a demo everyone can use, that's great!... but maybe wait till after your talk to share the link with the crowd so everyone remains focused.
  • If a presentation title starts with "What's New with...", you'll get the most out of it if you already know "what's old with" the topic.
  • Don't use wall-of-text slides. Just don't. It's been said many times in many places, so you have no excuse anymore.
  • Van Damme movies make great hooks for your presentation (looking at you, Rackspace).

The most important piece of advice I can give is this: make sure you are well rested for Sitecore Symposium... or at least have a large pot of coffee.

Chandelier in the grand ballroom that looks like a flower from the Destiny 2 Leviathan raid

But don't tell me this chandelier doesn't look like the flowers in the pleasure gardens in the Destiny 2 Leviathan raid.