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Sitecore Symposium 2020 - The Preshow

Kenneth McAndrew
Over 25 years in web development, from HTML (remember image maps and frames?) to classic ASP to ASP.NET to .NET CMSes. 2021 Sitecore Technology MVP.
・3 min read

Or how I wrote a typical agenda post...

So this will be my first Sitecore Symposium! Given the weather, Chicago in late October is probably not my ideal location anyway, so being able to enjoy this from the comfort of my home is a definite plus. The other advantage to a virtual conference is you can actually hit up every session! (Caveat: As of 1pm ET on Thursday, October 29th, when the live sessions will be available on-demand.) So what's on my personal agenda for the live sessions? Let's see...

  • Accessibility compliance for 50+ sites: Five tips to execute at scale: While not a typical developer topic, one that developers need to be aware of as they go to best advise clients. (Live session 10/27 at 4:10pm ET)

  • User journeys and Path Analyzer: Optimizing a government site with Sitecore’s “black box”: Another one of those "developer be-awares" to help marketers understand what they're seeing. (Live session 10/27 at 4:10pm ET...and now you see why I mentioned the on-demand availability first!)

  • Sitecore Content AI: As long as we're not turning Sitecore into Skynet, I'm interested! This is extending auto-personalization to the next level. (Live session 10/27 at 2:45pm ET)

  • Containers & AKS: Taking Sitecore 10 to the next level: This is probably the developer session of the day and likely the one I'll tune in live for. If you haven't seen the news, as of Sitecore 10.2 the Azure app service methodology is being phased at in favor of containers. I figure we have about a year, at most, to get ready. The tutorials for local container development with the Sitecore 10 launch were great, but we'll all need to know how this works in the cloud. (Live session 10/27 at 4:10pm ET...yep, the curse of the conference attendee most years, everything you want is at the same time!)

  • Insufficient facts always invite danger, Captain! Probably a good tag-team session to the one above, this is about monitoring performance of your containers. (Live session 10/27 at 4:10pm ET...do I need to say it?!?)

  • Serialize your way to success: This is about Sitecore's new serialization methodology, led by one of the TDS experts. Don't worry, I've been told Unicorn isn't going away anytime soon! (Live session 10/27 at 2:45pm ET)

  • The entire Sitecore Fundamentals Day 2 lineup: Starting with a top 10 learnings from launching country-level sites, to development with the new .NET Core Rendering SDK, to choosing the right options for building your Helix solutions. This is probably my live choice for day 2. (Live sessions 10/28 starting at 1:05pm ET)

  • End-to-end campaign execution and ROI with Content Hub and Sitecore XP: My company is presenting this session, so you have to watch it! All about using Content Hub to execute a web/social campaign and track the results. (Live session 10/28 at 1:05pm ET)

In addition, on Thursday a series of on-demand sessions will be released. My company is doing one on using Google Analytics with Sitecore Analytics, and there are others on containers, commerce, Content Hub, Solr, etc.

Make sure you use #SitecoreSym on Twitter if you're chatting about the conference, and if you aren't already I'd get on Sitecore Slack, which has a Symposium channel. Given the conference is all-virtual, this is your best chance to chat with folks.

One other thing...hopefully by next Symposium, this mess of COVID is over (or at least marginalized) and there will be an in-person conference. I'd ask Sitecore to consider not getting rid of this virtual version, however. Maybe live-stream some of the talks and record others, like you're doing here, and allow for online Q&A in the live streams. There are some folks who can't get to the conference due to various means, and opening it up to more folks is only a plus to the community by allowing companies to maximize their attendance without breaking the bank. There's definitely something to be said for being "on the ground" but for a lot of folks, this can be just as rewarding.

See you around the interwebs at Symposium!

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