2011 SharePoint Best Practices Conference UK

11th April 2001 saw the first day of the UK SharePoint Best Practices Conference running at the QE2 Conference Centre in London Westminster. As they’ve proved before, Combined Knowledge have put on an excellent show for us this year, with some of the best speakers from around the world converging on London for three days of unashamed SharePointing. With speakers from as far afield as New Zealand and the US, to some of our own home grown talent from the best of the user groups around the UK.

After Steve Smith opened the conference once more, including a visit from Her Majesty to explain about the scaffolding out the front, something about ‘a small family wedding’ coming up soon. Chris Johnson opened up with the Keynote speech on where Microsoft is going with SharePoint, and how user groups, end users and the like contribute to what we see in vNext. He played an interesting concept video from Microsoft that can only be described as blue sky thinking, showing how Microsoft envision that technology will interact with us in our daily lives in future years. The moving newspapers have certainly been seen in the Harry Potter films, but I especially liked the active coffee cup, with information about the temperature of the coffee and headlines for the news.

Moving into the technical content I found the session shuffle very difficult to manage. So much content that I wanted to attend all of the sessions. In the end I went for those sessions that would impact me immediately in my work life, and those that I felt could wait for the DvD fell by the wayside.

In the end, I went with the following on day one:-

  • Paul Schaeflein – Developing with REST and LINQ in SharePoint – Some great pointers in this session that’s made me rethink how I’m doing some things with jQuery and we services that may be better off done with REST.
  • Mirjam van Olst – SharePoint developer’s mythbusters – Some very nice tips coming out of this session, especially about Web Template sites, although I did stump Mirjam with my question about what happens to a template site if you use ‘Reset to Site Definition’ from SPD2010. One to test methinks as I can see them being very useful.
  • Tobias Zimmergren – SharePoint 2010 and Silverlight awesomeness! Again, another relevant session for me, especially when Tobias brought up the Lync silverlight SDK. I was amazed to see I was the only Tech in the room that had used it!
  • Andrew Connell – Incorporating Metadata into SharePoint 2010 custom solutions. This was a very relevant session for me as I’ve been working with MM recently and it’s been proving difficult. AC explained extremely well where I’d been going wrong, something which the SDK doesn’t!
  • Eric Shupps – Creating Dynamic Client Applications in SharePoint 2010 – As ever a very entertaining presentation from the self confessed redneck of SharePoint. Eric covered the methods of using the Client Object Model in your code, as well as hinting on an application for integration with exchange and voicemail that will be available at the next World SharePoint Conference in Anaheim later this year.

All very excellent sessions with very relevant content to the work that I’m currently doing.

Day two is about to kick off as I write this and I’m starting in another dev session, this time focussing on Debugging and Troubleshooting, both subjects that I’m very aware of, but hope to pick up some nice tips and tricks!


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