SharePoint Saturday Philly

We went down to Philadelphia for SharePoint Saturday! Well, Malvern, PA, technically, but still. There was a great turnout, from attendees, as well as sponsors and speakers. Slalom had a great presence, with four speakers out of the 50 or so sessions (myself, Anil Ferris, Robert Hiskey, and Vijay Rajagopalan).

The day started super early, with us meeting at Grand Central at 6 a.m. to pick up the rental car. After a few wrong turns, and a really productive nap, we got to the Microsoft Technology Center in Malvern at about 9:00. We missed the keynote and opening remarks, but, c'est la vie, eh?

I presented in the 10 o'clock session, speaking on OData feed support in SharePoint 2013. It's a pretty complex and technical topic, but I had a great audience who asked some pretty thoughtful questions. These folks were obviously familiar with web services and custom solutions. I was definitely nervous that I wouldn't be able to articulate some of the concepts, so it was great to see the lightbulbs lighting up in the room as we worked through the material.

I really wanted to be able to show an end-to-end demo where we could implement a live OData service on the server side while implementing an SP 2013 app or solution to consume the data feed. But SharePoint 2013 being SharePoint 2013, my virtual machine looked like hot garbage on a sunny day. (Note to self: get company to pay for a laptop with 32GB of memory.) Luckily, there are several live feeds available for consumption, so it may have been a hodgepodge, but we managed to cover the high points.

Anil presented on 10 things administrators need to know about when moving to SharePoint 2013, but in the same 10 o'clock time as I did, so I didn't get a chance to see his talk. He said that his session went well, but I wish I could have sat in on it. Even developers need to learn about the admin side of the house, right?

Robert presented just after lunch on branding and styling changes between SharePoint 2010 and 2013. He's a branding master, so his audience definitely got their money's worth out of the presentation. The audience seemed to be about half developers/branding folks, and half end users, so it was a challenge to keep everyone engaged as the discussions veered from the technical to the practical, but Robert was up to the task.

Vijay and Robert presented in the last session of the day, in the same small conference room as I did. Everyone was kind of worn out by the end of the day, so the crowd was small and quiet.

After some photos, it was time to Adjourn to SharePint down the street for some beverages and billiards. It was great to see all the familiar faces again and get some more experience doing conference talks. I'll definitely be putting something together for SPS New York.