Saturday, January 31, 2009

SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2009

Tomorrow I'm heading off to San Diego for the Best Practices Conference. I thought the last one was fantastic and I hope this will be just as good.

Last year's BPC had a great mix of people with all kinds of good tips and advice on SharePoint, ranging from really in-depth IT operations-style tricks to more end-user focused adoption and support techniques. There was a real buzz of enthusiasm for SharePoint that you don't often see at conferences.

This year Joel Oleson will be making the keynote and I'm looking forward to hearing his speech. As well, there are over 40 speakers (including many MVPs), 27 sponsors, and hundreds of attendees.

Last year I presented some ideas on how to centrally manage metadata in a farm. Once again I'll have a chance to speak on a similar topic. This time my presentation is called "Best Practices For Centrally Governing Your Portal and Taxonomy" - pretty straightforward title I know :) It'll expand on last year's work - I've got a demonstration of an actual governance site collection and ideas on how to manage things centrally including key SharePoint items like content types and lookup lists. I'll post the slides in various places after the event.

On a side note, I've been on the road a lot recently and my blog postings have been less frequent. With a bit of luck I'll be able to attend some sessions and blog on the speakers this week. Either way I hope to have some more "meaty" SharePoint posts in the near future. I don't want this blog to look like a travel diary!

Thanks for reading as always,


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hello, New York!

Next week I'll be exhibiting echoTechnology's latest version of echo for SharePoint in New York City, at the SharePoint IMAGINE 2009 conference.

The conference is billed as "SharePoint in the Real World". Its focus is on how businesses use SharePoint to solve their specific real world needs, and how SharePoint impacts their bottom line.

It's organized by Impact Management and is taking place at the Microsoft NY Center at 1290 Avenue of the Americas on Wednesday Jan 21 from 9 to 4. Attendance is free so if you are in the area you should definitely sign can do that here.

I'll be in NYC from Tuesday evening to Thursday afternoon, attending the conference and meeting with a variety of echoTechnology partners - so my itinerary is very tight. Still, it's a great opportunity to return to NYC, where I lived for a short while.

Good Times...

I moved home right after the awful 9/11 and the Dot Com bubble burst, and this is my first chance to go back. Although I was only living in New York for a year, it left an indelible impression on me - as it would on anyone.

My first professional programming job was in 2000/2001 as a Java programmer. I took New Jersey-based IT training company SetFocus' intense but great 3-month Java Master Track, and was then placed with an online education company in New York City.

We were developing a web-based learning system using JSP and servlets, in a cramped little office downtown on the corner of Church and Warren.

At first I lived in West Orange New Jersey with a small gang of roommates, and then we all moved to a small building in Astoria Queens. This was inhabited by a porn star, an aspiring model, an unkillable cockroach (we learned to live and let live), and a foul-mouthed talking parrot named Sammy (not necessarily in the same apartment).

Some of my favourite memories are: exploring the parks and trails on the edge of Battery Park City; bar crawling with my roommates and friends; celebrity spotting; conniving my way into an amazing hidden club called Light, marked only by bouncers and a lit white window and way too cool for me; eating lunches on the steps of Federal Hall in Wall Street and exploring Manhattan on foot during lunch hours; and wandering the streets of Brooklyn Heights.

...Followed By Taxes

Living there was also an exercise in paperwork. Due to my particular circumstances I paid 7 levels of taxes at various times that year:

  1. New Jersey state income tax
  2. New York state income tax
  3. Connecticut state income tax
  4. New York city sales tax (anytime I bought something)
  5. US Federal income tax
  6. Canadian Federal income tax (although I was out of country, as a Canadian even death can't cut short your obligation to pay taxes); and
  7. Ontario provincial income tax

To this day the state of Connecticut faithfully sends me an annual update on my pension plan, which currently sits at 13 cents a year. I'm sure just mailing me costs more than that! Luckily they report that they are investing great time and attention to increase the yield, so when I retire in 30 years, my pension will be at 14 cents and I can finally buy that tropical island.

Anyway, if you're in the area and want to say hi, drop me a line!