So last week I had a blast meeting some new folks, seeing some past friends, and deepening relationships with many of you. I had a ton of great stomach bursting laughs and learned a lot from all of you.
One of the many bits of information from last week's Sitecore MVP Summit and Symposium was we get to look forward to this each and every year. SUGCON NA has essentially been replaced with an annual Symposium.
Part of my learning about all of you came with hearing your personal stories, about your travel, about your families, all sorts of stuff.
I anticipated some conversations around user groups, and had some conversations of ideas around an online development conference. Going through those conversations many of your stories stuck with me about family, kids with their tablets and YouTube favorite series, and some of your kids programming. Along with our conversations about Sitecore development, these stories really stuck with me on the way home.
Well, I touched base with Akshay Sura after getting back home. One, to make sure he gave the camera phone a rest, but the other more important reason was to discuss a new Sitecore developer conference idea. Consider the results of the conversation to be what you will read below. Consider this a sort of exploratory effort to gauge interest and ideas.
- Knowing that most companies will not send you folks to two Sitecore conferences, we wanted to mix the idea of mixing business and pleasure so we are looking at making this conference a family friendly event. Think of it as a vacation with the family, but getting your Sitecore knowledge gain as well.
- We want to have the typical presentation tracks that we are accustomed to seeing at other conferences.
- We would like this conference to have sessions geared at teaching aspects of technology (Sitecore related always a plus) to boys and girls of all ages. Gives us all an opportunity to help mentor and teach those coming after us.
- We want to have attendee run discussions that are open and collaborative. In some past conferences these have been referred to birds of a feather conversation or "unconference" sessions (thanks Derek Dysart!).
- We want to have attendee run hands on labs in smaller group settings.
- After session activities that are family focused (game night, etc.) will be required.
- We want the conference in a location near a major airport, at a family friendly resort/hotel.
There are other Microsoft family focused conferences which is where the final idea settled in for me. But we don't necessarily want to replicate those. After all we are Sitecore community members, we tend not to follow the typical norms.
We do want more feedback on the idea. Once we can gauge what you as the community are interested in, then we can drill down into the information, start getting people involved in the effort, and officially begin the organization of this conference.
You can reply to this blog, or a much better way to leave feedback is to send myself(@mservais) or Akshay(@akshaysura13) a message or tweet on Twitter. We really want to know if you would consider attending such an event and what else you might like to see.
Looking forward to hearing from you all.