As I’m sure you heard by now, the SharePoint Conference – along with the Exchange Conference, Lync Conference, Project Conference and what appears to be TechEd…although the later was a little unclear – have all been rolled into the Microsoft’s unified technology event. Microsoft’s Official Announcement.
Since the announcement I’ve read and heard a lot of varying thoughts on this move by Microsoft ranging from the worst idea ever to be idea ever. So I figured I would join in the foray and give my two cents on the topic.
For those of you that are just curious about my thoughts without reading everything, I actually think it’s an excellent idea and I’m stoked about the conference! However, I can see the concern some people have with all of these conference combined into a single event.
Why I’m Excited?
First, if you don’t know me, or have a history of reading this blog, my background was system administration, turned SharePoint Admin, turned SharePoint consultant, turned Business Owner/SharePoint Consultant with myself and my business focusing primary on SharePoint installations, configurations and administration. With that focus, I also have to deal with situations involving Windows (user machines), Windows Server, AD, DNS, Clusters, Firewalls/Load Balancing, Networks, SANs/Storage, Backups, SQL Server, etc.
With the growth of the cloud and the introduction of Office 365 a few years ago, the questions have extended to include Windows Azure, ADFS and Office 365 as a whole (SharePoint, Lync and Exchange).
Years past my primary focus has always been to attend the SharePoint conference as that contains the most relevant content to my and my career. However, I have also attended TechEd in the past and other “non SharePoint” conference to gather more knowledge on technologies surrounding SharePoint. As I look at sessions from TechEd, the Lync Conference and the Exchange Conference I find myself disappointed I can’t be at all the conferences. To bring all of these conference into a single event means that, hopefully, I’ll be able to grow in my knowledge of these different technologies much easier as the integration between them all continues to tighten.
Why I understand others concerns.
The number of sessions. Typically at the SharePoint Conference I can’t get to all the sessions I want to see as they are at conflicting times…I can only imagine this problem will multiply with all the additional sessions that will be available.
The depth of the sessions. With all these sessions, there is concern that they will be much more high level as there just won’t be the number of sessions strictly on SharePoint (or other technologies) and as a result, the number of topics and depth of the content will be diminished.
I’m guessing this conference is going to be HUGE. I have no basis for this guess other than the size of all the conferences in previous years and what might happen if you combine attendance of all those conferences into one. This could be both positive and negative as you may be less likely to run into people you know, but will also make it easier to grow your network and learn from experts in fields other than your own.
I’m excited about the change. Sure, like everything, there is a chance it may flop and we’ll go back to 2 or 3 different conferences. I’m really hoping Microsoft can pull this off though and all us Geeks can come together for one great big technology conference where we all have the chance to learn about the new things going on in the world of Microsoft together. Oh, and I’m also excited about a new location other than Vegas and a little closer to home for those of us on the East side of the US 🙂