While the last meetup was only a month prior, the Sitecore Milwaukee User Group hosted another one seemingly back to back, but for good reason. The focus of this get together was to go over what was seen at heard at the Sitecore Symposium. It made sense to have the meeting so soon while the memories of Symposium were fresh in everyone's minds. Thank you to Americaneagle.com for hosting this meetup, and to Sitecore MVP Derek Dysart @DDysart and Joe Ouimet @jouimet for organizing it.
The meeting, as usual started with a spread of tasty pizza and drinks, along with some cool swag. Normally, the freebies consist of pens and notepads, but this time, they had some really neat Sitecore branded USB cables. Of course I took a little bit of everything.
Sitecore Symposium Discussion Panel
Several people who attended the Sitecore Symposium this past October were at the meetup. The first topic was a presentation of what impressions that attendees had about the Symposium. The overall impressions that people had was that this year's Symposium was more focused announcing things rather than showcasing things and doing demos. Many attendees also mentioned that the sessions seemed more targeted to the business side and marketers.
One particularly interesting announcement was that Sitecore will be looking to move towards a Software As A Service (SAAS) model rather than on-premise installations. They are doing this to fix issues with Sitecore versioning, and to make upgrades more simpler. How that will work out in practice remains to be seen. Sitecore is looking towards a 5-year timeframe for this transition.
Another interesting topic was Sitecore Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sitecore is looking to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to help marketers determine what sort of personalization to apply to various users. I think that this will be a very useful tool and I look forward to learning this technology.
I also found out that next year's Sitecore Symposium is coming to my hometown! Next year's symposium will be hosted in Chicago and I'll definitely be attending.
Sitecore Upgrade Story - Sitecore 7.2 to 9.x
The next presentation has to do with one Sitecore team's experience revamping their corporate DevOps strategy, all while taking on the task of upgrading from Sitecore 7.2 to Sitecore 9.
For those unfamiliar with the term DevOps, it stands for Developer Operations. DevOps is all that goes into developing, maintaining and deploying code. That means using source control, site backups, testing, deployment scripting, etc. The goal of having a good DevOps strategy is to streamline the process of software development and deployment, while keeping the code high quality.
Samson and Amanda detailed their journey of going from having very poor DevOps to a streamlined, modern DevOps strategy. They explained the steps that went into designing a good strategy and in the end showed just how much time and stress was removed from their development and deployment process. It was a very interesting presentation.
These presentations were great and, as usual, this Sitecore Milwaukee User Group was well worth attending. I'm looking forward to the next one! If you're in the area, I encourage you to come take a look.