January 2009 - Posts
A giant shout-out to the organizing committee, volunteers, sponsors and attendees of this year’s Toronto SharePoint Camp, what a great day! Chairman Bill Brockbank was pretty raspy (and full of Buckley’s), so I was the “voice” for the opening, and facilitator of the speaker round-table and raffle, but these things don’t happen without great people and planning. Everyone did a great job to be proud of.
We had well over 200 attendees for 20 sessions delivered by 19 speakers including 5 MVPs representing a variety of specialties. Feedback was phenomenal (here's the first review from the wild) with a lot of comments like “greatly exceeded expectations” and “I can’t believe you guys can offer this for free.”
There were a few benefits we didn’t expect. A Mississauga SharePoint user group has a strong chance of launching with its first meeting in the next 2-3 months. Just as Toronto supports downtown and suburban .NET user groups, I’ve long thought a suburban SharePoint UG would do well. Three people stepped up to lead it, and about a half-dozen people have already volunteered to get involved (comment here or contact me if you want to get involved too). Fantastic!
Several people suggested adding end-user content in either next year's Camp or in our monthly meetings. After a little probing, it seems there are existing Knowledge Management interest groups in Toronto, for example in the public service and among law offices. The best way to get end-users involved will be to “go where they are.” So to meet the need, our user group will start offering a list of speakers and topics geared to end-users and knowledge management.
And there is interest in holding a local SharePoint Saturday. Unlike a mini-conference format these are (near as I can tell) hands-on day-long projects where people show up with their laptops, get assigned to a task and then go off to develop in hives. It sounds like a great idea and even though I’m not fully up to speed on the format, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one spring up in Toronto this year. One again, if you're interested in coordinating or volunteering, comment or contact me and I'll facilitate.
The presentations and sample code are being posted to the site as we receive it. As a bonus, last year's content is still there for the browsing.
One of the topics requested will be delivered at our very next TSPUG meeting on Feb 18: How to structure solutions, and automate the build and WSP generation. Building SharePoint Solutions (WSP) is the most painful part of the development process. In this session attendees will learn how to take the pain away for SharePoint 2007 by structuring Visual Studio Solutions for easy management, and by automating the build and WSP creation. As always you can RSVP by sending a message to Susie. See you there!
I've added full descriptions to this living post to explain why these are the greatest downloads since O12 itself, it's starting to look like a real resource.
Philosophical question - do you love or hate these posts about such changes (posts about posts)? Are they as annoying as blog spam? Do you visit these pages on a regular basis anyway?
See you all at Toronto SharePoint Camp tomorrow!
Come out and warm up with the Toronto SharePoint User Group tonight at Yonge and Bloor from 6 to 8pm, as we hold a Volunteer Night to prepare for the Toronto SharePoint Camp coming up this Saturday. Whether you're a member eager to give a couple hours back to your community, a new member looking for a bunch of great people to bounce ideas off of, a first-time speaker looking for some tips, a seasoned speaker with stories learned the hard way from conferences past, or just in it for the free pizza, come on out!
We know you want to see sessions too, so by coming out and planning the day tonight, we can be sure to accommodate everyone's schedule. Unless your name is Eli or Bill, it won't be an all-day commitment, but we do need your help. If you can't make it to Volunteer Night tonight but want to help out on Saturday, there are spots available for greeters, hallway traffic directors, speaker introductions, and more. Hit the link below to send a quick e-mail to volunteer some time.
And whether your work touches SharePoint or you're just curious, the Toronto SharePoint Camp this weekend will be one of the best SharePoint and knowledge management events ever held in Toronto. We have it on a Saturday so it never interferes with work, and whether you can spend a few hours or the day, you want to be there. Who will you see? We have five, count'em, five Microsoft MVPs speaking, a former member of the SharePoint product team in Redmond, a speaker from the popular Best Practices Conference, and hundreds of years of expertise in twenty sessions on five stages. Developers will go deep on topics like Silverlight, web parts, workflow, and search. Managers and architects will go deep on governance, cultural change, and mind-mapping.
Be a part of it! Lunch will be provided, registration is free, and there is a giant stack of prizes to give away.
[Volunteer for SharePoint Camp!] Tonight, Wednesday, January 21 at Nexient, 2 Bloor West (north-west corner of Yonge and Bloor), 6 to 8pm.
[Register for SharePoint Camp!] Saturday, January 24 at Manulife Financial, 200 Bloor East (north side of Bloor, between Church and Jarvis), 9am to 5pm.