From November 4th to November 7th 2019, Sitecore’s annual marketing & Developer conference Symposium will be held in Orlando, Florida. As a 10x Sitecore MVP I’m always looking forward this this yearly recurring event.

The event allows me to connect in real life to the many Sitecore community members I know, meet new people, learn, get inspired and just have a great time while sharing my passion Sitecore with other people.

In this blog-post I would like to walk you through the various sessions that I’m planning on attending on Day 1 (November 5th, 2019), and why I think they are a must-see.

More in this series:

Sitecore Symposium 2019 – Day 1 – Presentations to look out for
Sitecore Symposium 2019 – Day 2 – What presentations to look out for
Sitecore Symposium 2019 – Day 3 – What presentations to look out for

Tuesday November 5th, 2019

After watching the CEO keynotes by Mark Frost and Page O’Neill, the guest keynote by Platon, just before lunch it’s time for the keynote of the various tracks. My focus will probably be either ‘Exploring DevOps scenarios’ or ‘Developing on Sitecore’. After the track keynotes and after lunch, finally at 1.30 pm the individual tracks will kick in parallel .

Sitecore JSS @ Scale

01:30 pm — 02:15 pm / Swan 5, Swan

Richard James (Technology Lead at Nationwide Building Society), will learn us how Nationwide Building Society is using Sitecore JSS to serve content to dozens of microservice applications, standardising on their in-house React design system and reducing the chance of content inconsistency throughout our enterprise digital estate. 

I’m really looking forward to this one. Sitecore JSS will have my focus this year. In case you didn’t know, I recently did the Sitecore JSS Fundamentals 9.2 course and blogged some more on Sitecore JSS earlier this year. Anyways, Richard has blogged on the above topic on Medium before which I’ve read with great interest, so I definitely have to see this one! Check out his great posts!

Sitecore in the enterprise: Optimize your time to deliver toward the speed of light, using all the new love in Azure DevOps

02:35 pm — 03:20 pm / Swan 3-4, Swan

Bas Lijten (Principal Architect at Achmea) – Dealing with many teams, solutions, and 100+ Sitecore instances comes with a lot of challenges. In this session, we will share our lessons learned to build and deploy Sitecore with the speed of light, while keeping track of costs, quality, industry standards, and — very important for large organizations — control. We’ll discuss solutions for large build and deploy queues, build and deployment speed, costs and standardization while keeping flexibility. Microsoft recently added beneficial features to Azure DevOps, which will aid in this approach. By the end of this session, you will be able to integrate these options in your own solution within a few minutes, and you will be building and deploying the same way as big companies do.

This will be a great session by Sitecore MVP and my bud Bas Lijten. Make sure to attend this one! I’ve seen parts of it at the Sitecore User Group Netherlands meetup at Achmea. Knowing Bas he will have a whole lot more planned.

Build JSS websites with Blazor

03:40 pm — 04:25 pm / Swan 7-10, Swan

Corey Smith (President (haha), Corey Smith Consulting) & Gary Wenneker (Principal Architect, Macaw Netherlands) will do a talk on Blazor in combinaton with Sitecore. Blazor is Microsoft’s latest and greatest new web development framework that enables you to build rich client-side web UIs completely in C# instead of JavaScript. Blazor allows you to leverage existing .NET libraries and share code between your client and server. Sitecore MVPs Corey Smith and Gary Wenneker will walk you through the architecture and benefits of Blazor and then showcase Blazor running on top of Sitecore’s JavaScript Services — finally bringing true .NET Core component development to the core CMS.

Can’t wait for this one as well. Blazor is the new hot king in .NET land. Really looking forward learning more from this session. If you don’t know what Blazor is, make sure to check out the quick Pluralsight course: Blazor – The Big Picture. Expect goodies to be thrown in the audience 😉

Face recognition, AI, and personalization: Data-driven marketing in a brick-and-click store

03:40 pm — 04:25 pm / Swan 6, Swan

Rodrigo Peplau (Solution Architect at Nish Tech) – This presentation shows how face recognition can be used with Sitecore in a brick-and-click store, taking advantage of customer online behavior to provide fine-tuned personalized experiences. Contact identification is key for good personalization. Face recognition is used as a nonintrusive identification mechanism. We will demo the Smart Bookshelf, explore how it is built and the challenges involved, from face capturing and identification to the recommendation of books. Recommendations are based on the contact’s behavior at the online channel and can be offered in two ways: with traditional Sitecore rules-based Personalization or using Artificial Intelligence to learn from our data and offer better recommendations.

Wanted to give a special shout-out to my fellow Sitecore MVP: Rodrigo Peplau. We had the pleasure of having him at SUGCON Europe 2019 doing this session, but this one is even more extended and even uses ore AI to do personalization. If you’re not into Blazor, make sure to check out this session.

Closing day 1

After the parallel sessions there’s one more closing keynote for the first day. Overall, it takes a lot of time to get to the parallel sessions. But with 2 awesome JSS sessions my day will be good no matter what. Day 1 closes with a happy hour and probably continues with some special parties. I’m sure I already signed up to one 😉

CU in Orlando!