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In this short blog-post I would like to walk you through the various sessions that I’m planning on attending on Day 2 (November 6th, 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

Wednesday November 6th, 2019

After starting the 2nd day with a keynote, the parallel sessions finally start early. So more sessions that you can pick yourself! In my previous blog-post I mentioned that my main focus will be Sitecore JSS. But today it will be a mix of Docker/Kubernetes as well. Today I have multiple sessions that have my interest, some are on the same time-slot as well unfortunately, so haven’t made up my mind yet to the ones I’ll 100% attend. We start with 2 great ones which I still haven’t made up my mind yet.

The containerized mind: Working with Sitecore in containers

10:30 am — 11:15 am / Swan 3-4, Swan

Stephen Pope (Senior Architect, Sitecore)Running Sitecore inside containers has great advantages, but it requires you to think differently about your usual approach to development and deployment. We will walk through a case-study and the challenges faced along the way, visit some orchestration strategies, and see how the Sitecore community is working together to make these accessible to all.

With the recent storm of Docker blog-post, containers certainly have gained my interest as well. Looking forward to see what Mr. Pope has to tell the audience. Expect a great and funny presentation with a lot of Magic Animated Gifs. ;-). This is one of the first that I want to see, the 2nd one is at the same time-frame.

New editing experience in Sitecore: What it means for developers

10:30 am — 11:15 am / Swan 7-10, Swan

Alexey Vaschenko (Senior Product Manager, Sitecore) – With Project Horizon, Sitecore brings in a new editing experience. This is not only a great improvement for content authors and marketers, but also a change for Sitecore developers. This session will explore the new Sitecore product, Horizon, and how to develop and extend it.

After being announced back at Symposium 2017 in Vegas, this is the only session on Horizon. And I still wonder why we only have one session on this topic. The new editing interface of Sitecore. Not sure if it’s ready yet for the new version or not. But this is almost a must see during Symposium 2019. Still have to make my mind to go to either this one, or the containerised one from Stephen Pope.

Integrating a client framework with Sitecore JSS

11:35 am — 12:20 pm / Swan 7-10, Swan

Adam Lamarre (Principal Developer, Velir) – Go beyond the sample applications and integrate a framework of your choosing with Sitecore JSS. Dive into the inner workings of the layout service, routing, and server-side rendering, as we examine a sample integration with the up-and-coming SvelteJS library and learn how to extend your knowledge of JSS to fit into any client-side stack you might encounter.

Yeah, finally another JSS session. Currently Sitecore JSS comes in 3 flavours: Angular, React & Vue. Adam has added a 4th library to this: SvelteJS. Can’t wait to see his presentation, since it also deep dives on the inner working of the LayoutService, routing etc (which I already learned about while doing the Sitecore JSS fundamentals training). Adam did a great job on his SUGCON Europe 2019 presentation on Sitecore JSS and GraphQL, so can’t wait to see him in action again explaining the concepts of the SvelteJS support for Sitecore JSS.

Extending Sitecore using serverless architectures

1:30 pm — 2:15 pm / Swan 3-4, Swan

Rob Habraken (CTO, We are you) – Cloud is gaining ground, and the Azure stack is being adopted more and more — which means the microservices approach of Sitecore’s architecture that enhances separation of concern, allowing for better maintainability and scalability, also could find its way into our implementations. How can we leverage all these new capabilities, stepping away from implementing Sitecore solely from a monolithic perspective? And what are the benefits and caveats of this approach? See how to build features on top of Sitecore using Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) and Backend-as-a-Service in a serverless architecture, while discussing the use and applicability of such services in our application landscapes.

Having seen a sneak-preview of this one during our SUGNL meetup at We are you in Den Bosch, I have to say that this is an interesting session on Azure and Serverless in combination with Sitecore. Go see it! But having said that, at the same time there’s another interesting session. So have to make up my mind yet which one I will attend.

Connect with your audience in a whole new way: Using AI to empower personalized experiences

1:30 pm — 2:15 pm / Southern Hemisphere II, Dolphin

Mark Stiles (Principal Developer, Velir) – Want to know what your customers are looking for? Why not just ask them! With cutting-edge AI language parsing tools, you can talk to your audience directly and take action immediately on what they say. Improve search by allowing natural language questions. Walk through forms in a conversational way. Select a persona, trigger goals or kick off a campaign — all with your audience’s own words. With low-cost, easy to use AI APIs, your website can be wherever conversation happens.

Still not sure why this one is on the Digital First track, since it’s highly interesting for developers as well, ah well, it’s right after lunch and we’re at the Dolphin anyway ;-). Mark Stiles has presented on previous SUGCON’s and Symposiums on Cognitive Services. And probably this one extends it once again. Since I’ve been building a SUGCON 2017 chatbot, and got certified on the Enterprise Conversational AI platform Cognigy,  Conversational AI has been my interest. Mark has released a Sitecore Cognitive Services module, which he blogged about. Count me in for this session, it’s awesome tech he’s presenting.

XC9 + K8S + AKS = Bingo!

2:35 pm — 3:20 pm / Swan 3-4, Swan

Joost Meijles (Software Architect, Aviva Solutions) – Sitecore 9 has a micro-service architecture and is designed with the cloud in mind. The community has picked this up by creating Docker images for Sitecore. This works great for local development, but it still has some challenges when deploying to the cloud. This changed with the recent introduction of Windows support for Kubernetes (K8S) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) support for Windows containers. This session introduces a Kubernetes setup, using XC9 as showcase, that allows you to deploy to AKS. Besides a demo and walkthrough, we’ll present the benefits and challenges of this approach, so you can make a well considered decision for when to use these emerging technologies.

Docker, Kubernetes, it’s currently the hottest most-blogged-about tech amongst Sitecore MVP’s I think. Did some introduction on this through my favourite online learning platform Pluralsight: Docker and Kubernetes: The Big Picture, and really would love to learn more during this session. Can’t wait to see what Joost has in mind for us. I’m sure I’ll learn a ton!

Closing day 2

After the parallel sessions there’s one more closing keynote for the second day. Day 2 closes with the famous Sitecore Symposium party at Universal Studios Florida, which I’ll be going to in limo style, now that I was 2nd in the Sitecore MVP competition. Hell Yeah!.

I’m sure it will be one hell of a party. Hopefully I’ll be able to see Rodrigo Peplau doing some ‘live performing on stage’ once again 😉

CU in Orlando!