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The SharePoint Hillbilly Fewer Big Words... More Pretty Pictures...

So, I had the honor of speaking at the SharePoint Technology Conference (SPTechCon) for the fourth time on June 3rd. I must admit that this conference is just getting bigger and better every time BZMedia puts it together. For those of you not familiar with SPTechCon (, they do the conference twice a year. Once in San Francisco at the beginning of the year and again in Boston in the middle of the year. They get the best speakers (and me) to show up from all over the world and really have some high caliber presentations. Whether you are an IT Pro, Admin, Architect, or Developer you will find some invaluable information. I’d say as far as SharePoint conferences go, SPTechCon is pretty much among the best. Still not sure how I weaseled my way into the speaking ranks, must be my charm and good looks. Either that, or David Rubenstein really needs to do better research Winking smile

Anyway, this year on top of an awesome conference, the location for the Boston conference was upgraded to the Sheraton right next to the Prudential building. Talk about an astounding location for a conference. I can think of few places in the world I’d rather spend a few days than right in the heart of downtown Boston. I just regret that prior commitments kept me away until the final day of the conference and I did not get a chance to really catch up with many of some of the most awesome all around people I know… oh, and Eric Shupps.


So, anyway,I showed up very late Thursday night…well… technically Friday morning at 1am where I found quite the motley crew hanging out in the hotel lounge including my brother from another mother Geoff Varosky (@gvaro), one of my dearest friends Christina Wheeler (@cwheeler76), SharePoint rockstar and all around great guy Andrew Connell (@andrewconnell), my favorite Canadian and perpetual conference attendee Ruven Gotz (@ruveng), my newest SharePoint vegetarian buddy and dog lover Katt Weixel (@katscasa), BZMedia superstars David Rubenstein (@drubinstein) & Katie Serignese (@BZK80) and probably one of the best greetings I’ve ever gotten from Kim Frehe(@chomp1313) that I first met a few weeks previously in St. Louis… and a few other folks that I don’ really know personally or forgot about because they didn’t say too much to me, sooooo… sorry if I forgot you. Smile.  But it was a great, if all too brief evening before speaking at the first session at 8:15 with another SharePoint rock star John Ferringer (@ferringer). 

John and I reprised our session from SPTechCon San Francisco called “SharePoint Mythbusters” where we tackle a few myths from both a developer and administrator standpoint. John and I get great feedback on our session and are actually looking at revamping it as more of a SharePoint “Odd Couple” session where we delve into the complicated but mutually beneficial relationships that SharePoint Administrators and Developers have. This will be a great session for anyone looking to build a cohesive SharePoint team. So, keep an eye out for that session as we test it out at a few SharePoint Saturdays before bringing it fully polished to the next SPTechCon (hopefully).

I ended up bookending the last day at SPTechCon by doing the first session of the day and the last session of the day with my aforementioned brother Geoff Varosky. Geoff and I do a SharePoint development best practices session titled “Just Freakin Work!”… We’ve done this session several times now and have a good rhythm going with it. This fire hose session always gets tremendous feedback from the crowd with comments like “This session is exactly what I came here to see.”.  So, it’s nice to know we can have fun and bring some real value to the conference.  Also look for Geoff and I to do a revamp of this session for the next conference. Oh yeah.. and here’s the slides for those interested:


In addition, I’m also working on putting together an entertaining and insightful session called “You might be a SharePoint Professional if…” where I might happen to rant a little bit about the common obstacles we all face and how to overcome them… 

And wow.. one of the coolest things that happened is meeting the folks at SoftArtisans (@softartisans, @officewriter, @clairedwillett). These guys are doing some cool stuff with document generation very similar to some stuff I’m working on. I’m looking forward to picking their brains a little and sharing some ideas with them. Oh yeah… and did I mention I won an iPad 2? Yeah.. these are my new favorite guys.  Smile


Friday night we made it down to Andrew Connell’s favorite Italian place in the North End called La Famiglia Giogio with Ruven Gotz, Kat Weixel, Jim Bob Howard, and Cory Roth (also Rutherford and Jessica from Vizit who bailed about 5 minutes before we were seated).  We had to wait well over an hour for a table because there was a table reserved for the Prime Minister of Singapore who arrived complete with police escort and secret service protection. I thought for a moment Justin Bieber was showing up or something. Regardless the food was well worth the wait, and pastries at Bova’s afterwards was worth every calorie.  Smile


All in all it was a awesome experience and I can’t wait to see everyone again next time. Keep up the great work David and crew… I’m honored that you allow me to keep coming back.

Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2011 7:35 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Belated SPTechCon Wrap Up & Ramblings – Boston June 2011

# re: Belated SPTechCon Wrap Up & Ramblings – Boston June 2011
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Wow--thank you for the compliment! It was lovely meeting you IRL as well, and I'm looking forward to the brain-pickin' ;)
Left by Claire on Jun 14, 2011 8:34 AM

# re: Belated SPTechCon Wrap Up & Ramblings – Boston June 2011
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Dude you're off my xmas card list ;-) not even a mention of our romantic sushi date. Good to finally catch up too, been too long!
Left by Jeremy Thake on Jun 14, 2011 10:01 AM

# re: Belated SPTechCon Wrap Up & Ramblings – Boston June 2011
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AH!! How could I forget our rendezvous! Maybe I just wanted to keep it secret.. yeah.. that's it... ;)

I'll get that added.. can't forget the sushi... good times..
Left by Mark on Jun 14, 2011 10:40 AM

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