I’ve been going to SharePoint Conference since the 2009 iteration, but I’ve never been so excited for an SPC as I am for this year’s version! SPC 2014 has a lot to recommend it for anyone– from roadmap news on Yammer and Social, to a renewed content focus for on-premise and hybrid architectures, to the new venue provided by The Venetian (so alas, cooking with coconut oil will never again remind me of SharePoint)– but for me personally, I already know this is going to be a crazy week.
What I’ve always loved about SPC is the way it brings everyone in the SharePoint world together, and the sheer possibilities of knowledge, learning and connecting that come from that! It seems that every SPC has either brought about, or confirmed, another major step in my career. I think it can do the same for anyone else in attendance, and I encourage other attendees to think the same way. SharePoint Conference is a lot like rocket fuel for a SharePoint career.
Seriously–for proof, let me quickly tell you my own SPC story!
It’s hard to believe that only five years ago, I was attending my first SharePoint Conference as one of two representatives sent by a small, regional Microsoft partner. It was SPC that opened my eyes to a wider world, and helped me realize that the horizons available in this business were far grander than I could imagine while working for a tiny, Wisconsin-based systems integrator. It was SPC that started me down the road to working for Microsoft itself. Then, three years ago, I was in Anaheim for SPC11 as a SharePoint SSP with Microsoft’s EPG team, but realizing I was still a consultant at heart.
That particular conference solidified my hunch that I should return to consulting, this time with the Pointbridge gang– a sharp, talented group of architects, many of whom remain together as just one core constituency of our Perficient team. And last time around, at SPC12, I was able to make the sort of deep dive into a specific content track– in my case, Yammer and Social– that anyone can use as a launching pad for their own path into a more fulfilling role.
This year… who knows? 2014 feels a bit like a culmination of sorts– which means it’s the starting point for another five years of awesomeness. For the first time, I’m crashing the MVP party as an invited speaker (come check out my session on Yammer External Networks!)! I can’t find adequate words to say just how humbling and exciting that is. Of course, we have a Perficient booth to man with some amazingly talented colleagues, and if I’m not there you will find me working in the Microsoft Pavilion as an invited SME for Social and an “Expert” (I’m flabbergasted by the characterization) at the Ask the Experts session on Wednesday night.
All of that when just five years ago, I was Joe Architect from Wisconsin walking the halls of the Mandalay Bay and wondering how I could become one of the people presenting those sessions. Well, SPC has a way of fulfilling those sort of wishes if you use it to make them happen, and of course, if you understand hard work.
Come on down and meet us at the Perficient booth, and I can tell you about it. I might even be able to find you a place in our team– Microsoft’s 2013 United States Partner of the Year!