SUGCON Europe 2016 – from the visitors’ perspective

Monday April 25 from noon till 9PM and Tuesday April 26 from early in the morning till 5PM the Sitecore User Group CONference took place with many speakers from literally all over the world. This year it was held in Copenhagen at the Bella Center, home town of Sitecore.

Having an in-house Sitecore MVP colleague @ Lukkien who also is part of the organization of this event, of course I had to go too to get to know about all the latest ins and outs of Sitecore, meet fellow Sitecore developers and generally have a good time.

Atomic design (Tim Braga)

After the Keynote with a presentation about planned and soon to arrive features in Sitecore 8.2 and following it was time for a closer look to the principles of atomic design and how to implement it successfully by Collette. The speaker showed us their travel site with a transformation from template design to component design and ultimately atomic design taking in account the pros and cons of the several design choices. Conclusion in short was that whereas atomic design makes the website super-duper-flexible it takes some extra development time and asks more from the content editors because creating a content page isn’t about dragging widgets in anymore but every input field, picture, video, button, link, etc. including their exact location could and shall have to be placed individually depending how far the team is willing to stretch the limits ;-) 

Security of YOUR Sitecore website (Bas Leijten)

After some refreshing moments, some snacking and the needed cup of coffee it was time for the next presentation; this one about security of your website build on Sitecore, a topic I recently had to do with for a client and also personally interesting so I couldn’t miss this one!

Amazing how you can trick so many people to connect with a handy fake Wi-Fi hotspot and steal all their personal stuff, even among so many technically involved people literally dozens of devices were connected to it and the speaker treated us with some nice demos of tricks.

This was quite the eye-opener for more than a few people and he came up with some easily implemented solutions and of course directions where to find the more advanced solutions for some rather nasty stuff you can do with fake urls, cross site scripting, code injection, etc.

Scalability (Mike Adwards)

Another short break and some coffee later it was time for some in depth information about scalability and deployment of the solution. Many situations that could occur from small, larger to simply huge infrastructural solutions with many content delivery - , content management -, session keeping -, database – and several other platform servers were discussed and the challenges mentioned about keeping everything in synch!

Very interesting to attend and very informing about many of the pitfalls there are.

Finally it was time for dinner and the inevitable networking… and of course some beers afterwards 

Community, wake up!

Next day began early; 8.30 the first, quite long but entertaining, presentation was about the community and how problems are tackled by groups of dedicated people to warm one up to joining the herd, because accelerating development needs many an hour of work.

Continuous integration (Nikola Gotsev)

Then, after some coffee, it was time for some serious continuous integration. All parts, from building, NuGet, creating packages, automated unit testing to deployment to the different environments were covered. Very interesting to see how tightly integrated the unit testing was to the whole process! Definitely something to do and already implementing it right now 

Refactoring @ Sitecore (Martina Welander)

As the last presentation I visited the one about refactoring Sitecores own website doc.sitecore.net. She did this in great detail and with a lot of mocking herself, what a fabulous story it was! She told about all the pitfalls she met on the way and gave a lot of designing tips & tricks she learned about on the way.

After this, only a short talk of Pieter Brinkman we had to endure and then it was time for some MVP award dealing; all MVP’s in their respective groups were called up front to accept their a