Jeremy Davis
Jeremy Davis
Sitecore, C# and web development
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Bonus Chatter: SUGCON NA Agenda - what caught my eye

There's a lot of great content. What bits are going to help me the most?

Published 12 September 2023
Sitecore SUGCON ~4 min. read

I see the agenda for this year's SUGCON NA event**1 is out now. While everyone will have their own interests, here's what's caught my eye in the agenda.

Full marks to the organising committee and the community for this agenda, btw - it looks strong. There are a few slots here where I would have liked to watch more than one of the sessions, but prioritising based on the work I see in my pipeline:


  • Custom Connectors in Sitecore Connect - Ivan Lieckens
    The more I look at composable systems, the more I think the "glue" which sticks the different systems together is going to be key to the sort of projects I work on. And while there are many products and tools on the market which can fill this role, Sitecore Connect is likely to feature in a lot of the discussions I expect to have. It does have a lot of connectors out-of-the-box but my experience of implementing projects is that many businesses have some odd, obscure software hiding in their back-end, so understanding how we might extend Connect to enable integrations with the uncommon systems will be very useful.

  • Crafting lightning-fast composable enterprise solutions - Vasiliy Fomichev
    I'll admit that performance has been one of the things at the back of my mind for new composable projects for a while. The more systems we glue together in a composable stack, the more I worry that there may be problems with speed. So I'm interested to see someone else's take on what the right architectural approaches to designing Solution Architectures for SaaS and Composable are. I'm pretty sure I can learn from that.

  • Search Smarter not Harder: Unleashing the Power of Sitecore Search for Marketers - Meghan Fishburn and Steve Hamilton
    As someone who's been associated with Solr and its implementation / behaviour for a few years now, the move towards SaaS search products with Sitecore Search interests me. Solr doesn't really provide "marketing" features, so I can see its something I'm going to need to be able to explain (sell?) for projects level fairly soon. I'm keen to find out what a marketer's approach to this product is, and try to understand how I can communicate that in the work I do.

  • Build for XM Cloud according to the Architect of XM Cloud - Andy Cohen
    I see a lot of change in the future of the projects I work on. The transition away from the on-prem or PaaS-hosted solutions I've worked with for decades is in full swing, and I'm pretty sure I have a lot to learn about how best to approach delivering CMS projects based on XM in this new world. The more information I can get from the experts about what "right" looks like here, the better. And who better to listen to, than the people designing Sitecore's approach...

  • Implementing Sitecore Search - Rob Earlam
    Following on from the marketing view of how Sitecore Search differs from the old Solr approaches, I'm keen to learn more about implementing the technical side of this product. The patterns for indexing certainly change, and there is a whole different approach to UI and analytics here. All of which I need to get an understanding of before this comes up in client projects.

  • Tips and tricks for Next.js and Sitecore Headless - Corey Smith
    I will be the first to admit that I'm not much of a JavaScript developer. My experience of doing serious work with it largely predates the current world of headless frameworks, as I've been pretty focused on back-end code for some time. But unsurprisingly I find myself interacting more with front-end work in headless projects, so updating my knowledge here is key. Hearing what others have found as good patterns for this work will be important to feed back to the front-end devs I work with.


  • Building No Code Integrations with Sitecore Webhooks and GraphQL - Dan Solovay
    While a lot of the focus around integration is about the software sold as "composable" systems, the classic Sitecore XM and XP have the same GraphQL and WebHook APIs as XM Cloud. And integrations are also important for on-prem or PaaS-hosted site as well as for the SaaS-hosted versions of the CMS. While I've done a bit of investigation into the WebHook model Sitecore provides for events, there's bound to be some interesting info here for future integration work in my projects.

  • No Compromises in XMC: On Demand Revalidation with Experience Edge - Justin Laster
    Headless rendering is definitely an area where I've got a lot to learn, as the technologies move away from the .Net MVC approaches I've worked with for years. In fact I've so much to learn that I didn't realise that the core of Justin's talk was even an issue... I've clearly got some important stuff to discover about the fundamentals of Experience Edge and Next.js here, which will help me with future projects.

  • Learnings of going XM Cloud - Rob Habraken
    I suspect this concept - moving from XP towards XM Cloud - is going to be the focus of a lot of technical consultancy discussions I have in the future. And hopefully a big chunk of project work too. So I'm interested to hear what Rob has to say about the realities of making this change, as I hope it can help me avoid some pitfalls. Because I'm sure there are a few for me to avoid...

  • Do More of What Matters: Simplifying Analytics and Attribution Across DXP Platforms - Megan Mueller Jensen & Emily Lord
    Continuing the theme of "stuff is different in composable", the idea that lots of different bits of software we use will have their own analytcis is a challenge I've had some discussion about recently. So this attribution problem is clearly something that is going to be an issue for some of my projects. The dashboards this session is describing sound like exactly the sort of suggestion I can make use of in these conversations.

So I can see I'm going to be busy scribbling a lot of notes during this event. (note to self: Buy some good pens!) That's a lot of interesting stuff to watch.

I'm excited for this event. It's been a while since I've been at a SUGCON, and since I'm not speaking this year, I get to focus all my energy on the content and the conversations. Maybe I'll see you there for some interesting corridor/bar discussions? You can book tickets now**2 if the agenda interests you too...

(And if you're not as technical as me - don't fret - as the organising committe says "SUGCON is for everyone", and you can make your own choices from the other tracks)

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