TechEd Africa 2010 Sessions Attended

Better late than never, but here goes :

Attended my second TechEd this year, which was thankfully a lot more civilised than last year!  When people tell you to pace yourself, they mean it.  This year was a much more pleasurable experience.

It’s always hard to convey everything you learn at conferences. That’s why it’s so important to attend yourself when you can.  It’s money so well spent for many reasons.  Not only are you learning from industry experts, but you get to talk to the vendors as long as you like to ask all those questions you were too afraid to ask.

The networking opportunity with your peers is immeasurable. Job seekers, job posters, clients, vendors, user groups, give aways, cheap servers / laptops, new social networking tools are all on the menu.

Here’s the highlights of the sessions I attended :

  • ECM for the Masses – 65% of ECM projects fail because users are not involved in the process.  Users are empowered to create content, not manage it.
  • What’s New for IT Pros in SharePoint 2010 – Sandbox Solutions ring fence projects to sites so there is less of an impact on the platform.  Rules are set up with give the end users more freedom to create but not bring down the platform.
  • Enterprise Search – there are 22 out of box webparts for Enterprise Search.  Large farms have 40 – 100 million searchable items.
  • Architecting SharePoint 2010 – no 2 service applications (managed metadata, BCS etc) are alike.  Learn each one!  Don’t guess how much memory you need, calculate it properly!
  • Dashboards – best practices are to have a single screen / snapshot that tells a story about something to someone with no learning curve.  It’s graphical with no scrolling.
  • Intranet Building – ask if your intranet motivates and inspires your staff.  Help content contributors succeed!  Build, promote, brand, and plan accordingly.  Governance is required to succeed.
  • BI, Unleashing Business Users – Analytics is no longer the rich man’s tool.  Ever heard of hermeneutics, Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety, autopoiesis and Minger’s definition?  Yeah, me neither.

The one thing I noticed from all the sessions at TechEd, was that the whole story was never really given.  SharePoint (and especially SharePoint 2010) was made to look easy as pie to install, manage and build on.  “Just” click this and “just” install that.  “Just” nothing!  Don’t be fooled by the ease in which the sessions were presented.  There are vast governance, planning and resource considerations that were not mentioned.  Do your homework!

Microsoft did a good job as usual in going all out for the event. Check out some of the photos on Facebook.  See you next year for sure.  Click to view my summary of the sessions I attended on Slideshare, or on my website.


  1. Must agree, technically SharePoint 2010 might sound easy but a lot more effort is needed on the softer issues as you have mentioned, governance, planning, user adoption and resource considerations.


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