Sitecore Symposium 2018 Day 3 Summary

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This blog post is third and last one from my Sitecore Symposium 2018 Series.

I am writing these blog posts as my reflection and summary of this year’s Sitecore Symposium.

Let’s conclude this series with Day 3 of Sitecore Symposium 2018 and beyond.

Day 3

Day 3 was unfortunately last day of this year’s Sitecore Symposium. It started again with nice breakfast talk and continued with final keynotes and breakout sessions.

Keynote #1: Building customer trust, one experience at a time by Mark Zablan, Scott Liewehr, Sabrina Sexton and Eric Stoll
Keynote started with presentation about security, security breaches and personal data.
It continued with panelists with very interesting discussion.  It was mainly about building brand trust with customers. There should be three steps – Transparency, Accessibility and Personalization on top of Data. Marketers should focus on these steps together with their other responsibilities.
Scott brought lots of great ideas into discussion. Customers shouldn’t check security maintained by your brand. It should be common that they trust you that you secure their personal data and also that you don’t manipulate or transport your data somewhere where it’s not secured. It they stop trust your brand, they won’t use your products, services or websites…
Sabrina brought interesting questions into discussion for example – “What is still your personal data? Should it be also voice?” With raise of Alexa, Siri and other technologies and devices customers need to be sure that the handling of their voice is secured. What about other biometric data about you?

Session #1: Accelerate everything by Sebastian Winter
Another great presentation about SXA I have attended on Sitecore Symposium this year.
Sebastian showed us how they have used their already 5 year old solution with Sitecore 8.1.2 (Upgraded from Sitecore 7.2) and how they upgraded it to Sitecore 9 Update 2 and SXA. They have separated team which was only dedicated to bringing SXA into their solution.
Main part of presentation was dedicated to compare how long it took developers to create new components or content editors to create content before with standard MVC approach and how long with SXA. He showed how SXA can dramatically reduce time to market for both developers and content editors.
For instance, SXA toolbox has already lots of OOTB components and drag and drop functionality which makes adding component on page matter of 1,5 seconds. Also instead of 8 clicks and 30 MD, it takes just 2 clicks and 10 MD.
He also talked about SXA generator that they have created to speed up component creation even more. It was created by Dmytro Shevchenko and it’s using npm and yeoman. From command line, you can quickly create scaffolding for new SXA components in your VS solution in matter of seconds.
Sebastian also showed how they use Snippet component from SXA to help content editors create content quickly with putting predefined components from snippet into pages. This will decrease number of clicks and time it would take when content editors do it all over again for every page. Instead of tens clicks and lots of minutes of work, it could take just 3 clicks and a few seconds to scaffold new page with predefined components.
Very informative session with lots of great examples.
At the same time Mark Cassidy had his “10x Your Sitecore Development” presentation. Luckily for me and you, he released slides and source codes in his GitHub repository so you can take a look and won’t miss it. Thanks Mark for sharing it.
Also Jason St-Cyr conducted his “Who watches the watchers?” session at the same time. He released the slides on his blog. He also have a really nice series of blog posts “Soul in the machine”  which are great companion to his session on Symposium. Check the blog series here.

Session #2: Faster, faster, faster! A Helix approach to devops in light of the Sitecore micro-service architecture by Thomas Eldblom
Thomas presentation was mainly about how to do deployment faster following Helix principles. He is probably the most competent speaker to talk about Helix as he is the one who original put these principles together. He talked about how they (in Pentia) introduced another layer so instead of just Feature, Foundation and Project layers, they also have Infrastructure layer. It defines combined topology for your solution. It should be also single, versionable dependency for your Sitecore solution.
They split wdp packages from Sitecore and created their own to support better scalability and deployability.
He show this concept in demo with Habitat Home solution where he introduced this “Infrastructure” layer.
He mentioned that introducing this layer helps with provisioning, deployment and upgrade and enables Sitecore-as-a-service.

Keynote #2 / Closing Keynote: Looking ahead – What’s next from Sitecore by Ryan Donovan
Ryan started with thanking for amazing year:
  • over 300 new customers
  • 22k developers & 329 MVPs
  • 230M+ Digital brand experiences delivered each year
  • 9th year Leader in Gartner WCMS and first-time Leader Gartner DXP

He mentioned some of the great implementation like L’Oreal.

He continued with the vision what comes within next few months. Sitecore wants to focus in 3 areas:

  • Content Lifecycle
  • Next-gen UX
  • Commerce

For Content Lifecycle part he talked about unified future with Sitecore Content Hub that aggregates data from MDM, ERP, PLM, Contract and other systems and publishes and analysis data from CMS, ECommerce, Social, POS, CRM, Apps and Retail.

There was also demo of StyleLabs and how developers can extend it. Looked straight forward 😉

The demo continued with Horizon, the new Sitecore UI. Focus of this redesign is on marketers and content editors to bring them better insights and analytics of performance of pages and also to simply their day-to-day work.

Keynote finished with Commerce.

Future of Commerce in Sitecore is in 4 pillars:

  • JSS & Commerce
  • B2B
  • Integration
  • Product Information Management

Looking forward for all these visions made happen and our clients can use them in their day-to-day business.


Day 4

On Day 4 I was traveling back home in the morning. From Orlando to Chicago and from Chicago to Vienna and then back to Bratislava, Slovakia.

I am used to have at least 2 hours difference between connecting flight to have enough time to catch follow up flight. I thought that in Chicago it will be enough also.

It not started the best, as we had already 20 minutes late arrival due to bad weather. It continued with information that I need to get out of Terminal 1 and go into Terminal 5. I had to go there by shuttle bus and there were some traffic jams obviously so I lost fair amount of time there. I had to go again through security checkpoint and passport control. I controlled my watch quite often and I had like 20 minutes to gate closing. I ran to my gate (obviously almost last one) to catch up the plane.

When I came to the gate, I realized that there are not many people which was really suspicious. The gate was closed but I saw on the information desk that the boarding did not started yet and it is still 1 hour and 10 minutes left. Hmm. Interesting…

I looked on my watch and realized that Chicago is in different time zone and Orlando is 1 hour ahead of Chicago.


I am still wondering why I haven’t seen somewhere clock in the airport. There are everywhere.

I started breathing calmly and checked my flight ticket by flight attendant as it was announced that I am required to do so shortly after I came to the gate.

Flight was great. Almost no turbulence. I watched “Solo” movie again and read some Sitecore blog posts that I downloaded through Pocket to my Kobo Aura One ereader 🙂

I also slept couple of hours and when I woke up I realized that we will be landing almost 1 hour earlier to scheduled arrival. What a nice information at the end!


Thanks for reading summary of my Day 3 at Sitecore Symposium 2018 which was last summary from my series. Hope you have enjoyed reading it cause I enjoyed experiencing the whole Symposium this year 🙂 Check series landing page for more summaries and insights about Sitecore Symposium 2018.


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