MVP Summit & SUGCON NA 2023

> Glad I went
Cover Image for MVP Summit & SUGCON NA 2023
Marcel Gruber

I was fortunate to have attended the October 2023 MVP Summit and SUGCON NA at the Mall of America in Minneapolis (thanks, One North 😘). As for the mall itself, it's great for kids. Lots of weird shops. Beef jerky store. Otherwise, it's a mall.

Going to these events and participating in the Sitecore community makes working in the Sitecore ecosystem much more rewarding. You see the bigger picture of what's going on in the space. You get to meet the people behind the products and the people who are using the products.

Big Announcements

The big announcements were XM Cloud Plus and Sitecore Accelerate. You can see all the details here:

XM Cloud Plus

For most developers, these announcements won't mean much in the short to mid term, but broadly speaking, XM Cloud Plus is a clear signal that even though Sitecore is going composable, it's still in Sitecore's best interest to ensure that whatever you compose with Sitecore is still Sitecore.

The ongoing joke is that XM Cloud Plus is actually just a cloud version of the classic XP monolith (some referred to it as "XP Cloud"). Of course, this is not true, but it is interesting to see this play out: the immutable principle of the cosmos which dictates that systems perpetually fluctuate between the singularity of monoliths and the decentralization of distributed architectures. It's all cyclical, and it's all layered.

Sitecore Accelerate

With regards to Sitecore Accelerate, Sitecore is signalling that they're doing everything they can to shepherd the masses towards the composable cloud. That said, they were emphatic about remaining committed to continued upgrades and enhancements to XM and XP for as long as there is demand for them.

What I Can Share From the MVP Summit

  • The XM Cloud development team is obsessed with developer experience and is constantly questioning even the most fundamental assumptions about how Sitecore is built and how it should be built. They are always thinking about how they can make things simpler.
  • Developer experience will continue improving.
  • Sitecore really wants to make migrating to XM Cloud as easy as possible.
  • Front end developers are becoming first class citizens.
  • Their yet to be released features and tools are looking great.

Cheesebabies Food Tour

In what seems to be becoming a tradition, Chet Potvin organized a food tour once again. Last year was the deep dish pizza food tour in Chicago.

I took photos as the evening unfolded. Here's the link to the whole album. Feel free to share:

SUGCON North America

Overall, the organizers did a great job. All the presentations have been posted on YouTube:

There were many great talks, but by far my favorites were:

Raiders of the New Tech Stack: The XM Cloud Adventure with Children's National Hospital | Presenters: Chris Sulham & Matthew Richardson

  • Why I liked it: this one provided valuable insight into a real world implementation of XM Cloud, and they presented it in a creative and entertaining way. I appreciated their candor and admission that they ran into some issues along the way and that hacks and workarounds were needed. Real life!

Build for XM Cloud according to the Architect of XM Cloud | Presenter: Andy Cohen

  • Why I liked it: Andy took stock of where Sitecore started, where it is now, and where it's going. He also gave some great tips on how to work with XM Cloud.

Tips and tricks for Next.js and Sitecore Headless | Presenter: Corey Smith

  • Why I liked it: Corey crushed it with this one and provided a ton of great tips and tricks for working with Next.js and Sitecore Headless. I'm looking forward to trying out some of the things he showed.

Typescript Code Generation for Sitecore Data Templates | Presenter: David Ly

  • Why I liked it: I have done lots of work getting TypeScript code generation working with TDS, and I came out of this with the certainty that SCS (Sitecore Content Serialization) CLI + Leprechaun + .csx templates are the best way to approach code generation. After the presentation, I spoke with David and Ben and discovered out that Leprechaun can in fact specify the type of a reference field (drop list, etc), just like TDS can.

General Tips When Traveling to Sitecore Events

  • Bring a power bank with you so that you can charge your phone throughout the day. All the notes and photos drain the battery quickly.
  • Pack less than you think you need.
  • Don't forget to pack all the charging cables! The hotel rooms I've stayed in don't yet have USB-C charging ports. Only USB-A.
  • Bring a good sweater or jacket. The conference rooms can get quite cold.
  • You'll have less free time than you think.
  • Get posting about reflections on the event right away!
  • Take pictures with the people you meet.
  • Jump on the hotel room block deal quickly -- staying at the conference hotel is worth it, and in my experience, the price is quite reasonable after the discount.
  • Introduce yourself to people you don't know ASAP.

Looks like we're off to Nashville in 2024!

Keep jetsetting,


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