SEF 2008, Day One

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SEF 2008, Day One

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Yesterday was the first day of the SharePoint and Exchange Forum 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden. As it turns out, fellow MVP Todd Klindt was on the same flight to London with me and, since we had a night over with nothing to do, I insisted on taking him around Soho for the first time. I’m not sure how impressed he was as he’s not quite used to flying overnight, staying up all day, then hitting the pubs and clubs ’til the wee hours but he handled himself well. I also introduced him to the greatness that is The Texas Embassy in London. Unfortunately, we found out about the passing of Patrick Tisseghem when we got off the plane so the day was a bit somber from the start.

On Saturday we flew into Stockholm, wandered around the city for a bit until we found our hotel, then crashed out (even the SharePoint Cowboy has to sleep from time to time). On Sunday SharePoint MVP Goran Husman was kind enough to arrange a tour of the royal castle and a boat tour of Stockholm. It’s a beautiful city and I wish I had more time to spend here. The people are fantastic and the beer was quite good as well – I definitely want to come back for a proper visit.

The conference kicked off on Monday with a keynote from Goran in Swedish. Steve Smith had us snickering in the back of the room with his attempts to translate Goran’s presentation on the fly (Steve most definitely does not speak Swedish). Mike Fitzmaurice did a really nice tribute presentation for Patrick with lots of pictures of him from years past. I had some work to do on my presentations so I sat out most of the sessions until Todd’s talk on STSADM (which I actually managed to stay mostly awake for). I caught a quick nap in the afternoon then we all joined up for dinner and – of course – a good deal of drinking afterwards (Reza Alirezaei has posted a few pictures from the trip here).

The conference itself is rather small – only about 100 attendees – but very well organized. The conference center is out in the country, with a lake nearby, boating, tennis courts, mini-golf, the whole nine yards. I liked it much better than being in the hustle and bustle of Stockholm. A big tip of the ‘ol cowboy hat to Goran and his team at HumanData for putting this together.

Tomorrow I give two talks, one on introductory SharePoint programming and another on high-performance SharePoint applications. It’s a lot of information to cover in a very short period of time – I hope it goes well or else I may not be invited back next year!