I’ve been to a couple of DevConnections in Vegas and last year’s SharePoint Conference in Seattle, but there’s something different about the SharePoint Best Practices Conference. It’s just so much more… for a lack of a better word… intimate!
With just around 350 in attendance, the ratio of top-tier SharePoint Pro’s & MVPs to attendees definately pays for the conference in itself. Heck, how often do you get to sit and have lunch with Bob Fox, Joel Oleson, Robert Bogue, Jason Medero, Gary Lapointe, Maurice Prather, and Mike Fitzmaurice all at the same time eh? I had an awesome time sitting in between Joel and Rob Bogue as they debated the merits of the SharePoint Certified Master/Architect Programs as well as what it means to even have that title… certified or not. But that’s a story for another day.
Another thing I noticed that was odd…well not thaaat odd, but there were a heck of a lot more females around than I had expected. I’m a guy, can’t blame me for noticing these kinds of things right? Sheesh! Out of all the SharePoint/Tech events I’ve been to the ratio was somewhere between 1 female to 40-60 males. But at this conference, I could honestly say that it was more like 1 gal to every ~10 guys. And it wasn’t like the sessions I attended were crazily lopsided greater than that ratio either. That’s pretty good if you ask me! Maybe I’m crazy but it sure seems like SharePoint has not only grown greatly as a platform but has also picked up a whole new generation of female IT Pro’s and Dev’s along the way as well! Maybe Natalya, Amanda, Heather or Laura can comment on that. 🙂