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Chris Sharp
Feb 21, 2017
(2 votes)

My Recommended Agenda for Developers and Tech Leaders at Episerver Ascend 2017

Episerver Ascend 2017 is right around the corner, and if you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to do so. If you have registered, you should check out the agendas for developers and tech leaders. As you can see, there’s a lot to choose from. From keynotes to presentations to labs, it may be tough to figure out how to schedule your days. You'll likely want to mix up your schedule with both presentations and labs. The labs provide a hands-on experience where each room will have a bunch of computers for you to learn and follow the presenter on a specific topic. 

So, here’s my recommendations for some sessions to attend at Ascend 2017.


At 6:00 PM on Sunday, there is the welcome reception/party at the pool of The Cosmopolitan. Las Vegas can be a little chilly in the evening, so I suggest bringing a sweater or a jacket. We will not be going into the pool, unless you really want to.


Start off with the morning with the introduction by Episerver President and CEO, Mark Duffel at 8:45 AM, and the opening keynote by Episerver EVP Strategy and CMO, James Norwood at 8:55 AM. James will be joined by VP Product, Justin Anovich, and Director of Research and Tech Fellow, Allan Thraen. Allan and Justin will present some new and exciting things coming soon. Following the keynote, stick around for juggling duo, The Passing Zone, at 9:40 AM. Will we see Mark and James juggle chainsaws? Come and find out.

After lunch, you can’t miss the keynote by Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman at 1:00 PM. His keynote titled “JavaScript, The Cloud, and the Rise of the New Virtual Machine” is sure to be “educatining” as he explores the relationship between the Cloud and the Browser, many Languages and one Language, how it might all fit together and what might come next. I think he is also extremely entertaining and would probably be a great comedian if he ever wanted to be.

At 4:15 PM, check out the presentation “Using Episerver Find in an Agnostic Fashion to Meet Complex Search Requirements” by Robert Strube. Robert provided some more information to me about his presentation: "Episerver Find is a great choice when your using the CMS and Commerce platforms, but did you know that Find also has a powerful .NET client API? In this presentation, we will examine how to use Episerver Find in an agnostic fashion via its .NET client API. We'll also examine advanced topic such as custom index models, data pre- and post-processing, and custom index jobs."


Here’s your chance to get your hands on Episerver Perform. At 10:15 AM, hop on of the computers in the lab “How to configure Episerver Perform for your Commerce site”, led by Episerver’s Shannon Gray and Mark Hall. Mark provided some more information about this lab: "In this lab, you’ll learn how to quickly configure and develop Episerver Perform to start driving increased order value and meaningful relevance for your customers. You’ll look at the backend interface to see how you can get great reports on how your site is performing and see the impact that Episerver Perform is having. Finally, you’ll learn how to use emails and triggers to get your customers to complete their conversion."

At 2:15 PM, you’ll want to see the presentation “Artificial Intelligence (AI) within reach: Delivering enhanced customer experiences”. Presenter Matthew Mols from Making Waves says: "There's been a lot of discussion around AI recently, and a lot of it is shrouded in buzzwords. I'm going to do my best to cut through that by explaining some AI and Machine Learning concepts in relatable ways. I'll also dive into the various APIs and frameworks that are available to quickly create intelligent experiences, even if you aren't a data scientist by trade. This will include a demo of integrating Natural Language Understanding into site search with Episerver Find. This session is targeted towards Developers and Technology Leaders - I hope both groups will be able to walk away with some additions to an "AI toolkit", and some inspired ideas on what to tackle on their next project."

If you’re an Ektron developer or looking to move from Ektron to Episerver, check out the lab “Moving from Ektron to Episerver” at 2:15 PM, led by Brightfind’s James Stout and Episerver’s Rob Folan. James said about this lab: "Join me for a lab session on how to model content from Ektron to Episerver while aligning with Episerver best practices. I’m offering up examples to cover everything from Ektron WebCalendar Events to Smart Forms, highlighting Episerver’s flexible code-first approach to content development. There will also be some equivalent to Widget and PageBuilder development, which is more direct and easier to build and maintain than anything Ektron developers are used to thus far. This lab also provides a safe introduction for Ektron developers new to the world of MVC."

Finish Tuesday night with the big party, Episerver Rising, starting at 7:00 PM. Expect an evening of big fun lasting late into the night. But don’t stay out too late because Wednesday morning we have the Code Bash.


New to Ascend 2017 is Code Bash, sponsored by Microsoft, from 9:30 AM to 12:15 PM. During Code Bash, you can work with a small team, racing to solve a challenge in the most creative and interesting way using the Episerver platform. When the race time is over, each team will present their solution to the audience and judges, who will vote for their favorite to determine the winner. You do not need to be an Episerver developer to participate! Everyone can contribute to a team’s success. Registration is required for Code Bash. See this blog post for more details and registration information for Code Bash.

Register Now

Time is running out! If you haven’t registered, now is the time to do so. Don’t miss your opportunity to attend Episerver Ascend 2017 in Las Vegas.

See you at Ascend 2017!

Feb 21, 2017


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