SharePoint Future, Search and More: 5 Questions with Matthew McDermott

If you’ve been to Live! 360/Office & SharePoint Live!, you’ve no doubt crossed paths with Matthew McDermott.

As SharePoint has risen in stature, Matthew has fully immersed himself in Microsoft’s collaboration platform. Matthew has been a Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP eight times. He a founder and director at Aptillon, Inc., a veteran presenter and conference co-chair at SharePoint Live!, and a part-time trainer for Critical Path Training.

When he’s not working his magic with SharePoint, he helps out the FBI, and the Austin and San Antonio, Texas Police Departments as a canine handler for K9 Search. He also likes spending time in the kitchen and tending bar.

To get a better sense on the future of SharePoint, we recently asked Matthew for his expert take on a few key areas relating to this platform.

1. "What first got you into SharePoint?"

I started out back in 2000 with Microsoft and “Project Central.” I was a Delphi developer and getting into Project Management. I liked where Microsoft was going with its dashboards and portals. When Microsoft released Project Server, I jumped right in. Although it turns out the part I was fascinated with was the “Issues, Risks and Documents.” Those were all being handled by Windows SharePoint Services, the baby brother of SharePoint Portal Server. I shifted my focus from Project Server to SharePoint and never looked back.

2. "What is it about SharePoint that keeps you challenged and engaged?"

It has to be the people involved with SharePoint. I love talking to folks about how they’re using (or trying to use) SharePoint and Office 365. There are so many interesting and innovative ideas out there. This is a product that's always in motion, so it really keeps me on my toes.

3. "What are some of the biggest changes or advancements you see coming in the next few years?"

I'm a die-hard search advocate. I'm optimistic that as our systems become smarter, they'll get better at helping us find more than what we're looking for—they'll help us find what we need. Metadata and tagging are challenges that we face now. I would love to see “smarter” methods for classifying our content that result in better search experiences.

4. "What would be your top priorities if you were the lead product manager for SharePoint?"

I would be focused on answering the metadata question. Why do we spend time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagging content, and then kick and scream about it on SharePoint? That’s because it’s a drag in SharePoint. Tagging on social platforms is easy and fun, and getting smarter every day. If you can recognize my face, why can’t you recognize an invoice?

5. "What are some things that most people miss or don’t get the most out of when using, deploying or configuring SharePoint?"

Honestly, for SharePoint they miss training. They think it should be easy so why do we need training? The problem is that there's general knowledge training, like how to upload a document. Then there's application-specific training, as in, “How does our organization use SharePoint?” Most companies fail to provide either. Then, they complain about lack of user acceptance and poor governance.

Join Matthew and so many other SharePoint experts this year at Office & SharePoint Live!, a part of Live! 360, December 5 – 9, 2016 in Orlando, FL.

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/09/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Live! 360 Orlando 2016 Preview: What You Can Expect

Your job is changing. Your infrastructure is evolving. But keeping up with the latest and greatest doesn't have to be a challenge thanks to Live! 360, which offers sessions crafted for (almost) any IT title.

This year, Live! 360 Orlando 2016 brings together six events at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, December 5 - 9: Visual Studio Live!, SQL Server Live!, TechMentor, Office & SharePoint Live!, Modern Apps Live!, and our new offering App Dev Trends. As always, you can pick and choose from any of the 180+ sessions, to best suit your needs.

The week kicks off and ends with full-day workshops on Monday and Friday. Check them all out here.

Here’s a preview of Live! 360 Orlando and what you can expect this year at each of the 6 co-located events:

1. Visual Studio Live!

Visual Studio Live!, the flagship event, starts off with workshops on cross-platform architecture, service-oriented technologies and DevOps. Then the individual sessions get into the nitty gritty of ASP.NET Core, Visual Studio and the .NET Framework, ALM/DevOps, Cloud Computing, and of course, Windows Client.

2. SQL Server Live!

SQL Server Live! has plenty to cover with the recent release of SQL Server 2016. In fact, the week starts off with workshops on performance tuning SQL Server and another on a deep dive in the latest features and functions of SQL Server 2016. Deeper into the week’s agenda, you’ll find sessions on data visualization, enterprise reporting, failover clusters, and SQL Server 2016’s new reporting services.

3. TechMentor

Conference co-chair Greg Shields kicks off the TechMentor event with a workshop session called “Sixty-Seven VMware vSphere Tricks That'll Pay for This Conference!” Use that to sell your boss!

In addition, the always entertaining and informative Mark Minasi will deliver the TechMentor keynote, “Sweet Sixteen, or Just Server 2012R3? A Glance at the Awesome, the Irritating, the Improved and the Expensive in Server 2016.” The rest of the TechMentor agenda is filled with sessions on the technologies you need to know, like Windows Server, Direct Access, Camtasia, Azure, Docker, and of course, PowerShell.

4. Office & SharePoint Live!

Office & SharePoint Live! is a redux of the SharePoint Live! event, bringing in more Office 365 content and focusing content exclusively on IT Pro and developer needs. The workshops will get you rolling with SharePoint 2016, and the individual sessions cover everything from PowerShell with Office 365 and SharePoint data recovery, to the Office 365 UI fabric and enterprise JavaScript development patterns.

5. Modern Apps Live!

Modern Apps Live! is back covering the soup to nuts of developing modern apps, taking you through transforming web and mobile app development, app architecture, and managing your distributed development teams. And if you're developing for mobile, you don’t want to miss Wednesday morning’s Mobile Panel with James Montemagno, Ryan J Salva and Kevin Ford!

6. App Dev Trends

New to Live! 360 this year is App Dev Trends, brought to you by This event will take you through all aspects of developing enterprise apps—everything from down-in-the-trenches development to managing teams, processes and projects. The sessions dive into current dev trends like SOLID coding, managing technical debt, Agile, and bringing your apps into Azure.

We hope to see you at Live! 360, December 5-9, 2016 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando.

Posted by Lafe Low on 07/26/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments


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