SUGCON India 2023 goes off with a bang 💥

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Last week I had the pleasure of attending SUGCON India 2023 in Delhi, India. This was the first time we’d run a SUGCON in India since 2019 and it was great to be back once more, interacting with the local Sitecore community. There was a lot of effort in involved in pulling the event off, and I do want to start by thanking all of the organisers for the time they invested in making this event the success that it was.

SUGCON Organisers with Sitecore attendees

I was privileged to be chosen to deliver one of the keynote sessions this year, where I talked about a recent project I worked on where we integrated Sitecore Search into our Developer Portal. This was very well received and led to many questions afterwards, and many further conversations throughout the event. It was great to see the amount of interest there is in Sitecore Search from the attendees!

Rob Earlam Delivering a keynote session at SUGCON India 2023

The quality of the sessions that were delivered at the event was of a very high standard. They ranged from high-level sessions covering Composable DXP’s in general and the power they can bring to customers, all the way down to technical deep dives on specific features and use-cases. Some of my highlights were:

  • The session by Pieter Brinkman titled Digital Experience is a team sport, where he talked about the different roles that play a part in successful Composable DXP implementation – it’s not just all about the developer!
  • George Smith & Sheetal Jain delivered an awesome session called Beyond Buzzwords: Composable Tech and Generative AI for Real. Here they showed how OrderCloud, Sitecore Content Hub & Dall-E can be combined to allow customers to generate art on the fly and have it printed on a t-shirt for sale in an online store, cool stuff!
  • Exploring the Experience Edge GraphQL Schema was a really interesting session delivered by Alistair Deneys. Here he gave a true deep-dive into the schema implemented for Edge and how you can leverage it in some really interesting ways. There’s also a cool surprise at the end of the session that I won’t give away here, but be sure to check it out if you get the chance.
  • Women in contemplating Darwin's Theory - To Break the Conventional Wheel was a great session by Varalakshmi M D & Raveena Mathur where they talked about the important role women have in ensuring successful outcomes for customers.
  • Andy Cohen delivered a great session titled Build for XM Cloud according to the Architect of XM Cloud. Here he talked about the best practices for building with XM Cloud... he might have ruffled some feathers with some of the recommendations, but it was great to see it all layed out!

The closing keynote was also a highly enjoyable part of the event. Each of the representatives from Sitecore (Pieter, Nicole, Andy, Alistair and myself) held a panel discussion and open Q&A session. This gave the attendees the chance to ask any lingering questions that they hadn’t had the chance to ask already. The topics were very wide from specific feature questions on the products through to general questions about the best way that Sitecore can support the local Indian community… and of course the age-old question of Sandboxes and how people can get access to Sitecore’s newer SaaS products – we hear you and are working on a solution!

SUGCON India 2023 Closing Keynote Panel Discussion

As much as I enjoyed everything I mentioned above, as with every event I seem to attend nowadays, the true highlight was getting to interact with the local community we have on the ground. It’s amazing to see the passion they have for Sitecore and our products. It was great to see so many familiar faces from the events back in 2018 & 2019, but it was also great to see so many new faces as well, a good balance that shows how healthy the Sitecore community in India is.

SUGCON India 2023 Photo Collage

I just want to finish off by saying that of course trips like this aren’t always about work though, we always try to make sure that we get out and see some of the places we visit and India is no different. On this trip, we made the journey down to see the Taj Mahal after the event had finished, and it truly is an amazing site to see. Really all of the descriptions of it you hear just cannot do it justice, and it was great to experience it with the awesome team we had on-site.

Sitecore team photo at the Taj Mahal

So, whether it’s the always friendly people, the amazing effort from the organisers & speakers, the food, the noise or the general sights you see around the city – India is one of my favourite places to visit and certainly one of my favourite SUGCON events.

Here’s looking forward to doing it all again in 2024!