Thursday, June 12, 2014 #

What I've Gained from being a Presenter at Tech Events

I know I fail at blogging lately.  As I've said before life happens and it gets in the way of best laid out plans.  I thought about creating some type of watch with some app that basically dictates using dragon naturally speaking to Wordpress, but alas no time and the write processing capabilities just don't exist yet.
So to get to my point Alison Gianotto created this blog post:  I like the message she has stated in this post and I want to share something personal.
It was around 2007 that I was seriously looking into leaving the technology field altogether and going back to school.  I was calling places like Washington University in Saint Louis and University of Missouri Kansas City asking them how I could go about getting into some type of post graduate medical school program.  My entire high school career was based on Medical Explorers and somehow becoming a doctor.  I did not want to take my hobby and continue using it as a career mechanism.  I was unhappy, but I didn't realize why I was unhappy at the time.  It was really a lot of bad things involving the lack of self confidence and self esteem.  Overall I was not in a good place and it took me until 2011 to realize that I still was not in a good place in life.
So in about April 2007 or so I started this blog that you guys have been reading or occasionally read.  I kind of started passively stalking people by reading their blogs in the SharePoint and .Net communities.  I also started listening to .Net Rocks & watching videos on their corresponding training for SharePoint, WCF, WF, and a bunch of other technologies.  I wanted more knowledge, so someone suggested I go to a user group.  I've told this story before about how I met Jeff Julian & John Alexander, so that point I will spare you the details.  You know how I got to my first user group presentation and how I started getting involved with events, so I'll also spare those details.
The point I want to touch on is that I went out I started speaking and that path I took helped me gain the self confidence and self respect I needed.  When I first moved to NYC I couldn't even ride a subway by myself or walk alone without getting lost.  Now I feel like I can go out and solve any problem someone throws at me.  So you see what Alison states in her blog post is true and I am a great example to that point.  I stood in front of 800 or so people at SharePoint Conference in 2011 and spoke about a topic.  In 2007 I would have hidden or stuttered the entire time.  I have now spoken at over 70 events and user groups.  I am a top 25 influencer in my technology.  I was a most valued professional for years in a row in Microsoft SharePoint.  People are constantly trying to gain my time, so that they can pick my brain for solutions and other life problems.  I went from maybe five or six friends to over hundreds of friends in various cities across the globe.  
I'm not saying it's an instant fame and it doesn't take a ton of work, but I have never looked back once at my life and regretted the choice I made in 2007.  It has lead me to a lot of other things in my life, including more positivity and happiness.  If anyone ever wants to contact me and pick my brain on a presentation go ahead.  If you want me to help you find the best meetup that suits you for that presentation I can try to help too (I might be a little more helpful in the Microsoft or iOS arenas though).  The best thing I can state is don't be scared just do it.  If you need an audience I can try to pencil it in my schedule.  I can't promise anything, but if you are in NYC I can at least try.

Posted On Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 #

SharePointfest NYC - Guess Who's Speaking...

Hey guys one thing I neglected to let you all know is that I am doing two sessions at SharePointfest NYC this year at the Jacob Javits Center from June 18th to 20th.  One session is my sandbox vs. apps session called "Office 365 Development: Sandbox Solutions vs. Apps" and the other session is "iOS Develpment with SharePoint using Xamarin".  The second session will entail code in Xamarin Designer that will help developers query REST Webservices in Office 365 using claims based authentication.  It's a very similar session to my old iOS Development talk with Office 365 using Objective-C, except this version will be 100% in C#.  If you are interested in registering for the conference please go here:  Hopefully I will see you at the conference!

Posted On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

SharePoint Saturday NYC is Coming...

Hey guys so we did the call for speakers & we will announce the actual speakers around May 10th or 11th (plus a few days possibly).  We are still looking for a few sponsors at the following link:  We have some Platinum, Gold, and Prize sponsorships left.  I think the SharePint sponsorship is already taken.
If you guys didn't know the Microsoft Office has changed to 11 Times Square.  We now have 3 floors (5, 6, and 7) with the potential for 500-600 attendees with more space flow.  We will open up registration for attendees in June & volunteers will be somewhere around that time too.
This years theme will be wizard hats (for me & Tasha & anyone is welcome to join us).  I hope to see you at this year's event!

Posted On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Friday, March 21, 2014 #

Techstravaganza Slides

Thank you everyone who attended my session!  Here is a link to the slides compiled from John Patrick White & Jason Himmelstein's session:!295&app=PowerPoint&wdo=1.
You can view the original decks here: (John Patrick White) (Jason Himmelstein)

Posted On Friday, March 21, 2014 1:48 PM | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 #

SharePoint Saturday NYC Call for Speakers & Sponsors

Hey guys as usual I am honored to be on the committee for SPS NYC as a co-organizer with four of my favorite people in the whole wide world - Jason Gallicchio, Tom Daly, Tasha Scott, and Greg Hurlman.  We have opened up the call for speakers and sponsors here:  We are doing blind votes again, so the process is the same as the past few years.  We are giving you guys an extra month or so for the submissions.  Go forth and submit!

Posted On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:38 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 #

SharePoint Conference 2014 - Thank You Guys

When I was a kid things were not so great, so I only asked the universe for one thing to get me out of that situation.  I felt that it wasn't fair to ask for anything else from the universe, because I was given more than enough - a degree, a great job, awesome friends, etc.  So taking charge of my own life the past 4 years has been a struggle, because I felt like people are dying somewhere or they can't get out of their terrible situations.  It is not fair to ask for anything extra from the universe.  So I just sat back miserable for a while and let things just be in life.  I'll just be miserable if I dislike something.
The past few years were a roller coaster, because I just sat back in some ways to watch things play out.  Something happened in 2011 to justify the change in course - my boyfriend left me.  I woke up.  I realized maybe this was my life to live.  Maybe I shouldn't do what others want me to do anymore.  Slowly over three years I started to realize what I really wanted in my job, in dating, and in a friend.  It's really weird, because at 32 I think I'm still a work in progress, but closer to the end goal.
I finally have the job that I want.  I finally have the friends that I should surround myself with in my journey.  Thank you for voting for me.  This version of me is the happiest version that could be at this point in my life.  You got me my job.  You made me feel like I fit in somewhere.  You put me on a list of 25 people who you think are the top community members.  I know there are tons of people that could easily fit on this list.  I know I may not be the smartest or the most fitting.  I make fun of these lists a good deal through sarcasm, but I feel honored and privileged.
Here is a list of top people in my community and life:
Leah Wendleton
Tasha Scott
Greg Hurlman
Bob German
Neal McFee
Kris Wagner
Doug Hemminger
Susan Lennon 
Joel Oleson
Christian Buckley
Dan Usher
Scott Hoag
Kelley & Mario Urena
Heather Chadwik
Stephen Napoles
Pedro Jimenez
Lori Gowin
Don Kirkham
Patrick Curran
D'arce Hess
Luciana Lopez
Caitlin Dean
Marie Simmons
Amy Gradzewicz
Suzanna Tran
Jason & Ada Gallicchio
John Alexander
Paul Galvin
Ruven Gotz
Mark Rackley
Geoff Varosky
Chris McNulty
Jason Himmelstein
Pattie Jacobson
Tom Daly
Tony & Tracy Pounder
Chris Givens & Lidiya Ter-Markova

And the most important Sam Isserman, Ferd Isserman, Kathi Isserman, Nancy Isserman, Rick Isserman, and my slew of Horwitz cousins...I'm sorry if I forgot someone, but you all believed in me throughout the years.  You have helped me through some dark times.  You carried me through the past few years to get me to this point.  We all have light at end of tunnel days.  I think after all the trials and tests I am at the point in time when things are truly awesome.  I hope that I can carry you guys through the worst when you need it.  I'm around just let me know.  Time to go to sleep very soon-ish.  Thanks everyone who wished me a happy birthday!  This birthday has to be the best one yet.

Posted On Wednesday, March 5, 2014 2:39 AM | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 #

Where's Becky? - How to Play

I am going to walk around the entire conference wearing a single BlueMetal Temporary Tattoos and $5 Starbuck's Cards at the conference.  I might also be wearing a funny hat that day to make it easier to distinguish me out of everyone else.  I haven't decided yet, but I will tweet the information when I figure it out.
The temporary tattoos will be given out if you find me and let me know by saying that you saw me tweeting and you want one.  Additionally once you find me I will ask you a SharePoint Trivia Question and if you get it right I will give you a $5 Starbuck's Card.  I will only give out two Starbuck's Cards per day at different points in each day of the conference, so watch @mosslover on twitter for the information.  Hopefully, this entire thing will be fun for everyone and worth it.  I've never tried to do anything like this before, but I think it could be interesting.  I hope to see you there at the conference next week.

Posted On Tuesday, February 25, 2014 3:38 PM | Comments (0)

SharePoint Conference 2014 - Requesting a Meeting with Me

I am inviting vendors, potential clients, and potential recruits to setup meetings with me.  If you are interested in partnering with BlueMetal NYC as an ISV or you have potential work for us in the NYC area or you would like to work for an awesome company like BlueMetal I invite you to setup a meeting with me next week.  All I am doing is attending sessions and networking next week after my birthday on Sunday.  I welcome you to contact me at to setup a meeting with me.  If you are interested I can include other colleagues from BlueMetal. 
If you are looking for a more social setting, then I urge you to find me during lunch or breakfast or perhaps at Ellis Island at 9 pm for some karaoke.  I will also be around at various social gatherings and will have Cards Against Humanity if anyone wants to start a game.

Posted On Tuesday, February 25, 2014 3:22 PM | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 13, 2014 #

Re-Visiting KPIs using a Lookup Field & XSLT in SharePoint 2010

So I was building a standard dataview in SharePoint 2010.  I had the $thisNode information, but I couldn't figure out why my $thisNode/@Priority was not working for my Priority field.  I realized it was a lookup field.  Thanks to Marc Anderson I could do a print statement and figure out how to parse out the Priority from after the #.  Here is a nice snippet to get information for a Lookup in a condition in XSLT:

<xsl:param name="thisPriority" select="substring-after($thisNode/@Priority.,'#')"/>
First you want to put your parsed out data into a parameter

<xsl:if test="$thisPriority = 'High'" ddwrt:cf_explicit="1"><img alt="{$thisPriority}" src="/_layouts/images/kpidefault-2.gif" /></xsl:if>
<xsl:if test="$thisPriority = 'Medium'" ddwrt:cf_explicit="1"><img alt="{$thisPriority}" src="/_layouts/images/kpidefault-1.gif" /></xsl:if>
<xsl:if test="$thisPriority = 'Low'" ddwrt:cf_explicit="1"><img alt="{$thisPriority}" src="/_layouts/images/kpidefault-0.gif" /></xsl:if>

Next you can put the parameter data into a condition to determine based on high, medium, or low priority the proper picture to show. 

Hopefully, this post helps save countless hours for someone else parsing out conditions in XSLT using a lookup field.  Enjoy!

Posted On Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

Monday, January 13, 2014 #

SharePoint Saturday - Year 6: Look How Far We've Come...

This is the time of year when I look back & reflect on all the people who have risen in the ranks through SharePoint Saturday.  I believe the mission was fulfilled that Michael Lotter & Susan Lennon set forth during the first year is working.  They wanted to nurture new local speakers and I have noticed a trickle of people coming through SharePoint Saturday as a stepping stone on the way to bigger & better things.  I mean look at Eric Harlan, Mark Rackley, or Jason Himmelstein.  Some of us have stuck around at the lower levels speaking at a SharePoint Saturday here and there, but there is a lot of refreshing every few years from what I'm noticing.  I see some people criticizing the veterans sticking around, but I feel like there is a place for some of us.  Some of the SharePoint Saturdays would not sustain the amount of speakers needed to survive if they did not look outwards for non-local speakers.  I'm not going to get into a debate, but this is what I've seen over the past 6 years.
I love SharePoint Saturday.  I will continue to evangelize and support the cause.  I am still on the fence about speaking at bigger conferences again.  As you guys know I lost my confidence a few years ago that made me go through a huge withdrawal from the community.  As a revelation I don't need to attend bigger conferences as a speaker.  I go to SharePoint Saturdays and other events mainly to continue my mission to stay social.  I have been and always will be somewhat of an introvert.  I need to sustain a certain amount of public speaking to continue to keep that social aspect of my life flowing.  So if you really want to see me speak at something like SPTechCon it will probably not happen again.
I had fun going to The Experts's Conference, speaking at SharePoint Conference, and going to KC Developer Conference.  I will probably submit again to KC Developer Conference and maybe some day something like Codemash, but I don't see myself going to a bigger conference anytime soon.  I have to give up a piece of my life that is devoted to friendships, family, kittens, and living life.  I looked at my life one day and realized I had very few local friends.  Now I have tons of friends all over the metro area.  As you guys know my focus will continue to be and has been for the past few years working on those pieces of my life.  I think in the year 2013 I will continue balancing a few speaking engagements alongside my social life.
I look back at the kid I was in 2009, a 27 year old, doughy eyed who freaked out when Joel Oleson sat down, and think I was just starting to grow up.  I feel like I am continuing to grow into who I will be as a fully baked adult about to turn 32.  
I will say thank you to the SharePoint Community for helping me the past 6 years.  I think that first SharePoint Saturday was a stepping stone.  I wouldn't have gone to so many places & made so many friends without it.  I wouldn't have the job that I am at today.  I wouldn't have taken two trips to Europe and an entire month-long road trip without the SharePoint Community.  I know a lot of people who think I am the bravest person they know for the things I have done.  I know at 27 I would have never had the courage to do these things without the groundwork that was laid out that year.  I am grateful for all the people out there who continue to support and nurture me.  You are amazing.  I wouldn't be where I am or who I am without you.  Here is to a great year of SharePoint!

Posted On Monday, January 13, 2014 11:41 PM | Comments (1)

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