A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to be sent along to the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014 with a handful of my colleagues at Content and Code. For me, this conference gave me a lot of confidence that we are implementing the right solutions for our clients that use SharePoint in its private (on-premises/managed hosting) and public (Office 365/Microsoft Azure) cloud flavours. This was my first SPC – so I can’t really compare it to previous events – but it was a blast!
By filtering my Twitter feed on the #spc14 tag, it’s easy to find a lot of decent technical session write-ups from the SharePoint community. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a slightly different tack and consider the message that Microsoft tried to get across at the conference. Given that I’ve only had time to review a handful of the 180+ slide decks, I’m hardly in a position to provide a broad summary just yet, but I thought some form of automated PowerPoint review might provide an interesting high-level overview of the topics that were discussed.
I started by creating a wordle word cloud using the text contained in all SPC14 PowerPoint presentations (over 3,000 slides!). That process produced a bunch of noise words which I removed, resulting in this broad overview:
SPC14 word cloud with noise words removed
As you might expect, the words “SharePoint” and “Microsoft” dominate this cloud, so my next step was to remove those terms. Now, the emphasis on Office, Search and Yammer is immediately noticeable, followed closely by Windows, App(s), Cloud, Web, Server and Content:
SPC14 word cloud with “SharePoint” and “Microsoft” removed
Since this is mainly an infrastructure-focussed blog, I also ran through the above process using all PowerPoint decks from the IT PRO track. This time, the words Office and Yammer have slightly less emphasis, but Windows, Azure and SQL are vying for your attention. We also see other topics such as Identity, Directory and Hybrid start to creep in:
SPC14 IT PRO track word cloud with “SharePoint” and “Microsoft” removed
None of this is really surprising for current SharePoint practitioners, as many of us have spent the last twelve months or so getting to grips with technologies such as Windows/Microsoft Azure and Yammer. It does remind me how rapidly things are changing for us SharePoint people: two years ago, I hadn’t heard of Yammer. Today, we use Yammer internally, and I favour it over email for many tasks (particularly those where the aim is to “crowd source” information rather than action something specific). Similarly, Azure wasn’t really in the frame for SharePoint hosting back then: today, it is being pushed as a Disaster Recovery option for on-premises SharePoint 2013 and it acts as the primary hosting environment for some organisations (particularly for dev/test platforms). In the future, I plan to carry out a similar comparison against these word clouds to see how Microsoft’s messaging – and the plethora of products that we need to understand to do our jobs – changes over time.
Just in case anyone fancies doing their own analysis on the text files that I used to produce these word clouds, I’ve attached them to this post:
- SPC14 PowerPoint text – noise words removed except “SharePoint” and “Microsoft“
- SPC14 PowerPoint text – noise words removed
- SPC14 PowerPoint text – noise words removed (IT PRO track)