Saturday, March 24, 2012

Video: Introduction to SharePoint 2010

Check out this presentation on the different strategies for upgrading to SharePoint 2010! Thank you to Microsoft for providing local user groups with this info!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Women in Technology Panel Discussion at SPS Philly

Women in SharePoint DC was in full attendance at SharePoint Saturday Philly! Dr. Marie-Michelle Strah and Rima Reyes represented WSPDC during the Women in SharePoint panel discussion. Check out Dr. Marie-Michelle Strah's post on how women don't need approval in the boardroom. They just need a little more confidence!

You Don't Need Approval: Women in Technology Resources #spsphilly

2012: A Great Year for Women in SharePoint DC

Message from Michelle Strah, WSPDC Outgoing President:

As we celebrate the start of a new year and all the possibilities and opportunities 2012 has for all of us, it’s time to look at the past and plan our way forward as a community.

It has been a distinct honor to serve as President of Women in SharePoint DC since our inception in 2010 and watch the community grow from a handful of founders and members pulling together the first women in technology group for Microsoft technologies, to monthly technical events, dozens of sponsors, and national conference sponsorship, attendance and recognition.

Since our merger with FEDSPUG in September 2011, we have grown to be the largest SharePoint user group in the nation and have provided industry leading seminars on SharePoint for Government on behalf of Microsoft Corporation.

In addition, one of our stated goals was to provide effective professional development and mentoring opportunities for women in technology, and part of this is encouraging future leaders in technology to step forward and take the reins.

I am very happy to announce that effective February 1, 2012, Rima Reyes (currently VP of WSPDC and Technical Consultant at Hewlett Packard) will assume the title and responsibilities of President of Women in SharePoint DC. She has enthusiastically taken on every role since the group’s inception from volunteer, to marketing assistant, to moderator, to vice president and the growth and success of WSPDC is indistinguishable from her contributions.

Quite simply, without Rima, Women in SharePoint DC would not have survived our first year. Her exemplary, organizational, leadership and community management skills have been critical to our growth and I look forward to watching how she grows the group even further as an integral special interest group of FEDSPUG.

Please join me in congratulating Rima as well as wishing all women in technology a fantastic 2012. I look forward to seeing you all at the March 2012 WSPDC Career Development Panel!

Best regards,
Marie-Michelle Strah, PhD
Past President, Women in SharePoint DC
Federal Program Manager, Applied Information Sciences

Message from Rima Reyes, WSPDC Incoming President:

I am both delighted and honored to be WSPDC's new President! Working side by side with Michelle Strah over the past 2 years has been an amazing experience, one of which I am truly grateful for. I have learned the intricate details (and hard work!) of running a technical user group from Michelle and promise you that 2012 will be one to remember, full of innovative events catered to our members.

As always, thank you for being a member. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I look forward to see you at our events this year!

Rima Reyes

O'Really Media 50% off #SharePoint deal #SPC11

Missed the fun and games in Anaheim? No worries, it's all good. You have the rest of the weekend to catch up on the following deal:
@OReillyMedia: At #SPC11 + missed our SAVE 50% #SharePoint deal? It's back, through Sunday.

#spcrockstars Women in Technology Panel 10/3/2011 #spc11

Women in SharePoint DC had the great honor of presenting on Monday October 3, 2011 with Marie-Michelle Strah, Janis Hall, Veronique Palmer and Suzanne George on a panel immediately following the keynote. Masterfully moderated by Nedra Allmond, photographed by Marcy Kellar and orchestrated by Liza Sisler, this panel was one of two devoted specifically to issues surrounding women in technology in the SharePoint space. Thanks to Bill English, CEO of Mindsharp, for coming by afterwards and congratulating us on the achievement – that support from fellow travelers is invaluable.

The four of us had over 60 years of experience in the field – so the panel was one of experience, wisdom and tried and true observations from longstanding experts in diverse career fields: architecture, training, administration, development, and small business owner. It was very exciting to be part of such an accomplished group.
Our discussion focused on the opportunities and challenges that careers in technology provide, especially working in the SharePoint space.

Women in Technology Panels at #SPC11 This Week

We're pleased to announce there will be TWO panels on Women in Technology hosted by Perficient in their SharePoint Rockstars series at SharePoint Conference in Anaheim this week.

For more information on the dates and times, see the information below. Panels will be filmed and broadcast on Perficient's blog.

Based on great feedback from fellow travelers on the DCWW (DC Women of the Web) listserv, we're hoping to meet up at the booth and crowdsource top women in the SharePoint space in DC - we've also had interested in doing a follow up panel featuring SharePoint Women in Technology rockstars in the DC area and will be posting details on that soon!

Perficient will have live video interviews with SharePoint movers and shakers. Watch for tweets using the #SPCRockstars


Monday, Oct 3rd:
Women in Technology Panel, 10:30 am PSTMarie-Michelle Strah, PhD, @CyberSlate - Enterprise architect and Founder, Women in SharePoint
Veronique Palmer, @VeroniquePalmer - Founder, SharePoint User Adoption Specialist and End User Trainer at Lets Collaborate
Janis Hall, @JanisHall - Senior SharePoint Instructor at i3solutions
Suzanne George, @spgenie - Senior Technical Architect at Perficient More about Suzanne
Moderated by: Nedra Allmond, @NedraAllmond - Senior Technical Consultant at Perficient, Inc. More about Nedra
Wednesday, Oct 5th
Women in Technology Panel, 12 – 1:00 pm PSTErica Toelle, @EricaToelle - Vice Change Agent at Max451
Nedra Allmond @NedraAllmond - Senior Technical Consultant at Perficient, Inc. More about Nedra
Christina Wheeler @CWheeler76 - SharePoint Instructor at Mindsharp
Becky Isserman @MossLover - Technical Lead at Planet Technologies
Moderated by @MarcyKellar, SharePoint Solution Architect at Perficient, Inc. More about Marcy

Fall #SharePint 9/29 7pm

Got some SharePoint visitors in town: check out our Fall SharePint with FEDSPUG and WSPDC (more details to follow) and get your pre-#SPC11 on!

Members are eligible for FREE SSWUG Membership

As a thank you to our members you can sign up (follow instructions below) for 3 months free at This includes access to the 9/28 webinar as well as all other content.
For more information see: FREE SharePoint & Enterprise Architecture Webcasts -

Upcoming 10/6 Event on InfoPath

Check out Rima Reyes' interactive preso and demo on InfoPath 101: Designing Your First Form -

Fun *and* informative! Looking forward to seeing FEDSPUG and WSPDC members there!

Thank You for the Donations!

We partnered with @joyknows to collect toiletries and cell phones for victims of domestic violence. Filled the box several times over... Thanks to all #spstcdc attendees who answered the call!

Kicking Butt and Taking Names: why no Booth Babes this year #spstcdc

Women in SharePoint as an organization was formed by several of us emailing after a tweet by American Association of University Women regarding the high number of women speakers during SharePoint Saturday DC Federal in December 2009. All of us on the thread were women speakers but hadn't noticed since we were so busy, well, prepping VMs, demos, slides and well, speaking.

It was the spark that ignited a fire, however, and we kept up the email thread until the following SharePoint Saturday DC in 2010 (the first mega event in Annandale) where we organized a booth, a mailing list, and a theme around "No Booth Babes."

Our email discussions focused on the changing roles of women and how ridiculous companies who put scantily clad "booth babes" in tech conference exhibit halls were. I mean, get with the program.
It's one thing to objectify women as sales collateral to sell your hokey software in overwhelmingly male enclaves (tacky), it's quite another to do so when those enclaves are no longer overwhelmingly male (stupid). Marketing 101, people.

Our idea to counteract this was to turn the tables (or booth, so to speak) by having male speakers wear shirts stating "Booth Babe" to poke fun at the gender categories. We asked each speaker with a shirt to comment on our newly formed Women in SharePoint organization and provide their support for women in technology before their session. The shirts generated a lot of buzz - that was the point.

[Dux Sy and Fabian Williams at SPSDC 2010 by Kenneth Lo)
  However, even more importantly, we conducted a series of interviews on women in technology with several of the speakers. All humor aside, the insights and testimony here were the heart of our message.

With SharePoint Saturday DC 2010, a few stickers, a few tee shirts, a few emails and several women RUNNING the booth, a grassroots Women in SharePoint group took root. Janis Hall and I took the ball and ran with it and Women in SharePoint DC had its official launch at SharePoint Saturday DC Federal 2010 a few months later.

We thought about revisiting the Booth Babe meme at this year's #spstcdc but decided against it.

1) Several recent articles in the technosphere have either pointed out that booth babes are verboten at tech conferences or is (surprisingly) open to debate:
No offense, but we developed this meme over one year ago.
Been there, done that. Got the tee shirt. Made men wear the shirts.
Wrote out own story and turned objectification on its head. [YAWN]

2) We made our point very publicly in the Washington DC tech community at two major events in full support of all attendees, speakers and sponsors. No need to reinvent the wheel.

3) Actions speak louder than words. Since our launch in October 2010:
  • we successfully created a highly rated regional technology user group with over 200 members, 11 events (technical and networking) and 6 corporate sponsors
  • we were community sponsors at three national technology conferences and live blogged two national technology conferences (SharePoint Conference.ORG, SPTechCon Boston, Best Practices Conference La Jolla)
  • we provided two scholarships to a national conference (SPTechCon)
  • we completed a merger with FEDSPUG including all management, operational and logistical functions, to become the largest SharePoint User Group in North America this fall (over 800 members) and have three women on our board
  • we have witnessed the creation of several other Women in SharePoint groups around the nation: New York, Colorado, Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest thanks to Kathryn Birstein and Nedra Allmond
  • we have coordinated with national Women in SharePoint members led by Becky Isserman to provide best practices in organizing women in technology groups based on the "WSPDC Model"
  • we are hosting a panel on SharePoint recruiting and staffing at this year's SharePoint Saturday The Conference DC with area leaders LaBrina Loving, David Berry and Shadeed Eleazer
  • we have increased user group attendance in the DC metro area by on average 100% by simply partnering with them. Do the math: working with women in technology is a numbers game. For data driven examples of diversity at work by analysis of user group attendance numbers see my presentation at FEDSPUG in February 2011.
We clearly have a seat at the table that we earned ourselves.

Thank you to our founding members: Janis Hall, Christina Wheeler, Rima Reyes and to our founding corporate sponsors i3solutions, BroadPoint Technologies, L-3 Stratis, O'Reilly Media, and Actionet. Most importantly, thank you to all our members - you are why we do what we do.

Ironically, perhaps our most important achievement was when a male speaker noted at a technical meeting in front of audience of women IT professionals earlier this year "Wow, it feels strange to be standing up here in front of a room full of women."


I responded: "Now you know how we feel."

Thanks for letting us kick butt and take names. No booths required.

Marie-Michelle Strah, PhD
President, Women in SharePoint DC

BIG Announcement at #spstcdc

You may have notice changes to our blog and our Meetup site...

Exciting changes are in the works and will be announced at user group day at SharePoint Saturday the Conference DC August 11, 2011 at Annandale, VA at the SharePoint User Group Community Panel at 4:15 p.m.

Please note: we have updated our "The Myth of the SharePoint Unicorn" panel start time to 1:45 p.m.

We are very happy about these improvements and look forward to having you with us as grow to serve you better!

VIDEO: "The Myth of the SharePoint Unicorn" Panel at #spstcdc 8/11/2011

Thanks to Shadeed Eleazer, Mr. Digital Himself, for this great promo video for our upcoming panel! For more information on the panel and our domestic violence outreach efforts, please see our Outreach page.

See you there!

Women in SharePoint DC Panel 8/11/11and Domestic Violence Outreach

ShareLove: Women in SharePoint DC will be collecting donations at our booth for domestic violence victims. Please bring toiletries (like the kind you collect from hotels) or used cell phones. We are working with Joy Earles to collect these for the National Coalition for Domestic Violence. For more information, see Joy's blog:

Panel: Come join our panel at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2011. Full conference schedule available here :

"The Myth of the SharePoint Unicorn: Staffing, Recruiting and Developing a SharePoint Team for SP2010 and Office365 Success"

Based on popular demand from user group meetings, WSPDC will host a panel discussion by DC area leaders in the commercial and federal space on the changing landscape of SharePoint team roles and how to staff, recruit and provide professional development for SharePoint professionals of tomorrow. The "myth of the SharePoint unicorn" is near and dear to the heart of many SharePoint practice managers, architects and team leads who have watched the SharePoint ecosystem evolve since WSS3.0 and yet are faced with staffing, recruiting and hiring practices that call all SharePoint professionals "SharePoint developers." In its earliest days SharePoint was often deployed by "the SharePoint guy/gal" who did everything from administration to development to community management but the robust and mature development platform and solution architecture of SharePoint Server 2010, Azure, Office365 and Project Server require a team of highly skilled professionals beyond the Dev/IT Pro tracks outlined by Microsoft training and certification paths. Improperly staffed SharePoint teams can have serious consequences for service delivery and project success. This interactive panel will discuss best practices for SharePoint staffing for commercial and federal projects and will engage audience members with Q&A, exercises and real world examples. Look forward to seeing you there!

Our Panelists:

David Berry

David has ten years’ experience with SharePoint and currently leads the architecture, design and planning of SharePoint 2010 engagements. Having almost 20 years’ experience in consulting and technology, David focused on the Microsoft development platform which also included working on Content Management Server 2002, the forerunner to SharePoint’s WCM capabilities. David also co-manages the CapArea.NET SharePoint group in Northern Virginia.

Shadeed Eleazer

Over 10 years experience supporting Military, Federal, State government initiatives revolving around SharePoint and a wide range of custom applications. Awarded Navy Achievement Medal for leadership efforts during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Labrina Loving

LaBrina Loving is a Manager on the Microsoft Platform team at Hitachi Consulting, a Microsoft Gold Partner. She has over 11 years of experience developing solutions for clients using Microsoft technologies. She first began her career building large scale e-commerce web solutions for clients. For the last 4 years, she has focused on architecting and delivering solutions on the SharePoint platform. In addition, she is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) in SharePoint 2010 and 2007 as well as a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD). Ms. Loving enjoys using her technical skills to enhance the community around her by volunteering at events like Random Hacks of Kindness and Microsoft Give Camp.

Marie-Michelle Strah, PhD

Michelle has over 15 years experience in IT, project management, healthcare IT and R&D specializing in Health 2.0 and Government 2.0 solutions as well as enterprise architecture solutions for the commercial and not for profit space. Currently, she is the Practice Lead and SharePoint Architect for BroadPoint Technologies in the Washington, DC area. She is a recognized Healthcare SharePoint SME and has spoken at numerous user groups, SharePoint Saturdays and national conferences on enterprise architecture, Agile project management, and systems integration including SharePoint Best Practices 2011, Microsoft Convergence 2011 and SharePoint Saturday NYC. She is also a founding member of Women in SharePoint and a leader of Women in SharePoint DC user group. Her recent work focuses on SharePoint architecture, migration, and upgrades for complex intranet, business intelligence and supply chain redesign for military and civilian agencies and private sector clients leveraging MS SharePoint, Project Server and Dynamics GP and CRM as well as legacy and domain specific LOB applications.