I have attended SUGCon in Amsterdam this year, as usual - it was a blast! What I like Sitecore events for - they always have such an enthusiastic atmosphere of hundreds of best technology professionals united together "on the same boat".
This time I was proud to announce the winners of the community award - The Most Productive Sitecore Authors of 2016. Three luxury looking trophies found their owners, well-deserved guys!
Anyway, I have got few thoughts/takeaways from that wonderful event.
Sitecore Helix has become a proven and reliable development approach for Sitecore already. The more complex your solution is - the more likely you'd use Helix. I am now working on a multinational and multi-project implementation for an insurance service provider and we are using Helix. Given that we have also a distributed development teams, it became crucial that we are doping the development under the same guidelines and each new team member, already familiar with Helix and SOLID principles, becomes productive quite quickly. Also deployment, quality assurance as well as the rest of day-to-day activities - are going to the same standards. My own opinion on Helix is that "if it is cooked well - it serves you well"
My greatest impression after attending SUGCon was after I saw how Mark Stiles combined Microsoft Cognitive Services with Sitecore. The future is already here!
SXA and Sitecore Commerce are also two going trends. As you know, Sitecore has purchased Commerce Server and has now had intensively committed to the product. Sitecore Experience Accelerator is a different beast, that would best suit for large brands with multisite implementations, that simplifies governance and maintainability of them.
Sitecore PaaS becomes closer and closer to the real world. I'd personally not use it now, due to many (not yet sorted) incompatibilities, but the pace is impressing. Christof Claessens has presented about the way Sitecore works on Azure PaaS and relevant modules compatibilities.
Stephen Pope presented Sitecore Publishing Service 2.0 - an app written with .NET core that now increases publishing performance dramatically. The idea behind service is that it separates publishing process from the Sitecore UI by creating standalone service with a publishing queue, that allows aligning publishing load.
Nick Hills from True Clarity gave a great portion of insights on how Sitecore DevOps
on AWS and personalisation are done for such a large implementation as for EasyJet
and Adam Weber
There was much more, but this is what comes to my mind (and from the notes) for the moment...
And finally, those 250+ of lucky to become Sitecore MVPs of 2017 were awarded a symbol of commitment to the Sitecore and its community: