Highlights from the 2018 Tridion Developer Summit in Amsterdam

In case you missed it, let me share some highlights of the Tridion Developer Summit in Amsterdam this year. This year was a year of changes, it is the first time since the history of TDS that I didn’t present, I even missed the first half of the opening day, since my flight was delayed. Let me start off with the real beginning of TDS though, the preparations and workshops.

The Tridion Developer Summit was held on the 6th and 7th of September in the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam, but preparations for the summit started somewhere in April already. At that time I planned to present about DXA 2.1 and we discussed the possibility of workshops also. Later in the year, I decided to leave SDL, so it made sense that I would also leave the presentation of the DXA roadmap and upcoming features of DXA 2.1 up to somebody else. I did still keep involved for the workshop, and ended up preparing the slides for it. The workshops are traditionally held in the days before the summit, and since I was on holiday then, I couldn’t attend the DXA workshop myself.

Architecting and Building a site with DXA 2.0

TDS 2018 DXA workshopThe DXA workshop was held at Trivident, and other than the slides that were shown and the photo below I saw on Facebook, I don’t know that much about it. I did gather from some of the attendees that it was an interesting workshop and thus a huge success.


Summit day 1

As mentioned due to a delayed flight I missed the morning of day one, but during the coffee breaks I heard there were a lot of interesting talks and an amazing keynote held by ex-Tridion employee Otto de Graaf. I’m really sad I missed Otto’s keynote, since I understood it was inspiring. I did get to speak with Otto myself afterwards and he also enjoyed his talk. The audience at TDS is always a good audience to speak for, I know that from my own experience.

Brandon TDS 2018The saddest part of TDS is always that after lunch you need to choose between the talks in parallel tracks. I for instance had chosen to attend the Content API with Graph QL talk in the Cinema Hall by Ben Middleton and Oleksii Kushnir from SDL, and thus missing Brandon Mahoney’s story of content at Alliance Data Systems in the Room at the Top. Brandon is a Tridion Enterprise Architect at Alliance Data and I met him for the first time a few years ago in Columbus, Ohio. I was great to catch up with Brandon again, especially to see him being so surprised there was no Bud Light available at the bar.

Ben Middleton and Oleksii Kushnir explained us all the details of the upcoming Public Content API in Tridion Sites 9 with a REST interface with the GraphQL query language. It will be an interesting and easy future querying the Content Delivery side of Tridion. I do hope the promises of performance are certainly kept.

After that I attended Likhan Siddiquee’s architecture talk, where he much to my surprise showed us everything we are not (yet) getting in Tridion Sites 9. When seeing him giving a live demo of stuff, that still makes you wonder, why isn’t it going to be completely ready for the upcoming release, when he obviously has it working already. But still, its good to see the solid plans for the future, true architect style!

The day ended with drinks at the old canteen of the Shell factory and after we emptied the bar, most moved next door to THE BUTCHER Social Club a place with awesome burgers and wonderful cocktails. Since I had been up for more than 24 hours already, I went home early to get some sleep, but looking at some of the small eyes and huge amounts of coffee being absorbed the next morning, I think the party didn’t end that early. Then again, for some attendees it is their first time in Amsterdam, so who can blame them.

Summit day 2

As mentioned the next day started early (for some ;o). After some coffee everybody attended the journey towards a new UI presented by Derya Dönmez, Alvin Reyes, Sergii Aleksieiev and Raimond Kempees from SDL. It showed us a nice view of what is to come and I have a feeling everybody is going to love Graphene.

Then the hard choices for which track to follow come again. I attended Albert Andjar’s talk who led us back to the ancient times of Tridion and guiding us through the middle ages to end up with showing us a little peak at what the future should contain. I hope Product Management of SDL was paying attention, so they can assure the future will indeed contain these necessary feature requests.

The lightning talks were especially interesting, as they always are. I certainly enjoyed Ginika Ibeagha (Infrastructure Consultant at SDL) talking about the ‘As-is’ Conundrum. I have heard some of the TDS attendees asking for more or even only lighting talks to be held at next years conference. I have to agree, shorter talks are better to comprehend and I would love to see TDS become a TED for Tridion.

Frank TDS 2018The day ended for me with Frank M. Taylor’s lesson in node.js, Frank is a Principal Software Architect at Tahzoo and a proud Texan (don’t mess with Frank ;o), his talk was about Tridion.js; The good, the bad, and the ugly of node.js-powered Tridion implementations, but as I’ve seen with Frank’s talks more often, it always turns out to be teaching session. Entertaining and informative, way to go Frank!

Will TDS 2018Last of the day I saw the best DXA presentation ever given (besides all those I did myself of course ;o). Will Price (CMS/Web Solutions Architect at W.P. Consulting), the co-founder of DXA gave an interactive presentation, letting the audience choose the topics they wanted him to talk about. Will talked about the challenges he has while building a DXA based website at the Sociale Verzekeringsbank, they started with DXA 1.7/1.8 and migrated during development to DXA 2.0. It was nice to hear about Will’s positive experiences with the migration to DXA 2.0 and seeing the great work he is doing. Let me end up with two statements from his presentation:


Sounds scary, but with DXA it’s not


I conclude that TDS 2018 was another success, and I hope there will be a lot more Tridion Developer Summits to come. If you agree, please do reach out to Robert Curlette (the organizer of TDS) and let him know your thoughts. Robert also asked that if any of you are interested to help out in organizing next years event, by all means you should reach out to him!



This entry was posted in Community, Tridion news by Bart. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bart

Working as a Technical Product Manager, Bart is the evangelist of all SDL Web products and the Digital Experience Accelerator in particular. Bart has worked for SDL since 2003 as a technical support engineer, consultant and trainer, supporting both partners and customers with their implementations. Bart was one of the original developers of the first version of DXA, and currenlty determines the future of it.

One thought on “Highlights from the 2018 Tridion Developer Summit in Amsterdam

  1. It’s definitely been a year of change. Thanks for the nice post and great having you at TDS. I’m still working on being more like Bart, at least occasionally. 😉

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