Last year, I was privileged to attend and present at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 17 conference and was definitely looking forward to another opportunity. Luckily, someone was asleep at wheel when screening presenters as I was invited back!
This was my first time presenting all on my own at Knowledge. It’s a bit intimidating but also very rewarding. If you’re interested in presenting, ServiceNow submits an open request for presenters leading up to the conference. Some of the things to consider when building your presentation are as follows:
- What will the attendees learn and why will they care?
- What are the problems you faced?
- What was the objective?
- What was the solution? How long did it take?
- What did you learn?
As is common to conferences, there will be a keynote presentation to set the tone and share the overall theme. This year brought a renewed focus on the user experience within the platform and not doing tech for tech’s sake. Many promises of new features as well as a road map for our next six major releases.
Of course, we need to hit the ground running on our first day. This had to be one of my favorite sessions and one of the most challenging. The presenters took the hands-on experience of the workshop to the next level by having each of our instances visible from the stage as we walked through simulations of events and alerts.
Another very enlightening session walking attendees through creation of a custom CI Class and then building Discovery criteria to identify nodes fitting this new class and merging it into our CMDB. A great primer for those of us who do any work in Service Mapping
This was a fun one focused on reimplementing ad-hoc Powershell and SSH activities in the Workflow Engine. For anyone who does much scripting in Microsoft environments, having the ability to integrate your existing scripts into Orchestration activities is invaluable.
This keynote brought more substance to the promises of the first day’s session. Much emphasis was placed on new mobile and user specific features as well as interpretation of user needs and virtualization of first responder sessions using AI and bots. Some of the skits were a bit corny and stilted but the message was clear. People shouldn’t dislike or be frustrated by their work tools.
This was a fun tutorial on one of my favorite tool sets for the platform. Seriously, if you’re a ServiceNow developer, you should be using Xplore like yesterday. Great inline tools that give an intelligent code completion feel to the global libraries available on the platform and might help you learn about a few things you weren’t even aware of.
This guy was a complete jerk and never should be allowed to present ever again…
…But seriously.. thanks to all who attended for asking great questions and making this a great experience for me. It’s very rewarding to see this experiment through additional points of view. I hope you got as much out of it as I did.
This was my only breakout session since I tend to favor the hands-on workshops. Still, some great improvements are being promised for Discovery and Service Mapping to make it less opaque and more accessible to the layperson. If you want to get the full value of an IT implementation of ServiceNow, something as fundamental as node discovery and aggregation should be as basic and straightforward as practical.
Using Event Management to Monitor Your ServiceNow Instance Health
This was a fun little session that introduced us to a front-to-back implementation of Event Management as it applies to monitoring the ServiceNow environment itself. Might seem like a Catch-22 to have the watchman watch itself, but it’s honestly a scenario that gets overlooked when you think about critical applications and monitoring their health and availability.
Another fun hands-on experience, this time integrating event monitoring to an AWS environment. This also covered the idea of anomalies and other ‘odd behavior’ on monitored nodes and the ability to configure monitoring thresholds based on deviations from a baseline instead of express limits.
This was a much shorter conference for me as I chose not to attend pre-conference training. Still, those three days were filled with the requisite fire hose of information as well as meeting a few old friends and making a few new ones. Can’t wait for next year!
I’d love to hear any feedback on this post, especially if you attended Knowledge 18 and would like to discuss your own experiences. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them here or address them to firstname.lastname@example.org