Preview for Developers

The Knowledge Conference is the ServiceNow New Year. It is a time for reminiscing on the past year’s projects, setting goals for the next conference year, meeting new friends, having fun with old friends, and of course drinking enough to not remember half of it.

This year will be my 4th Knowledge Conference, missing only K13 on account of the evils of the number 13 (not at all because I was the rookie on the team and drew the short straw). Whether this is your first conference or you are a long time vet, you might be wondering which Labs, Breakouts, and Workshops are most worth your time.

So, in case you are still wrestling with registration, lets take a look at what Knowledge 16 and ServiceNow Helsinki may have to offer you (Knowledge sessions are subject to change as some fill up and others close or open):

The X01 Series

First, the low hanging fruit. There are a slew of sessions that cover all the major apps in the ServiceNow ecosystem. CMS, Catalog, Orchestration, Workflow, Discovery, and others all have sessions like CMS101, CMS201, CMS301.

You generally do not have to take the lower level courses to take the higher ones but look for the prerequisite phrase or equivalent experience. As a long time vet at this point, I tend to skip to the 301’s to maximize my value.

Overall, these sessions are a great place to start for new developers, gaining experience on a new app, and even refreshing skills and learning some new perspectives for experienced devs. You can never go wrong with one of these appropriately chosen for your skill level.

Service Portal

If you attended the K15 Keynotes, you likely saw the demo of the new Service Portal. If you are a UI/UX person, you may have gone full fan girl and were sorely disappointed when it wasn’t released GA with Geneva. Not me, though. A friend. I was totally cool with it (Why Nathan Firth, why?).

If you missed it, Service Portal is a modern alternative to the Content Management System (CMS) application. It uses Bootstrap and Angular.js(version 1) to create beautiful, responsive, iframeless sites. Well, it is coming to Helsinki and my friend is trying not to fan girl all over again.

So if you like HTML, CSS, and front end development you should take a look at these sessions:

  • 15PC27- Creating a Killer Service Portal (PreConference)
  • 19CB04- Service Portal — Creating Custom Widgets (CreatorCon)
  • 20CA07- Service Portal — Transform Your User Experience (CreatorCon)

There are also the usual CMSx01 series. At the moment they seem to be geared toward CMS rather than Service Portal so perhaps there will still be a reason to keep those Jelly skills around after all.

Also, shameless plug, you should register for my Table Topic session. It is an open conversation. I will be bringing my CMS knowledge and experience to the table as well as what I know of Service Portal, so I hope you will too:

  • 17TA07- CMS Design and Implementation

Git Integration

Ok, this one is obviously less sexy but hear me out. I have written heaps of code and have screwed up, broken, and destroyed just about everything there is to destroy in ServiceNow. I have ServiceNow helpdesk on speed dial and I am pretty sure the “reset your own developer instance” feature was added because they were tired of my calls.

Git keeps track of every change I make and almost every customizable text editor has a plugin to show Git changes in the document you are editing. Git has saved my butt and saved my code more times than I can count and yes of course I use Git repositories on nearly all of my ServiceNow work.

So when I saw this session in the registration, I was all over it:

  • 17LA01- Source Control — Tracking Your App Development in Git

Native integration to my career saving tool, yes please.

For the App Developers

If Scoped Apps are your thing, ServiceNow definitely has you covered this year. Starting with the Creating Custom Applications from Scratch X01 series, we are already off to a great start. Personally, I already added those to my schedule. Following on that, I love any of the sessions that involve debugging or troubleshooting. Let’s face it, that is where you are going to spend most of your time as a developer anyway. With that in mind, here are some sessions to consider for App development:

  • Creating Custom Applications from Scratch 201 (multiple)
  • Creating Custom Applications from Scratch 301 (multiple)
  • Practical Troubleshooting Concepts and Tools — Debugging 201 (multiple)
  • Problem Diagnosis and Prevention Techniques — Debugging 301 (multiple)


Lastly, there are the pure inspiration sessions. The ones that bend your mind and demand you to push the limits of the ServiceNow platform. These are some of my favorite. You will learn a little less code and practical application here, but it can help you hone your process or learn new techniques:

  • 20CB01- How LinkedIn Does Self Service CMS
  • 19CC02- ServiceNow + Machine Learning: The Next Wave of Productivity (CreatorCon)


Any way you slice it, Knowledge 16 is looking pretty exciting. If you haven’t already, you should definitely head over and register. And no, ServiceNow didn’t put me up to that. The people make the Conference and I want to meet you there.

Having trouble picking between a few sessions? Want some insight from a previous attendee? Want to meet up at Knowledge 16? Reach out to me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or the ServiceNow Community.