Monday, August 27, 2018

Little Book of Sitecore PowerShell Tips

My friend Neil Shack released an excellent series of books that every Sitecore enthusiast should have entitled The Little Book of Sitecore Tips. I am honored to be a technical reviewer in the second edition and very much appreciate him giving me the opportunity. In this post I share details about how I would like to release a sister series called The Little Book of Sitecore PowerShell Tips.

The Vision

The Sitecore PowerShell Extensions module is an amazing add-on available for Sitecore. Those using it would agree that it provides incredible flexibility and opportunity for feature development. Even the documentation is amazing. The user base for SPE stretches around the globe, with each individual bringing a unique perspective.

Since the module is built by the community, I would like to give the community an opportunity to help build a book of their best tips and tricks.

The Mission

Before a book can be published there needs to be content. While I may have some experience with SPE, I don't have all the best ideas about what tips and tricks mean the most to new and seasoned users of the module. I'm requesting that anyone that has used the module submit their best tips.

I would like the best tips to be included in the book, with credit to the submitter on the same page as the tip. Just think, if you submit a great tip your name could be published in the book!

The Plan

Please follow this link to submit your ideas. Once I have enough I'll organize them by most creative and helpful. I appreciate your help. Let's built something awesome!

Here's a picture of Neil.

Neil Shack
Hi, this is Neil. Buy his books please. Thx.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sitecore Developer Trial License

The Sitecore Developer Trial Program was made available to .Net developers and students who do not have access to a customer or partner license with complimentary training. Here I share my story about how the Sitecore Community made an impact on my life and how the trial license can set you on a path for an even more amazing career.

My Story

Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your career? Perhaps something you could not quite put your finger on? I remember sitting at work, staring up at the ceiling, wondering… pondering whether the projects I worked on were satisfying and gave me a sense of fulfillment.

The three years prior had a gradual decline in things new, interesting, and challenging. Working as a developer it is too easy to become isolated, especially when you are the only person assigned on a project/working remote.

One morning I see a message arrive in my inbox stating that our company had access to a content management system, something I thought our company would never spend money on. At that time the Marketing Team managed the code deployments for the website; I'm sure you can image the problems that created. Surely a CMS could help change things; especially with a cool name like Sitecore.

Soon enough I was sent off to training in some fancy building that had a tiny deli. Most of the people in my class had already experienced Sitecore and were simply there for the certification. Little did I know the next 9 months would be the craziest and most rewarding time. Every day there was something new for me to learn.

In 2013 Sitecore Slack and Sitecore Stack Exchange did not exist, and no Dallas Sitecore user groups were organized. If I wanted to meet new people I had to start connecting with people that blogged or built open source modules. One day I stumbled across a little module on the Marketplace called Sitecore PowerShell Console, you may have heard of it. I had recently been diving deep into all things Windows PowerShell, and to see this module was such an exciting moment. I soon reached out to the genius behind it named Adam Najmanowicz. He's such a great guy and when I offered to make some contributions to the module he gladly accepted. As time went on my contributions to the module increased, as did my connection to the community.

Adam and Michael at Sitecore Symposium

My first Sitecore event was to the Sitecore SUGCON NA 2015. Akshay Sura helped make that event happen, and I'm very thankful that he did. Since then I've attended a few of the Sitecore Symposiums and Summits. These have been such memorable experiences, especially when the avatars you see every day come to life, with beards as large as their personalities.

Trial License

Something really exciting for me is to see new members join the community and build relationships.

Follow the link to signup for the Sitecore Developer Trial License. You get 60 days, which is a whole lot of time to learn and way more than other trials offer. You can apply for a second extension for another 60 days. Just think, in 4 months you could be well equipped to start a career as a Sitecore Developer! You should consider reading this post Getting Started Learning Sitecore as a starting point for your Sitecore journey. The Sitecore Developer Foundation eLearning is another free resource for you.

Here are some things you can explore with the trial license:

Sitecore 9

The newest version includes support for the newest Forms module and xConnect! Read more here on a summary following the 2017 Sitecore Symposium by Hammad; really nice and concise write up.

Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA)

Module for rapidly building websites with a ton of functionality included out of the box. I've really enjoyed working with the module. Even came up with some extensions for the community.

Sitecore JavaScript Services (JSS)

So much to love about JavaScript. The documentation site was even built using JSS!


Learn about how Sitecore recommends organizing solutions. This has forced me to rethink how I structure code and ensure I follow practices acceptable to other leaders in the community.

The trial license makes available features that even a Sitecore client may have not yet have access to.

Closing Thoughts

Crazy to think that it's been almost 3 years since Sitecore Slack was setup by my friend Akshay, now with more than 3800 members. Joining the Sitecore community has given new life to my career by helping me connect with an army of enthusiasts I would have not met otherwise. I hope by sharing my experiences you are encouraged to connect with others. At the end of the day, all that really matters are the relationships that you've built.