We caught up with Senior Consultant Developer and Sitecore Most Valued Professional (MVP) Ian Graham this week, to find out more about being a developer and what he’s excited about for the Sitecore platform.
Q: What does your role involve as a developer at Kagool?
I am responsible for leading projects from a technical perspective and advising on all things Sitecore related.
Q: What is involved with being a Sitecore MVP?
Being a Sitecore MVP is all about contributing to the Sitecore community, this could be writing a blog post about something you’ve come across in Web Forms for Marketers, publishing an open source module, or presenting at a user group. This is all immensely rewarding especially when you know your contributions have saved someone time or solved an issue.
Q: What does it mean to you being awarded MVP status?
I feel incredibly proud to be awarded MVP for a 3rd year now. Especially when I’m one of only 20 technical MVPs in the UK.
Q: What feature are you most looking forward to in Sitecore’s future releases?
It would have to be the machine learning capabilities that are in the pipeline with Sitecore Cortex. Anything to do with science and algorithms makes developers happy.
Q: What features would you like to see added to the platform?
I would like to see Sitecore become truly headless one day, something I’m excited that they are working on.
Q: You visited SUGCON this year what would be your key takeaway on the future of the platform?
The future is looking bright for the platform, there is a lot innovation happening right now. The demo around xConnect and Sitecoreland was really interesting, there’s a big buzz around the IoT (internet of things) right now.
Q: How do you like to keep your Sitecore skills current?
I keep my skills up to date by doing a lot of proof of concepts and experiments with Sitecore. As an MVP we usually get a technical preview before a new feature gets released so I’ll usually download the feature and try it out and blog about it.
Kagool take part in the Sitecore hackathon every year, which is always a great test bed for trying out new things with Sitecore.
Q: In your opinion why is Sitecore such a good all-round marketing platform
Sitecore, in my opinion is a great platform because it is built with both marketers and developers in mind. In addition, no other platform has such a vibrant and collaborative community.
Q: What books / blogs are you currently reading to keep up to date in with tech advances?
Robert C Martin’s books are like Bibles for me:
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
Agile Principles, Patterns and Practices in C#
I’m also a big fan of Head First Design Patterns by Eric Freeman and I like Pluralsight for learning new skills and I spend as much time as I can on Master Sitecore.
Q: What tips do you have for budding developers?
My one tip would be “don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something”.
As a developer you can’t possibly know every framework or programming language and pretending that you do will just get you into trouble.
Q: Can you teach us something we might not know?
Whenever you write Sitecore, never make the C upper case.
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