A Sitecore Competency Center at the Core of Extensive Expertise

What does it take to start your journey with Sitecore — the advanced content management system? This question concerns both newbies and experienced developers who seek to switch to another area of expertise. That is why we had a brief talk with SaM Solutions’ Sitecore Lead Developer — Raman Khalupau. Raman is a talented expert who helps customers improve their business operations with the Sitecore Platform. Also, he is the head of SaM Solutions’ Sitecore Competency Center. In this interview, Raman tells us about his passion for Sitecore and explains why he is sure that proper training and support can inspire any developer to learn this CMS.

Can you please share your elevator pitch of Sitecore?

As you know, the internet has become an extremely powerful decision-making environment. According to statistics, there are currently more than 4 billion internet users, and they dig for information and buy online. That is why companies should strengthen their presence in the online environment. Efficient websites are their helping hand in this regard. The Sitecore platform provides a variety of products and solutions that power full-fledged websites — from corporate sites to online stores.

Sitecore is one of the world’s leading CMSs, it aims at mid-sized and large enterprises. It has been a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WCMS for almost 10 consecutive years, and it continues to evolve. Based on .NET, it powers scalable, flexible and secure websites.

How can you explain the growing popularity of Sitecore?

I think that the main point is its effectiveness both for developers and customers. In one platform, developers get a wide range of tools at their disposal, including those for content management, Intranet solutions, eCommerce, data analytics, advanced personalization with integrated machine learning and more.

At the same time, Sitecore focuses on end users and businesses. Its personalization-based content management exists in harmony with a full-fledged omnichannel eCommerce system, which enables an impeccable online experience for visitors and ample business opportunities for companies.

We have been delivering Sitecore solutions for more than 10 years, which is how we know that the platform meets expectations and requirements of our customers.

Is Sitecore worth learning?

Definitely! Today, Sitecore is an extremely rewarding expertise: more and more companies across various industries rely on it. At the same time, it suffers from a shortage of developers, which is why Sitecore experts are extremely valuable.

Moreover, the Sitecore learning curve is not steep because the technology overlaps with ASP.NET by almost 80%. So, it may take a couple of weeks for those who have .NET experience and are familiar with web development to master basic working scenarios and join a project team.

What does SaM Solutions do to expand its Sitecore expertise?

At SaM Solutions, there is a comprehensive Sitecore community that brings together all of our Sitecore fans — ranging from those who are just starting out in this domain to certified specialists.

To encourage professional advancement in this technology, we’ve developed our own Sitecore Competency Center. It is a comprehensive approach that helps promote the value of Sitecore, develop the understanding of its mission and working principles, and train professionals to become knowledgeable experts.

As part of the Competency Center, our experts are fully engaged in Sitecore SaM Labs — a research group that inspires ongoing development and innovation. Quite frequently, Sitecore SaM Labs’ insights result in enlightening posts in our company’s blog and tech talks that cover Sitecore’s updates, events and pain points.

Does the Competency Center devote much attention to the training of specialists?

Yes, we put a great emphasis on it. And by specialist training we mean both expertise development from the ground up and ongoing skill development for seasoned professionals. So, to foster constant learning and upskilling within the community, and nurture talented specialists, we’ve created our own system for training.

We provide our novices and experienced developers with proper training and support so that they can meet the industry’s high requirements for professional qualities.

At the heart of the system, there is the teaching course. It allows us to bring up qualified experts that meet all these demands and are ready to work on projects of varying complexity.

Also, upon completing the course, any developer can pass the test for Sitecore certification with flying colors.

Who can become your trainee?

Everyone — from rookies to .NET developers. Newbies should start with a .NET course and then proceed with Sitecore. Those who have .NET experience start directly with a Sitecore course.

Tell us about the training course in detail.

We provide our trainees with both an extensive knowledge base and sound practical experience. So, the Sitecore training course for .NET/.NET MVC specialists involves two parts: lectures and a practical activity under the supervision of their mentors — Sitecore tech leads.

At the end of the course, trainees have to create and present their own individual projects. In their project solutions, students must use .NET MVC best practices and the following technologies: Sitecore 8 or higher, Solr, Unicorn and Glass Mapper. The course lasts for one month, and the most successful and talented trainees get a full-time job offer.

In what other ways do you advance your Sitecore expertise?

Our experts take an active part in and host events that are dedicated to Sitecore. For example, this year, our team organized a Sitecore Insights Meetup, participated in Hackathon, attended SUGCON Europe, Sitecore User Group Meetup in Minsk and the Sitecore Symposium in Orlando.

Moreover, our lead developers lecture at High-Tech Park in Belarus on a regular basis.

What are your plans for the development of your Sitecore expertise?

We would really love the community to grow and to become enriched with new knowledge, expertise and talents. We are constantly working toward attracting more specialists to our community so that we can meet the needs of our customers. Deeper industry specialization, continuous development and the rapid mastering of new Sitecore capabilities are our key objectives.

SaM Solutions understands the significance of proper training and development, which is why we invest considerable resources in developer communities and educational initiatives. That is why we spend considerable efforts on the growth and enhancement of our Sitecore Competency Center.

To learn more about SaM Solutions’ Sitecore Competency Center or our Sitecore expertise, please contact us.