Sitecore MVP: Insider Tips for Developers and Businesses

“I love working with Sitecore, I enjoy every moment of diving into this brilliant platform,” — this is what Vadzim Papko, Certified Sitecore Lead Developer and now a 2020 Sitecore MVP, has said long ago about the platform. Since then, Vadzim’s every decision and action has been proof of his words, while his growinFg passion for Sitecore has fueled his journey toward the Most Valuable Professional award.

Sitecore, a world-leading Digital Experience Platform (DXP), will celebrate its 20th birthday in 2021. Originally created as a powerful content management system (CMS), Sitecore XP has grown into a full-fledged DXP over time. Now, it powers numerous corporate websites and online stores that are owned primarily by mid-sized and large enterprises.

Vadzim Papko is a perfect representative of our Sitecore team: self-motivated, diligent and creative, he always has all the answers. Vadzim is fully engaged not only in commercial projects but also in the life of our Sitecore Competency Center.

Despite the popularity of Sitecore XP among businesses, it remains an uncommon type of expertise, and seasoned developers are hard to find. That makes winning the MVP award even more significant. In this brief talk, Vadzim tells us about his journey, which recently led him to the Sitecore MVP award, and about the benefits that this new status provides. Vadzim’s interview is also available as a podcast — in an episode of a Get to Know an MVP Sitecore series.

Please share your opinion of Sitecore.

Sitecore is an excellent platform both for developers and business users. Why? The programming is quick and intuitive; it is facilitated by advanced tools for data analytics and content personalization that is based on machine learning, content management, online shopping and more. At the same time, companies get efficient business solutions that streamline processes and boost sales by providing ultimate user experiences.

Please explain what Sitecore MVP is, and what the MVP program involves.

I’m a long-time fan of motorbikes, and I used to explain the essence of the MVP award by comparing it to racing. Coding is like riding a motorbike for me — I enjoy both activities greatly. And the MVP award is a sort of the racing champion’s trophy: it does not influence my attitude toward the activity, but I take a real delight in having it. It is like the icing on the cake!

Sitecore MVP Program is a long-time practice of celebrating the achievements of the most prominent members of the Sitecore Community. Based on the results of their work, the most active and successful developers receive the Most Valuable Professional award. This year’s celebration is the 14th annual event.

What does Sitecore expect from their MVPs? Besides expertise that makes a difference and enthusiasm, awardees must make a huge online and offline contribution to the Sitecore community experience. That includes sharing their knowledge at various dedicated events and on online resources, enhancing Sitecore products at GitHub and creating their own solutions that add value to Sitecore.

As Lars Nielsen, Sitecore co-founder, put it: “The Sitecore MVP Award is given to exceptional community leaders who foster the free and objective exchange of knowledge by actively sharing their real-world expertise with users.”

Depending on the nature of the contribution, the awards fall into the following categories: Technology, Strategy, Commerce, and Ambassador MVP.

What inspired you to compete for the award?

It was not that I was deliberately on a course for this award, I just did my job. I really love this platform! When I work with it, I get a lot of insights and knowledge that I feel like sharing. That is why I speak at conferences and local Sitecore User Group meetups, give lectures, and participate in discussions in the Sitecore Stack Exchange and the Sitecore Slack Community Chat.

The other part of this is that as we work on our projects, we as developers face difficulties and obstacles that require finding a solution. These solutions are real treasures, as they make other developers’ lives much easier. And I started sharing my own findings and insights.

After a while, I realized that I’d already made a significant contribution to the Sitecore ecosystem. And then I decided to give it a try and compete for the award!

What are the benefits of the MVP status?

In addition to significant professional development, this status entails tremendous advantages for the Sitecore community, for employers and for end clients. Let’s get all this straightened out.

As the community is based on the contribution of its members, the more considerable their expertise is, the higher the quality of Sitecore products becomes. So, the extensive knowledge and experience that MVPs share across the community can help enhance the competency of non-MVP developers.

For employers, MVPs are experts who have vast subject-matter knowledge and are aware of the latest trends and technologies. Their participation in projects ensures that the whole team increases their competency, while complex challenges are addressed.

And finally, client projects are handled by experts who can meet all technical and business requirements and solve any sophisticated problem.

What did it take to get the MVP award?

Ongoing self-improvement, upskilling and networking at topic-based events. I dedicate a considerable amount of my time to research and development work. My activities included:

Also, I attend prominent Sitecore events to stay up to date on technology innovations and get insights from other community members.

What do you expect from the MVP award?

I didn’t compete for the MVP status just for my own sake. I expect the award to encourage my teammates to do their best to acknowledge their expertise and win the award. I expect this MVP status to motivate myself to further grow as a professional — through self-development and through access to the latest innovations. As a result, I hope to meet customer goals even more efficiently and exceed them.

Will you recommend other Sitecore developers to work toward the MVP award?

Definitely! With this status, an expert gets access to recent developer trends and insights. Also, maintaining the MVP status encourages further professional development and training, which inevitably translates into a higher quality of software. That is why I’ll make every effort to inspire my teammates to become Sitecore MVPs!

With a decade-long experience with Sitecore, SaM Solutions has always been in the avant-garde of technology, envisaging and exceeding client needs and expectations. To learn more about our expertise, please contact our team.