Sitecore is one of the most popular enterprise-grade digital experience platforms. It is the leading CMS for top high-traffic enterprises across the globe. By leveraging Sitecore, companies can create rich digital experiences and generate more revenue. So, it’s no surprise Sitecore developers are in such high demand.
The only problem is, the demand for qualified Sitecore developers outweighs the supply. Even among ‘expert’ Sitecore developers, there is often a lack of a comprehensive understanding of the platform.
A Sitecore developer is responsible for developing websites and building marketing automation solutions to implement effective personalization, A/B testing, email marketing, and more. This article provides you with a guide on what to look for in a Sitecore developer.
Why Hire a Sitecore Developer?
Sitecore can significantly transform your customer experience and marketing initiatives. The downside, as with any top solution, it can be incredibly complex for non-technical users. For this reason, you need skilled experts to derive maximum value from your investment.
Moreover, the Sitecore ecosystem is constantly growing. New solutions and features are released regularly. But if you don’t have skilled experts with the “know-how” on these new Sitecore updates, you risk losing ground to your competitors. These experts offer assistance in evaluating, implementing, and providing advice regarding Sitecore platforms.
The Role of a Sitecore Developer
A Sitecore developer is responsible for a few tasks, which include:
- Requirements analysis and evaluation: In this process, developers identify the project requirements and recommend effective Sitecore solutions for delivering optimum performance and minimizing costs.
- Feature or site implementation: A Sitecore developer should know how best to implement a feature or functionality, including websites, mobile apps, personalization engines, etc.
- Manage migrations: One key role of Sitecore developers is to help enterprises migrate data from an existing website or solution to another. It can also involve migrations from other solutions to Sitecore.
- Upgrades and feature expansions: Since Sitecore is continuously expanding its suite of products, this role may include adding new features or functionalities to the platform.
Signs That You Need a Sitecore Partner Instead of a Sitecore Developer
Even with all the benefits that Sitecore developers bring, they can still seem somewhat insufficient. In this scenario, having a Sitecore partner may be a better solution.
Here are the reasons to choose a Sitecore partner over a developer:
- Lack of a fully functional team:Working with a single or multiple Sitecore developers requires a granular hands-on expertise that most enterprises find hard to maintain or manage on their own, leading to buggy deployments and poor return on investment. A Sitecore partner has a fully functioning team — Sitecore developers, marketers, UI developers, analysts, devops, cloud engineers, testers, and trainers etc.— enabling easier scaling and higher value for your business.
- Buggy and error-strewn deployments: If you have a deployment that didn’t go well due to errors, delays, or other factors, then you’ve got a big problem. This means you need the experience of a Sitecore partner to help you test and ensure QA on every deployment.
- Slow-loading site: If your site isn’t loading fast enough, it will impact customer experiences and cause you to lose revenue. It will also cause your pages to lose google search ranking results. This can be a result of bad implementation. To rectify this, you need an experienced Sitecore partner to properly audit your site and identify ways to optimize its performance.
- No Sitecore Architecture Document: Before any project, it’s essential to have a gameplan agreed upon as to what is going to be built and how it will function. Having a site without one leads to misunderstandings about the site’s functionality, bad designs, content management issues, ineffective use of the software’s capabilities, bugs and ultimately poor adoption of the system by your marketing staff. A Sitecore partner is best qualified to help you create an Architecture Document.
- Inability to personalize site components: If you intend to personalize individual components on your site but you don’t know how, then you need a Sitecore partner. Having an experienced advisor working with your team will make your personalization journey less daunting and give you a higher probability of successful outcomes.
- Inadequate Sitecore training: To become more proficient in using Sitecore, you need personalized training built around your implementations and solutions. A conscientious Sitecore partner is better positioned to offer training and support tailored to your specific system.
- Poor return on investment: When all the factors on this list come into play, it won’t be surprising to see the project hasn’t been as successful as initially envisioned. Instead of Sitecore developers, having a Sitecore partner can transform your project into a worthwhile investment.
4 Things to Look For When Hiring a Sitecore Developer
The following are four things to consider in your ideal Sitecore developer:
One of the first things to look for in a Sitecore developer is their breadth of experience. To get a better grasp of their capabilities, you need to take a look at their previous implementation and design processes. And more importantly, ensure to know the Sitecore solutions they are familiar with i.e. Sitecore Send, OrderCloud, personalization, customer data platform, campaign management, etc.
While evaluating, it’s vital to note that a single developer won’t have experience working with the entire Sitecore ecosystem. If that’s what you seek, then you’d be better off with an agency or Sitecore partner.
Sitecore offers several certifications about using their platform. Choosing someone with the right credentials will be beneficial to your enterprise. An example is the Sitecore 10 .NET Developer Certification.
Anyone with this certification will have experience in the Sitecore development fundamentals and a complete understanding of the Sitecore structure, security and user management, containers, item management, layouts, etc.
It is important to note that ONLY having a certification with now Experience is not adequate enough. The Sitecore skills you will need are built over many years of experience with the platform. Addressing the issues arising from the complexity of a platform such as this can only be achieved through multiple years of investment into that platform.
3. Technical Capabilities
On top of that, they should be familiar with coding standards, web development frameworks, and know MVC and agile methodologies in order to work effectively with fast-paced marketing teams.
4. Understanding of Latest Sitecore Solutions
Even if a Sitecore developer has working knowledge of a product, it’s not enough. Sitecore is ever-evolving with new solutions, updates, and practices. For instance, their pivot towards MACH architecture and composable products led to the acquisition of Four51, Boxever, Moosend, and Reflektion. Moreover, they should know about architectures such as Kubernetes containers, cloud, and managed cloud services.
Also, having up-to-date information on Sitecore products is vital. The number of certifications or MVPs a developer or agency has won’t matter if they are unaware of the latest Sitecore updates and solutions.
Start Your Sitecore Development Journey With Oshyn
Sitecore is a powerful business solution, ensuring better customer experiences, faster deployments, and more revenue — if implemented properly. Ensuring proper implementation of Sitecore is necessary. So when choosing a developer, you want to choose someone who can help you get the ultimate value out of your product rather than leave you with too many problems to handle.
There are instances, however, when a single developer isn’t enough. If you’re not getting the best value from your Sitecore implementation, then you need a Sitecore agency rather than a developer. Oshyn is a certified Sitecore partner with experience working with many global brands and agencies, leveraging the current solutions for maximum success.
Interested in getting the most out of Sitecore? Be sure to reach out to Oshyn’s team.