Sitecore and the Tree House.

Sitecore and the Tree House.

Flying home from Sitecore Symposium and Sitecore MVP Summit my thoughts were left with all the amazing new things we have to look forward to in this product.  But also my thoughts looked towards the big project I have at home.  My daughter’s tree house.  Standing 8 foot off the ground with a peak around 24 feet it has been a true labor of love this summer.

That is when the idea for this blog hit me.  Growing up my father was a general contractor.  At times I would get to tag along to the construction site and help out.  Learn new skills like how to square off a wall, put siding on, or make fancy cuts.  Through college he offered me a place on his crew so I could make some spending money.  But in the end, my love for programming took over and I took my first real job in the industry.

Overall I think I just enjoy making things.  I get to do that on the weekends with my construction projects, but I am also lucky enough to do that on a daily basis working in Sitecore.

Now you could say that this is all developers in general, but Sitecore brings something special to the picture.  The core functionality of Sitecore is like all the fancy tools I have acquired of the years.  Like my skill saw and framing nail gun.  Without these tools a 2 x 4 wall would take 4 times as long to build.  Sitecores core functionality allows me get faster into the more complicated / good stuff.

The openness of the framework is also extremely important when I am building.  With one of the tree house walls I decided to add an extra window.  No worries, I just pulled out my saws-all, cut a couple wall studs out and replaced them with a window frame.  Sitecore works the same way with how its structured.  From making simple rendering changes on the standard values of your page template to attaching to a pipeline or event for more complex changes.

I also feel that I can apply my development process inside Sitecore with the way the tree house has been built.  Obviously to start I had to create a platform to build everything else from.  But once there, I was able to branch out into different sections.  Working on areas like the stairs, walls, or deck.. dependent on time and resources.  Furthermore considering how high this tree house is and the need for scaffolding, I have decided to sheet and shingle one side first, then move the scaffolding and focus on the other.  With the framework of Sitecore, once you get through that initial bottle neck, you can let parts stand on their own and strategically decide what needs to be developed next.  Sometimes the design team only has the home page complete, so you cut that up, and then go rough out a complex form and display, mean while having that base structure to still work from.  I think its something that Sitecore framework does elegantly allowing us to engineer better development cycles.

Overall I think all developers have this deep down need to create something.  It’s why we do what we do.  We are the 21st century technology carpenters.  Sitecore just happens to be my father’s entire work trailer ready and waiting for the next big creation.

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