Yesterday, I attended a DMS Training course which aims to ground Sitecore developers in the concepts and technical knowledge related to implementing the functionality provided by the DMS, and also to take Sitecore Developers through the information that is required for them to know so that they may receive a Sitecore DMS .NET Developer (DND) certification.
I travelled to the beautiful city of Copenhagen to attend the training. The training facilities at Sitecore were excellent and I was made to feel very welcome by the course organiser. The instructor on the day, Raul Jimenez (not the football player), is a seasoned Sitecore developer and he also wrote some of the code for aspects of the Digital Marketing System. He has also been a Technical Director at Sitecore and, coincidentally, I have engaged with him in the past when he was a Sitecore support contact for one of Sitecores clients (IMG Media) that I was working for at the time.
Raul’s experience allowed for my fellow Sitecore enthusiasts and me to gain some extra insight into some of the quirky information that can only come from somebody who has worked with the DMS whilst also knowing how it has been built and the thinking behind it.
Over the next few days (or possibly weeks) I will blog some of the things that I learnt from the course. I will try not to go over the course word-for-word but rather point out some key aspects of it, and also try to put the knowledge into some kind of practical context. I will also try to provide some code examples to demonstrate some of the points that were raised on the course as well as some of the gotchas.
The code structure that we followed was as follows:
- DMS Architecture
- Current Visit, Campaigns, and GeoIP Data
- Page Events and Tags
- Personalization and Conditional Rendering Rules
- Content Profiles and Visit Profiles
- Engagement Automation
Overall, the course was well-structured and care was taken to ensure that the breadth of the DMS functionality was covered. We were provided with plenty of time to try out some exercises to reinforce the concepts that we were being taught.
Perhaps the most value that I gained from the course was not necessarily in the technical aspects of delivering the functionality that was presented, although this will be invaluable when it comes to building the functionality in live projects, but in understanding the potential business context in which the functionality could be used – even where there are no current live examples at present. For a technical architect this provides some insight that can be relayed back to the ‘business’ or marketers to provide guidance on how best to glean the rich technical functionality provided by the DMS.
I am left with a very positive view of DMS and I will try to harness aspects of all its functionality in my current project. I will be particularly focussed on personalizing content for individual users after allowing the DMS to understand the nature of the content that has been viewed by those users. The course has been invaluable in providing me with a roadmap with which to use the DMS to provide this rich customer experience to end-users and to allow for my client to realise this business opportunity.
Finally, I would definitely recommend that people who are offered the opportunity to do the course in Copenhagen to do so. I took some time out to explore Copenhagen and found it to be an amazing city and strangely relaxing. I hope that I am not generalizing too much when I say that I found Copenhagen to be a serenely civilized place where pedestrians always stop at traffic lights even if there are no other bikes, cars or other pedestrians in sight!