It’s been an interesting few weeks since I came back from vacation. Found myself transferred to the Sitecore.Mvc project, something that in the past would have been considered a bit of a poison chalice. Not this time around. As a project we started by asking and listening to what the Sitecore development community were calling out for. As far as I know this is a first for my organisation, the feedback though is where it matters.
It’s no secret that Microsoft has re-invented itself around engaging with the community since Scott Guthrie and others started to lift the covers on internal development activities. Microsoft went further than most commercial organisations are able to go, it open sourced a great swathe of its intellectual property and even opened it up to public pull requests via GIT.
With the Sitecore.Mvc project we have attempted to start engaging with our developer community more than has been done in the past. As a development team we win considerably from this decision, we get very focused feedback from engaged and highly knowledgable individuals early on in the development pipeline. In sifting through feature requests we listen to what the community wants from us and we also have the opportunity to evaluate the major contenders amongst community based solutions to reported issues. Hopefully by doing this we have managed to tailor the changes that we are making in the product to best meet our customers needs and communicate details of those changes better and earlier.
Personally I would like to hear whether this approach around developer community engagement is something that is seen as valuable or not. Any feedback on this, no matter how harsh, is very welcome. As developers, we learn faster when we see the feedback results earlier.