Deliverystack Author: John West (commodore73)

I have been playing with computers since I gained access to a Commodore VIC-20 in the mid-1980s. In the late 1990s, using mainly Solaris, Oracle, and C++, I implemented systems that automated diverse business processes responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions annually. In 2000 I started consulting with the (now defunct) Interwoven product line including its TeamSite Content Management System (CMS). In 2002 I began using C# and .NET with TeamSite before joining Sitecore in 2004. As Sitecore expanded from an ASP.NET web content management system into omnichannel content delivery, experience management (analytics, segmentation/personalization/individualization, email campaign management, marketing/engagement automation, testing/optimization, and so forth), commerce, and other categories, I assisted with sales, provided technical support, wrote documentation, taught training, and eventually wrote over 500 blog posts (https://community.sitecore.net/technical_blogs/b/sitecorejohn_blog) and a book about Sitecore (https://p2p.wrox.com/book-professional-sitecore-development-687/). The book was admittedly never much good. Both time and multiple blogging platform migrations have destroyed the blog (remember when everything was HTTP instead of HTTPS?). Maybe this is fitting because much of the content is obsolete or lacks sufficient context for use today.

After Sitecore, I spent some time as a digital experience management technical lead for an agency. In addition to multiple roles with CMS vendors, I have worked for a digital advertising firm, with several system integrators, and directly for multiple customers, all implementing complex solutions, generally with a Content Management System as a sort of hub or at least a critical component. My experience integrating countless upstream and downstream systems across all verticals have given me a broad understanding of customer requirements and application architectures.

Not being a JavaScript developer, I had largely ignored the trend towards headless content management. While evaluating CMS vendors for a systems integrator in 2019, I encountered Contentstack and determined what I consider to be some of its differentiating factors relative to its competitors. My experiences with Contentstack reminded me of early days with Sitecore that prompted me to write one of my first blog posts (Three Factor’s to Sitecore’s Success, https://sitecorejohn.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/three-factors-to-sitecore%E2%80%99s-success/, https://community.sitecore.net/technical_blogs/b/sitecorejohn_blog/posts/repost-three-factors-to-sitecore-39-s-success). Headless CMS and Contentstack specifically have gotten me excited about technology again. I try to evaluate things impartially, but I have not found a platform that I consider preferable to .NET or a SaaS headless CMS that I find preferable to Contentstack. For reasons having nothing to do with content management, I consider WordPress to be a better blogging platform than Contentstack (I would host my blog on Contentstack if I was already hosting a site with Contentstack), but I would not use WordPress as a CMS. I will use C# whenever I can, and my coverage of Contentstack will be more complete than the alternatives. Regardless of my title, when working for a CMS vendor, I consider my role to be that of Chief Customer Advocate, responsible for professional consulting on platform selection and solution implementation with focus on supporting developers and improving their satisfaction and productivity in implementing maintainable, scalable, usable, high-performance CMS solutions.

I will try to answer any questions that appear in comments on this blog. I will likely redirect some questions to https://stackoverflow.com/ or elsewhere. You can also connect with me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnwest3/.

P.S. I have not taken the time to configure navigation in WordPress; I’m just dumping content here. I recommend that you start from the first/front/home page at https://deliverystack.net and use the links in the footer to navigate forwards through the posts.

P.P.S. I make a lot of mistakes and do not believe in final drafts, so anything on this blog could change at any time.

Published by John West

I like Twizzlers and um

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