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Bringing Ideas to Life. Behind SDL’s Community

It’s no secret that companies need to evolve their brand if they want to stay ahead. The same applies to their products and solutions. At SDL we’re proud to have a vibrant community collaborating and driving innovation behind our products and solutions. The SDL Community, launched in 2009, goes beyond just looking at features and enhancements – it helps define the future strategy of SDL’s content management and language portfolio.

Here we speak to Nuno Linhares, Senior Manager for Cloud Engineering at SDL, about how he works closely with the SDL Community, bringing their ideas to life across one of SDL’s solutions – SDL Tridion DX.

Tell us about your role, and the SDL Community

The SDL Community has grown into a vibrant forum with 1000+ members from across the globe. It’s designed for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and helping to promote innovation across SDL’s portfolio of content management and language solutions. It generally includes customers, partners and software developers.

I’m focused more on the content management side, working with the SDL Tridion Community members to promote collaboration across SDL Tridion DX. That means organizing events, boot camps and away days to gather some of the sharpest minds in the industry. Our goal is simple – to challenge SDL, the industry and each other – to find solutions to real life problems.

What are the Community’s successes to date?

It is extremely rewarding to look back at the successes we’ve achieved through direct backing from the Community. Over the past 9 years, we’ve championed product changes, and new approaches that make Tridion one of the most capable content management platforms out there.

In the early days we changed SDL’s policy of keeping product documentation behind a login. This has enabled all developers and Community members to learn more about SDL’s technology. We’ve also managed to secure free licenses from SDL for anyone that wants to learn more about SDL Tridion DX, and actively contribute to its success.

We also directed and encouraged SDL to create and share various open source projects via https://sdl.github.io. We strongly believe in the power of open source, and giving back to the Community by opening up some key components as open source software.

We encourage, sponsor, and continuously contribute to the Tridion Developer Summits, which take place twice a year (India in the spring, Amsterdam in the fall). This is where the most incredible personalities in the world of Tridion get together to brainstorm the state of the Content Management world, learn about SDL’s research efforts and create valuable IP that we all benefit from.

Is there one achievement that stands out?

Our most impactful achievement must be the launch of SDL Tridion Sites’ Digital Experience Accelerator (DXA), a fully functional platform that accelerates deployments of SDL Tridion Sites. It uses various common open source frameworks and toolkits and is available in both .NET and Java versions, and responsive design techniques and web standards make it easy to deploy fully functional complex websites up to 80% faster. It also incorporates many of the features and learnings of the DD4T framework, and DXA 2.0 is a real collaborative effort from the community and SDL, delivering the best of both worlds.

Can you tell more about some of the special initiatives that SDL runs with the Community?

Every year we recognize those that contribute the most to the progress of the Community and technology through the SDL Tridion Sites Most Valued Professionals (MVP) Award. The program was developed to thank and recognize all the great professionals that freely share their knowledge, real world experience and objective feedback to help others implement and enhance our technology. An MVP award is given to those who offer exceptional contributions to the SDL Tridion Community.

Looking forward, how do you see the Community evolving? (Tridion Docs blending in, any other trends)

As SDL’s strategy for the Tridion family evolves, we are now also looking to embrace our Tridion Docs friends into the warm MVP world, by expanding the scope of the award to this product’s Community. Recent examples of this include the India Tridion Developer Summit in Bangalore, and – of course – the Tridion Developer Summit in Amsterdam where speakers covered both Tridion Sites and Tridion Docs.

The next milestone for this group is to ensure the open, sharing Community of Tridion World continues its legacy. We are planning large scale events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our beloved Community program next year, and we’ll make sure to keep you posted!