Year Two at the Tridion (Sites) Mothership

It's been a year since my last "Year-in-Review" post. Actually, it's been a year since my last post on my personal blog (but not on SDL Community!).

The Dutch Life

In terms of life in the Netherlands, we (BSMSO) fixed up the house with refurbished, temporary kitchen cabinets and (BSMSO) redid the backyard. We traveled a bit more in our second year here and had family visit us.

We even got annual passes to Disneyland Paris, visiting for a few trips including the May the Fourth celebration.
May the 4th Be with You

How we celebrate Star Wars in Europe 

His outfit was a hit but we're not sure if it's because he looked like a small Jedi... or a Jawa


My feet and back still hurt thinking about all the trips from carrying the kids, which probably wasn't helped by my choice of footwear, popularized in the Tridion community most prominently by this guy.
Of course, you need a Chuck II Shield Canvas in the Netherlands.
Because... rain.
And custom Chuck Taylors for the office. 
A new nickname "Al Vino" deserves a Dark Sangria Chuck Taylor.

The year wasn't all about Disneyland and cool shoes. Coincidentally, 2017 was also the year a few of my earliest "Tridion" colleagues moved to the Netherlands. And our kids get along! I'm feeling so adult.

Those were personal highlights. I also saw some changes at work this year.

New Know

One of the biggest changes was Nuno Linhares reinventing himself into a solutions guru that solves problems with tools I can almost articulate. Whatever he actually does, he's back to sharing practical expertise with things like hands-on guides on DXA .NET and Java, answers on Tridion Stack Exchange, and Tridion Developer Summit presentations.

Nuno Re-envisioned aka Nuno the Legend of the Phoenix (Wenartwork) aka the Tridion Universe Phase II III
Things worked out after a brief existential crisis. Though I lost Nuno, the boss, his return to the Netherlands means we all get Nuno the friend, mentor, and problem-solver.

Tridion Changes

Independent of New Know's new role, product development adopted a few welcome, though not always easy, improvements to our development process including a change in teams, new roles, and new people.

We shifted towards more feature teams over traditional component teams. This means a given team can work on, for example, a feature in the Content Manager Explorer UI and back-end Content Manager, which helps reduce dependencies and hand-offs.

Our various SDL Tridion Sites Feature Teams typically work on end-to-end features across one or more components.

We continued our adoption of scaled agile practices (SAFe). Dedicated Product Owners and part-to-full-time Scrum masters improved our collaboration between product management and development teams while letting some of our senior developers do more development and less paperwork.

As part of the changes, I adopted the new title/role of Product Owner (read the interview), which is very much a product job with a more internal focus (see Melissa Perri's post describing the two roles and her point that Product Owner is a role whereas Product Management is the job).

We also increased product management expertise from various backgrounds outside the company. Though we've previously boasted product management had several decades of Tridion expertise, it's nice to compliment this with several decades of product management experience at various levels.

The hardest part of this year was saying goodbye to colleagues who are hopefully enjoying new challenges and success in new roles. I hope we can make them proud and act as good stewards of the software they built and grew. Though I did tease one colleague that just to spite him, someday I'm going to brag about that one feature he really really wanted. :-)

Sharing

Having been on the inside for awhile now, or what one of my colleagues might call "living indoors," means I'm not on Tridion implementations. For better or worse, I don't live the life of an implementer.

Though I'll have a few personal blog posts in 2017, I was able to present to the community, blog on SDL Community, and connect several of our internal groups to the Tridion Sites technical community.

Presentations

This year's community presentations included:

I also posted some follow-up answers including ways to integrate separate systems with the External Content Library.

Blogs

I blogged what we worked on at the MVP retreat and offered an intro to Peter's PowerShell scripts along with some use cases you might explore yourself. I shared yet another post on (translation) context. Occasionally, I help with urgent issues that get turned into troubleshooting guides. I also thanked you for the love for SDL Web 8.5.

As mentioned in my last post, I had the opportunity to help reboot all of the SDL Ideas. Now I'm trying to be transparent and clear on what we need for enhancement requests, especially those related to integrations.

Connecting Others


And that was the year minus these remaining few weeks. I don't know how 2018 will turn out, but I'm definitely optimistic.

2018

I initially came to the Netherlands with the idea of staying 2-to-3 years. But the chance to work on SDL Tridion Sites can be addicting on its own. And understanding the customer's challenges and the speed of change in the World means the job of prioritizing problems is never done.

So next year I'm really looking forward to the planned Tridion Sites 9 release and then working with the other teams to start transforming the UX vision (see parts 1 and 2) into reality.

How did your year go? Was it everything you expected? Did you get the Phoenix joke? Leave a comment or share your own "Year-in-Review" post. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, yo Saturnalia, and see you in the New Year.