Kentico 1 on 1 - Content Management
In this edition of Kentico 1-on-1, I sat with Kentico’s Content Management Product Owner, David Komarek. A veteran in the company with experience in nearly every aspect, David has some great insights into our MVC support, upcoming version 9 features, and what the future looks like for developers. David shared his thoughts on what developers can look forward to the most and how they can help shape the product moving forward.
Thanks for talking with me David. First, please tell everyone a little about your background and how you became the Kentico Content Management Product Owner.
I started at Kentico working as a support engineer. Back then, I was working with all sorts of customers with different requirements. While I helped many customers succeed, I started wondering how to move from support, how to extend my experience and knowledge, and how to help even more customers. So, I started some developer training, and that was a great experience because I could see right at the beginning what our customers do when they start developing websites, and the areas they were not comfortable with and didn’t understand. After that, I moved to the Online Marketing Specialist role and provided 2nd level support to our clients. I specialized in Online Marketing and worked with many clients using the EMS features and seeing their real-life scenarios. That role was very helpful and showed me how customers were using the product and the features they found most valuable. After that experience, I wanted to move somewhere even deeper and step into the process of designing part of the product to make it better. When a Product Management position became available, it was a no-brainer for me to be able to influence the development of the product and help make it great.
What are the main areas the Content Management team work on?
We actually have two development teams within Kentico that work on Content Management. One team specializes in performance, and the other focuses on the UI, including the portal engine and web parts. In version 9, the first team is focusing on improving the performance of queries, enhancing the UI, and the Continuous Integration features. The Platform team actually developed the CI functionality, and the Content Management team is working on providing the possibility to use Pages and related content with the new CI functionality.
The second team is more into the presentation layer, working on the portal engine and web parts enhancements. The main area they are working on is enhancing our MVC support, which is the main architecture switch for the product. Up until now we had some MVC support, however, in version 9 we have a new approach, written completely from scratch. This is the base architecture we are going to work on in the next versions.
What role do you see MVC playing in future versions of the product?
We are currently in the process of building the roadmap for the product for future versions, and MVC is a huge priority for us. For 2016, development teams in all areas of the product will be working on MVC support in some way. We’re going to extend MVC support to all areas of the product to make sure developers can take advantage of this great technology no matter what part of the system they typically work with. While doing so, we’ll be improving our APIs to optimize them for use outside of Kentico. This will be the main focus of the Content Management group, however, all of the development teams will focus on this in some way.
We also have some ideas for future versions of the product, and I can say that there is a real focus on MVC moving forward. Currently, our MVC efforts are really focused on developers. In the future, we will add more features and functionality for business users, as well.
What is your favorite feature coming from the Content Management team to developers in version 9?
It’s hard to say which one is my favorite, so I will talk about two of them. One is the MVC support. That is something I like very much and is something that is really new that we are introducing. There is a trend, a hype in the development community around MVC. We can see that when we are talking about MVC, all of our webinars are full, and there are a lot of questions and emails from clients who are interested in evaluating our support before we even publish it.
The second is the Continuous Integration functionality. This will allow developers to cooperate more effectively. They will be able to push objects and data between each other and environments much easier. I feel this is something where Kentico is going to lead the market in this support. The solution that the Platform team provided is amazing, and we are working on integrating it into as many areas of the product as possible.
We are hoping to get a lot of feedback from our clients on these two features to make sure we are building the best product available.
David provided some really great feedback on our MVC support coming in version 9. What was especially interesting was how he used his experience in several areas of the company to influence the Content Management team and features. Kentico recognizes that great MVC support is essential for developers, and we are working hard to deliver some great functionality to our clients!