Bits of Xperience: Developer Community Resources
Discover all the best places to learn about Kentico Xperience and engage with the welcoming developer community.
Kentico Xperience (previously, Kentico CMS) has been around for quite some time (2004!).
And now, with new branding and leveraging the latest technologies (ASP.NET Core), it can feel overwhelming 😩 trying to figure where a developer working with Kentico Xperience should go to learn and stay up to date with the platform.
In this post I want to provide some recommendations for both new and veteran developers looking for the best Kentico Xperience resources and wanting to get involved in the growing community.
What Will We Learn?
- Which ways are best places to find Kentico Xperience developer resources?
- How to stay up to date with what is going on with the platform?
- How to get involved with the Xperience developer community?
🔎 Where to find Kentico Xperience Resources
Because Kentico (CMS) Xperience, as a product, has been around for awhile, just doing a quick search might not bring up results most relevant for a developer 😑.
Kentico Xperience is a product, so there is a lot of marketing content out there that is going to be more helpful to people looking at the product as a business solution. The platform itself also has many marketing features, which might be built by developers, but are used by Marketing professionals. Discussions about these features are often not what a developer is interested in.
There are also many Kentico Xperience partner agencies that help organizations successfully build and maintain Xperience applications. This means there is going to be a lot of content about Xperience as it pertains to the business of these partner agencies.
[My employer WiredViews is a Kentico Xperience Gold Partner.]
At this point it might seem like there's only non-developer content about Kentico Xperience, so let's fix that 🤗!
💻 Developer Content
Our first destination for anything Xperience should be [DevNet](https://devnet.kentico.com/), which has links to:
DevNet is definitely the core of both developer resources for the Xperience product and the developer community... but wait 😮, there's more!
Kentico has been increasing its presence on GitHub, partially due to its Content-as-a-Service product Kentico Kontent, but also from the open sourcing of some MVC Widgets and many Marketplace items.
Kentico's Home repository is a great starting point for both Kontent and Xperience. Even more helpful is the curated list of developer resources that is constantly updated and annotated. If we've already explored DevNet, then this should be our next stop.
The Kentico developer relations team has also started leveraging GitHub discussions as a way to meet developers where they already spend a lot of their time (on GitHub 😉!)
[Also, be sure to check out the growing list Kentico Xperience Libraries on the Resources page.]
Other Code Resources
We should also not forget every developer's favorite resource for answers - Stack Overflow 🙏! While the number of questions there doesn't grow as quickly as many other technologies (1-2 questions / week), almost all of them have answers, which is very impressive.
There are also a fair number of NuGet packages tagged with Kentico, some of which are maintained by businesses and individual contributors.
Community Blog Posts
The Kentico Xperience MVPs (including yours truly 👋) become MVPs for a reason - they know the product and they produce content (blogs, videos, open source modules) that helps the whole community. If you want to learn from some "xperienced" developers (pun intended 🤣), checkout the list of MVP blogs.
The wider Xperience developer community also produces quite a bit of blog content that includes all kinds of helpful tips and ideas.
While some have their own hosted blogs, others write on blogging platforms like Medium and Dev.to.
Developers also often post content on LinkedIn where there are 2 popular groups focusing on Xperience:
- Kentico Certified Developer - invite only, must be a certified developer
- Kentico User Group - open to everyone!
📰 How to Stay Up to Date With Xperience?
Kentico 12 MVC was a huge paradigm shift for the Kentico EMS platform. Now, the product has been rebranded as Xperience and it supports .NET Core. The product team has also stated they are planning on more frequent updates to the platform.
It can feel confusing and difficult 😵 trying to stay up to to date with all these changes. As engineers, we want to know about this stuff in advance so we can plan and design for it. So, what channels is Kentico using to present everything new about Xperience?
The Xperience team has made a public roadmap for the product available on Product Board. In the past information was previously maintained on the Kentico website and also on User Voice.
We, the community, can rate how important an idea or feature is and leave comments to support our thoughts. We can also submit new feature ideas 🧠!
[Checkout Ryan Overton's video about the Xperience Roadmap.]
Over the past couple of years, more and more discussions and announcements are being made via Twitter.
All of the Xperience MVPs have Twitter accounts where we share our own tips about Xperience and any information coming from the official ✅ Kentico Xperience account.
[I recommend following this account and checking out the #KenticoXperience hashtag to see what everyone's talking about.]
I think we can consider YouTube to be a form of social media these days, so I'm going to mention Kentico Xperience's YouTube channel here. It's been a lot more active recently, with Ryan Overton, Xperience's developer evangelist, posting some great videos.
[Ryan also streams live 📺 coding on Twitch, so check him out there.]
Brian McKeiver's Kentico Rocks Podcast has been a mainstay of the Kentico community for many years now, and the guests and discussions are better than ever.
If you want to know what the Xperience MVPs are thinking about when it comes to upcoming features and changes in the product, this is a great place to tune in 📻.
👩🏾🤝🧑🏼 Joining the Xperience Developer Community!
Everything we've seen so far is about finding the best information to help us in our Xperience development. But what if we want to participate and contribute 🤔?
Kentico Community Slack
The Kentico Community Slack is a place for community members to discuss everything Kentico. That includes both Xperience and Kontent.
It's an invite-only Slack organization, but if you want to join just reach out 🙌 to any of the Kentico Kontent or Xperience MVPs and we'll be happy to get you setup.
If you have coding or architecture questions, or just want to share something really cool you discovered about MVC Widgets, the Kentico Community Slack is the perfect place to go.
The community is pretty great at jumping on a problem anyone has and collaborating on or discussing possible solutions. Everyone is very friendly 😃, so really, there's no reason not to join!
Kentico was invited to the GitHub Discussions beta and now has a discussion board setup for the Home repository on GitHub.
Here we are going to explore more public, code-oriented dialog about Kentico's products.
It's just starting up and there's a Welcome discussion if you want to lurk and get to know some faces before jumping in!
If we can get enough adoption, I think this is going to be a great place to participate in the Kentico Xperience community.
Contribute to the Marketplace
The updated Kentico Xperience marketplace on DevNet is based on sharing open source repositories.
Any of us can contribute any cool custom modules or MVC Widgets we've created by opening a Pull Request on the DevNet repository on GitHub.
It's free to contribute and having your extension show up in the marketplace will get more developer eyes 👀 on your cool idea - possibly bringing some community developer contributions back to you!
We already saw that Twitter was mentioned above as a great way to stay up to date with everything happening in the Kentico Xperience world, but it's not just for consuming information - it's also great for contributing!
Kentico loves feedback on their products from the community, and all the MVPs and other community members sharing blog posts look forward to hearing if their ideas have helped anyone out.
If you have thoughts, concerns, or thank-yous for anything related to Xperience, jump in a Twitter thread or just "like" a tweet you see!
Kentico Xperience Connections
Kentico Connections is the event Kentico puts on every year to showcase updates to their product and give the community a chance to meet in person and build relationships 🤝.
This year there are 2 big changes...
- The event is being split into 2 separate events, one for Kontent and one for Xperience.
- Both events will both be virtual and free to attend!
You can sign up for Kentico Xperience Connections on the Xperience site and mark your calendar 📆 for a couple days of great presentations both from the Xperience team and my fellow MVPs!
[I will be presenting at Xperience Connections this year, so be on the look out for the speaker lineup announcement!]
Every year, developers leave Connections having learned a ton. They always participate in great conversations about the pros and cons of different technical decisions. Both getting and giving advice on future architecture strategy.
The Wider Blogging Community
It's not just MVPs and Kentico Xperience employees that can create helpful articles and blog posts.
You 👈🏾 can too!
I recommend all developers blog as a way of developing their own communication and technical skills.
If you already blog (or create videos) about Kentico Xperience, let me know, or open up a Pull Request on the Kentico Home GitHub repository and add your name to the list of community blogs.
If you are new to blogging and aren't sure where to start, feel free to contact any of the Kentico Xperience MVPs and we'll help you get set up and point you towards some good topics to write about.
Now we know where to get the best Kentico Xperience developer resources, how to stay up to date with all new changes and features in the product, and how we can start to participate in the community!
I'm sure we missed 🕵️♀️ some great resources for Xperience developers, but I also think we have a pretty good starting point.
If you have any recommendations that I should add, let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading 🙏!