Transitioning a Small Agency to MVC – An Interview with MVP Brenden Kehren

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Having a large development can bring a lot of advantages. With more developers, knowledge and experience can be exchanged easily as downtime can be minimized with group trainings and meetings. For smaller development teams, the impact is far greater, often requiring special planning when a new technology is being adopted. In this article, I’ll share with you some highlights from my recent interview with Founder of Kehren Development and Kentico MVP Brenden Kehren on how his team is making the transition to MVC in preparation for Kentico 12.

It’s hard to remember a time when there was as big of a technology shift as the current one with MVC adoption. Powered by the technical community, this transition is forcing companies of all sizes to reshape their development teams, update their skills, and plan for the future. While large agencies have the benefit of teams of people ready to make the shift, smaller organizations may have a much tougher time with the move. Luckily, we have some great Kentico MVPs willing to share their experiences and help you plan your own company’s transition.

Brenden Kehren of Kehren Development is one of the most recognized names in the community. His contributions to DevNet are legendary, as well as his commitment to helping others excel with the platform. When he’s not answering your questions, Brenden runs a small development agency, with 5-6 developers working on applications.

Recently I talked with Brenden about how he was preparing his team to transition o MVC. I wanted to share with you some highlights of that interview.

 

How long have you been working with MVC?

We’ve been working with MVC for about 5 months. None of our staff had previous MVC knowledge, so we decided to take the entire team and move everyone up together. We also hired a new developer with MVC knowledge, which is helping us get the rest of the team up to speed and trained.
 

What did you expect to be the biggest challenge?

I think the biggest challenge we were going to come across was just learning MVC in general. We know Kentico inside and out but had only touched on MVC. Overall, I think that was going to be our biggest challenge, just getting our team to understand the concepts of MVC.

 

What was your plan/approach?

What we had looked at was a quick and thorough approach. Having had Pluralsight for many years, we started looking there for any MVC content they had. We also used the ASP.NET MVC documentation, which has a lot of good tutorials. It’s a lot of reading and not a lot of doing, so we stuck with Pluralsight because their content contained a lot of “how-to” videos which allowed us to get through it pretty quick.

 

How long did it take for your team to make the switch?

We are still in the transition. We are still in the learning phase of how to make Kentico and MVC work together. I think we’ll have another 4-6 months to get up to speed, but we are already anticipating taking new projects to MVC.

 

Would you take the same approach again?

We’ve had a main concern of learning MVC. That is still our main concern. I anticipate that it will probably take around 18 months to be fully comfortable with Kentico and MVC.  I’m hoping the time is less, however, I know we have a few projects that are pretty in-depth and will require much more customization than the simple brochure site.
 

How are you handling the transition with your clients?

As we’re still not 100% MVC with our client base, we still have a lot of Web Forms. We are working with them one-at-a -time as they go through upgrades and updates. Starting with Version 12, all new projects will be MVC.

 

Brenden gave some very useful insight into transitioning to MVC. For a small company, this shift is a much bigger deal. He had to plan how to get his entire team up to speed quickly, while minimizing the impact to his business. I think the most important thing to note is the amount of time it realistically takes to change to MVC. Because it’s a new technology and framework, planning for that time is crucial for a team’s success. I strongly encourage you to start thinking about how you’re going to get your team ready, so you can start making MVC sites as soon as possible. Good luck!

Brenden shared a lot more info than what’s in this article. You can listen to full interview below.

Listen to the full interview

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Bryan Soltis

Hello. I am a Technical Evangelist here at Kentico and will be helping the technical community by providing guidance and best practices for all areas of the product. I might also do some karaoke. We'll see how the night goes...