CDXP Will Change Our Development Teams

Mike Edwards - Technical Director

1 Apr 2022

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The movement to Compostable DXP (CDXP) platforms will change the way that we hire and organize teams, breaking technology silo’s and requiring adaptability, flexibility and quick learning.

While many have discussed the pros and cons of moving from a large monolithic DXP system to the new CDXP environment of headless systems connected via modern technologies such as JamStack, few have discussed what this impact will have on the type of development teams or development partner needed.

If you have bought one of these large monolithic DXP platforms, you have probably performed this search:

“{{insert software name}} implementation partner”

Or

“{{insert software name}} consultants”

Maybe you have even hired consultants or have your own internal team of experts in your chosen platform.

But when you move to CDXP, will you still need teams of engineers specialized in specific technologies or will other skills become more important?

Enter The Master of None

The advantages of a CDXP solution are flexibility and agility, allowing you to pick the software products that solve your problem the best, when you need them and not before. If a chosen product isn’t working for your solution, you can quickly pivot and try another service. This ability to quickly shift makes CDXP different from all-in-one solutions.

It is also these features that will change how you recruit the talent to implement your solution, this could be an internal hire or an external development agency.

Initially, you may choose to find a team that is skilled in the core part of your new CDXP platform, for example, the CMS, but you now need to assess the team’s capability beyond this core competency.

As you expand your platform you will be bringing together many disparate systems that need to communicate with each other. It is very unlikely that you will find the unicorn that has integrated all the tools you want to use, together before. No one developer is likely to have used your choice of PIM, CMS, Ecommerce, MA and ERP together before.

Add to this that you will want the ability to incorporate new tools quickly, drop those that aren’t working and remain agile. This takes a new set of skills.

No longer are you looking for a Master of One, we now need a Jack of All Traits.

What To Look For?

So, what skills should you look for?

One element of software development has always remained true, the ability and willingness to learn. This is even more true in the CDXP environment, it won’t be possible for developers to already know all the tools that the platform will use. Therefore, you need a development team that wants to and can learn rapidly. You will need to move your thinking from “this team are expert in X technology” to “this team understand my business space and can learn the tools I want to use”.

You should look for teams that have a broad range of skills and implementation experience. This exposure to a wide variety of tools and implementation means that they have seen and played with a lot of different technology. This will give them experience in many different integration platforms, common problems found during integration and great problem-solving skills.

Ask you them about architecture? What does it mean and how do they go about it? Many monolithic systems tended to push development teams to set architectural setups. With CDXP there is much more flexibility, from static site generation, microservice, serverless functions and much more. When asking about the architecture focus your questions on how the platform will be designed to be extensible and flexible. It is still possible with CDXP to design a rigid platform that can’t adapt.

Bringing in a CDXP agency to build or assist in building your platform will help. Agencies will have worked with a large variety of clients over a large variety of toolsets. They are used to having to adapt quickly to a client’s needs and learning new tools.

When working with development agencies, avoid partners who silo their teams. What does this mean? In many large agencies, you will find that they have the “Software X” team and “Software Y” team. Sometimes you find these teams competing against each other to get the same piece of work but with their specific technology. The problem with this setup is it can mean that these development teams recommend solutions using their chosen technology because if they don’t, the work goes to another team. This creates a false incentive to recommend solutions that might not be ideal for your situation. It also means that these teams may not have been exposed to a wider range of technologies.

In Summary

The shift to CDXP will change how you find your implementation partner:

· Agility and speed of learning is key

· Being a jack of all traits is a bonus

· Avoid siloed teams

· Ensure architectural flexibility

· Find a team that is keen and excited to try new things

Building your CDXP should be exciting, you have lots of new tools to pick from and lots of options to choose from. The final most important part of choosing who you will work with, make sure they are fun and that building your CDXP is an enjoyable experience.

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Tags:

Composable DXP
Headless CMS

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Mike Edwards

With 18 years of IT development experience, Mike has worked across government, not for profit, and commercial sectors. He has delivered large-scale multinational websites, desktop and mobile applications, and mission-critical health apps. He works closely with the client and delivery teams to ensure that projects deliver business benefits and not just a technical solution.

Mike has been named Sitecore MVP between 2011-2019 and is the founder of the very popular Glass.Mapper.Sc ORM, which has over 1 million downloads.

Outside of work, Mike can be found exploring the British countryside, riding his motorbike, and learning the piano.


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