If you’re like almost every Kentico partner around, you’re wondering what to do about MVC. You’ve heard it’s a big deal. You know it’s the future. You’ve maybe even read about the benefits of moving your development to it. But where do you even begin?
To help you answer that question, I recently interviewed BizStream Co-owner and Kentico MVP Brian McKeiver to talk about how they shifted their development to MVC.
Whenever there is a big shift in the industry, its impact travels far and fast. From affecting personnel to budgets, technology changes can be very disruptive, especially for the unprepared. While MVC is not new, its adoption has skyrocketed recently, and many companies are left scratching their heads about how to move forward.
As a software provider, we understand that this is a big deal for development agencies. And we know that they are looking for answers. That’s why we’re producing as much content as we can about this technology change and what it may mean for your business. From best practices to advice on development, we are doing what we can to smooth the process for you as much as possible.
All the great articles withstanding, what companies really want to know how is how do they make the shift to MVC? How do they prepare their developers? What does the transition look like in terms of budgets, projects, and personnel? These are all great questions that only someone who has gone through it can answer. Luckily for you, awesome Kentico reader, you have a great MVP in the community willing to share his thoughts.
Recently, I did a video interview with Bizstream Co-founder Brian McKeiver on his company’s transition to MVC, and how it impacted their businesses. Brian was very candid with his answers, often diving deep into how they got their developers up to speed, how it affected their timelines, and how it impacted their clients. Here’s some highlights from our talk:
How did Bizstream make the transition?
We decided two and a half years ago it would be the future. And we wanted to get ahead of the curve.
Brian explains how they knew that MVC was the future years ago, and that they needed to move to it to stay competitive. By diving with their team into MVC, they knew they would be set up for the future. This went a long way in helping them define best practices, understand the pros/cons of the framework, and ensure their teams were ready. IT also helped them estimate and scope projects better, as they had a solid grasp of what amount of effort the various phases would take.
We had to go through the learning process with Kentico 9. A lot of it was on our own. We had to build a lot of the code. As Kentico has progressed, they’ve added some awesome features along the way.
Back in Kentico 9, we completely revamped our MVC support from the ground up. We started with core functionality and continued to expand the capabilities in later versions. This meant many features like E--commerce, Personalization, and Drag-and-Drop pages weren’t supported. We knew those were a big part of the platform, so in Kentico 10 and 11, we continued to expand the capabilities of MVC sites. This allowed companies like Bizstream to leverage out-of-the-box features for their MVC applications, as the platform became more capable.
What will the development be like?
Stagnating on technology can frustrate even the best developers. We have put three to four years into growing a developer to be competent in Kentico, only to have them leave because they wanted to use modern technologies. People aren’t using Web Forms anymore in samples, conferences, and events.
Keeping your developers happy is a key skill every business needs to master. You invest a tremendous amount of time and resources getting a developer ready for any project. By thinking ahead and keeping their skillset on pace with technology, you can reduce turnover and ensure your developers love coding for you.
Adding third-party technologies like OpenGraph Tags is so much easier with MVC.
MVC is all about smaller, more manageable components. It also means a lot more control than web forms and other legacy technologies. By shifting to MVC, you will be able to integrate faster, as you isolate functionality within your sites. You will be able to adapt your applications to use the latest frameworks without fighting generated layouts and legacy concepts.
Building small, mobile sites is much faster, without all the extra web forms code.
As more content is geared for the omnichannel space, developing applications for mobile and other mediums is becoming critical to success. With MVC, you can build these non-traditional sites much easier, as you don’t have to deal with legacy code and layout. This means much higher SEO and ROI, and more effective applications for your clients.
What can you do to prepare?
Get MVC training for your team.
There’s no shortage of education on MVC available. From expert trainers to online courses, getting your team up to speed quickly is very doable. If you have someone who is already an MVC ninja, cross train them with others to spread the knowledge. This will help you scale your development and learning as you make your transition. Maybe set up a few days training for your key resources, then have them bring the knowledge back in-house. The key is to get the right MVC skills in place before you shift the entire operation.
Pick a smaller, internal project to start your transition.
As with most things, starting small will teach your team valuable skills with little risk. You’ll be able to assign multiple resources and control the development along the way. Bizstream started with internal projects to learn the ropes. This allowed them to understand fully how MVC would change their projects and prepared them for the future.
Think about creating reusable components.
As you start your journey, remember that MVC is all about components. Compartmentalizing your functionality into small, reusable pieces will save you a ton of time on future projects. You’ll be able to re-use functionality over and over, which will reduce your project costs and ramp up time.
Making the shift to MVC is a big choice for a company but a necessary one. By transitioning to this technology, you’ll be in much better shape for your Kentico projects, find and retain talent easier, and be set for success with your clients. And don’t worry, we’ll be here to help you anyway we can!
Why not check out our MVC Transition Guide for all the resources you need to help make your transition as painless as possible.
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