Virtual Affairs

Help each other grow, that’s what it’s about

By Virtual Affairs

Since January 31st, Joost Broekhuizen can consider himself part of the Sitecore developers’ elite. He was awarded MVP status. We spoke with our latest Sitecore MVP about his MVP-ship and his ambitions.

This is a big milestone for Joost, since it is the first time he has become Sitecore MVP. Just like colleague João, Joost was awarded MVP-status thanks to his contributions in the Technology category, a recognition for sharing his technical experience to the online and offline Sitecore community.

Joost has been involved with Sitecore projects for a relatively short time. Although he got his first Sitecore certificates a good 7.5 years ago when he came to Virtual Affairs, he’s been active with Sitecore development for the last three years. Joost moved into the role of Sitecore developer thanks to the projects he was working on. But his interest in Sitecore grew quickly, leading to the MVP status he has today.

Off course we were curious how long Joost has been consciously working on obtaining the Sitecore MVP title. “It wasn’t so much a conscious goal as it was a consequence of my activities”. For a year and a half now, since mid-2017, Joost has been very active in sharing his knowledge about Sitecore. “I was mostly writing blogs with a focus on development. The blogs are well read in the community. I received a lot or recognition, which motivates to write the next blog and share even more knowledge.“ But it was not just the blogging. Sharing knowledge with the Sitecore Community can be done in various forms: writing and responding to forums, hosting events yourself, etc.

Former colleague and MVP Chris de Vries convinced Joost to nominate for the award. “others pointed out that I – although unaware – had done quite a lot for the community. So, the threshold to really go for it was low.“ Within Virtual Affairs Joost is also Sitecore competence driver. That means he is helping other Sitecore developers at our Amsterdam location. “That doesn’t contribute to becoming Sitecore MVP, because for that you have to share outside your organization. But it does add value to our work and increases the quality of the team. By sharing within our company, coaching people, they in turn can contribute to the community.”

As competence driver he warrants that there is enough attention for the latest Sitecore developments. As Sitecore MVP there’s an immediate advantage in this area. “You are involved in the latest developments, gain early access to the latest releases and receive invites to private webinars. You get information sooner than anyone else in the industry. And you meet other MVP’s with whom you can exchange information. You ‘ll find you are the first to know when you can register for certain things like contributing to a whitepaper. Sitecore will ask within the MVP channels first. This way, you are enabled to contribute and invited to think along with Sitecore.”

Joost quickly benefited from his MVP-ship: ”We’ve had a kick-off webinar for MVP’s where the plans and roadmap for the upcoming year have been presented.” The knowledge Joost acquires in these webinars, he shares with his team. “As a competence driver I make sure we practice with the latest technologies and become comfortable with them. The knowledge should just be with me or another colleague but be widely present within the team.

We wondered if Joost has any suggestions for aspiring Sitecore MVP’s. “Be visible. It helps to host events and present there. But it’s also important to write down what you do all year, because a year is a long time. If you do a lot in between your regular work, it’s hard to document everything at the last minute.“