2022 OMVP Summit Review
The Optimizely Most Valuable Professional (OMVP) program is designed to promote collaboration and expertise among Optimizely developers. This year was Bob's first year as an OMVP — and these are his thoughts.
Web development depends on people. While, at its core, writing code seems like an individual process, development relies on community — to find mistakes, to improve systems, and to teach and build up the community itself. Which is exactly why Optimizely began their Optimizely Most Valuable Professional (OMVP) program — to promote collaboration and expertise among the developers themselves.
This year marks my first year as an OMVP. As an OMVP, members have access to a number of benefits, including education, special access and status, and the opportunity to attend the OMVP Summit, an annual gathering of OMVPs. This year's summit followed the Opticon conference in San Diego, and I was lucky enough to attend.
The OMVP Summit is a chance for OMVPs to get together with Optimizely and discuss the state of Optimizely, the future, and deep dive into technical aspects of all their products. Given the ongoing evolution of Optimizely — and digital experience platforms (DXP) in general — I wanted to take some time to touch on what was discussed.
(Note: discussions often included privileged insights and information, which should explain any vagueness in my descriptions.)
The OMVP Summit technical track.
The summit this year was made up of both a technical and a strategy track. I stuck with the technical track, though the group came together many times throughout our two days.
The full group kicked off with a discussion on the suite of Optimizely products, specifically how new products are being integrated with the content management system (CMS) and commerce, and how Optimizely plans to integrate the full suite into a cohesive unit. It’s no secret that Optimizely has acquired several products over the last few years, so discussion focused around how to build them into a seamless experience.
The technical track kicked off with a demo and discussion around the recent CMS 12 / .NET 5 upgrade, including stats on improved load times and responsiveness, and other upgrade benefits. We can sum it all up pretty quickly: if you haven’t upgraded yet, you should.
This led to an open discussion about the trajectory of the CMS, and what to expect in the coming years. I’m not able to go into detail, except to say that for developers, there will be more options for approaching a CMS implementation in the future.
To wrap up the day, we tied everything together with a look at the product ecosystem — primarily how new systems and products are integrated and brought together. The general theme is a smooth and well integrated experience across all the products.
That evening, we headed over to Belmont Park for some recreation and conversation. It was a good opportunity to kick back a bit, and also get to know the group on a more personal level.
Day two and beyond.
While day one leaned heavily into the way different products Day two brought a bit more focus on the individual products.
We kicked off with a presentation on best practices when building add-ons for the CMS. I found this particularly interesting and validating, as Blend has been working on a couple add-ons ourselves.
We wrapped up with a couple of demos, one on B2B Commerce (formerly Insight Commerce) and another on the Feature Experimentation (formerly Full Stack), and more discussion around both of those products.
Overall, the Summit was an exceptionally valuable experience. It was an opportunity to gain new insights, deep dive into technical aspects of several products, get a peek into the future of the platform, and get to know more of my fellow OMVPs. I look forward to putting what I've learned into practice, and hope to attend more summits in the future.
Blend's Director of Development, Bob Davidson, provides tutorials on all things development.
His web series, Coding with Bob, can be found on Youtube. Check it out!