Industry Insights

Igniting the Talent and the Future of Content Management Systems

Today, I have something a bit different for you guys, I guess you could say I am taking the employee journey and hiring conversation way back, and talking to someone who is making an effort to plant the seeds of web development and content management with high school students, to open them up to the needs and possibilities of a career in the digital business world. 

Clint Patterson, a web developer, and self-proclaimed “DNN Super Fan”, spent some time with students at Northwestern High School, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to engage them in the use of a CMS platform (in this case they used DNN) and essentially pass down the gospel of how to apply their previously learned coding skills in a tangible way:

Why DNN?

When I asked Clint why he chose DNN as the platform for the students use, (even installing it himself, from scratch, on 22 computers!), his reasoning was hinged on the fact that DNN is open source, intuitive and has a vast user group. This ensures that the students who continued to learn on DNN after the class, would have easy access to a large community of DNN users and user groups, either in-person or digitally, to assist them along the way. 

This extensive developer community, is also referenced as one of the differentiators of DNN, in our recent Review of the Top .NET CMS Platforms, as well as saying: “DNN is open-source and offers both free and paid editions. There is a very extensive developer community, where you can find thousands of available modules. There are hundreds of DNN themes available for free and purchase. DNN offers extensive documentation covering all aspects of the system, and the popularity of DNN means there is a wealth of support available.”

If one of Clint’s hopes was to create newly minted DNN fans, the good news for them is that DNN has a “fearless approach to innovation”, as Venus points out in her article highlighting the features of their latest release: “With the recent release of Evoq 9’s general availability, the vendor has, once again, proved that it is committed to making its platform future-proof by converting it from a traditional, monolithic architecture to one that is cloud-first, based on containers and microservices.”

Speaking of the Future

What I have to admit inspired me the most to interview Clint, was the unique perspective I saw in this story that he perfectly captioned when he said he was hoping he would be “spurring growth by activating talent”. As I mentioned at the beginning, I am almost taking the employee journey, or talent pool conversation way back, to an interception in these students’ path at the high school level and the huge opportunity that lies therein. 

DNN is just one of the many free tools out there for youth to learn on and cut their teeth in the web development world. But beyond this platform, with the advent of the internet, youth are now sitting at the edge of a mass amount of free tools, knowledge and opportunity to network that was entirely unavailable to generations before them. The leverage the education system has in this regard, utilized here by Clint’s friend and the students’ teacher Mario Donato, is making the choice to expose these young minds to a world beyond their classroom, whether it is web development, marketing, entrepreneurship etc. and bridging the gap between what they’re learning and how that can be applied in the real world. 

My Takeaway

For me this brings to mind the other advantage youth have, and that is to be strategic about their choice in education. Choosing a major for a specific career will always be useful, but with so much expertise out there on gaps of talent in certain industries and what employers look for when hiring for certain positions, if I could go back and do it all over again I would do everything I could to maximize my education to be the most employable I could be. This is why I am so happy to see not only that multidisciplinary degrees are on the rise within post-secondary education but programs like this one are being thought of at the high school level, to open up the world of possibility to these students. 

With Mario and Clint working together to empower these students with the know-how to tackle this CMS, and move forward with an understanding of how many would work, the seeds are planted for new entries into the digital business hiring pool that could innovate in ways we haven’t yet imagined, or drive change within these systems, to benefit almost all who use them. 

Laura Myers

Laura Myers

A digital business, marketing and social media enthusiast, Laura thrives on asking unique, insightful questions to ignite conversation. At an event or remotely, she enjoys any opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the industry.

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