Clint Patterson Back With DNN as Ecosystem Manager
A little over a month ago, we reported that DNN appointed Andy Tryba as new CEO while nine-year CEO Navin Nagiah was departing. The changes didn't stop there, as it was recently announced, previous technology evangelist Clint Patterson would be returning to DNN, saying in a statement:
"Probably like you, I wondered what all this change would mean for the DNN community, platform, company, and ecosystem. Andy has boldly stated that he’s placing the focus back on the community and that he’s a man of action and results. What I wasn’t expecting was that my passion for DNN and the DNN Community would cross paths with one of the new CEO’s strategic goals… to help revive & grow the DNN Ecosystem."
With that said, I’m honored and excited to say that I’m returning to DNN and taking on the role of “Ecosystem Manager”.
Igniting the Talent and the Future of Content Management Systems
If Clint's name sounds familiar to you, it is because, in March, I interviewed him on his efforts 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.
As a web developer, and self-proclaimed “DNN Super Fan”, Clint 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:
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”. Seeing him return to DNN in this role seems to fitting, given his passion to make an interception in these students’ path at the high school level and leverage the huge opportunity that lies therein, for both the DNN community and the students themselves.
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.
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.
Seeing Clint head back to DNN in this new era, to drive growth knowing the commitment he has always shown for the platform's future potential is a wonderful thing to see. I look forward to the chance to speak with Clint and the DNN team in the coming months to see how their fresh ideas are coming to fruition.