CMS or a Content Management System, as we know, is a collection of basic building blocks which we call as ‘components’.
There are components which are provided as part of the tool package – also known as ‘out of the box’ components (OOB components). Then again, there are components which are built to server specific needs, perhaps from scratch or on top of existing components – also known as ‘custom’ components.
Now, you’d be surprised to know that most of the existing (OOB) components, if not all, can be customised or configured in many ways.
“You need to see it, to believe it.”
Once you start going through multiple websites, you familiarise yourself with the components which are used, and the layout or different ways in which they are used. Just like the Lego blocks, which have different shapes and colours.
Then you start formulating your own ideas to how these can be used – some of these components are so rich with features that it takes a while to unlock the potential and explore them.
A little more digging will help you map the components to the current work you will be doing – either you’ll get help from content experts or you’ll find out the hard way (doing yourself).
This wouldn’t come naturally, unless you actually start creating content on your own – which is not as easy as it may sound. I’ve seen people struggle so hard with putting the content right and aligning all the elements together.
I don’t know about others, but I certainly felt good when I authored a page and previewed it. And, when the whole site was created, it almost felt like it was me who created it (although, it was a team effort).
Oh, it is such an exciting and rewarding experience, a sense of accomplishment and learning.
Not that you’ll get bonus for doing that, but just think about the world of possibilities it opens up for you.
Still don’t get it, do you?
See, working on those components can give you an understanding to the system (let’s say Adobe AEM, or Sitecore) – first of all.
Then, you get yourself at ease with the components and the common mistakes a rookie would do, like the related configuration, linking to areas within the system, and gaps left behind by the development team.
This, will give you an insight in to the areas which can be improved upon – be it your learning or the recommendations you could make.
Most importantly, you will get to look at the bigger picture rather than being limited to the components or areas you would work on otherwise.
At this point, it will matter less if you were from a development background, a testing, or any other area of expertise.
What matters, would be what you can or want to do now!
The knowledge and experience, while working on different components,
- Would help to find the gaps, ask more questions to get clarity
- Can be used to suggest better user experience, suggest optimal way to use a component, or suggest an alternative
- Will equip you to develop components in a better way – don’t forget the scenarios you came across to configure a single component.
- Will lead you to provide a better solution
All the things you can and must do, during the initial phases of the project, to reduce the loss of effort during the later stages.
It’s your choice now, if you wish to work as a technical person, a business analyst, or a quality analyst – the possibilities are never ending.
And if you thought otherwise, no one can limit a BA or QA from proposing a technical design (not literally a design document though).
Reflecting upon, would you have had so much clarity and vision of what you wanted to do or could do, had you not gone through this route?
May be… But, you can’t leave things to “may be”. It’s better to be informed, if you ask me, at least then it’ll be your choice and not something enforced upon you.
“At the end of the day, it’s not only about doing right by the customers and delivering what’s best for them, it’s about doing what’s right for you and learning to become a better person and a professional, as well.” ~ P.R.
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