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Using DNN at Work and Play
You can say I live two lives. In my first life, I’m a Sales
Engineer. I support our Sales Team by providing product demonstrations to
clients and prospects. In my second life, I run an outdoor enthusiast
WeHuntSC.com, which happens to be powered by the same DNN products
that I demonstrate during the work day: our
content management system (Evoq
Content) and our
online community solution (Evoq Social)
As you can see, my two lives intersect!
Enhanced Product Knowledge
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using our products both at work and as a hobby, I’ve learned
a great deal about the features and functionality of our software. The hands-on
experience I gain helps me be me more effective in demos, trainings and technical
As a Sales Engineer, I sit right between Sales and Product. I
On any given day, I may field questions about front-end
design and CSS to site architecture, module development, site administration,
“skinning”, upgrades and back-ups (phew, that was a mouthful!).
variety of questions we can field spans a wide range. I
need to be able to quickly explain functionality to the business contact and
then turn around and get in the technical weeds with the person from IT. I also
need to be able to communicate with both of these individuals confidently and
Hands-On Product Use to the Rescue
This scenario can be stressful because you never know which
questions you will have to field. Over time, you become accustomed to that
stress and start to enjoy the challenge of handling the unknown. How can one
best prepare for this?
USE THE PRODUCT A LOT!
I run a few sites using our software. I do the design,
administration and upgrades and that’s helped me become intimately familiar
with our solutions. I don’t know it all, but
I learn something new every day.
Our solutions are so extensible and configurable that I
think it’s impossible to know everything, but if you frequently use the
software over time, you will come to know a lot. Many times, I’ll
answer a demo question based on an activity I was working on the evening
So yes, running a hobby site has been beneficial for me, but
in some cases it is also
beneficial to my career growth.
Testing in Production
Whenever we have a major release, we add a lot of new features.
The developers, engineers, and QA teams put our software through numerous tests
to check for any potential issues; with the flexibility and extensibility
of DNN, however, it’s simply impossible for our teams to account for every potential
configuration that exists.
Whenever we have an upgrade, I always
upgrade my environment
as soon as the engineers have the package available. Since my site is not a
“mission critical” site, it serves as a good site on which to test new upgrades.
In these instances, my sites double as a testing environment. If any issues or
concerns arise, I can easily reach out to our engineering and development teams
A Win-Win Scenario
Using our software during the day job and as a hobby helps me be more
informed about our products. Being an “early bird” upgrader helps me get
familiar with our latest features as soon as they come out and it also gives us
a site from which we can give feedback to the development and engineering teams
Using our software has helped me become a more effective Sales
Engineer. It’s not a bad thing to have
your hobby and your job cross paths!