Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dear John...

We all go West
No I’m not writing to say I’ve left you for another CMS. But John West’s announcement today leaves me wanting to take a short detour down Memory Lane. If you came here looking for technical tidbits, I’ll be hangin’ a right back down Architecture Avenue shortly.

I had the great good fortune to work directly with John on my very first Sitecore project. It was one of the first projects to be done at scale in North America, and it was my first foray into a true enterprise-level .net CMS. When Lars Nielsen flew out to conduct our first training, John was there, both to learn and to advise. He remained tightly connected throughout the project, providing strategic advice and technical leadership (and answers to my incessant questions). John’s enthusiasm for Sitecore was infectious. His spirit of adventure set the tone for that project, and indeed for my entire Sitecore career.

John’s thought leadership has been at the bedrock of Sitecore’s growth. His quiet, unassuming tone underlies a deep passion for Sitecore. Owing to John’s example, today’s Sitecore ecosystem is infused with a sense of excitement, wonder, and a craving to learn, create and explore. His blog is a hallmark of his motivational style. John provides the signposts leading to the new and evolving capabilities of the product, while never asserting his knowledge is definitive, never assuming his observations are comprehensive, and never insisting his conclusions are absolute. Being the good teacher he is, he leaves application as an exercise for the student. And exercise we do! Many talented Sitecore professionals share valuable learnings from their Sitecore journeys. But those journeys began with John’s unspoken challenge to “Go West, young man!” (Yes, I went there.)

Over the years, as John as gone from teacher to mentor to friend, I’ve felt immense pride to be part of this dynamic community that John was so instrumental in creating. Though we have gone from speaking almost every day to interacting only sporadically, every time we see each other it seems we are picking up in mid-sentence. There has never been a “goodbye” with him, and there is not one now. Talk to you soon, friend!

(And goodbye forever, XSLT!)


  1. Oh, those were the days, when we did that training: Fun times, and lot's of work too.

    1. Those were the days, indeed. And it's been the same ever since ... lots of work, but lots of fun!