Francesco Corti, Developer Evangelist, Alfresco
Be sure to check out Francesco's blog.
What challenges did you face? What are you most proud of?
I clearly remember that my most relevant challenge on Alfresco, has been to start developing over it, with the goal to get a relevant expertise in a short period of time. It was around 2011 (or 2010, I don't remember exactly) when I started to move my first steps on a Alfresco 3.4 Community Edition Release.
I decided to start studying Alfresco during my free time, because I found a lot of people in the web, talking about this framework (Alfresco at that time was not a platform but a framework). The challenge has been to demonstrate to my Employer, that the custom solution we were developing at that time was extremely old fashioned and we were "reinventing the wheel". After few time I succeed in the goal, even if the Employer is always right. :-)
At that time it was hard to find official documentation and the only documentation available was in personal blogs, most of them wrong or not updated. I remember that period as frustrating especially because I didn’t have a clear idea of the best practices of developing over Alfresco. It seems to be a lot of time ago...
From another point of view, the thing I'm most proud of, is about my idea of integration between Alfresco and Pentaho to solve a missing key feature of Alfresco at that time: the analytics. I remember the first experiments in integrating the two platforms (it was Christmas 2012), the idea to make it as a project opened to everyone and the idea to present it at the Alfresco Summit in Barcelona. Today the A.A.A.R. project is at its 4-th version and I'm very happy of the feedback, the results and the use I have done during the past years in analytics projects over Alfresco.
How are you using Alfresco currently?
Since October, after my joining of Alfresco, I'm using the latest release available for dissemination purpose. During the last weeks indeed, I'm working on the Early Access Program for the incoming Alfresco One 5.2.
What resources have been the most helpful?
It depends on the year. I cannot avoid to think about my first steps into Alfresco, where a relevant amount of content were available over the web in blogs, tutorials and personal websites. But I cannot also avoid to admit that my preferred resources, at that time, were the Jeff Pott's tutorials.
Today I think we are in different era and the Alfresco documentation website is a very good place where you can find a lot of Alfresco knowledge. Of course, being a developer, my preferred page is this.
Any secrets, hacks or advice for new users?
Yes, definitely. I think that one of my errors in learning Alfresco is about the #alfresco IRC channel. During my first steps into the Alfresco World I wasn't there, preferring an "asynchronous communication" with people or a “self made” approach. Being in the chat with a lot of experienced developers always available to give a hand and help, is a precious boost to solve the problems with the right approach. So guys and girls, don't hesitate and join the Alfresco Community there.
What are you working on at the moment (could be outside of Alfresco)?
Since October 2016 I joined Alfresco witht the role of Product Evangelist. In addition to helping developers to adopt Alfresco technologies, I usually help Alfresco to improve the developer experience through talks, articles, blogging, user demonstrations, recorded demonstrations, or the creation of sample projects.
If you’ve worked on multiple Alfresco projects, which has been your favorite?
Developing software, designing architectures and defining solutions in ECM/BPM and BI are my favourites areas of interest. So I cannot avoid to remember all the projects (small projects, in average) where the customers wanted to develop analytics over Alfresco and various other sources (like ERPs, CRMs, BPMs, Custom Softwares or Databases). Working with Alfresco and Pentaho on that has been exciting because I find both the platforms very well done, from a technical point of view.
What’s one tech trend/software/app that really excites you?
No doubt: the brand new Alfresco Application Development Framework based on Angular 2. Nothing to say about the other interesting Alfresco solutions (Share + Aikau, Desktop Sync, Mobile app, etc. and SDK as milestone for developers) but the ADF is the "new son" and there is always a huge positive vibrations around a platform that promises to be a disrupting solution to develop verticals over Alfresco ECM/BPM.