Application for: John Rappel

Please feel free to comment and interact with the applicant below.

Who? (Tell us about you. Your name, where you work, etc. Anything relevant to the Application.)

I am John Rappel. I’m a Sitecore Tech Lead @ GeekHive and I have been working with Sitecore since 6.2. I live in Green Bay, WI and yes, I am a Packer fan 🙂

As a Tech Lead, I have my hand in all aspects of Sitecore projects. I love architecting large enterprise applications, but always find time to get deep into code. Sitecore has a lot to learn, it’s hard for me to consider myself an expert by the true definition. I’m constantly learning new approaches, putting them to the test and then, if they pass my test, implement them into our organization as our standard. While the standards are constantly changing, I am focused on creating the best solution for our clients.

While every developer looks back at old code they wrote and can’t believe it, I strive to come up with the best solutions at a given time, given my current knowledge. I rarely blindly implement a solution just because the wider community has given it their collective thumbs up. In many cases, it may not be optimized for our use and can often be improved.

This constant learning and improving drives me nuts and reminds me daily how much I love my job!

Why Me? (Here is your chance to explain why people need to vote for you. What contributions have you made to help the community.)

I am NOT worthy, but…

I thoroughly enjoy spreading my knowledge through out the community. I am active on Sitecore Slack and Sitecore Stack Exchange daily. When I see a problem arise that I have expertise regarding- I immediately start a dialogue with the community member to help them. It’s very rewarding getting a “Thanks!”, even from someone I don’t personally know.

I write regularly on our GeekHive blog for two reasons- 1) to help our organization come up with best practices and 2) to help out the community. If it helps our organization or me personally, chances are someone will benefit from it as well.

Some of my highlights from this year include:

* My friendly error series:

This series resulted from an exhaustive review of the top answer to this Stack Exchange question:

I felt the accepted answer could be improved upon after reviewing it, as well as many other guides.

* Configuration Strategies:

I have personally used a few tricks that I hadn’t seen blogged about before, so I felt a need to put them out to the community.

* Helix Template Guidelines:

We have a very strict approach to templating in Sitecore that I felt the rest of the community could benefit from. This, like many others, has come with years of experience (read- failures), until we got what we feel is a great solution.

* Coast Module

We use this module on almost all of our projects. In fact, many developers are frustrated when it’s NOT already in a solution after they’ve grown used to it. It really makes moving items quick.

– – –

My latest contributions have been around Sean Holmesby’s GitDeltaDeploy. I implemented on a project and immediately saw how useful it was. I reviewed the code and submitted half a dozen updates that Sean accepted! This has quickly become a standard @ GeekHive and I’m hoping becomes a standard for the community at large:

I have recently started my own personal blog since our GeekHive publishing schedule couldn’t keep up with me 🙂 In my first post, I explained how we were able to automate Delta Deployments:

Those that have used it seem to really like it. I’m planning on enhancing it further in the future.

– – –

Lastly, Myself, Steve Vandenbush and Mark Servais are trying to kick-start a user group for our Green Bay, WI area, though turnout isn’t what we were hoping. Nonetheless, we will keep trying!

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