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Sitecore Job Market Outlook 2016

Technology | Dan Baxter | 5/1/16

Sitecore Jobs 2016

It’s a new year, and what better time to take a look at what 2016 has in store for the Sitecore job market, and how Sitecore compares to other .Net WCMS platforms in regards to better prospects for its community of developers, and clients.

Since its release, Sitecore has continued to go from strength to strength, with utilisation amongst organisations globally increasing year-on-year. This growth has naturally transferred to the Sitecore job market, particularly after the release of the anticipated Sitecore 8. For marketers, this has provided a single view of each individual customer from non-Sitecore sites as well as Sitecore ones, whilst for developers and clients alike it brings in the CMS as a standalone.

What’s the best WCMS for the career minded developer?

With Sitecore’s growth, how does it stand up against other WCMSs or Experience Platforms as Sitecore now prefers to call itself? Will it’s longevity as a development platform affirm it as the development platform of choice for the career minded developer?

In order to answer these questions we’ve taken a look at 3 other well-known WCM’s who compete within the .Net ecosystem to see how Sitecore compares. These include one open source WCMS without a licence fee – Umbraco, also a Danish WCMS success story; one with a licence fee, EpiServer – the only other .Net based WCMS to feature in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management’s Leader Section; and of course Microsoft’s own contribution to the .Net WCMS world, SharePoint.

Of course, there are others in the .Net community of WCMS, not least Kentico, DotNetNuke & Sitefinity, but for the purpose of avoiding this blog developing into “War & Peace”, we have kept the comparison clear to no licence fee, licence fee, and the original .Net CMS, SharePoint.

Sitecore Vs. Umbraco

sitecore jobs vs umbraco jobs indeed

Sitecore Job Trends v Umbraco Job Trends

As a developer, there are a mass of similarities to be identified between Sitecore and Umbraco. Further than both being based on .NET stack (.NET, C#, SQL), some of the additional similarities include;

  • Easy integration with Microsoft Office
  • Can be integrated with your internal systems like ERP and CRM
  • Easily scalable and customisable through modules (Sitecore) or packages (Umbraco)
  • Easy to use User Interfaces (UI)
  • Model-View-Controller (MVC) support (Sitecore 6.6, Umbraco 4.11.1)

Given that from a developer’s view both possess a lot of similarities, it will be the client’s needs & perspective that will determine the need for developers for each platform and, therefore, the growth in demand and thus future prospects for each.

Umbraco is a good place to start off if the required complexity of the site is low and the budget is tight. It is important to remember though that there will be high maintenance costs if customised modules are required. For example, to integrate with Sharepoint and back-end CRM systems you have to custom build a connector whilst personalised content for different regions or profile history, Umbraco also requires customised development.

In contrast, while Sitecore may cost more through its licence fee, it has a low maintenance cost as it comes with a SharePoint connector out-of-the-box, and features its Sitecore Experience Platform personalised content for different regions or profile history.

It is this level of support, the predictability of cost through the lack of required customisation and the associated potential development costs that have led many enterprises to opt for Sitecore compared to Umbraco despite the upfront fee of the licence. It is this continued adoption of Sitecore over Umbraco that provides Sitecore with more customer references that only further increasing adoption. One example of this is within the governmental sector where Sitecore has many government references where Umbraco has almost none.

The continued adoption added to the number of client’s already using Sitecore compared to Umbraco clearly points to Sitecore having the bigger jobs ecosystem, especially moving into 2016, which has in turn helped to grow the Sitecore Community with MVP’s providing developers support through channels like Stack Overflow, Slack & Sitecore’s own Sitecore Forums

As a developer you also have to question that whether a company that is concerned about the upfront cost of the licence and thus uses Umbraco, could really afford to hire you as a developer?

Sitecore vs EPiServer (& Ektron)

As with Umbraco, EPiServer features a host of similarities to Sitecore including;

  • Easy integration with Microsoft Office
  • Can be integrated with your internal systems like ERP and CRM
  • Easily scalable and customisable through modules (Sitecore) or Add-ons (EPiServer)
  • Easy to use User Interfaces (UI)
  • Model-View-Controller (MVC) support (Sitecore 6.6, EPiServer 7)

Until recently price was not a differentiator as both can get up and running at much the same price and the development time required for a typical implementation is broadly similar. This however according to Gartner, has changed due to the recent merger with Ektron leading some decision makers at enterprise customers to remove EPiServer from their shortlists because of its newly introduced cloud pricing appearing higher than that of some of its competitors.

The main difference between Sitecore and EPiserver is the ambition level in personalisation and scale, and the required complexity. Whilst Sitecore can mean quite a lot of work to learn and set up, it will not put a limit to your ambitions, being designed to help Web Managers that have dozens of different websites, in different markets and under different brand names. EPiServer is easier to start with & can do pretty much the same things in many cases, but might not meet more complex requirements easily. It is apparent that the ideal buyer for EPiServer is a Web Manager that handles maybe 5 or 6 different websites – not hundreds of websites.

EPiServer’s more acquisitive approach – it acquired Mediachase in 2012 as well as Ektron last year – can give the platform an incoherent and disjointed feel. Genuine integration requires more than a re-branding and fresh lick of paint. It takes time to integrate separate systems into a coherent whole and this approach does inevitably cause a fair amount of inconsistency across the platform as a whole. Furthermore, despite EPiServer offering support for Microsoft Azure, SharePoint and Dynamics, it has not taken advantage of its relationship with Microsoft to the same degree as some such as Sitecore, who generally develop their platform extensions internally, providing a slicker more coherent feel.

These differences dramatically decide what kind – or scale – of an organisation will invest in either product, with more “enterprise” scale companies who have complex, multinational, multilingual requirements across hundreds of sites needing multiple architects & developers, to realise their ambition, going for Sitecore, thus furthering the Sitecore Job Market for the year (s) ahead.

Sitecore vs SharePoint

There are so many things to use SharePoint for, search, BI, social, document and record management, collaboration, and let’s face it, as a user if you can use MS Office, you can use SharePoint. With this being said however, Sitecore, with its focus on WCMS, customer intelligence, and engagement provides an extremely compelling alternative that, from a business owner’s perspective, offers superior tools for engaging with the customer (which has always been the point of a website).

Sitecore’s Digital Marketing functionality allows organizations to interface directly with the users who arrive at their websites, learn about them via their behaviours, and better target them with meaningful offerings based on those findings. Sure, SharePoint can do WCM, but SharePoint isn’t Sitecore’s peer when it comes to Digital Marketing.

sitecore job trends and growth v sharepoint job trends

Sitecore job growth outperformed Sharepoint in 2015

Tellingly, Microsoft has realized that. The group that used to evangelize SharePoint as a WCMS solution— the Digital Product Marketing Group— was disbanded not too long ago. Microsoft itself is much more interested in Sitecore as a partner of late, which is promising as Sitecore is built on Microsoft’s .NET platform and Microsoft’s SQL database servers. Additionally, Sitecore provides a fantastic play for moving your web infrastructure to the cloud—whether directly with Microsoft’s hosting via Azure PaaS (Platform as a Service).

Whilst when looking at absolute numbers of jobs available in Sharepoint, both due to its broad range of application and its legacy as Microsoft’s incumbent for everything, Sharepoint provides many more options, in terms of growth and/or functioning as a WCSM, Sitecore is way ahead.

Sitecore Job Market Outlook

As you’ll have read above, Sitecore in comparison to 3 of its main competitors in terms of growth, adoption, and advantages and disadvantages for both developers and companies, comes out trumps. When this is considered in tandem with its impressive year-on-year growth, favour amongst WCMS users, and vitally recognition from previous key players such as Microsoft, its hard not to see the potential that the Sitecore Job Market holds as a career minded developer.

Moving into 2016 we are going to see a much larger need for developers within the Sitecore platform, with their potential for growth in the role, and demand across the industry continually increasing. Of course, there are opportunities within Sharepoint and further market, however looking ahead, the Sitecore Job Market, in my opinion, is the one to watch.

What do you think about the outlook of the Sitecore Job Market going into 2016?

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If you wish to discuss the Sitecore Job Market outlook further, or alternatively your WCMS development career, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to help. Contact me on 020 8944 4183  or danielb@eligo.co.uk 

Please also find our current Sitecore job vacancies here.

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