How to get started with Sitecore as a Developer

Sitecore is currently one of the leading content management systems in the world. It contains powerful features which allow web content editors and marketers to have full control over various aspects of their website from social media integration and blog posts to advanced features such as personalization, e-commerce and many more. As Sitecore is becoming more popular with companies, the demand for experienced developers is also on the rise. In this blog post, I am going to share the best way for you to get started with Sitecore and develop the right skills that you need for your current or upcoming projects.

Step 1: Register for the Sitecore Developer Trial Program

To get started with Sitecore learning or any software application, it is pertinent to have that application installed on your local system. Sitecore understands this very well and as a result it has generously provided a 60-day trial license of its latest version for anyone who is interested in learning the application. Since the request takes a couple of business days to get processed, it is best to submit this form as soon as possible. You can find the form here.

Sitecore Developer Trial Form

Step 2: Join the Sitecore Community

Now that you have submitted the request for a trial version and patiently waiting for the license, the best way to use this waiting period would be to start learning about the Sitecore community and getting involved in it. Unlike most other groups, Sitecore has a fantastic and very active community that offers quick assistance, discussion, informative blog posts, engaging user groups, and online hangouts.

  1. Sitecore Community Forums
    Sitecore Community Forums is Sitecore’s official community forum and therefore the most trusted forum to go to for support, questions, discussion, or anything related to the Sitecore ecosystem.

  2. Twitter
    Twitter has turned out to be a great platform to get tons of information about recent Sitecore news, blogs, and insights every day. This is the best place to begin learning who’s who in the community. Some people tend to have “Sitecore” mentioned in their Twitter handle, but this isn’t a requirement for being noticed. Participating in conversation and posting quality content gets you noticed so make sure to leverage this opportunity!

    To get you started, here are some recommended Sitecore experts and companies worth following on Twitter:

    Akshay Sura (@akshaysura13)
                Michael Reynolds (@mike_i_reynolds)
                Dylan Young (@sitecore_master)
                Adam Najmanowicz (@adamnaj)
                Mike Edwards (@mikeedwards83)
                Mark Cassidy (@cassidydotdk)
                Una Verhoeven (@unaverhoeven)
                Eric (@RamseurANANT)
                Brandon Bruno (@BrandonMBruno)

    Sitecore (@sitecore)
                ARKE (@ArkeSystems)
                ENGAGENCY (@engagency)
                 Anant Corporation (@anantcorp)
                Sitecore Spark (@SitecoreSpark)

  3. Slack
    Slack groups have always been an awesome way to connect with a group of like-minded people. Although there is no official Sitecore slack group yet, the one started by Akshay Sura has been very popular and used among the Sitecore community. You can learn more about this slack channel on Akshay’s site How to join Sitecore Slack Community Chat or you can directly apply for the membership by filling the Join Sitecore Slack form.

  4. Sitecore Stack Exchange
    Sitecore Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for developers and end users of Sitecore. It has more than four thousand users and an incredible record of 85% of questions answered.
    Every major Sitecore MVP and developer is a member of this forum and they are always ready to give their expert opinion. A lot of useful answers have already been provided, so make sure to search your issue before posting a new question.

  5. Sitecore Meetup Groups
    There are several Sitecore community events/meets that are being organized by local Sitecore users and enthusiasts. Find the one nearest to your location from this list and buil up your network with like-minded people.

Step 3: Bookmark/Subscribe Sitecore Learning Resources

  1. Courses
    1. Sitecore Official Training Programs
    2. Beginners Guide to Sitecore
    3. Sitecore – Bootcamp (provided by Anant Corporation)
    4. Unofficial Sitecore 8 Training Webinar Series
  2. Youtube Channels
    1. Sitecore
    3. Dylan Young Channel
    4. Akshay Sura’s Channel
    5. Thomas Eldblom
    6. Sitecore Training
  3. Documentations/Guides
    1. Sitecore Documentation for Developers
  4. Ebooks
    1. Professional Sitecore Development by John West
    2. Professional Sitecore 8 Development by Phil Wicklund
    3. Sitecore Cookbook for Developers by Yogesh Patel

Step 4: Understand the concept of Content Management System(CMS)

Before you start working on Sitecore it is very important to have a clear understanding of the basics of content management system and what makes Sitecore one of the best CMS tool in the market. Below are a couple of informative resources which will help you understand CMS better.

  1. Content Management Systems (CMS) Wiki
  2. Sitecore’s definition of CSM
  3. Why Sitecore for CMS
  4. Why Sitecore is Ideal for Enterprise

Step 5: Install Sitecore and Get Your Hands Dirty

Once you are comfortable with the basics of CMS and Sitecore and have received the software license for the 60-day trial, it’s time to install the application on your system. Installing Sitecore is not an easy job to be honest, especially when you are doing it for the first time and have never worked with Solr, PowerShell, SSL etc. Therefore, it’s always better to follow step-by-step Sitecore installation articles or videos. Here are some resources that I found very helpful. Remember these resources are for installing Sitecore XP 9.1 (latest version)

  1. Official Sitecore Installation Guide [You need to have permission to download it]
  2. Sitecore XP 9.1 – Step by step Install Guide
  4. Quickly Install Sitecore 9.1 for a Developer

Step 6: Set your goal for the Sitecore Developer Certification

The Sitecore Certification Program validates the skills and knowledge of professionals building solutions with Sitecore XP and related products. It includes two levels: the Sitecore Certified Associate level and the Sitecore Certified Professional level. The key benefits of the Sitecore Certification Program for developers are:

  1. Provides you with formal certification
  2. Validates your Sitecore skills and knowledge
  3. Establishes your credibility and expertise with your peers
  4. Gives you more visibility within the marketplace

Need assistance with Sitecore architecture, enhancement, or implementation? Feel free to reach out to our Sitecore lead Eric Ramseur or email us at

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash