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Why We Do What We Do

By Rich Campbell

During the sales and pre-project kickoff process I find myself explaining a lot of the “things” we do here at Engage. From our website’s menu, you can recognize that we do a mix of products, services, training, design. In addition to all this we’re active members in the DotNetNuke community and other web development circles (StackOverflow, ASP.NET blogs, user groups).

Sometimes it feels like that long list of “things” is a lot to handle. I often think, “man, if we focused on just module development we could really rock a bunch of great modules,” or “if we did only training we could really offer every type of training needed.”

But at the end of our projects, doing all of those “things” really justifies why we do what we do. The ability to see the full spectrum of website development really helps us to implement exceptional, robust, and maintainable websites.

Designing with the Technology in Mind

Design and implementation don’t have to be separate processes during your website project. At Engage, we pride ourselves on executing elegant designs with feature-rich technology. By incorporating the question of “how?” into the design discussions we find the outcome of our work to be gorgeous websites that are functional as well as maintainable.

Any web development firm will testify to the challenges of implementing designs that may look great in Photoshop, but fail on a browser. Throw in the dynamic nature of a content management system, and you really start to appreciate a website design that can stand up to the test of time (and multiple administrators).

By designing with the technology in mind, we aim to create sustainable designs with the tools that allow our customers to maintain their content. This approach yields long-term success for our website implementation which translates into cost savings for our customers. Additionally, by keeping technology in mind during the design process, the implementation timelines and costs are realistic and achievable.

Sustained Ownership

Our customers are involved throughout each phase of the project. We find our most successful projects include a primary owner within our customers’ organization. The benefits of a content management system cannot be fully realized without an engaged, informed, and educated owner of the system. We strongly encourage our customers to assume the ownership role and tailor our process and our project methodology to ensure a clean handoff upon project completion.

There are web development firms that see their knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or whatever, as a foothold into a long, tedious, (and lucrative) maintenance relationship. Maybe we’re stupid, but we really like to transfer our knowledge to our customers. Creating successful website owners out of our customs keeps us working on projects that are interesting, progressive, and new AND it helps our customers to “own” their websites.

Being the Official Training Provider for DotNetNuke, we place emphasis on our training curriculum, and spreading our expertise to our customers. We want our projects to be successful and we incorporate training into each of our projects to make sure our customers are successful through sustainable ownership of their content management system long after our projects are complete.

Anything’s Possible

The extremely talented programmers we have on staff ensure that we can confidently answer YES when asked, “is it possible to…?” The commercial module development we do keeps us accountable for the development work we sell. The custom module development projects challenge us to think in new ways. And as a project manager here, I get to test our developers from thinking everything needs to be custom. Our broad experience within the .NET and DNN environments makes sure we have a firm understanding of what’s already possible.

All of these “things” eventually add up to happy customer, successful projects, and interesting work.

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