Key Takeaways from an Adobe Experience Manager Rockstar Finalist
Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Rockstar is a yearly event, hosted by Adobe, allowing AEM Experts to submit original ideas for innovations related to AEM. We don’t often have the opportunity to present our innovations to a large audience, and being part of the Adobe Rockstar competition gave me the opportunity to do just that. This year the competition was live in Las Vegas at Adobe Summit for the first time in three years, so it was especially exciting. It was also my first time going to a live Adobe Summit, and the energy was invigorating.
Bounteous has won the Rockstar competition twice and has had several finalists and semi-finalists in previous years. I decided to enter the competition about six months before it was announced so that I would have time to fully flesh out my idea. This year's Rockstar competition had no set challenge, as it did the previous year, so my options were pretty open in terms of what to submit.
I called my solution “AEM Teams” because it is an integration between Adobe AEM and Microsoft Teams. Content and communication are two top priorities for the companies we work with, so I thought creating a solution to connect the two would be beneficial as the demands for content continue to increase.
This innovation includes a view for the left rail where you can view users who have updated components on the page and gives you a way of contacting each person or groups of people in Microsoft Teams. To accomplish this, I also developed a component auditing log that records when components are added, removed, or updated along with any fields that are affected. If you’re interested in the open-sourced code for this solution you can find on GitHub here.
Key Takeaways: Tips for Becoming an AEM Rockstar
If you or someone in your organization is interested in entering the competition next year, use these tips to help prepare.
Understand What Adobe is Looking For
Although there wasn’t an explicit challenge for this year’s Rockstar Competition, it would have been beneficial to research the trends Adobe has been focusing on within the competition’s solution. In my opinion, my AEM Teams integration was a practical solution to a common problem, but was not as “flashy” or “cutting-edge” as Adobe might have been looking for.
Be Open to Feedback
My solution hit home with many people who watched the Rockstar session, several of whom said to me afterward, “Wow, that is exactly what we need.” However, not all feedback is positive. I also gathered constructive feedback related to my solution that I will use if I choose to enter future competitions.
Decide on Entering Adobe Rockstar Competitions Early
I decided to enter the AEM Rockstar Competition about six months before submissions were due. Without specific submission requirements, the options for innovations were endless, and it took time to fine tune my idea. Having months to fully flesh out specific components and test the solution allowed me to be confident in my submission.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If selected as a finalist, you are on stage in front of hundreds of people at Adobe Summit. For most of us, this kind of appearance is rare and can be nerve-wracking. I recommend practicing your submission and talk track multiple times leading up to Summit, and even while you are at the conference.
Whether it’s with Adobe or other finalists, numerous opportunities to network are available if chosen as a Rockstar Finalist. Take advantage of these opportunities before Summit (LinkedIn) and at Summit while you’re on-site with thousands of other professionals.
Overall, I wouldn’t trade the experience and would recommend any AEM professional enter this competition. It was challenging but rewarding to see how well-received my innovation was. Check out the session and the other top innovations from Adobe Summit here.