Perficient colleagues within our award-winning Optimizely team bring years of experience and vast knowledge to the practice and our clients. We’re proud to announce that recently two of our colleagues have been named 2023 Optimizely MVPs.
Below is a deeper look into John Dymond’s past four years at Perficient and his role as a director on the Optimizely team. He shares his passions outside of work, his proudest accomplishments, and his advice to future Optimizely MVPs.
What is your role? Describe a typical day in your life.
The primary function of my role is to be an ambassador and thought leader for our Optimizely practice. Sometimes that means assisting our sales teams in working with current or potential clients to help them learn about the platform and plan their initiatives. Other times it means serving as an engagement director on projects that are already underway.
A typical week involves a combination of creating estimates for client project requests, deck building for client presentations, project oversight, and internal team initiatives. It’s never dull and there are never enough hours in a week to do everything you want. But it keeps me sharp and I’m always learning something new.
How do you explain your job to family, friends, or children?
My fiancé likes to tell people I am a “Director of Talking on the Phone”. If you stop by my desk, there is a 50/50 chance you will see me with my headset on. To many people I meet, I tell them I am in “software sales”. I used to default to “I work on websites”.
I have always found it easier to explain if you start with a simple, relatable topic. The reality is that I have been in content management for so long and served in so many roles that I can relate to just about anyone’s perspective on the process.
Whether big or small, how do you make a difference for our clients, colleagues, communities, or teams?
I worked on the client side for 10 years before becoming a consultant for the next 11+. Starting in that order has really made me appreciate the challenges and experiences that our clients tackle on a day-to-day basis. It’s helped me truly listen to their problems and help them create plans that work instead of forcing a canned approach upon them. My goal at the end of the day is that they embrace and appreciate the Optimizely platform as much as I do.
What are your proudest accomplishments, personally and professionally? Any milestone moments at Perficient?
Leading up to my time at Perficient, I was able to win a few awards over the years for sites that I either developed or architected. The recognition helped to build personal confidence and each of them was special in their own way.
By far the thing that I am most proud of these days is the practice that we have built around Optimizely here at Perficient. I’m not trying to be cheesy but watching this group start from nothing and grow into a top-tier partner in three years is something I will always be proud of and get to continually influence. So much hard work has gone into this from so many people and the momentum is still building. Perficient has become a place where Optimizely developers can come to strengthen their skills and build their careers and that puts a smile on my face every day.
What has your experience going through the MVP process taught you?
The process has taught me that you need to lean on your strengths and you need to share them with the community. So many developers and strategists are capable of being MVPs because they do amazing work and solve such complex problems. But they don’t share their findings with the community, so nobody is aware of their accomplishments.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an MVP?
If I had to give one piece of advice for a developer to become an OMVP it would be to pick something you have deep knowledge of and demonstrate expertise. Is that development work around a specific integration, connector, or API? Write a series on it and answer questions. You will get noticed.
If you want to be a strategy OMVP you need to speak up. Volunteer for speaking engagements and help develop the community through outreach and meetups if you can. It’s all important to blog. Be a thought leader on the “why” and “how” of products in the suite.
How did you achieve OMVP status? What does being an OMVP mean to you?
Way back in 2006, as a still young developer, I helped my company decide to purchase an up-and-coming Content Management System (CMS) product called Ektron. I had no idea how that single decision would shape the direction my career would take. Ektron wasn’t the best product ever, but it forced me to be creative and test the boundaries of what a CMS could do. It also introduced me to a great community of developers, partners, and sellers along the way.
A lot has happened in the 17 years since. The term CMS gave way to DXP. Optimizely merged and became the brand name of Episerver, which swallowed Ektron several years prior. It has been a whirlwind at times, but it’s a product that continues to amaze me year after year and one I’m glad to have hitched my career path alongside.
I now get to join a group that includes many of the best minds in the business. It really is an honor and something that makes me thankful to have spent so much of my career focused on. So, thank you to Optimizely and Perficient for supporting me on this journey and giving me the opportunity.
What is something about the future of Optimizely that excites you?
The continued integration of Content Marketing (Welcome) with Content Cloud (CMS). I will admit I was skeptical in the first year of acquisition. I saw a lot of overlaps between products, and a lot of potential, but a lot of work still needed to be done to get the products working together like a well-oiled machine. Things are really coming together now. Customers should be excited about what they can get with the combo in 2023.
Why did you choose Perficient? What keeps you here?
There are several things that keep me here. The first is the potential. Perficient won Solution Partner of the Year for Optimizely at Opticon last year. This was a major accomplishment and speaks volumes about the current reach we have in the space and the clients we have served. Optimizely is a massive product and there is so much more we can do to expand our reach and help our clients. We are just getting started.
Secondly, I love the people I work with. We have so many talented people that lead and work on Optimizely projects. They make my role as a Delivery Director much easier than it probably should be at times. They are passionate about the product and always willing to help the client and fellow team members. For two years running, we have helped clients win the “Most Customer-Centric Experience” award at Opticon. his is one of only five customer awards given yearly. While I’m very proud of our team, I’m even more proud of the relationships the teams build with their clients to achieve accolades such as this.
What motivates you in your daily work?
Not a month goes by that I haven’t learned something new. It could be how to deal with a complex product integration. It could be a new product feature that we can apply to projects. Sometimes it is as simple as how to better help explain something to clients. There are always new things to learn.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
We run an animal rescue out of our house. Ok, I’m kidding. But we have two beagle puppies 1.5 years and 13 months respectively and two cats that are both five years old. A large portion of our week involves spending time with them. If you meet me in person I will probably show you at least 10 or 20 pictures of the pups.
Outside of the animals, I’m a sports fanatic. I grew up just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I am a Steelers and Penguins fan. In college, I played tennis and still play competitive softball. I have yet to play pickleball but can see this becoming a new obsession once I dip my toes in. I love playing Fantasy Football as well. It’s great to watch my team rally around the cause on a weekly basis and get me the occasional win… even if they aren’t aware.