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Sitecore MVP Application - 2023

Name: Gitesh Shah
Email: gitesh.shah@akqa.com

Something about me

I am Gitesh Shah, Solutions Architect at AKQA (New Zealand). I started my career as a .NET developer for many years untill I came accross Sitecore in 2017. When I started using Sitecore I joined the local Auckland Sitecore User Group hosted by Bruce Davis Goff. I loved the small community we have here in New Zealand for Sitecore.

I got an opportunity to work on a Sitecore SXA project (NZTE - New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) at AKQA which helped me alot in learning Sitecore. After that, I have worked on many big Sitecore projects like Inland Revenue NZ, Foodstuffs (commerce), Reserve bank of New Zealand and Bunnings. These projects include features like xDB implementation & personalisation, SXA implementation, docker containers and Azure kubernetes implementation, XM Cloud discovery, Coveo integration, etc. I was also one of the early adopters of docker and kubernetes technology for Sitecore and then helped other Sitecore community members in upskilling on docker.

I have worked on Sitecore for 7 years now and am also Sitecore certified developer. I have done 60+ blogs, 1 youtube channel (14 videos), 9 technical talks, attended 17 Sitecore user groups sessions, 2 SUGCON ANZ event and 1 Symposium event till now. I am also one of the co-organizer for Auckland Sitecore User Group (ASUG). 

Current year (2023) Contributions

In 2023, I have written 20+ blogs mostly focused on XM Cloud & NextJS, Sitecore powershell scripts, XDB performance, etc.

I have also started a new initiative in 2023 where I created a youtube channel and started to share my learnings with Sitecore community. At the moment have created 2 youtube playlists (14 videos) which shares my knowledge on Sitecore Send and Sitecore Demo portal. This videos are indepth tutorials for Sitecore Send and Demo Portal.

Bruce Davis Goff took a break from the Sitecore community in Auckland in December 2022 and I took over his role of being an Organiser for Sitecore Auckland User group. 

As an organizer for Sitecore Auckland User Group I have helped in hosting 3 user groups.
December (2022) - https://www.meetup.com/auckland-sitecore-users-group/events/290011339/
July (2023)- https://www.meetup.com/auckland-sitecore-users-group/events/293903392/
December (2023)- https://www.meetup.com/auckland-sitecore-users-group/events/297190475/
As an organizer I have also been mentoring a few local developers (Jack Spektpor and Saurabh Kumar) in New Zealand for becoming MVPs.

I have also presented in Sitecore Auckland User group:

I did 2 topic Submissions for SUGCON ANZ (Brisbane) 2023 but unfortunately both of my topics were rejected. 

Throughout the whole year I have been active on Sitecore slack channels. I actively keep an eye on slack and have answered a few questions asked by different individuals in below slack channels:
#docker, #sitecore-send, #xm-cloud, #sitecore-user-groups, #cdp-personalize

I am also active on Linkedin and have done a few posts about Sitecore but less active on Twitter and other social media platforms. 

FYI: I have not been active between 13th October to 24 November 2023 as I was on holidays in India.

Future goals

My goal is very simple, to share the learnings with other sitecore community members and to grow the Sitecore presence in New Zealand. 

I will be sharing more blogs next year and also planning to create more Youtube Videos to share my learnings. Have already started planning on sharing tutorials on XM Cloud and other new headless products of sitecore. 

Social channels

Blog: https://www.giteshportfolio.com/blog/sitecore
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gjshah7254
Sitecore Slack: Active member on sitecore slack, specifically for #docker, #sitecore-send, #xm-cloud, #sitecore-user-groups, #cdp-personalize

ASUG - Auckland Sitecore User Group (Co-organizer)

Presented Events

Attended Events

Wellington Sitecore User Group

Wellington Sitecore community is very small community. We do include them on virtual sessions but in person catch-ups are hard to do as it is a smaller group and we don't have any c0-organizer in Wellington. I have organized a in person catchup for the user group (which Bruce and me organized) and presented at that event. I also went to wellington for that presentation.


Sitecore big events I contributed to in past

Presented Events
SUGCON ANZ 2022 - Australia
Presented as a speaker - https://www.giteshportfolio.com/blog/sitecore/august-2022/sugcon-anz-2022-go-live-with-sitecore,-docker-kube

SUGCON ANZ 2019 - Australia
Presented as a speaker - https://www.giteshportfolio.com/blog/sitecore/march-2022/sugcon-anz-2019-accelerate-your-development-team-w

Attended Events
Symposium 2022 - Chicago, USA

Attend the event in person and was my first time attending Sitecore Symposium. Loved the event and was so much to learn from it.

Symposium 2020 - Online

Sitecore Experience

Sitecore upgrades
Upgraded Inland Revenue (IRD) project from Sitecore version 8 to 10 and also used docker containers. Project was the first in APAC to go live on docker conatiners.

Upgraded Foodstuffs New zealand Project from Sitecore (including Sitecore commerce) version 8 to 10 using docker containers.

Inland Revenue (IRD) -  Tech lead / Solutions Architect
Reserve bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) - Senior Developer
Bunnings - Tech Lead
Foodstuffs - Senior Developer
NZTE - Senior Developer (first website to go live in APAC on SXA)

Highlights at work
  1. Tech Lead on one of the world's largest functioning xDB implementations (Bunnings Australia) on Sitecore 8.2.
  2. Tech Lead on Sitecore XP v9 & v10 xDB & Personalisation projects for Inland Revenue NZ.
  3. Championed and lead New Zealand's first Sitecore implementation on containers with Azure Kubernetes for Inland Revenue NZ.
  4. Contributed in building AKQA's Sitecore blueprint with containers and also helped in growing the Sitecore community within AKQA.