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Behind the scenes: A deep dive into Brightspot's developer-friendly CMS with AWS On Air

The AWS On Air podcast recently featured Lee Teague, Brightspot's SVP of Engineering, for an episode on how easy it is to develop on the CMS due to a unique data framework that allows for rapid iteration and empowers developers to create extraordinary digital experiences.

Screenshot from AWS On Air episode with Brightspot
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AWS On Air ft. Brightspot

Who doesn’t want happy developers? After all, happy developers are productive developers, right? According to a recent discussion on AWS On Air, the answer could be to get developers building their website front ends through a CMS like Brightspot.

This was one of takeaways from our recent appearance on AWS On Air, a livestream for developers that’s available to watch on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Twitch. AWS On Air brings live news, information and demonstrations of the newest Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) products, services and features to a global tech audience.

Brightspot featured in the August 25 guest slot, with AWS host Nick Betz talking to Brightspot SVP of Engineering, Lee Teague, and getting an in-depth look at our approach to the ways Brightspot supports development teams.

Nick has his own scar tissue from building websites, so was excited to hear how the process could be simplified.

“As somebody that's used a lot of different CMSes to build out webpages,” he said, ”The fact that you’ve separated the front end and the back end is just absolutely marvelous, because going back and forth was always just the worst part of the job.”

I think the number one thing with Brightspot is that you can hit the ground running. The learning curve is not as bad as you think it is—if you can pick up Java and handlebars, or JavaScript and CSS, you’ll be fine. The number one takeaway is just that you should just try us out; Brightspot’s easy, it's fun—and developers are happier when they're at their most productive.
image of Brightspot employee Lee Teague
Lee Teague, SVP Engineering at Brightspot

Delivering with Java

Let's delve into what got Nick so excited about the options for alleviating the burden on frustrated developers.

Lee gave a quick and informative on-screen walkthrough of the development front end to show just how much developers can gain from Brightspot's unique approach.

This started by outlining how the CMS is intended to take users’ digital efforts to new heights by seamlessly aligning their specific technology approach with their content strategy. The outcome? Great digital experiences that stay true your brand and business goals.

That alignment, he said, starts by the way the platform clearly separates the back end and the front end.

On the back end, developers need to be comfortable working with Java and some familiarity with SQL and Solr queries will also help.

But on the front end—which, in a CMS, is where 90% of customizations tend to happen—Brightspot’s got your back, with a range of productivity shortcuts that really make life simple.

As Lee demonstrated on-screen, this all happens in the Brightspot Style Guide—a Node.js application that can be run on the command line and in a browser, enabling the developer to preview all the components they need to customize the front end of their organization’s website.

He also showed how all the necessary components—from a new site’s main colors and chosen typography to the buttons and interactions you want to include—are on your palette and become components you can reuse wherever needed.

Lee then detailed more complex website coding tasks, which are just as simple to complete in Brightspot—like adding carousels and even working with video.

By Mark Hoover
April 29, 2022
Whether you are looking to launch fast with a low-code/no-code solution or need the ability to customize to requirements that aren't even yet fully defined, involving your development team from the outset is critical to selecting a publishing platform that can deliver from day one. Join Brightspot’s VP of Product James Clark and Lee Teague, SVP of Engineering, for an in-depth discussion on why this is so important.
1 Min Read

Quick and convenient

The walkthrough struck a chord with AWS On Air's host.

"It looks so user-friendly and intuitive to go through these lists on the side and figure out exactly what you want to be looking at," Nick noted.

Lee rounded off his high-level demonstration of what Brightspot offers developers with advice about how easy it is to support whatever kind of content you want to provide users, be that a blog-oriented feed or a more image/video-heavy site.

And again, the focus is on speeding you up—not slowing you down.

“A lot of times you'll see other content management systems that make you get a separate DAM, but with Brightspot, you have that built in, so you're able to upload videos, images and audio files,” Lee said. ”If you happen to be running an audio podcast or something like that, then Brightspot can accommodate all those different asset types.”

This also extends to hooking up your content on whatever social-media platform you use, as Brightspot comes pre-loaded with all the search and editing functions you’ll need to do that.

It can even easily automatically add live sports ticker scores, too… although Denver Broncos fan Nick did question if that was a good idea.

Make a developer happy today

Lee is live with Nick for just over a quarter of an hour but covers a huge amount of information on how Brightspot is configured to improve productivity for developers.

He said: “Our platform offers unbeatable flexibility and delivers an ideal developer experience in a CMS.”

To find out why developers love working with our platform, watch the video segment above.

Your central hub of developer resources for quickly building great digital experiences with Brightspot. Explore tutorials, documentation, and code examples, and connect with other developers building with Brightspot.


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