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The Most Important Thing To Do When Starting With Plone

Back in March of 2011, I had the opportunity to start working for Six Feet Up as a member of their Quality Assurance team. I had previous exposure to Plone years earlier creating an out-of-the-box site using standard Plone plug-ins, but not much exposure to Plone customizations.

My job is to test sites in various development stages for any issues that may cause a client's site to stop working as it was intended. At different phases I test for standard functionality, customized features, design and the intended user experience. Just like the project managers and developers, I must keep the entire project in mind while testing in order to foresee any possible hiccups that may arise.

"I was so focused on learning every step of the QA testing process that I almost missed one of the most important steps: learning Plone's default behavior."

Right away it seemed intimidating and perhaps I had bitten off more than I could chew. Six Feet Up's projects usually involve some rather sophisticated implementations and my first weeks were spent shadowing Six Feet Up's Lead QA.  I could see that, if I did not think the whole testing process through, and did not test a feature, or forgot to test an attribute, I could miss even a small difference that could potentially cost more later down the road.

I was so focused on learning every step of the QA testing process that I almost missed one of the most important steps: learning Plone's default behavior. Just spending time exploring and clicking around Plone's features is invaluable and should be any Plone newbie's first steps toward better understanding what makes this product one of the best open source CMS' on the market.

Thankfully Six Feet Up has many individuals who are expert at customizing and deploying Plone sites, and I am glad they were patient with me while I learnt my way through Plone's UI.

It's been almost a year since I first started and I am now more familiar with what Plone can do to meet client needs. It's been a great journey, and I am eagerly looking forward to learning more and more about Plone's wide array of possibilities in the arena of enterprise content management.