How does a front-end developer get started in Tridion?

Front-end developers have enough on their plates. Between the latest CSS modules, the “HTML5” APIs, JavaScript updates, and new frameworks (Angular 2, React), it’s hard enough to keep up. And if that isn’t enough, then there’s the content management systems: Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, Sitecore, Adobe, Teamsite, and Tridion. As I’ve mentioned before, Tridion isn’t open-source. You can’t download a version of it and spin it up on a server an hour later. So where does the front-end guy go to get knowledge about Tridion?

Closed source but open forums

SDL knows that being closed-source makes it hard for people to learn how to use their software. So, what they offer, instead, is a strong community of developers. And those developers are encouraged to freely exchange information at large. To that end, you do have resources with which you can learn about Tridion.

SDL-hosted resources

SDL Community
If you’ve been around Tridion more than 10 minutes, you should get an account setup here. This is a great place to meet developers and to share information and idea.
SDL Tridion World
Tridion world is no longer updated, but it’s a great archive of older Tridion updates

Community-hosted resources

Tridion Stack Exchange
Yes, there’s a Stack Exchange community for that. Most of the questions will be back-end focused, but there will still be some occasional questions about how to deal with CSS or JavaScript. Not only that, the GUI extensions are a fun diversion where JavaScript-minded front-end devs can often help out.
Tridion Practices
This is the place where Tridion developers and architects share what works and what doesn’t. This covers everything from schema design to how to manage CSS.
Tridion Developer
Tridion developer is technically hosted by Content Bloom, but anyone can contribute. A lot of the knowledge here will be targeted towards backend development, but some of the information is still good for a front-end dev looking to get his feet wet


Create and Break
Alvin Reyes’ blog. Alvin is now the product manager for Tridion, but he’s been blogging about it for years. Before being product manager he was an analyst at SDL. Before that, we was an analyst who consulted about SDL products. Of all the blogs you think you need to go to, Alvin’s should be first. No matter the question, there’s a decent chance he wrote an article about it.
Nuno Linhares
Nuno Linhares (pronounced lee nyar ish) is the director of product management at SDL. Before that he was the product manager for Tridion. Before that, he was a developer/consultant in SDL’s Professional Services division. We affectionately call Nuno “The King of Tridion” because of his benevolent reign.
Oleksander Orlov, aka (Beardcore) is a Tridion developer. No, he doesn’t develop websites for Tridion — he develops Tridion. One place that a front-end developer can have lots of influence is in Tridion GUI extensions; there’s lots of JavaScript involved in making plugins for Tridion. I recommend paying attention to what Beardcore does.


  1. //

    Thanks, Frank!

    Technically, my previous roles included functional consultant and (Web) business analyst. “Analyst” alone now sounds to me like someone that rates enterprise solutions! :-)

  2. //

    Tridion is a totally waste in this opensource era. Better choose Drupal or Wordpess

    1. //

      Hi Johan,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep in mind that Tridion is an enterprise-level CMS. It addresses the needs of very large companies and it comes with solid support agreements (which wordpress and drupal don’t have).

      I would argue that it’s not a waste at all; it’s exactly what extremely large companies like Land Rover/ Jaguar, American Express, Nationwide Insurance and USAA would want.

      I’m not discounting Drupal or WordPress; they’re great. I’ve built many WordPress blogs and Drupal sites. But, they aren’t going to:

      A) offer the same features that large companies want (baked-in language localization, baked in single-sign on, workflow, ability to set multiple publication targets)
      B) come with the support agreement that large companies need (someone to call when it misbehaves)
      C) Provide the software stability that large companies like. I count nearly 30 “major releases” on wordpress’ version history ( as compared to about 10~ major releases of Tridion ( , even though they’ve both come out at around the same time

      I don’t think Tridion is a waste at all; it doesn’t do the same things that WordPress/Drupal do.

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