Why should companies protect their AEM Developers?

The Why And How To Protect The Industry’s Most Valuable Resources

What is AEM (Adobe Experience Manager)?

For beginners, AEM aka Adobe Experience Manager, is a Web Content Management System that allows companies to manage their web content (Web pages, digital assets, forms, etc) and also create digital experiences with this content on any platform web, mobile or IoT.

With the digital transformation revolution, where the world is moving to digital and is part of everything we do in our daily lives. I like the way Microsoft calls it, The Fourth Revolution. So there is more need and pressure for companies to adapt to the digital world, else they become obsolete. So companies are either upgrading their existing systems or creating new experiences for the digital consumers.

The AEM Team

Implementing AEM is an involved process and needs a complete AEM team along with Business. Below are some technical roles required:

The WHY?

Why should companies protect their AEM Developers?

1. The Huge Demand For AEM, and is wordwide

With the Digital Transformation revolution, there is a huge demand for AEM. Companies big and small are rushing to be part of it, either they update/upgrade/develop-new or left alone. Although there is a lot of competition, Adobe was early in the war and gained a lot of market. Along wth it’s strong partner base, adapting to cloud and good reputation among customers, Adobe was able to gain customer confidence. The proof for this is that Adobe has been a leader in Digital Experience Platforms, i think since 2015 (source Gartner, Forrester)

AEM is used and/or implemented across the globe, in almost all regions, including:

  • Americas (Latin America and Carribbean; North America)
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Oceania

2. Who needs AEM Expertise

  • Adobe itself, with it’s operations spread across worldwide.
  • Adobe’s Partners ( There are about 500 Adobe Partners implementing or consulting AEM. Source Adobe Partner Finder )
  • Independent Consulting Companies (There is not publicly available count on these companies)
  • Companies either using or working on implementing AEM (Almost all of Fortune 100 companies)
  • No count on how may customers each of Adobe’s partners are working on.

3. Adobe’s big partners

Almost all of the world’s largest consulting companies are partnered with Adobe to implement AEM

  • Cognizant
  • Deloitte Digital
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Sapient Razorfish
  • Tata Consulting Services
  • Epsilon
  • Perficient
  • HCL
  • Wipro
  • InfosysPWC
  • PWC

Source Adobe Partner Finder

4. Who is using AEM

Companies from almost all industries are using and/or in the process of implementing AEM. For the sake of space, I’m adding only a few company names from each sector and list does not include other Adobe Marketing Cloud products like Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Campaign, etc.

Financial services

  • Barclays
  • UBS
  • Scottrade
  • MasterCard
  • Royal Bank of Scotland

Travel and Hospitality

  • Tourism Australia
  • Hyatt

Public Sector

  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • San Diego County

High tech

  • Informatica
  • Garmin
  • Dell

Retail

  • Tummy
  • John Lewis
  • Nike
  • Under Armor

Manufacturing

  • Nissan
  • Philips

Education

  • University of Georgia
  • Academy of Art University
  • Thomas Jefferson University

Healthcare

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Kaiser Permanante

Telecommunications

  • CenturyLink
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Version
  • T-mobile

Media and Entertainment

  • Telegraph Media Group

Source for the above information Adobe’s Customer Showcase page

5. The Numbers

Sites using AEM

  • The website BuiltWith shows there are about 52.481 live websites using Adobe Experience Manager

Number of jobs:

  • LinkedIn — About 1561 jobs (as of 2/22018)
  • Indeed — about 924 jobs (as of 2/2/2018)

The HOW?

Companies have played this game so well and know how to retain their employees. Let me give some suggestions:

1. When Demand does not meet Availability

With so much demand for AEM developers and limited availability of skilled AEM developers, obviously companies have to pay high-rates to hire and/or retain AEM developers. Below are some estimated rates in USA.

Full-time

About USD $135K to $200K depending on Role, Experience

Contract

  • AEM Developers — USD $65–85 per hour
  • AEM Architects — USD $85–100 per hour

Make sure you pay them well and give them increments or bonuses for every project or quarter.

And if you don’t, other companies will, and chance of loosing your best employee is very high.

PS: The source of the above information is from my personal experiences. I was an AEM Developer/Consultant/Architect for over 4 years in the USA. And I do not have information from other countries.

2. AEM updates fast

Adobe generally releases new versions of AEM every summer. With the popularity of the product, active developer community, companies pushing AEM’s limit to use, integrate and extend it, there’s a lot of demand for new features and upgrades and/or fixes. So obviously, with every new release we can expect some significant changes to the platform and/or API’s on which AEM runs.

AEM is built on Apache Sling Framework, the open-source community is also very active and constantly strive to update the framework.

Give ample opportunities for your employees to learn, test and adapt to the new features or updates

3. Build the next generation

AEM is built on top of Java and uses Apache Sling Framework as the key technology behind, which is agin built on top of Java. Have backup plans, hire good, skilled Java developers and teach them how to code on AEM. They will be your backups, shadow resources and next generation of developers in the company.

A java developer with about 2–3 years of coding experience will not take more than 2–3 weeks to learn and start developing on AEM. In reality they will actually love it because:

  • AEM does not have a database.. so no need to worry about writing database calls, handling transactions, JPA’s, Hibernate, etc.
  • AEM has inbuilt Apache Sling framework, so no need to learn or use any other complex java frameworks like Spring

The only few things they will have to learn are:

  • Servlets
  • RESTful services
  • Using Hypertext Templating Language (HTL)

4. Motivate.. motivate..

Developers loved to be motivated. And most of us (i‘m including myself) fall for simple things that do not cost companies a lot. Sponsor good coffee, have freezers full of soda / healthy drinks / juices (beer is best.. but i know companies have limitations), take them to lunches or sponsor some, arrange after-hours parties. These help them to think that you are “thinking/concerned” about them and also makes employees understand each other better. This really helps in team-building as well.

Hope you are convinced that companies should protect their AEM Developers and Architects.Yes, they are among the Most Valuable Resources in the industry.

Disclaimer: The above are my own views and opinions and not the views of my employer or Adobe.

Programmer, Architect, Computer Scientist, Inventor, Speaker and Writer. Works @HeroDigital