Laughing about the Best DAM Connector for Sitecore
By David Diamond • Dec 10, 2014
Owen Niblock is a software developer who contrasts his digital profession by also being a stand-up comedian. “Computing is in my blood,” he says. “I’m type O 11 0 0 11 1110110101.”
Niblock is also a small business owner. His company, Kumquat Computing, is a team of six that develops software products in the United Kingdom. Among his team’s accomplishments is the Picturepark DAM Connector for Sitecore.
“I had worked with a Sitecore DAM system previously,” recalls Niblock. “But I was getting so frustrated with it. DAM is a very simple concept that’s very easy to get wrong, I learned.”
Niblock, a certified Sitecore developer, took to Google to see what else was available in terms of a Sitecore-compatible digital asset management system. He came across a website that spoke to the extensibility of Picturepark, and noted there was no Sitecore integration mentioned.
“Both being .NET based, it seemed like Sitecore and Picturepark would be a good fit, so this gave me the idea to make contact,” he said.
Niblock visited the Picturepark website where he learned about the Picturepark Technology Partner Program. In addition to coordinating developer-partner activities, the Picturepark Technology Partner Program seeds talented developers with the funds they need to build integrations that connect Picturepark to other enterprise systems.
“I filled out a website form and was contacted by a nice woman [product manager, Olivia Schütt] who discussed with me via Skype what I had in mind,” he recalls. “Shortly thereafter, we were negotiating a contract and I started coding.”
To ensure that small-business developers can be successful and profitable, Picturepark often negotiates agreements through which the developer participates in revenue.
“Contracting with Picturepark was perfect. The company has been totally ethical with me. I’m not good with the legal side of things, so I was thankful for the support they offered. I have absolutely no complaints about our relationship.”
As quickly as the two companies arrived at a business deal, early development wasn’t quite as snag-free.
“The Picturepark API had just been updated and we immediately got caught on a few bugs,” Niblock admits. “But they were quickly ironed out by Picturepark, so we didn’t lose much time. Also, the Picturepark API documentation is so great—it was a breath of fresh air by comparison to what I had known with the Sitecore DAM I had previously used.”
But the delays weren’t all technical in nature.
“Half way into development, my wife gave birth to our daughter, Saffron. I needed some time off for that, which was understood by Picturepark.”
Once back on track, Kumquat and Picturepark worked to complete the DAM Connector for Sitecore in time for Sitecore’s annual expos in Las Vegas and Barcelona.
“The ideas submitted by Picturepark were brilliant, and our back-and-forth resulted in a much better product. Ultimately, of course, there is always more that I want to do. But I knew we already had the best DAM for Sitecore option available, so I have no regrets.”
Owen Niblock started his development career having been influenced by a father whom he describes as a geek. He learned BASIC on a Dragon 32 computer, and later went on to study Java, Visual Basic, Objective C, PHP and others before ultimately settling on C#, the language of the .NET framework. Niblock describes C# as “beautiful” because it enables developers to write concise, efficient code and “not have to speak in sentences.”
As a teen, Niblock jump-started his development career in a way one might not expect from a fledgling technologist.
“I went through the Yellow Pages and wrote letters to IT companies, asking for summer jobs. I found one that hired me and sponsored my computing science degree. I didn’t come to them with much experience, but if someone comes in with the right type of mindset, you can always find something for them to do, and they’ll always do good things. Nurturing such people is part of being a good manager.”
So what will Kumquat do with the money made from the Picturepark DAM Connector for Sitecore?“We’re bankrolling a new community website for Blaenavon, our town here in southeastern Wales.”Niblock also has some advice for other young developers looking for their first commercial success:“Go for it! Picturepark is approachable and passionate, which is always nice and infectious. Also, don’t be afraid of time zones—this can work from anywhere. For us, this all came from just an email with the off chance that we could do something cool.”Kumquat’s Web development and product design services are available to organizations worldwide that are looking for Sitecore development expertise. Visit their website or contact Owen Niblock via LinkedIn for more information.
Learn more about the Picturepark DAM Connector for Sitecore.