It's possible that you don't know what the MODX Partner Program is, though it has been getting more and more attention lately. There's not a simple explanation to that as it becomes as much as you put into it, and much of it is constantly in development to offer more benefits to the Partners as well as MODX.
In general it can (and has been) said that it is aimed at developing MODX and your own business by offering resources, a private discussion board and closer contact with the core developers. Depending on the size of your company, there are three levels you can choose from: Professional, Agency and Premier. Where Professional is the cheapest (at $ 500 per year at launch, but as of June $ 50 per month) level, it does come with the advantages mentioned above and also includes a complimentary license for PhpStorm and New Relic, a Partner Listing valued at $ 100 per month and of course access to the partner board. Moving up the levels, the price increases (to $ 5 000 and $ 10 000 for Agency and Premier partners respectively) as well as the benefits such as 5/10 hours of core consults, a MODX integrated helpdesk suite, sales leads and much, much more.
In April I decided to take the plunge, and sign up to become a Professional Partner and see if it is worth it. As you may know, I am a freelance developer and even though the business is running well, at that point $ 500 was still a lot of cash and making the decision to try it out didn't come easy.
Taking the plunge
The first few hours of being an official Professional MODX Partner were mainly spent visiting the private forums, which are packed with other skilled MODXers discussing topics varying from favorite development IDE, development and quality assurance workflows, what they were working on and so on and so on. While the public forums are amazing as it is, there is something about the Partner boards that the public ones just don't have. For example when looking at help requests, it is easier to share bespoke code as the forums are not indexed or otherwise publicized, there is a less demanding atmosphere and they don't just deal with how to use basic MODX properties, but go more into depth challanging the system and the people using it.
Furthermore - there's the scoop. Lots of it. Think about a first look & test run at the new forums, a topic explaining what has changed in 2.1 before the public launch and more. It may be hard to put the value of such forums into money, but for me personally there is a great wealth of information there and lots of dense-packed knowledge from the core team as well as other partners.
A second point that has really attracted me to take the plunge was the MODX Certification. At time of writing this has not yet been fully developed, but it is expected in the third quarter of this year and will provide a huge advantage to show credibility and knowledge. Especially for the smaller companies or freelancers like myself, credibility is often one of the bigger challanges in doing business, and this will be a huge help to get that obstacle out of the way.
Three months later - was it worth it?
Short story: yes.
In the past months I have not only learned a lot about MODX, but also about different tools for development and email marketing, read about the differences between MODX and another system in detail and my business is running like crazy. Joining and actively participating in the program has introduced me to new people and has led to new inquiries - a big bunch of them from other Partners looking for people with my speciality. In June I was also contacted for a promotional activity, which you can see the result from on the Partner Program page.
Everyone will have a different idea of the partner program, and different benefits attract different people. There's designers, developers and decision makers involved but they have one thing in common: they support MODX and have been willing to contribute towards further development of it as a system as well as a company.