If you haven’t heard of CodeGarden then you probably don’t know this isn’t your typical developer conference. There are no big named partners trying to sell you their products and services, no one trying to get your contact details by offering you free swag, it’s just 600 developers in a warehouse. Well, that’s probably doing Umbraco a massive dis-service, what CodeGarden really is: a community of 600+ developers who come together to learn and share all things Umbraco, and then drink some beer and have some fun.
CodeGarden takes place in Odense, Denmark, right next to the Umbraco HQ building, which is handy if you fancy a look around to see what they are all about.
The Umbraco HQ team have put a lot of effort into building the Umbraco product and the Umbraco community that surrounds it. This is very evident at CodeGarden from the early morning high 5s to the late night wacky evenings they put together. Admittedly this is one of the first conferences of this type I’ve been to so I really didn’t know what to expect, but it didn’t take long before I felt comfortable and I was talking to complete strangers as if I’d known them for years.
Before we get to the serious stuff let’s just get this out of the way: developers can be a bit introvert, socialising isn’t natural to most of us. There, I said it! We like nothing more than sitting by ourselves on our laptops.
Not at CodeGarden!!!!!
I don’t want to go into too much detail (in case the big boss is reading this) but if Teresa May, Donald Trump, a Scottish bagpipe band and car tipping doesn’t peek your interest then try googling the (in)famous “Umbraco Bingo” and you will see what kind of wild evenings are on offer.
What’s it all about…
There are various talks and workshops on throughout the day covering a wide range of Umbraco related topics. Some are technical as you’d expect but this year they tried to add some none technical sessions to attract business managers and end users as well as us developers. Some of the sessions are held by Umbraco HQ staff but others are held by the developers in the community, this is the level of involvement they attract.
On the third day (what they classify as “Open Space”) all the topics and talks are put together impromptu amongst the attendees, which promotes an even more involved session as nothing is heavily prepared.
In addition to this there was the Umbraco Awards, to give thanks and recognition to some amazing work within the community (https://umbraco.com/blog/umbraco-awards-2017/) and something Umbraco termed “BETAGarden”, which was slots of 5 min to show n’ tell anything you wanted to (https://codegarden17.com/sessions/betagarden/).
Here is a snippet of just some of the sessions:-
Building Core Strength – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8FB_4Dcy1eMFRQR2NQdzFxVDg/view
Shannon Deminick, Umbraco HQ Team CTO, spent an hour going over what had happened over the last year in the world of Umbraco. He covered a vast array of topics from new products and features to how the Umbraco HQ team have spent their time, what they have been focusing on and why. A lot of this time and effort has been concentrated around the Umbraco community (https://our.umbraco.org/) and giving the developers in the community the thanks and recognition they deserve for all their hard work. It’s clear to see that the Umbraco product wouldn’t be where it is today without the community that surrounds it. Did I forget to mention, Umbraco CMS is open source? https://github.com/umbraco/Umbraco-CMS
All about v8 Architecture – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8FB_4Dcy1eRGc4d0dfNFpFbTQ/view
Stephen Gay –Umbraco HQ lead developer, went through some in depth plans around the version 8 revamp of Umbraco. It turns out they are spending some serious time and effort to “tidy up” some of the code features with a view towards maybe jumping to .NET Core in v9. I think it would be a good thing to lose the bulky .NET framework from a deployment point of view.
What was interesting to see, was Stephen opening up ideas to the community and allowing them to have their say how certain new features may be implemented, this is not something I have come across before, again demonstrating the belief that the Umbraco product belongs to the community not just to the Umbraco company.
For a full run down of the sessions covered in 2017 (and the video presentation links) see here: https://codegarden17.com/schedule
One thing that became clear from talking to other developers at CodeGarden, no two people seem to be using Umbraco in the same manor. It was amazing to see and hear about the many diverse ways you can use and consume a CMS product. One thing’s for sure, no one is using Umbraco like Tombola do – I feel another blog post coming…
There was simply too much going on to mention it all here but hopefully I’ve peeked your interest to go and find out more about CodeGarden, and Umbraco.