Christian Köhler und Christian Wendler auf dem Codegarden

Bigger, Better and More Versatile: Codegarden 2017

For thirteen years now, the Umbraco HQ hosts the world’s biggest Umbraco conference. An event, we at byte5 surely did not want to miss.

Friday, July 7, 2017

More than 600 developers from all over the world attended Codegarden – the world’s biggest conference for Umbraco developers – in Odense, Denmark. This was a record number of visitors which is already impressive, but far from being the only reason why for us the #CG17 was the best one yet. Byte5 employees share what made Codegarden 2017 a special event for them personally.

1. Professionality through close cooperation with partners

The traditional gold partner summit will presumably have to be held someplace other than the Umbraco HQ. That’s how remarkable the growth is that Umbraco experiences when it comes to partner companies. Today, there are around 50 gold partners supporting the Umbraco project. It is a tradition by now that they meet on the day before Codegarden to exchange their experiences and they are the first ones to learn about exciting information given by the headquarter. This year, the gold partner’s representatives were given an overview over developments of the past 12 months as well as an outlook on the upcoming year until it’s time for the next Codegarden. Niels revealed an overview of what was to expect in the keynote, Anders shared the plans in terms of business development. He emphasised the composition of the team, the development of the new Umbraco site as well as the content marketing concept which is already in motion and the help offered for onboarding new potential clients to Umbraco.

© Umbraco A/S

We were especially happy about the upcoming launch of a German-speaking landing page on umbraco.com and the fact that byte5 – as Germany’s first gold partner – was trusted to support this task. There was also an exchange of feedback where everyone was welcome to give suggestions on a variety of aspects for the development of Umbraco both as a product and as a company. You can tell that the amount of trust gold partners are met with is massive! The summit clearly shows the professionalization of Umbraco as a product and a company. We are very much looking forward to the developments in the upcoming moths.

Chris Köhler, COO & Geschäftsleitung

2. An MVP award for our festival

We could’ve used a public screening! While the colleagues in Odense could save themselves some first-row seats, the rest of the byte5 team which was left behind in Frankfurt was also in excitement for the announcements Umbraco founder Niels Hartvig would make. One of the reasons for this was the fact that over the last years, more and more so, the results of the community’s work had been awarded an Umbraco-MVP. This year, the MVP was granted to all the international Umbraco partners who host Umbraco festivals in their home countries and thereby create community events for the exchange of experience and knowledge outside of Denmark.

© byte5

As you can see, the trophy made it home safely and is situated in an honourable place in the byte5 offices where it reminds us daily why we are already planning again to make the German Umbraco festival even better. By the way, there has been a date set – April 27th – and you can get your super early bird tickets for 79 euros each now.

3. A variety of topics

The mix of different topics was specifically outstanding as it had never been as diverse as this year. Several sessions went beyond the simply technical approach and rather took to uncovering the biggest hurdles or showing unused chances when realising web projects. The people at Umbraco have been unsparing in their efforts to invite speakers such as Vitaly Friedman of Smashing Magazine. The first two days of Codegarden offered a variety of sessions dedicated to Umbraco and web development, some of them focusing on case stories on Umbraco Cloud.

As tradition goes, the third and last day was held in an open space setup to give the community which had travelled far to get to Codegarden a chance to add its own topics to the agenda as well as to have group discussions on relevant topics. Once again, I am leaving Denmark with enlightening and inspiring insights.

Christian Wendler, Gründer & Geschäftsführer

© Douglas Robar

4. An authentic system

For me, there was a highlight right on the first day: Deane Barker’s session “Why Content Projects fail”. The session dealt with the reasons why a lot of projects fail: It is because the people working on it are not honest enough, whether it is with their boss or themselves. “Is it useful to instruct this feature before we have cleared the errors in the previous one?”, “Does the developer have to invest a week of their time to make every piece of text dynamically configurable or is it enough to have the word “Impressum” hard-coded?”. When I as a developer notice an inconsistency in the conception, I should not just dully do my work, but take matters into my own hands to better the concept. The fact that Umbraco cares about topics like these shows that the system is not only authentic on the surface.

Lukas Schuhmacher, Umbraco Developer

© Umbraco A/S

5. Looking forward to Version 8

I particularly enjoyed the session “#h8yr – Le Tour de la Version 8” given by Stephan Gay from HQ. We finally gained more information on the new v8 architecture. Until then, I had not assumed that there will be a significant amount of changes in the general architecture as it seems to be the case now. Not only did they delete plenty of legacy code and implemented new features such as NuCache or segmentation & variations, but also changed the code architecture to a larger extend. This concerns the ApplicationEventHandler and a good deal of interfaces and services. All of this will be the challenges for future updates to version 8. With the findings from this outstanding session, we are now able to analyse first breaking changes of the future v8 early, to assess efforts and updates better and to advise our clients in terms of the Umbraco version they are running and its ideal path for upgrading. The improvements in v8 have an impact on the features named above, but also mainly on the views. In the future, there will only be one model for content, most of the other existing models – such as UmbracoTemplatePage, RenderModel, CurrentPage, dynamic and UmbracoField – will become obsolete. All these changes will make the development process positively easier.

Sören Deger, Head of the Development Team & Project Manager

6. The world’s best community

Good mood is infectious – always and everywhere! This is true especially for the Umbraco community which met its reputation of being the world’s friendliest community once again. A community which certainly does not need the so-called “DJ of good mood” (his German moniker is “DJ der guten Laune”), but having him there made the event ten times more fun. Whoever and wherever is introduced to the Umbraco community for the first time, realises quickly that it is something very special. And at Codegarden with its 600 participants, this fact is even harder to look over than elsewhere.

everyone – just EVERYONE!

© Umbraco A/S

7. A masterclass worthy of its name

Everyone attending Codegarden expects networking, interesting sessions and an overall good mood. Often, topics can only be dealt with superficially so attendees have to form their own thoughts based on the input they got in order to gain the maximum out of the conference. This was different at Vitaly Friedman’s masterclass. Six hours of continuous talks on all topics developers find interest in: http/2, progressive web apps, the newest trends in CSS and many more. Respond to an e-mail in the meantime? No chance for that! The pace was demanding, but certainly not bad. I think in this short period of time you got more help and ideas than by reading a two thousand-pager. Summing up, an outright highlight for tech-loving participants with prior experience!

Marcel Wege, CTO & Teamleitung

You want to get all Codegarden 2017 news first hand? Visit us in our byte5 offices for a meetup with the Umbraco User Group Rhein-Main next Wednesday, July 12th, at 6.30 pm. Find further information on this meetup and the RSVP button on our Meetup site.

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