Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The sixth group meeting of the members of Umbraco-Meetup Rhein/Main was all about source code. In the first Umbraco-themed hackathon in the German region developers from Frankfurt and its surrounding area – supported by their colleagues at Umbraco HQ – worked tirelessly in order to locate problems, patch errors and improve the system.
The huge Umbraco logo made of Post-its on the rear office wall shows at first sight what the meetup of Umbracians in the Rhein-Main region around Frankfurt is to be all about: “The centre of today’s event is the open source CMS that we work with every day in these rooms. Our goal for today’s activity is to return some own solutions for the system to our colleagues in Odense, Denmark”, Christian Köhler, byte5 operative manager, explains. For working with Umbraco – for him and his colleages at byte5 – means both: giving and taking. “Our aim is not only to help improve the Umbraco core, but also to promote Umbraco in our region and give developers opportunities to network and share their experience.”
When it comes to the tasks that the developers have picked that afternoon, there’s often a fine line between success and failure. “We have specifically searched for issues on Umbraco’s to-do list that can theoretically be fixed in a few hours. But what seems to be simple at first glance often proves itself more complicated than expected. Then you have to go further into the details and also work with the developers in Denmark in order to go for the right solution”, byte5 chief developer Sören Deger says. His job at the hackathon was to coordinate the developer projects, for which he stayed in touch with Umbraco developer Sebastiaan Jansen all afternoon. The two issues that he picked for himself will probably require a few more days and weeks of work: “With our analysis of the problems and first ideas on how to solve them, an important step has been made, though.”
Luckier with his choice of issue was certified developer David Brendel, who finished his first pull request – a modification for upcoming Umbraco major release 8.0 – after only a few minutes: “What I did was to move the member types tree from the Umbraco members section into the settings area. This way the function will be more secure in the future and editors will be able to work much more comfortably with Umbraco.” The developer’s motivation to take part in the hackathon was the fact that he has worked on the Umbraco core before and enjoys being part of the lively community: “I just like being able to work on a community project where we all motivate and help each other and share the experience.”
For byte5 developers Eike Hanus and Theresa Danowski, however, the hackathon experience turned out to be more of a detective’s kind of task throughout the evening: “You really need a lot of patience, even when working on potentially simple display errors, since many problems are not based where you’d actually expect them to be”, Eike Hanus explains. Still, the hackathon has been immensely informative for him for one simple reason: “You get the opportunity to learn about system characteristics that you’ve never worked with before. Especially those using Umbraco professionally can profit from this experience.”