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Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by Kris Deminick

We hand the mic (or keyboard!) to our Training Legend and Umbraco-Sweetheart, Douglas Robar @drobar to tell us what he loves about teaching and we hear from two recently certified developers from Chorus Digital about their training experiences.

Umbraco Training

I've been training people about the fundamentals of how to use Umbraco well for eight years now. Way back then I taught at my home office in Louisville, Kentucky. Two little known facts: that was the location of the Umbraco USA Retreat in 2007 and Nik Wahlberg @nwahlberg of Scandia and uWestFest fame was one of my first students. See what can happen when you get involved with Umbraco?

Umbraco courses have grown in both quality and number over the years with regular trainings now happening in North America, Europe, and Australasia. Students come from all over and with all sorts of job titles from Web Developers to Technical Sales to Project Managers and more. There's something for everyone who wants to build successful sites for clients.

But what's it like to attend an Umbraco training course and get certified? Let's hear it from the horse's mouth. Actually, from the horses' mouths. Two students from Chorus Digital @ChorusDigi became certified in London last week and were so excited they wrote blog posts about their experience. 

Mike Sims @umsimsie is the Development Director at Chorus and has been using Umbraco nearly as long as I have and explains why it's beneficial to get certified for both you and your company in this blog post. In short, Mike says, "I wish I had done this when I first started out with Umbraco".  

Also on the course was Nathan, a former intern and now Junior Developer at Chorus. His perspective is somewhat different than Mike's but is equally informative. Nathan concludes, "I would definitely recommend taking this course if you are new to Umbraco ... even though I had been using Umbraco for over a year, it was also very useful for me as it made sure I had learnt all of the basics correctly and helped to re-iterate that everything really can be as simple as you think."

Training CU

Umbraco courses are the ideal place to learn the concepts, techniques, APIs, and best practices to quickly and easily create compelling sites that content editors love to use and you'll enjoy building. You'll also have a first-hand experience of the ethos and community that makes Umbraco so much fun to work with. And who knows, a couple days with a room full of Umbracians might just change your life. It did mine!

To find a course near you view the schedule here. We hope to see you soon!

Thanks to Doug for the photos in this post! Check out his gallery here

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by Kris Deminick

Welcome to our new retrospective series "Inside HQ", giving you the inside scoop on how each member of Umbraco HQ came across the project and fell under its spell.

Morten

Hi there, my name is Morten Christensen @sitereactor and I have been working for Umbraco HQ for the past 4 years. But I actually got started with Umbraco a few years before joining the mothership.

I first got started in 2009. I believe the first version I made a site in was v.3.0.3 (unfortunately the site is not online anymore). That years CodeGarden was my first and it's also the year I made my first package for Umbraco. Google had just released an API for Analytics, and I jumped at the chance at making an integration for the Umbraco backoffice. It was well received at CodeGarden, and I was impressed with the feedback so I kept going.

Soon after, I attended the first Umbraco UK Festival and was inspired to create something similar in Copenhagen. Myself and Christian Palm put the first Danish Festival together with support from local Umbraco developers and partners. Adam from CogWorks was kind to let us use the website that they used for the UK Festival (Umbraco based of course), which made it easy for us to get started. I'm actually surprised to see this site is still online on www.umbracodkfestival.dk as I'm not quite sure where its running O.o

Leading up to the Umbraco DK Festival I was fortunate enough to collaborate with Matt Brailsford (also known as the Karminator at that time) on a package called Universal Media Picker for Umbraco 4. I created a few providers and worked on an oAuth integration. We had Matt present the package through Skype at the DK Festival and I was the in-person sidekick. This was probably one of the most fun presentations I have done over the years.

I joined Umbraco HQ in 2011 to work on Umbraco 4 and the road to v6 and then to v7. Since then I have shifted to focus on Umbraco as a Service. I continue to organize (very irregular) Umbraco meetups with Sebastiaan Janssen here in Copenhagen (Oops, its actually been a while since the last one O.o). And, it almost feels like cheating since I now work for the HQ, but I have been to every CodeGarden since 2009 and all UK festivals. I still enjoy going to meet new and old friends.

I'm looking forward to what the next CodeGarden will bring, as its in completely new settings and I hope that many more new people will stop by and have a chat with us about Umbraco, and even more interestingly Umbraco as a Service.

Monday, February 1, 2016 by Per Ploug

The Umbraco Certified Developer program has been a part of the Umbraco ecosystem almost since the very beginning, since its humble start we've certified more than 4.000 developers, and that is truly an amazing feat.

TL;DR: We’re replacing the old Level 1 + 2 courses with a single fundamentals course and multiple single-day courses for greater developer specialization and flexibility in our training offerings.

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The program has overall stayed the same all these years,  with 2 types of courses, generally targeting web-developers on level 1, and .net developers on level 2 courses.

From March 1st we're introducing a number of changes to this program, which will increase focus on the its core mission: to provide developers with training that make them capable of producing outstanding Umbraco projects.

Change number 1: Umbraco Fundamentals Course

Umbraco Fundamentals course will from March 1st be the essential training for anyone who wants to be a certified Umbraco developer, it’s 2 days of the major concepts and best practices in Umbraco. This will give you the solid foundation to understand and use Umbraco the way its supposed to be used. This course will replace the current Level 1 course.

Change number 2: skill-focused 1 day courses

Attending the fundamentals course gives you access to a number of skill-focused courses, designed to build on your fundamental Umbraco knowledge. The first set of courses we are developing are:

   - Umbraco, Visual Studio and asp.net MVC
   - Enhancing the editor experience (with AngularJS)
   - Integrating Umbraco and a legacy MVC application

This will give developers more options to specialize and only attend courses that are valuable to them, this replaces Level 2 course and adds lots of new topics.

Change number 3: Higher visibility and value

As we revamp these courses, we will ensure that gained certifications become visible on developer and partner profiles, so partners who invest time and resources into staying current can show off their collective knowledge and skill to customers and partners. It's important to us, that people who are great at their craft and deliver stellar results to customers also get the recognition they deserve, it's at the very core why we even provide this developer certification program.

FAQ 

What about current Level 1 and 2 certified developers?

Everyone will keep their current certifications, all Level 1 certifications will translate to the

new fundamentals certification, and everyone who attended level 2 for Umbraco 6 with MVC will get the MVC Course certification assigned. At the same time, we will also assign the current Umbraco version to the certification, to clearly differentiate Umbraco 4,6 and 7 certifications.  

For 1-day courses, do I get a certification?

Yes! of course you get a certification and a test as well.

I've signed up for a Level 1/2 course in february, what now?

You will still get an uptodate course on the latest version of Umbraco and your certifications will be renamed to their new names, so no panic, if in doubt, get in touch with the trainer you’ve booked the course with. 

I'm Umbraco 4 certified, is that obsolete?

No, you will still have the Umbraco 4 certification, if it’s level-1 you will get the new fundamentals certification, but level 2 will not be updated.  

I only have level 2, can I book the new 1 day courses?

Yes, you can, for people with the old Level-2 certification we will allow you to book the new courses. We want people to attend Umbraco training because they want to level up, not because they are forced.

What about the currently listed courses? 

We're renaming them as we speak, so no need to worry, Level 1 will be renamed to fundamentals and level 2 will be reschedueled as MVC Course - courses are held on the same dates as already listed.