Friday, June 15, 2018

Codegarden 2018 Newbie: Gemma Disney

Full name: Gemma Disney

Job title: Project Manager

Company: Carbon Six Digital Ltd

Country: UK

Time working with Umbraco: 2.5 years

Twitter:@_disneygem

Who convinced you to go to Codegarden 18?

Our director, Paul Marden, a seasoned Codegardener, immediately got my ticket after I spoke of my interest to go. I didn’t need convincing as I’d heard such fantastic stories about previous years from all our developers.

Me and PaulPaul and me enjoying the CG18 boat ride.

Before arriving - what were you most looking forward to?

Talks focussing on business and the more non-technical discussions. Umbraco HQ have been working hard to bring content and resources to the non-developers in the community.

Putting faces to names, either people I’ve been fortunate to work with but never met face to face or people I recognise from the community, and meeting new people of course.

Infamous Bingo! I’ve heard so many humourous, bizarre and plain weird stories to mention so this had to make the list.

Seeing the engines at HQ! I love the atmosphere of a good workshop and the sight and smells from those enormous engines was pretty cool. Oh and the disco ball spinning overhead was the very Umbraco final touch.

Before arriving - what were your biggest concerns about you going to CG18?

Would it be worth the time? To boil it down, absolutely yes it was worth it! The fact it is a developer conference and with me not being a developer I was concerned I’d be out of my depth and not be able to participate as much as I’d have wanted. I was so happy to be proved wrong!

Having been to other conferences the networking opportunities can be tough to master. Especially when you have the feeling that everyone has known each other for years. I knew I wanted to talk to and meet new people but I was concerned it might be a challenge in such a big group of people but everyone was so approachable. Now that I know what it’s like being a Codegarden first-timer I’d love to get involved next year with welcoming newcomers and helping them feel at home.

Boat rideReady for the boat ride, chatting with fellow Codegardeners.

Did you gain something unexpected from participation in CG18?

The pre-party following the Gold Partner Summit turned out to be more than just fun. It was the time I met new faces and made new friends. We met up the next morning and it felt like we’d known each other longer than just a few hours. It was a brilliant start to the week. Oh and the insanely hot chilli vodka left a lasting memory not to be forgotten!

As a first-timer, feeling like I’m not in the minority. The first talk on the first day, delivered by Shannon and Rune, got all 600+ of us pumped for the days ahead in the most #h5yr way! And a show of hands was all that was needed to see how many other first-timers there were in the crowd. It was great to see and sort of weirdly, instantly made you feel more welcome.

What are your top 3 favourite take-aways from Codegarden 2018?

  1. The open source community. Until you go to Codegarden and experience it for yourself it’s hard to imagine what is meant by the ‘friendliest community’. I was able to meet so many new and genuine people. The feeling you have at Codegarden doesn’t stay at Codegarden. You take it with you back home and to the office and it keeps you inspired for the weeks and months to come.

  2. Mingling and having interesting conversations whilst eating some super delicious food. The outdoor, sunny area was a great space to be relaxed and strike up informal, unexpected chats over lunch.

  3. Take away new ideas. Be it from the speakers, open space sessions or from those random conversations I’ve got a huge list of things to discuss with the team back at the office.

What are your top 3 recommendations for CG19 first timers?

  1. First: Talk to as many people as you can and want to. What you get back in return is really rewarding and is a big boost for feeling inspired. You know that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach when you’re about to strike up a conversation with someone new… yes, that’s me. The Umbraco community and the atmosphere at Codegarden made it feel more like a festival than an IT conference and so it was easy to talk to anyone.

  2. Second: Absorb it all and get involved. Outside of talks and workshops there’s plenty for everyone throughout the entire day. Be it running, yoga and mindfulness sessions, boat trips or t-shirt making!

  3. Third: Look at the line-up before you arrive. That way you’ve already got the sessions you think you’ll get the most from already worked out leaving you time to take the atmosphere in.

Carbon SixTeam Carbon Six at the Gold Partner Summit.

Will we see you for CG19?

It’s got to be a yes! I am talking about early bird tickets now!



Related Story

Codegarden 2018 Newbie: Nicolai Birkmose Oksen

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