Full name: Joke Van Hamme
Company: The Reference
Job title: Project & Operations Manager
Time working with Umbraco: +/- 3 years
What made you want to go to Codegarden 2019?
I won my Codegarden ticket via Twitter on International Women’s Day. As a Gold Partner, I had been planning the travels and tickets for the team, but I hadn’t considered attending since I assumed it was more for developers.
When I saw the opportunity to win my ticket, I didn’t doubt for one second: I wanted to participate and attend Codegarden to see what the fuzz is about.
What were you looking forward to the most before arriving?
For a few months, I’ve been helping Damiaan in organizing meetups for the Belgian Umbraco User Group. I was looking forward to experiencing how friendly the community really is and get to know people that could share experiences with me about this topic.
I also really wanted to attend the talks of Emma Burstow & Carole Rennie Logan.
What were your biggest concerns/worries about you going to CG19?
My biggest concern was that the talks would be too technical for me and that I would feel "lost": not sure what talks to attend and who to talk to.
What did you think of Codegarden 2019? And can you name your 3 favorite things/takeaways from the conference?
My 3 favorite things are:
- The yoga & mindfulness session from Kris: a great way to give all the emotions and impressions from Codegarden a place. The sessions also give you a moment of peace and quiet.
- Winning an award for Best Cloud Solution. The moment where The Reference was announced as the winner was super, but the fact that during the rest of Codegarden – people I never met, congratulated me - is a perfect example of the friendliness of the community.
- Emma and Carole’s talks didn’t disappoint: they were spot on and exactly what I needed to hear to get inspired on how I can improve my role as Operations Manager.
Did you gain something unexpected from participating in CG19?
A new profile picture. Taking my picture always feels awkward, but when Douglas took my picture, I felt at ease. I think that’s reflected in the pictures he took.
Looking back, what do you wish you knew before going to Codegarden?
I wish I knew that you don’t need to be a developer or have a background in coding to attend Codegarden. My agenda was always fully booked with sessions to attend or people I wanted to talk.
What are your top 3 recommendations/tips for CG20 first timers?
My recommendations are:
- Attend the first-timers introduction and talk to the uBuddies. It’s a great start and it takes away the idea that you don’t know anyone.
- You must go to the pre-party. It’s overwhelming since you don’t know many people there, but it’s a great way to start and get introduced.
- Dare to be yourself: don’t hold yourself back because you think "you’re too junior", "you’ve never been to Codegarden", … everyone at Codegarden will value your opinion and your contribution. You’ll get more out of Codegarden!
Will we see you for CG20?
Yes, please! I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone again.
And lastly, anything else you’d like to add?
To the entire Umbraco community: SuperTak! #H5YR doesn’t express my gratitude enough: I truly feel part of the community and I appreciate every talk/hug!
As an outsider, it’s hard to understand what makes the Umbraco community so friendly compared to other communities, but there's really a huge difference.
A massive H5YR to Joke for sharing her first-timer's story - what an interesting read 😀! Make sure to read all of the other Codegarden 2019 first-timer stories.
Curious about previous Codegarden conferences and the experiences of other first-timers?
Find their stories right here: