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Introducing the new-new Backoffice Community Team

Meet the new team!

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Written by Jacob Overgaard

Earlier this year, we announced that the Backoffice Community Team had been dissolved after having completed their tasks and a completely new team would be established to help us with the actual implementation of the Umbraco CMS backoffice. Today, I am excited to announce who is joining the team and share the steps going forward.

First, a huge thanks to everyone who applied 🙌

Before we meet the new team, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who applied. Starting a new community initiative comes with a lot of responsibility, and getting applications from highly skilled community members from all over the world is overwhelming. The selection was no easy task, but we have put together a strong team that we know will provide a lot of valuable input and help with the future Umbraco CMS backoffice.


What is the purpose of the Backoffice Team?

The most important task of the team is to function as a sounding board while we work on implementing the new backoffice. The team will also get the opportunity to help us with the actual implementation of relevant tasks should they want to get their hands dirty 😀 The most important thing is they bring their Umbraco experience to the table.

It is very important to us that we build a new backoffice that has a strong community foundation from the very beginning. A strong community team enables us to get input in as many areas as possible: frontend, backend, UI/UX, packages, and QA, and can help increase further community involvement.

The backoffice project ends with an actual replacement for the current backoffice, which will be released in a major version of Umbraco yet to be determined. The community team will review it along the way and they will help ensure:

  • The backoffice continues to be flexible and extendable
  • The new backoffice will be easy to work with and encourage modern best practices


Are you ready? Let's meet the new team members!

Kenn Jacobsen

“I have been building with and for Umbraco for the past many years, and editor experience has always been a main focus of mine. Umbraco is a great tool for building something intuitive for the editors, in part because we're able to tailor and extend the editor experience with relative ease. 

My main motivation for joining the Backoffice Community Team is to ensure that the backoffice remains extendable and flexible, enabling all of us to create tailored editor experiences.

Kenn Jacobsen

Kenn Jacobsen

I have been working professionally with Umbraco for the past 11+ years, building numerous customer-specific backoffice extensions to ensure optimal editor experiences. In that time I have also contributed a fair amount to the core, as well as created/co-authored popular packages. 

I was previously a part of the Core Collaborator Team, and I was also a part of the previous Backoffice Community Team that defined the extension API for the new backoffice.“


Laura Weatherhead

Laura Weatherhead

Laura Weatherhead

“I decided to apply to join this team because way back in 2019 I was part of the team that, during the 2019 retreat, started imagining what the future of the Umbraco BackOffice might look like one day. Almost three years later, Umbraco has made a number of technological leaps forward, such as moving to .NET Core, and it seemed like a fantastic time to jump back in to help progress the backoffice! As a developer and long-time advocate of Umbraco (the first version I worked with was 3.0.2) I am super excited to get started on, and be involved with, the next Umbraco BackOffice chapter!

I am a freelance full-stack .NET developer and generally pitch in where needed on projects - anywhere from data architecture through to JavaScript and CSS. I am generally framework agnostic and have worked as a dedicated React, Vue and Angular developer in the last few months alone! I have been using Umbraco since 2012 and have been an active part of the community since 2018. I was super excited to be awarded an Umbraco MVP award in 2019 - 2021, and have been previously a member of the Core Collaborators community team as well as being one of the organizers of the Umbraco Kent meet-up. When I'm not on the programming side of the keyboard I am a fan of circus-related skills, changeable hair color, and am studying (part-time) towards an MSc in Applied Neuroscience.”


Matt Sutherland

“Umbraco has become fundamental to our tech offering here at True Digital. It seems only right that when you benefit from something as much as we have with Umbraco that you take the opportunity to contribute back to the community and try to make a difference where possible. I am hoping that with this team we can empower developers to do great things with the backoffice and help shape its future.

Matt Sutherland

Matt Sutherland

I have over 15 years of agency experience originally as a full stack developer and now as a Head of Technology with plenty of mobile app development in-between. I've been working with Umbraco for around 6 years but that really accelerated from version 7 onwards. The growth and capability of the platform through the years have been huge so the chance to help continue that trajectory is fantastic!”


Blake Watt

Blake Watt

Blake Watt

“As soon as I saw the opportunity to join the backoffice community team, I knew I had to apply. I love using Umbraco as a developer and an end-user and this feels like a great opportunity to give back to the community. I love architecting Umbraco to make it easy for clients to use and having a smooth editor experience is super important- Having the opportunity to help improve the project in such an important way seems like a great way to get involved.

I’ve been working with Umbraco since 2012 in a full-time and freelance capacity as a front-end developer and technical QA engineer and I’ve set up multiple Umbraco sites over the years. My skills range from using design applications to building the front-end markup, architecting the Umbraco CMS and setting up the doctypes, writing views, partials and all the fun stuff in between that makes Umbraco work. I also train clients on how to use Umbraco and I get first-hand feedback on the sites I create to help me iterate my own build process. I enjoy what I do and I am excited to bring my skillset to the community team and help with the next iteration of Umbraco.”


Lee Kelleher

“Having worked with Umbraco CMS since 2007, (yup, version 3.0.3), I have always been passionate about implementing the best intuitive experience for the content editor. Seeing the progression through previous major versions, I wanted to be actively involved in this future iteration.

I hope to share my knowledge and insights from my many years of running an Umbraco agency, implementing hundreds of Umbraco websites, and my experience developing a lot of Umbraco package extensions.

Lee Kelleher

Lee Kelleher

I started web development in 1996, (wow, I feel old now), working at various creative agencies, before going freelance, and then founding my own agency in 2011. Discovering Umbraco in 2007 was life-changing, finding a community, making life-long friends, and being awarded an MVP many times (yes, yes, it's 11 times, I don't like to remind people). At last year's CodeGarden, my package (Contentment) won the "Best Editor Experience" award.

As for skillset, I'm mostly known for C#, but I prefer to see this as part of a holistic approach to web development - having a solid understanding of accessibility, performance, security, and semantics. Although my specific knowledge of `npm` tools may be a little lacking - I appreciate the concepts and enjoy learning, you never know, I may become a good journeyperson during this process.”


Maud Langaskens

Maud Langaskens

Maud Langaskens

“After studying animation film, I ended up doing a variety of crappy jobs to support my freelance activities (from serving coffee at Starbucks and doing the dishes at Ikea, to being a job coach for the unemployed - yes, that really is a thing). 

I took up an evening class, "Introduction to web development with C#", and the rest is history. I've been working at Starring Jane and building Umbraco's since 2018. My focus is on front-end development, although I do tackle the occasional gray zone backend issue. Since I have a teacher's degree as well, I am the one who gives the editor workshops to our clients, and thus, it is in my own best interest to always keep the backoffice as user-friendly and, especially, as dummy-proof as possible.

I've had my fair share of imposter syndrome to overcome, not having a degree in development, but am now confident that I'm ready for the next step, by actively participating in the Umbraco Community. What better way to do this, than with a seat on the Umbraco Backoffice team? Looking forward to learning from my teammates and giving something back to the community in the process!

Want more?

  • I'm a social and cheerful person
  • I don't do off-days. They're just not my kind of thing, really
  • I can play about just as hard as I work (which is pretty hard)
  • I'm a traveler, a wanderer, and a scuba diver”


A big welcome to all team members! 👋

Team Steward: Jacob Overgaard

As mentioned in the previous blog post, I have been selected as the Umbraco HQ team steward for the Backoffice Community Team. I started at Umbraco HQ in January 2022 as the team lead of the frontend team, so I am still quite new to all of this, but I am very much looking forward to working with the community and the CMS team to build the long-awaited new backoffice.

Jacob Overgaard

As the steward, I will be: 

  • Managing the team communication
  • Providing the necessary support to the team members
  • Coordinating with the rest of the HQ dev team and stewards of the other community teams.

Reach out to the Backoffice team

Now you know the team and if you have questions, feedback, or input directly to us, you can get in touch by writing to We have already held the kickoff meeting with the team, and the team is very excited to get started. The first order of business is to write and publish the RFC for the new backoffice.

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