Friday, November 10, 2017

Umbraco UK Festival 2017. 80’s style!

Niels, Chief Unicorn and #umbUKfest keynote speaker:

Chief Unicorn Niels and Chief Cog Adam

How many times have you participated at the festival?

All the times. No wait… I might have missed one.

How was it this year?

My role at the festival was to give the state of the union. I talked about what we do at HQ, and in general, why Umbraco exists. For example, we claim ourselves the friendly CMS, and for many years it has been a developer friendly CMS. But then I try to explain how the last two years we’ve consciously or unconsciously tried to focus on being the friendly CMS for as many users as possible: developers, editors, designers, project managers, sales people...

At this sort of jungle inside the Barbican the community did improvised talks, and so I decided to do an “ask me anything”. Even though we try to be open and transparent, sometimes we forget that when we talk to each other internally in the HQ, we don’t share externally. And sometimes people who have been in the community for a longer time can feel that we become more closed. So my intention was to encourage those in doubt to just come forward and I’d try to answer as good as I can.

So if you had to name 3 favorite things about the festival, it would be...

It is always nice to see the familiar faces, but this year there were so many new people. I am amazed that there can be so many new faces and the festival still has the same vibe.

I was also super impressed by the quality of the talks.

The entire combination of the hilarious 80s theme and venue was brilliant. It was exceptionally well organized, you can see there’s a huge amount of effort that has been put into it. I think people forget how much planning goes before an event and The Cogworks really used a lot of resources.

"Ask me anything!"

Where you the only one who wore a white suit?

It was actually my wedding suit, not my wedding shirt though. I looked like a combination of Sonny Crockett and a salesman for used cars. I believe I didn’t look like that at my wedding.

You’re an Umbraco veteran, but was there still something new to learn?

There were two sessions where people had used Google Vision API or Microsoft Cognitive Services to use machine learning together with Umbraco in really clever ways, which was super interesting.

I also always love to see how people use our product in such different, creative ways. Again, it’s down to the fact that our product is so simple, it allows people to understand it and then bend it to whatever need they have.

Who would you recommend this festival to?

Whether you’re an Umbraco agency that has been there for ages or if you’re thinking about using Umbraco, you should definitely go. There were some who brought their customers along, because you really get a sense of the community and the product.

Sebastiaan, Umbraco Community Steward, Umbraco Core Team warrior and #umbUKfest speaker:

Sebastiaan in the spotlight.

How many times have you been to this festival?

It was my 6th time already!

How was it this year? What role did you have?

It was very good, very well organized. There was such a good vibe, just like last year.

I was one of the speakers this year and I talked about website security, how to do it the right way. I actually cheated a bit, because I did the same talk at this year’s Codegarden. But despite of that the room was full, it was a great experience.

I was also part of the hackathon, helping people get Umbraco source code running on their machines and then helping them out with whatever they were fixing. It’s my favorite every year - the hackathon. It’s nice to see people getting enthusiastic: “Oh, I can do this!” I’ve gathered a few cool hackathon statistics right here:

👉 We closed 22 issues from the issue tracker;

👉 14 of them are going to be included in the next release;

👉 6 of them need some extra work and we hope to include them soon;

👉 2 of them turned out to be not an issue any more so they were closed.

Hackathonians in action.

So if you had to name 3 favorite things about the festival, it would be...

The venue and the theme were really cool. It definitely got people talking. The Cogworks opened the stage with kind of a dress up party. They had 6 people from the audience who had to pair up and find some cool 80s gear in a box and dress up their partners to win prizes.

They asked those who haven’t been to Codegarden yet and those who don’t have all the certifications yet to stand up and the winner would win a ticket to Codegarden or a training.

The schedule was nice and well balanced this year. There was plenty of tech talk and raw code, but also business sessions.

And I don’t know any other community in the world that’s more happy to see each other than the UK community. Very talkative and friendly. Every year I get surprised, but I shouldn’t, because every year it’s the same awesome thing!

Did you learn anything new?

I really like, specifically during the hackathon, to find out what struggles people are facing when starting with Umbraco. Every year I learn something new, and I’m glad to see that there’s less and less struggle.

There was also a lot of good feedback on Umbraco Cloud. It is nice to see that more larger companies are starting to use it.

Who would you recommend the festival to?

For everybody who is passionate about Umbraco of course. This year especially the sessions were perfectly accessible for people who are not pure coders, but are doing something else related to Umbraco.

Anders, Major Friends Maker and #umbUKfest business track spectator:

A major smile by the Major Friends Maker.

How many times have you been to the festival?

It was my second time.

How was it this year?

The day before the festival started we had a Gold Partner lunch, so I was already charged with good energy. During the event itself I also had a lot of talks with existing partners or those interested to become one.

The Cogworks are doing an amazing job planning this festival! This year’s 80s theme from the beginning allowed for a free atmosphere; right from the opening keynote by Adam, who was all so dressed up, that I couldn’t recognize him.

Since I’m not a developer, I went to a few business sessions, for example the one by Pete Duncanson. Also participated in a couple of panel discussions.

I really liked Per’s speech about Umbraco as Headless CMS as well. It’s something we communicated about for the first time and I am excited to see how it will move forward in the future.

So if you had to name 3 favorite things about the festival, it would be...

The atmosphere, the great energy from the community is right there at the festival.

I feel like that no matter who it is, people are always open to talk, from a developer to the end user.

There were some quite good sessions, It’s nice that they weren’t only tech.

Who should attend an event like this?

Of course, all the active community developers and agencies. If you would like to learn more about what Umbraco is, what kind of community it is, it’s a place to go.

Anything else?

#h5yr to The Cogworks!

Stephan, Umbraco Core Team Repairman and #umbUKfest speaker:

Stephan in the Barbican jungle.

How many times have you been to the festival?

2 or 3, cannot remember.

How was it this year?

I really enjoyed it! I was part of the hackathon, which is always fun. I helped people start with Umbraco source code (getting, building, testing...), then help them deal with issues, fix issues, create and submit PRs, then review and merge some of these PRs.

During the festival itself I had the honors of presenting some aspects of Umbraco v8 architecture. And since we’re on the topic of Umbraco’s future, it was very nice, over the two festival days, listen to people react to the current and future happenings in and around Umbraco.

So if you had to name 3 favorite things about the festival, it would be…

The amazing place made it quite easy to have short, focused conversations with people in kinda isolated way, instead of having everyone in one big place and just chit-chatting.

Hackathon focused on reviewing PRs and getting things merged (vs just creating PRs that never get merged), which is always cool.

My third favorite thing would be very good sessions.

Did you learn anything new?

Ooooh yes. A lot of small inputs on v8 and ModelsBuilder architecture, where the CMS is going and things like that.

Who would you recommend this festival to?

Everyone connected to Umbraco! There are lots of very good sessions in a short period of time, plus direct access to HQ for questions.

Greetings from the Umbraco UK Festival host itself - The Cogworks ⚙️

"The 8th Umbraco UK Festival was, I think, the best yet. This year I let the Cog team lead on pretty much everything, and it turned out to be a great decision. The ideas, the theme, the venue, the talks and the whole organisation of the day was fantastic. It looked like everyone who attended came away well informed, well educated and well fed. There was an amazing atmosphere with the usual Umbraco community friendliness which is always amazing to see. It was fantastic that everyone got really involved with the 80s theme too. (And I got to re-live the days when I used to have hair… what more can I ask for!) See you all next year… it's going to be hard to top 2017, but we'll try!!" Adam Shallcross, Chief Cog, The Cogworks

A fantastic festival indeed! Thank you and so many times #h5yr to everyone at The Cogworks! 💗

Was there something else? Oh yes. That movie thingie. Have you seen Black Mirror? You will looove this. The festival goers really got creative this time around!

Thank you for reading and enjoy 😉

Created by the talented Kevin Giszewski 👏

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