uProfile April 2018: Emma Burstow
uProfile: Emma Burstow
Working at: Crumpled Dog, UK
Role: Junior Developer
Time working with Umbraco: Just over 2 years
Your favourite Umbraco moment ?
At the end of last year (2017), I ran a workshop at the Umbraco London Meetup with an aim to have each participant emerge with a title for their very own tech talk. It was such good fun to put together and surprisingly good fun to actually run too.
In a previous life, I was a secondary school English Teacher so this felt like a wonderful marriage of those two parts of my life. With help from the superb Lotte Pitcher, we put a room full of developers through structured exercises, even paired discussion (gasp!) and it was an absolute delight to see so many people engage with the topic. One participant even went on to use his title from the workshop to give his own talk at the Umbraco Uk Fest 2017. Success!
What in your Umbraco career are you most proud of?
The hardest thing to pull off, and therefore the most satisfying when it was done, has to be writing an article on LightInject for Skrift.io. It’s a fantastic publication with such interesting and varied content and I’d wanted to write for them ever since participating in an open circle with the team behind Skrift at my first Codegarden (2016).
I set myself the target to write a technical article in 2017 and, when it was published, it felt incredible. As the article went live shortly after the UK Festival last year, where Stephan spoke about using LightInject in his v8 talk, it was timed perfectly and, I hope, helpful for people who wanted to get started.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
Ah, it has to be the community.
When I decided I wanted to become a developer, chance brought me to Umbraco. It was the CMS that my then employer was using and they needed me to get up to speed. 2 years down the line I cannot believe my good fortune for landing here. From the first day of my level 1 training I knew I was getting into something different.
My team at Crumpled on a lunchtime burger hunt.
People in this community have reeeeeally looked after me. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some incredibly experienced people who have been so generous with their time. I have been learning on the job and while I credit where I am at to my team, and my self, it’d be remiss of me not to credit people (at least 5 I could name) in the community who have responded to my tweets, chatted over beers and shared a lunch with me. I wouldn’t be here without them.
What are you currently working on?
We’ve only recently rolled out a mini-site attached to Boring Money’s larger site that integrates data from a data lake and presents the user with the information they purchase, based on membership privileges and one-off purchases. It was incredibly interesting for me to build and we managed to make use of 7.7 member groups to pull it all off. Right now, I’m doing the post-launch tidy up.
We make a lot of things here at Crumpled. Even pants.
What are your top 3 best tips for an Umbraco newbie?
- Use Our.Umbraco.Org when you come up against a rough problem. Chances are, somebody else has too. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions on Our. It’s a fantastic resource and will only keep growing if we keep posing those questions. Then, when you have a spare five minutes, cruise through for any answers you think you can contribute to. Getting a high five and karma points on Our can really make my day.
- Get yourself to Codegarden! I sponsored myself that first year and although it felt like a big outlay, financially, it was where I came to meet my current employers. It’s great to be able to put faces to the names you’ll see in the Our Forum and makes you feel a lot better about asking and offering help. In addition to all the good and grown up reasons, it’s worth mentioning that the Codegarden Bingo is a truly unforgettable experience.
Post bingo selfie with Crumpled Jeavon and the chief unicorn himself
- Umbraco training is fantastic. I have picked up so much from my courses and because they take such a hands-on approach, you come away being really confident that you can do what you’ve been taught. I still look back at my workbooks when I want inspiration.
Aspirations for your Umbraco future?
My next big step is to lose the ‘junior’ from my job title. It took me a long time to feel competent as a developer but more and more I am confident in solving problems, and perhaps more importantly, taking an intelligent approach to those solutions. I’m pretty secure in the knowledge that I can do what I do but I’ll know I’m right when I lose those 6 letters.
What books are you reading at the moment?
I read a lot! This year I’ve decided I’ll do the Goodreads.com 52 book challenge and, believe it or not, I’m ahead of my quota. It’s pretty nerdy to admit but I even have a spreadsheet going. Anyways, top three from 2018 so far:
Educated by Tara Westover - A memoir by the child of a survivalist family,
1947: When now begins by Elisabeth Åsbrink - A close look at global history,
Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney - Seriously funny bit of fiction.
What’s playing on repeat on your headset ?
Aside from books, music is my other major preoccupation. Recently I’ve had Big Thief’s Capacity on rotation endlessly. I’m never not listening to Radiohead’s In Rainbows and I’ve recently enjoyed going back to listen to Mazzy Star’s So Tonight That I Might See. All perfect for a long winter.
A massive H5YR to Emma 😀! If you’d like to connect with Emma, you can find her on twitter: @emaburstand LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-burstow-b11b1081/
If you're going to Codegarden next month, 23rd-25th of May, you might even be so lucky as to bump into Emma in person! 😉