uProfile August 2018: Kevin Meilander
uProfile: Kevin Meilander
Working for: The Garrigan Lyman Group
Role: Senior Developer
Time working with Umbraco: 3 ½ years
Your favourite Umbraco achievement?
My favorite Umbraco moment was the first project where we really embraced the Umbraco Grid. We built all the functionality and then handed it off to the client for content loading. Normally this phase of a project is taxing as we discover that the content doesn’t fit into what we developed and we scramble to make it all work together. However, with the flexible template and its component library, the client could restructure pages any way they wanted.
About two weeks after we handed off the project, I expected to hear that nothing had started. To my surprise, I discovered that content was loaded, the client was reviewing the content, and no development updates were needed. I’ve been a big fan of the Umbraco Grid since then!
What in your Umbraco career are you most proud of?
I am most proud of embracing Umbraco.
Before Umbraco, I worked on many projects that required some sort of content management, all of which were built using totally custom solutions. I then started building my own CMS framework that could be used in every new project. Soon after starting development on this framework, I discovered Umbraco and it was a game changer. Now, after building dozens of Umbraco sites, I can’t imagine ever starting from scratch again.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
The framework! After building my own CMS time and time again, it's amazing having a framework that allows me to easily manage all of a website's content in a concise way while still giving me the flexibility to extend the framework to address any specific need.
The Umbraco community is also fantastic!
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on several websites to address various maintenance bugs and enhancements. I am also using these opportunities to refactor templates to utilize the Umbraco Grid.
Meanwhile, I'm also refactoring my house
What is your top 3 best tips for an Umbraco newbie?
- Download the source code, for the Umbraco core, and (if available) any packages you use. Documentation is great, but if you really want to know what is going on, go right for the source.
- Learn to use the logs. It should be the first place you go whenever you have an issue or want to know what is going on with your site. Also be sure to write to the log when developing new features so you can know how those are working too.
- Plan your code. Taking the time to write out how something will be built gives you the opportunity to think through options, figure out holes in logic, and ensure you have a clean and elegant solution. Then when you get to implementing it, everything will all be figured out.
Any aspirations for your future?
There is code used on all of our sites that I need to consolidate into a package (or six). I also want to contribute more to the Umbraco community and also help to spread the word externally about this great platform.
What’s your most memorable meal?
Pujol in Mexico City. I ate a mole sauce that was cooking for over a year and a piece of smoked corn covered in mayonnaise mixed with ant larva. Fantastic!
I would also say that anything available on the street in South East Asia is unbelievably good and sometimes life changing.
I have no idea what this pork dish is called but I ate two of them
What's on top of your bucket list?
Besides going to Codegarden and renovating my bathroom, I really want to go to Italy to eat as much pasta and drink as much espresso as humanly possible.
What series are you watching now?
The Americans on FX. It’s about Soviet spies in the 1980’s posing as an American family. The series ended a few months ago, but it was so good I decided to re-watch the entire show from the beginning.
A massive H5YR to Kevin 😀! If you’d like to connect with Kevin, you can find him on Twitter: @kmeilander and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-meilander-97a889b/
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