Monday, October 19, 2015

uProfile - Ben McKean

Name: Ben McKean

Location: UK

Job role/company: WebKean Solutions, Freelance Developer /
Previously Head of Development at Umbraco Gold Partner Prodo Digital

Started working with Umbraco: 2009. V4.0. I got started with Warren Buckley's CWS Starter package - thanks Warren!

What projects you currently working on?
RESTful web services integration for an energy supplier (non Umbraco) and an asset library with workflow approval system (with Umbraco).

What is your favourite Umbraco moment or achievement?
Favourite moment so far was attending the Umbraco UK Festival last year. It was the first mass attended Umbraco event I've been to having only been to a few meetups previously. Everyone was as friendly in person as online and it whet the appetite for future events. Now I'm working for myself, I'm hoping to go to CodeGarden next year.

Doug Robar's talk struck a chord with me and here I am a year later working for myself - Thanks Doug!

I was also proud to take the team from 3 non certified developers to a team of 20 and be Umbraco Gold partners during my time at Prodo.

What piece of Umbraco work you are most proud of?
Although not all of my own work a few projects at Prodo Digital spring to mind. We developed a couple of sites for New York Times. One with my first Umbraco custom section allowing the importing and exporting of adspace opportunities and another allowing CMS users to create micro sites for individual events with a few clicks. To this day I think that one installation runs about 50 micro sites.

Another interesting project was a college website where we were integrating with their own back office system that held the data for courses and enrollments. This involved some schedule tasks to sync databases as well as real time integration within a custom Umbraco section.

What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
Umbraco is a joy to develop with but mainly it'd have to be the community. I've never been as passionate with something in the workplace as I am about Umbraco. The help from others within the community is amazing and I often feel guilty of taking more than I give!

What would we find on your desk at work?
I'm not a fan of too much paper so my desk is pretty sparse. MacBook, iPhone and headphones, thats about it.

Tell us something interesting about yourself
I used to be a semi professional footballer, I've been in the top 50K FIFA players in the world on the PS3 out of a few million....erm nowadays most of my time is spent running half marathons and 10Ks, I run with a local running club. Away form all that I love spending time with my gorgeous wife and two amazing, energetic boys.

What is your favourite movie?
Shawshank Redemption

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One of the biggest benefits of using Umbraco is that the community is incredibly pro-active, extremely friendly and helpful.

Chances are that if you get an idea for something you would like to build in Umbraco, someone has already built it. So it is very likely that you can get good and friendly advice from someone from the Umbraco community on Our- just ask.

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