uProfile June 2019: Sven Geusens
Company name: Umbrace
Job role: On my payslip, it says “Programmer Analyst” but the business cards have “Code Ninja + Support Monkey” written on them. I think the card better reflects what I do, because I lurk in the shadows, nowhere to be seen until the code is done.
Working time with Umbraco: The same amount of time as my current job: 3 years and a couple of months; which have been the most interesting years of my career. I am still learning new things every week and there are enough challenges to keep my mind occupied.
What’s your favorite Umbraco moment or achievement?
My first ever Umbraco festival which was Ukfest 2016.
I was so nervous because I had to go alone and knew nobody there. I was also crazy enough to sign up for the hackathon.
Luckily, as most people have noticed, the Umbraco community is very welcoming. The amazing Carole Rennie Logan (@crgrieve) and Rachel Breeze (@breezerachel) pulled me into their little team and we dove into the Umbraco codebase trying to fix some open issues.
I came back from Ukfest feeling welcome, inspired and filled with even more Umbraco knowledge.
What are you currently working on?
For work: A multi-region/language site.
The interesting thing is how the content is structured. Some content is specific to a region and is multilingual, while other content is used across all the regions within an Umbraco instance, while also being multilingual.
Add to that a PIM integration for certain regions and I have my hands full writing url (segment) providers, content finders and the like.
Personal project: A discord bot that can analyze the end-game printscreens of Apex Legends using Google Vision.
What in your Umbraco career are you most proud of?
My current work project because of the complexity.
The past project I’m most proud of is http://agerant.be/. It’s not a complex site, but it is the first one where I did almost all of the backend/Umbraco work myself without overengineering things, which I have a tendency of doing.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
The community and all the nifty ways you can expand upon Umbraco without having to touch the core.
What are your top 3 best tips for an Umbraco newbie?
- Don’t instantiate your own UmbracoHelpers. Like Damiaan (@dampeebe) told me in my first 2 weeks working with Umbraco, there are only 1 or 2 use cases where you should do this.
- Don’t use the content service to read data, always use the contentCache (through helpers or directly).
- Get involved in the community. Actively or passively. Our, Twitter, Slack, festivals, Codegarden or meetups, it doesn’t matter. The people are so friendly and the amount of knowledge they want to share is vast, so it would be a disservice to yourself by not getting involved.
What are your aspirations for your future?
My dream is to publish some sort of computer game before I’m 40. I’m not short on ideas, but I lack the skills to make things look pretty.
When I try and show off some prototypes to friends or family, they usually aren’t impressed and that certainly doesn’t help to stick to or finish a certain idea.
What board games, video games, and series are you playing and watching right now?
I am currently playing the number 1 ranked board game on Boardgamegeek: Gloomhaven. It’s a scenario-based game with an overarching campaign where when you make choices. With these choices, certain parts of the game get locked down, while others open up.
Video games: Apex Legends, League of Legends, Hades and any other of the 400+ (#shame) games in my Steam library.
Series: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Lucifer, Person of Interest and Frasier
If you could have a superpower - what would it be?
The ability to go anywhere at any time must be utterly liberating. I like to go on vacation, but hate to travel. All that time doing nothing but moving around and being alone with my thoughts is super stressful and exhausting.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself?
It’s not really a secret, but it surprises a lot of people.
I am a licensed chocolatier.
Back in 2006, nobody wanted to hire a badly dressed over-enthusiastic IT college drop-out. So… I decided to go and learn something else. After learning and working in the profession for 2+ years, good old IT pulled me in again and here I am, a programmer who can also craft artisanal Belgian chocolates.
What’s your most memorable meal?
18 years ago, my best girlfriend and I made an 8-course Thai dinner for our friends and my parents.
Until today, we still talk about how good it was and I can distinctively remember the smell of the shrimp and minced meat corn cookies.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Sven; H5YR 😀! If you’d like to connect with Sven you can find him on Twitter: @Migaroez
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