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uProfile June 2022: Javed Iqbal

Did you meet Javed at his very first Codegarden? If not, then now is the time!

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Written by Javed Iqbal

Fresh from his first-ever Codegarden, Javed is sharing his story and journey with Umbraco so far, and how meeting the Umbraco Community in-person has sparked something in him.

Javed Iqbal (Javz)

Company name:  Durable Digital

Role (Job title): Full Stack .Net Developer

Country/region: UK/London

Working with Umbraco since: March 2014 (earliest version used is V4)


Javed Profile Resized (1)

From ‘long-time lurker’ to would-be MVP

My involvement with the Community so far has been mostly contributing through the forums, a long-time lurker you might say!

In my experience, people have mostly already asked questions about the things that I’ve been stuck on before, but then I still ask those questions that haven’t been asked yet, knowing that it will help someone else in turn. I do feel obliged to help out others as others have helped me, but either I don’t know how to answer them, someone has already answered them, or I don’t have enough time to look into it. Nevertheless, I want to try to be more active in the PR section in GitHub

The transition from Umbraco to .NET Core was a big turning point for me in getting more involved, as it was quite a steep learning curve for me though I was really excited, and I would say that the Community really helped with the transition. 

I've always experienced that people in the Community are super kind and non-judgemental, and that you will always end up learning something new from people! If only there was a way to meet them in person...

Attending Codegarden for the first time ever

Not only was this Codegarden here in 2022 my very first, but I had no idea of what to expect at all, and safe to say it was a nice surprise!

The best part was getting to meet and network with people. As we at Durable Digital are fully remote, it was great to meet my colleagues for the first time and spend some quality time together in a different setting.


Javed stands in front of the led screen with the codegarden logo. He is proudly wearing a Pikachu t-shirt and giving the peace sign.

Rocking my awesome Pikachu T shirt at Codegarden 2022. Only ONE person made a comment about how AWESOME it is. Just the ONE person.


It was really nice meeting so many people that have helped me online, and that have been working with Umbraco to such a great extent like the Umbraco MVPs. It would be easy to be arrogant for knowing as much as they do, but everyone was really friendly, humble, and easy to get talking to! No bragging or boasting, just good conversation, and helpfulness.

Although I have to say, getting on stage with Sven at Codegarden and displaying to others how to create a PR in Umbraco - and nothing going to plan (lovely!) - has been my favourite memory of the Umbraco Community to date.


Javed, Sven and Emma are on-stage as part of UmbraCollab at Codegarden

Amazing experience, even when things don't go to plan!


Hungry for more

You could maybe say that my happiest moment of Codegarden was when the food finally arrived for the Thursday dinner. 

I would say I like food; perhaps more so than the average person. Even though I ate my colleagues' portions after my own, I was craving a bit more. Thankfully, the waiters were there to the rescue, along with Heather Floyd, who gave me some snacks from her emergency food supply between the time of dinner being announced and being served (you're awesome Heather!).

My constantly rumbling stomach is probably down to the fact that I’m such an active person; I love both cycling and walking, racking up 9 or 10 miles a day on foot.


My journey with Umbraco

I always thought that Umbraco was such an interesting framework, but at the same time being straightforward enough to get started on it and learn as you go. Especially compared to the easiness of Umbraco in comparison to Sitecore - I was hooked. Now here I am, 8 years later, working on quite a few V9 projects and preparing some V10 projects!

It was an interesting journey to understanding the concept behind Umbraco for me: at first I thought, oh, this is quite archaic actually. Until I figured out the concept behind the CMS, being a base to build up and customise as is needed. I love that working with the CMS is a great way to learn more about your skills and abilities, as well as developing them.


The Durable Digital team stands at the Codegarden stage displaying their framed award certificates and U statuettes.

Me and the team won an Umbraco award for the Best Designed Site. We were buzzing! But containing our excitement for the photo obviously.


3 steps to getting started the right way

1. Check out video tutorials

If you’re completely new or not sure where to start - check out the Umbraco video tutorials. It used to be called Umbraco TV, but now all of the video tutorials are on YouTube under the Umbraco Learning Base - and they’re a great way to touch up on best practices and explore more of what you can do. There are also some great ones from the Community, like from Paul Seal!

2. Learn by doing

The great thing about working with Umbraco is that it’s a great way to learn more about your own skills and abilities, and even push them. So, I would recommend coming up with an idea for a vanilla project on Umbraco, with different functions i.e. API integration, Search, Navigation, Compositions etc, and just explore and experiment with it. It’s in these kinds of situations that you find out how to solve problems, and it does wonders for your own development!

3. Reach out!

Remember that throughout it all, don’t be afraid to research further or reach out and ask other members of the Community (i.e. through the [forums, Discord, Slack, or Twitter]). Everyone is super helpful - and everyone is learning every day! Even those who work with Umbraco extensively and have an MVP title to their name (which I found out at a recent [Umbracalong] session!), and everyone learns every day.


What the future holds

After Codegarden 2022, I’ve been inspired to become an MVP - BUT realistically, I don’t think I can do it. The time and effort required is quite a bit, and of course the knowledge needed to help answer complex queries. I’d leave it as a goal; if I can’t achieve it - nothing lost, as I’ve helped others and learned something on the way. If I become an MVP, then that’s a win!

Connect with Javed

You'll find me on Linkedin and Github (I don’t use this much as I generally use my work account, however I’ll be using this more frequently in the future).


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