uProfile March 2018
uProfile: Matt Brailsford
Working at: Outfield Digital Ltd
Role: Director, Umbraco Developer
Time working with Umbraco: Coming up on 8 years now
Me - photo by Doug Robar
Favourite Umbraco achievement?
Oh wow, I don’t think I can choose just one. One of my earliest favourite moments was being in competition with Lee Kelleher to be number 1 on the karma leaderboard on Our. It was so much fun and how we became great friends.
Other achievements such as my first MVP, working for HQ for a time (during v5, so we’ll skip over that bit) and having my first package merged into the core were also great moments for me.
5 proud Umbraco MVPs, photo by Doug Robar.
Probably a big one for me though was the success of our first CODECABIN event. Lee and I had had the idea for quite a while but were a little nervous as we’d never done anything like this before and it was quite different to the usual Umbraco events so wasn’t sure how well it would work. Thankfully it all went exactly how we had hoped (and more) and we got great feedback from all the participants. So much so that we are now in our 3rd year of the event and hoping to continue for many more years to come.
What in your Umbraco career are you most proud of?
Some things go without saying such as winning MVP for the 4th time and working with amazing clients, but I think the thing I’m most proud of is just making a difference for people.
With package development, I’m always blown away by the great feedback I get and am often surprised at how much of an impact they have on people's projects. With CODECABIN, we get to take that to a much more personal level and help people grow as developers.
The chilled CODECABIN atmosphere.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
The people. It gets said so many times, but that’s because it’s true. The Umbraco community is truly like no other. Of course the platform is great and a dream to work with, but without the community I don’t think I would have been as involved with the platform as I am.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’ve just finished off a new site for one of our biggest clients, Tour de Yorkshire and have also released another Umbraco package, Fluidity to make management of custom data source easier. I’m also working on a new talk on vuejs for the upcoming German Umbraco Festival and of course, I’m also busy working with my wife Lucy to organise our 3rd CODECABIN event, which is currently open for applications by the way 😉
Join us for CODECABIN 2018 - deadline for sign-up is the 6th of July!
What are your top 3 best tips for an Umbraco newbie?
- Find a local meetup and join in. As I mentioned before, Umbraco’s biggest asset is its community and there is only one way to experience it and that is by diving in. The local meetups are a great way to do that (Don’t forget about CODECABIN either, have I mentioned this yet?, it’s a great way to meet people from across the whole Umbraco spectrum).
- Join Twitter and Slack. These can be a bit distracting so you may want to limit your time on these but there is a buzzing community on these platforms that you just can’t reach any other way.
- Poke around. The great thing about open source projects is you get to poke around the source and see how things work. This is true of most of the add on packages too. I find this a great way to learn about the platform and you’ll pick up tons of insight along the way.
Aspirations for your Umbraco future?
Me presenting at Codegarden 2017 - promoting a bit of CODECABIN 😉
I want to get better at presenting. I’ve done a few talks which seem to have gone pretty well, given the feedback, but it’s still pretty scary for me at the moment so I’d like to do more and get better at it.
I’d also like to see CODECABIN continue to grow, perfecting the process and maybe even look at launching versions around the globe.
What is on your desk at work?
Just the usual; a laptop, huge 34” monitor, headphones, coffee, soldering iron, a couple of raspberry pi’s, an Amazon Echo Dot and a paperclip 😀
Do you have a hidden talent?
I’ve recently started doodling after being inspired by David Neal (Reverentgeek) and Dan Roam of Napkin Academy. I quite enjoyed art at school but I’ve strangely never really done anything with it, so it’s been fun re-discovering that enjoyment. Keep an eye on my twitter feed and the hashtag #100doodles if you want see my progress.
A massive H5YR to Matt! If you’d like to connect with Matt, you can find him on twitter: @mattbrailsford and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattbrailsford/ - OR, show up for the German Festival in April or join other enthusiastic Umbracians for an entire weekend at CODECABIN in October (sign-up deadline is on 6th July 2018!) - and get to meet Matt in person 😀