uProfile May 2019: Hendy Racher
Working for: Dodd Racher (although I work a lot with Crumpled Dog)
Job role: .Net/Umbraco Developer
Country: United Kingdom
Time working with Umbraco: From this fantastic archive of Umbraco releases, it must have been sometime in 2007 or 2008 as I'm sure on doing a 3.0.3 release of our first Umbraco site (shufflebottom.co.uk) and thinking about the Roland synth. So over a decade!
What's your favourite Umbraco moment?
Getting involved with uComponents (my first time contributing to open-source) helping to build data-types and an API called uQuery, some of which were merged into the Umbraco 4.8 core.
Of course, uQuery is gone now (as it should be! it was made in a time before IPublishedContent) but I did like that little API.
Other moments would be cycling to Codegarden, twice, from Amsterdam with fellow Umbracian Laurence Gillian. The first time, a week cycling in the sun :) and gate-crashing the retreat! the second time, urm... it rained a lot, but still an adventure.
What in your Umbraco career are you most proud of?
Anytime I get to build something reusable, although if I had to pick a project it'd be BoxNation.com at Crumpled Dog - the mission was to rebuild it on Umbraco version 7 and make it scale to support high traffic e-commerce and Sky box activation at peak times (on a fight night). That's a fun spec right :)
Out of this came a shared caching pattern, a queuing system to protect a 3rd party API, and the open-source package Azure Logger for Umbraco.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
The killer feature for me in picking Umbraco (besides being open-source and .NET) was that it didn't interfere with your markup, such a simple premise and still true to this today.
In fact, I don't think I've ever built an ASP.NET MVC site without Umbraco!
What are you currently working on?
My current 'passion project' is Look for Umbraco v7, it's an API for .NET developers to index and search all types of IPublishedContent (including Nested and Stacked etc...). It's aimed to be simple but still useful, adding features like tag faceting, and geospatial queries such as finding all things within a map boundary and/or distance from a location. There is also a companion package to view these indexes in the Umbraco back-office.
Your top 3 best tips for an Umbraco newbie?
From a developer's perspective:
1) Composition over Inheritance - I bet sometime/somewhere even a page needed to become 'not a page' for some crazy reason.
2) Consider Stacked Content before the Grid - sometimes you need something simpler - it's like Nested Content but with a preview and everything is IPublishedContent.
3) Prior to Umbraco 8, a log viewer in the back office Diplo Trace Log Viewer as it's always helpful to be able to read the logs easily.
Any aspirations for your future?
In terms of Umbraco:
NuPickers for Umbraco version 8 (name it like NuCache and get rid of the awkward lowercase prefix). With the release of Umbraco 8, it seems like a good time to rebuild, the some now aged, picker UIs and reimplement with lessons learnt from nuPickers. If anyone has ideas or suggestions on this, please add or comment on the issues here.
What is on your desk at work?
An Umbraco keyboard! (well at home; it's super clicky and loud)
Do you have a hidden talent?
Green thumbs? (except for succulents - I seem to kill them) but where there's a window, there are plants!
A massive H5YR to Hendy😀! If you’d like to connect with Hendy you can find him on Twitter: @hendyracher, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hendyracher/, GitHub: https://github.com/hendy Our: https://our.umbraco.com/members/id:1713/ and then you might also bump into him at Codegarden 2019
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