Job role: Contractor, Developer. I wear many developer hats since I work with Umbraco, C# and Office 365
Country: United Kingdom
For how long have you been working with Umbraco?
I got into Umbraco as I was looking for an open-source CMS that was truly free without restrictions for a campaign organisation that was run by volunteers.
What's your favorite Umbraco moment or achievement?
I had my first pull request accepted to fix a bug in Lars-Erik Aabech’s relations package that stopped it working in v7.
What in your Umbraco career are you most proud of?
Having been a Umbraco developer/hobbyist for a number of years, I managed to turn my hobby into a paid Umbraco contract in 2015.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
Blank canvas on the front-end means you can easily transfer a template design to be used in Umbraco without interference from the CMS.
Also, the community! Everyone is friendly, helpful and welcoming. I remember my first Codegarden back in 2013 where I was standing on my own and people would approach me and talk to me.
With this friendliness, I have revived the Thames Valley Umbraco User Group based in Reading to bring local Umbracians together.
What are you currently working on?
Being a contractor, you kind of do work with whatever comes along, so I’m remotely working on an MVC project for my client.
What are your top 3 best tips for an Umbraco newbie?
- Do the courses. I still learned a thing or two from the fundamentals course!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the community in our.umbraco.com
- Get involved with the community, attend meetups, Codegarden and festivals. It’s not just about learning, networking is so important nowadays.
Any aspirations for your future?
I would like to get into Umbraco 8 including submitting pull requests to the core. It’s about time I contribute and give back to what is essentially a free product.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself?
My son and I have just started taking up Bowls. We were both encouraged to take up the game after an open day.
For those who don’t know what Bowls (also known as Lawn Bowls) is, in a nutshell, you have to roll a heavy ball to the other end of the rink where there is a white ball to get a close as possible.
It’s a lot harder to play than it looks
What is on top of your bucket list?
Visit all 193 sovereign states of the United Nations. My total currently stands at 77.
At the moment, I tend to go to countries where we can go as a family. My 8-year-old son, who also loves travelling, has already been in 49 countries.
Some trip highlights include Syria (before my son was born), Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine - included a visit to Chernobyl, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ghana, and Togo.
What's your most memorable meal?
This has to be my wedding banquet.
A Chinese wedding banquet consists of around 10 large sharing courses.
The food is amazing and there is lots of it. You really need to pace yourself - eat too much at the beginning and you’re too stuffed later on to eat the last courses!
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