uProfile - Sam Flanagan
Name: Sam Flanagan, @samuelflanagan
Location: Manchester, UK
Job role/company: Hands-on MD and Umbraco Developer at Blueprint Web Technologies, Media City.
Started working with Umbraco:
We started working with Umbraco in 2012. Doug Robar came to train the team and help us become an Umbraco Certified Partner. Doug is a great guy and his training was one of the best investments we’ve ever made.
What projects you currently working on?
Some really interesting Umbraco projects with the NHS and healthcare sector. We’re also helping the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to migrate their website to Umbraco. CWU is one of the largest unions in the UK and their website supports around 250,000 members.
What is your favourite Umbraco moment or achievement?
The Blueprint guys are all regulars at Chris Gaskell’s Manchester Umbraco Meetup. A couple of years back, Blueprint hosted one of the meetups on a big canal barge on the Manchester Ship Canal. We had about 40 local developers attend and it was a fantastic event. Great views of Media City, plenty of real ale and Umbraco talk!
Piece of Umbraco work you are most proud of?
The Blueprint team has a lot projects to be proud of. We were recently shortlisted for the 2015 Big Chip Awards for an Umbraco-based extranet system that we developed for Bluewater Shopping Centre (Bluewater is one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe).
However, for me personally, I’m most proud of using Umbraco to deliver some really great healthcare information websites for organisations such as the British Thoracic Society and The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust. I think Umbraco has got great potential for widespread use in the NHS.
What about Umbraco keeps you coming back for more?
Umbraco allows me to create and maintain robust content models in a simple and hassle-free way. When we hand over a project to a client, we don’t have to provide endless explanations and pages of technical documentation. Users just see their content, presented with their own familiar terminology and organised according to their own conventions. This is extremely powerful. A bit like Apple’s iPhone, Umbraco gets technology out of the way, so the users can focus on actually doing the things that matter.
What would we find on your desk at work?
Piles of papers, a MacBook Pro, iPhone 6+, 3 monitors and a selfie-stick (don’t print that last one!).
If you were a superhero what would your power be?
Many problems in software development arise out of a poor communication. The same could perhaps be said about most problems in the world today. My superhero power would be the ability to get people to sit down and talk things through. That would be a truly great power to have.