Archive for June, 2011


This year my girlfriend @federicacocco and I are driving the ambulance pictured below from London to Mongolia for charity, in order to donate the vehicle and any funds we raise to a community in need.

Please spare a few £ / $ / € and help, it’s really easy at our Team page:

Below is the ambulance we’ll be donating, setting off on July 9th 2011 and arriving roughly 4-5 weeks later. We’re doing this in partnership with the London Ambulance Service and the registered UK charity Go Help.


Thanks to everyone who has donated so far, including a very generous £250 from my awesome employer, Umbraco. We appreciate all donations large or small, so please do give something today – thank you!

Our route is below. Not long, eh? Smile We’ll also be tweeting, blogging and filming along the route. If you’d like your company to sponsor us, we can accept wire transfers or PayPal Donate transfers too – please do get in touch as we’ll pretty much bend over backwards to accommodate your sponsorship request. There’s a lot of space on the side of that ambulance for logos etc.!


We’ll be liveblogging the journey at this tumblr:


A little while before the fantastic CodeGarden11, whilst prepping the first Umbraco 5 CTP with the team, I had the humbling surprise to be nominated to become a member of the Microsoft Regional Director programme.

Microsoft Regional Director logoThis was a fantastic compliment and one which definitely came out of left-field. In the coming months I’ll be increasing my blogging output and applying for as many speaker slots as I can at the many fun tech meetups with which our industry is blessed – including spreading the word about Umbraco which is, of course, one of the most popular CMS tools on the ASP.NET stack. *Cough* bias *cough*.


The RD websiteA little about the programme: first of all, I don’t work for Microsoft! All RD’s have jobs at, or own, technology-focussed companies using Microsoft tools. I love my job at Umbraco guiding the architecture of version 5, and feel like the luckiest software guy out there to be spending my days working with such a great team and brilliant community.

The programme is similar to Microsoft’s MVP scheme, with the key difference being that RDs are a smaller group (around 140) and tend to chat with people who are not yet users, and are evaluating the switch to Microsoft technologies, or software based on their stack such as Umbraco.

There’s a large crossover though: both programmes are about evangelising the areas that Microsoft does well, and acting as a conduit for feedback to the MS product teams. Although it’s tempting to believe otherwise, we of course have the freedom to speak out where we believe Microsoft has made mistakes or can do a better job.

I have to say, it’s humbling to be a invited to be amongst such prestigious company. I’m going to have my work cut out keeping pace with their bright minds and speaking talent, but I’m relishing the personal challenge.

As a final side-note, it was really nice to see that within the first 24h of “meeting” everyone on the mailing list, several RD’s replied back saying how they use, and love using, Umbraco. Smiles all round!