Tag Archive: codegarden

Second wind


CodeGarden 2012 is just around the corner. I’m really excited about all the progression that the Umbraco project has made in the lead-up to this annual conference, and even more so by the prospects for the future with such a fantastic community pouring more and more time into helping it grow and develop.

Sadly though, for the first time in a few years, I won’t be there this year to take part first-hand, as it’s time to pass on the baton; I’m leaving the Umbraco HQ and taking another role.

Copyright ©2011 Doug Robar / Percipient Studios Great guys

The v5 project has been a fun, rewarding and challenging whirlwind over 2 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet incredibly clever people, make some great friends and even better memories of all the lively discussions we had.

During this time the Umbraco project itself has added a lot of great facets to its virtual character – for example the community site Our Umbraco relaunched with its public package repository at about the same time we began sketching out v5 itself. Although looking back it can often seem like one of the biggest strings to Umbraco’s bow has always been there, at the time we could have only hoped for a fraction of the upsurge in community-developed packages and the overwhelmingly helpful response of the community on its forums earning Karma for each helpful answer. The Karminator himself was so prevalent with packages and forum posts, he even ended up joining the company!

The v4 core too evolved quickly as a result of brilliant input from volunteers the world over – Razor support & its DynamicNode query style launched 6 months before the 5.0 CTP at CodeGarden 11, and got even better a few months later in 4.7 with the addition of many helper methods and improvements.

v5 has had some great input from volunteers too, and for that we remain incredibly grateful and wanted to do what we could to enable people to do more – adding tools such as the Progress page, with its data based on the YouTrack system we introduced as part of the v5 project.

When we presented v5 at various meetups, we mentioned we’d release 5.0 with a limited featureset and iterate over the following months on performance and features to get it supporting both small and large sites alike. The pace with which people wanted to push it further and faster than we could ship it was a testament to how vibrant the Umbraco ecosystem is. 5.2 Beta is now out in the hands of the many generous beta testers out there since we put it live on CodePlex last week, and is a big step forward with performance improvements, the beginnings of those all-important packaging tools by the stellar Matt Brailsford and Morten Christensen, and a really nice NodeSelector by Shannon Deminick, to help people build upon it. There’s also Contour 2, uCommerce 3 Beta, CMSImport.. tonnes of exciting stuff.

There’s a very interesting road ahead with great features of both v4 and v5 that I’m sure people will want combining, and it’s a fair bet all kinds of exciting prospects for the future are going to emerge. I know the community and core team will have a great time this summer and beyond, helping Umbraco realise its continually improving potential, and there are some really interesting sessions lined up for CG12.

Umbraco has been in my blood for years, since I was at Condé Nast and chose 4.0 to relaunch Wired. I subsequently was honoured to become a core contributor and discovered the many generous, fun and friendly people in its community. Although it’s time for me to move on during the daylight hours, I’ll be keeping up to date with Umbraco and hope to keep in touch with its many talented, friendly people and help out where I can for a long while yet.

Umbraco CodeGarden11 wrap-up


This year’s Umbraco festival, CodeGarden11, was another fantastic success and as ever, brilliant fun. Amongst all of the great sessions and the happiest tech community on the planet, it’s difficult to take just a few highlights, but here’s a couple of things which stood out for me:

The Retreat

Copyright ©2011 Doug Robar / Percipient Studios

Each year the Umbraco HQ flies out the Umbraco MVPs who are nominated by the community, together with other active contributors, for a few days of drinking, BBQing and hacking in Denmark prior to the CodeGarden festival. It’s one of our ways of saying “thanks”, and it’s always great to get everyone together from all over the world. We also have a tradition of playing a bit of football, so this year we went the whole hog and got shirts personalised for everyone. I’m the one second from right, sucking in my fat takeaway-induced belly.

We played shortly after this photo was taken. I wish we had a proper “before” and “after” shot, since half of us flagged during the game and the rest were shadows of their former selves, but we did get another kind of team photo done at least:

Copyright ©2011 Doug Robar / Percipient Studios

This was one of the bingo prizes Smile

The keynote announcements

The video for the keynote is up and has some placeholders for you to jump straight to each section.

Courier 2.0

The Umbraco Courier homepagePer from the HQ has been hard at work for many months (in addition to welcoming a new baby girl into the family – the guy is quite prolific) and the resulting Courier 2 deployment tool, released shortly before CodeGarden itself, has already been a runaway success. Check out the details page here, and the keynote video above.

Projects 2.0: The Umbraco Deli

The Umbraco Deli homepageLikewise Peter and Paul from the HQ have also been hard at work (although they are lagging behind Per as no new children this year yet). At CodeGarden they launched the new marketplace for commercial Umbraco packages, codenamed the Umbraco Deli. It’s a really straightforward and easy-to-use tool if you want to have your Umbraco plugin sold through a central repository. Umbraco HQ takes a small percentage of proceeds and provides you with all the licensing and admin tools you need, together with great stats.

Umbraco 5 CTP

The Umbraco 5 CTP release page on CodePlexFinally, not wanting to be out-done on the hard work front, myself, Shan and the rest of the team have been busy building version 5 of Umbraco. We released the first Community Technology Preview during the CodeGarden keynote, and the feedback so far has been humbling!

You can find session videos on the CodeGarden11 site for all of the above, including the great sessions by our guest speakers too – and we’re adding more each day.

The boat-party

Copyright ©2011 Doug Robar / Percipient Studios

Ah, the boat party. Always fun to grab a load of drinks and relax after the first day of CodeGarden whilst having a tour around the wonderful city of Copenhagen. This year unofficially sponsored by Tuborg and Lonely Island:

Like a boss

The boat-party, part 2

I took this picture at 6am after the last day after an awesome night out

I'm on a boat