It’s the first blog post from our series named #SICConTour. We will be posting summaries of our business & (mostly!) pleasure trips related to what we love and do in SICC. The event which will be definitely recurring each year is the Umbraco UK Festival we attended last week in London. Why? Because priest said so? 🙂 No, because community matters and now we are more than sure about it. Such a shame that we missed it a year ago…
We started our trip early on Monday. Arrived to London around 9am and decided to not waste time and visit our friends from The CogWorks. We were honored to have opportunity to use their office space and work as usual on our business stuff during the week before festival. It was a great pleasure to meet the whole team about which we heard so much. Working in the same office with people which we really admire and respect was a nice opportunity to gain a lot of motivation and put us closer than ever to the Umbraco community.
During the week we were mostly focused on our projects. Taking advantage of UK work culture, we also enjoyed the lunch breaks and squeezed as much as we can from the time after work, having opportunity to meet our old friends from studies in Poland and spent some time in bars, museums and other great attractions in London. Our teammate Maciek (@maciejkorsan) was recording short videos which we were posting as our daily vlog. You can watch whole playlist on YouTube here (mostly in Polish):
We visited for example: Sky Garden, Science Museum, Sherlock Holmes street, Madame Tussauds, The Churchill Arms and many, many, many (really many) other great pubs, restaurants & clubs 🙂 It was really busy week, not only at work.
The day before Festival, CogWorks organised Umbraco Hackaton. As we never had opportunity (and time unfortunately 🙁 ) to work on Umbraco sourcecode, it’s was a great kick-off and start to be more than unknown company from Poland and add some VALUE to the software which we use all the time. We formed our international team with representants from UK, Poland, Belgium and even Republic of South Africa (#h5yr guys!) and named it uMonks as a follow-up to the awesome venue where the whole event took place (The Crypt on the Green). We started Umbraco solution with help of the guys from HQ and core and even fixed some bugs from issue tracker helps to reach amazing 37 (!!!) fixed bugs at the end of the hackaton.
For us it was just a beggining, because we decided to spend couple hours (or even days!) each month to help Umbraco grow faster, so there will be, for sure, more Pull Requests from our side right now! #beAwareUmbraco 🙂
Last but not the least point on our travel map for this week was the main event – Umbraco UK Festival which took place on Friday. Same great venue as on hackaton, but much more like-minded and amazing people from the community. It was amazing to finally meet guys and girls with whom we were only tweeting or slacking before. #h5yr all! We’ve met a lot of new people too, including the one and only(s) chiefs of everything in Umbraco, many Umbraco core developers and other great people from different sides of the World. I’m not afraid to say that community is the strongest part of Umbraco, which doesn’t change the fact that Umbraco CMS is also the best CMS in the World 🙂
We attended almost all of the presentations, taking advantage of the fact that we were in 3 people group, and almost all of the workshops.
Starting from the Keynote during which Niels Hartvig (@umbraco, founder of Umbraco) sang a freestyle song about Umbraco and shared with us all the interesting facts regarding Umbraco now and their vision and plans for the nearest future. Per Ploug (@pploug) showed us an awesome features which will be the part of the 7.4 release (aimed for the end of ’15). Thanks to Douglas Robar we can also admire beauty of the venue (and community!) looking for his great pictures here.
Then I attended Unit testing workshops with Anthony Dang from CogWorks. According to fact that we always wanted to switch our mentality and start with TDD in SICC it was a nice and well served portion of knowledge with couple tricks & tips related to Umbraco testing. Thanks @AnthonyDotNet!
After first workshops we’ve gone to the lunch, grabbed a beer and just talked with awesome people about software for which we were there. Networking is really a power of business.
Just after the lunch, part of our team went to Property Editors 101 workshops performed by lifetime Umbraco MVP and ultimate Babe of the Week ( 😉 ) – Warren Buckley when they get known how to use their front-end skills to extend Umbraco in the backend. At the same time I went to Barry’s Briggs presentation titled “How to test your mobile site without spending a fortune”. It was really inspiring and just confirming the fact that the will is the key to success, not money. I really recommend his presentation to all looking for inspiration not only in mobile testing.
The icing on the cake was the Shannon’s Deminick presentation about “The Road to Umbraco V8 and Beyond”. The presentation itself is well described by Dan Booth on his blog here. It is a really awesome vision for all of us interested in using, developing and evangelising about Umbraco. Really looking forward for all the Shannon’s dreams come true. Nobody bothered that Shannon has exceeded his time by more than 25 minutes 🙂 because we all could listen continuously about HQ & core plans and vision to make it all better and keep Umbraco the best CMS on the market.
At the end of the conference day, we had a small session – confession. Developers were able to book their time and share ideas / projects / thoughts with all the audience gathered in the church 🙂 I decided to use this opportunity and show my alpha version of Umbraco CloudFlare Manager package which I started to develop for one of our clients. My aim was to find a people who were also looking for CloudFlare integration with Umbraco and try to find contributors to push it forward and use as much features as possible which CloudFlare is offering. The goal was reached and I was amazed how many people were interested to just give me five or ask for GitHub repository url to check how it is working at this stage. I’m now motivated to finish it and spread with community enabling other to use it also in their projects. As I am not presenting in English so often, I was terribly stressed, but it goes well I think. You can check it also on YouTube when the GitHub link is present in description.
Links for the slides (and videos in the future) ➝ http://umbracoukfestival.co.uk/video-and-slides.
As I have already said more that once – it won’t be anything special without people. After the conference we went to the nearest bar where CogWorks booked the official after party. We had a lot of opportunities to discuss conference topics, past connections on Twitter and other social media and discuss till late hours about business and other stuff around our interests.
Thank you all for opportunity to meet you in person. It was a pleasure for us to finally met founders, influencers and other great developers from almost all sides of the World. Many thanks for the CogWorks team once again for having us and giving us opportunity to not forget about our work during the whole week before festival.
Big thanks also for Artur & Alicja for the safekeeping us in London and finding so many amazing things to do after work!
See you again London!
Korsan Studio photos!