Exactly ten years ago in a small office in Copenhagen, Denmark Niels Hartvig, Anders Pollas and Kasper Bumbech released the first open source version of Umbraco. In this post I want to bring you some SICC history with Umbraco CMS, describe our perspective to Umbraco and Umbraco community in Poland and share our thoughts and wishes to be continued during this year. Grab some coffee and leave your comments if you have something to say in this topic 🙂
SICC & Umbraco lifecycle
We started our journey with Umbraco from version 4.x in our collage side projects. It was around 2008 – 2009. We were huge .NET fans (still are!) and when we heard about Umbraco we needed to give it a test drive. The current version was very simple and flexible for this times. Knowing .NET and ASP.NET we could easily extend Umbraco with our custom controls and provide solutions in really quick time. We developed some smaller and bigger projects using Umbraco then and left it, for a while, to focus on cross-platform mobile apps development.
A little time later, also during my studies, I was participating in internship in Microsoft (2011 – 2012). I was IT Trainer and I was responsible for planning and performing various trainings about the latest Microsoft technologies in high schools during the first edition of “Szkoła Nowych Technologii” program, which was the part of the international educational program: Microsoft – Partners in Learning. One of the topics was: “Building websites using Umbraco CMS and .NET platform” so my experience from previous Umbraco projects fits perfect to this presentation and I could share my Umbraco love with other people and show them how easily and straightforward is to create their own solution taking what’s the best from Umbraco CMS ecosystem. We traveled across our province and some distant locations. Below you can see some pictures from my lectures. It was huge pleasure and fun to teach young people how coding is “easy” and see the results in contest registrations performed by our “students”.
From this time we are using Umbraco CMS as our backend for almost all projects. We use it as backends for our mobile apps as well, for our internal and side projects and only our current website and this blog is not running Umbraco (yet) 🙂 We even “wasted” some time grabbing beta for Umbraco v5 and porting our current projects to new version to be first and up to date then. Everyone around Umbraco knows how it ended 🙂 Of course we learned much and this time was not wasted at all. Kudos for Umbraco development and management team for good decision to leave v5 behind and build something much better than all previous versions in the past.
When we finally met v7, our love was crossing all the borders. Finally – UI, UX, code at behind and all the possibilities came to us closer than ever. Meanwhile we created couple projects using ASP.NET MVC so all the new MVC and razor features (possible in v6 as well) were just the icing on the cake. When we showed new version of backend in Umbraco v7 and simplicity of it for our clients – they also immediately fell in love. We known then that we need to focus 100% on Umbraco now and show to all here that we could build great and beautiful stuff using this platform and leave other CMS far behind.
Umbraco in Poland
Someone may say – “Umbraco – a co to?!” (“Umbraco – what is this?!”). Really, it’s strange that Umbraco is not so popular in Poland. Maybe it’s our fault or maybe it’s a good news for all who wants to find some niche and focus their skills around something what is perspective as Umbraco right now. When we were talking about Umbraco in high schools we really thought that some of this amazing young guys and girls will take our advices and focus on simplicity of creating software using Umbraco. Lectures were across whole country, so intention was good. The results… almost none.
From some time I try to gather community around Umbraco on social groups at (feel invited!):
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/umbracopoland/)
– GoldenLine – polish equivalent to LinkedIn (http://www.goldenline.pl/grupy/Komputery_Internet/umbraco-cms-pl/)
– LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Umbraco-PL-Users-Group-8108618)
Results are what they are. We have dozen of people in groups, from which some of them are just our friends who worked with us with some projects in the past. We know some other people from online conversations or other chanells when we met (for example some .NET groups, conferences etc.). When we take a look on Umbraco Certified Developers list (http://umbraco.com/certified-partners/find-a-certified-developer) and scroll down to Poland we can see only one certified developer from Gdansk. Now we are thinking to finally send ourself for business & pleasure trip and combine it with Umbraco certifications. We know that it wouldn’t increase our development skills a lot, but for sure it will help us join this wonderfull international community and get to know some great folks in person.
…but UK will come to us also
About month ago I saw Adam’s Shellcross tweet about new Meetup group for Umbraco fans from Poland. Adam is joint owner of The Cogworks – company focused and closely connected with Umbraco from UK. They have offices in London and Manchester. Cogworks is for example responsible for Umbraco UK Festival in London which we unfortunatelly missed this year leaving London the day before this event 🙁
Of course we immediatelly joined this group with huge hope that something will finally move forward with our “community” here if UK companies are starting to explore market and target here. Adam created the first Umbraco Meetup in Poland which will take place in Krakow at 8.04.2015. Save the date! All the details, comments and group on Meetup is located here: http://www.meetup.com/The-Poland-Umbraco-Meetup/. Feel free to join if you are from Poland and you already know something about Umbraco or you just want to learn about it.
It’s a nice opportunity to meet new open-minded people with the same interests in technology. It’s also a good job opportunity I think. During our cooperation with agencies from UK we learned that there is a huge need to find a good developers and as we all know, polish developers are undoubtedly one of the best! So why don’t show up and find some new contacts and opportunities to create something awesome together?
Other, near possibilities to learn about Umbraco in Poland
February and March in SICC will be really focused on teaching and evangelyzing. We have couple events contracted, so feel free to join and say hi to us before and after our presentations. We are always open to talk. So, just to summarize:
21.02.2015 – InfoMEET Warsaw – I will be talking mainly about mobile apps, but of course I will say couple words about how Umbraco is helping us to deliver great mobile experience for our clients.
4.03.2015 – Techklub Bialystok #9 – Probably Pawel and I will be talking about editors benefits of using Umbraco CMS and comparing it with some other available CMS on the market and try to spread Umbraco love between all NGOs representatives for which this meetings are targeted. This presentation won’t be technical, so everyone interested in this topic could start from this point.
18.03.2015 – Bialystok .NET Users Group (#bstoknet) – We will be talking about Umbraco totally from technical side. We will present some cool stuff what new versions are offering, show how .NET developers could use Umbraco in their projects and also try to find some people interested in Umbraco topic to take them to Krakow on April 🙂
8.04.2015 – The Poland Umbraco Meetup, Krakow – I described details above. See you there!
That’s all for now. We will of course inform about the results of each talk. See you all and I wish you amazing and productive week!