The thrill ride of Codegarden for a first timer

Matthew Wise
By Matthew WiseSolutions Architect
5 minutes to read

Umbraco’s annual conference, Codegarden, is the opportunity for the developing community to get together, trade tips and learn more about what they love. This year, I got to go to the conference and Odense for the very first time!

One big get together

There are many things that make Codegarden a fantastic experience, but for me the highlight is the Umbraco community.

Because of this, Codegarden feels more like a family gathering than a tech conference. I actually realised this before I even stepped on my flight as I bought my ticket from one of our devs who couldn’t attend. Simon – I owe you a beer!

One of the best things about the Umbraco community is the opportunity to learn from each other. Right from when I arrived to the closing of the conference, I was talking to people from all different backgrounds and breadths of knowledge; from using Azure functions to generating PDFs, to how each person works with Umbraco to deploy their site, I picked up loads of helpful advice.

There was one particular Scottish Coder I wanted to avoid, but for good reasons! Owain Williams had a brilliant ice breaker – a t-shirt with our names and Twitter handles on. I managed to make it to the last five but was finally, and happily, discovered.

It would be amiss of me to talk about the Umbraco community without mentioning Bingo. I was lucky enough to win some shades, see the proof for yourself.

I was also able to meet some heroes from the community and thank them for making my life that little bit easier – I wouldn’t be quite as sane as I am if it wasn’t for their help!

Trying new things

I’ll hold my hands up and say there were elements of Codegarden that I wasn’t completely sold on before I went. But I’m so glad to say I was proven very very wrong!

On the last day, we had an open circle session which gave us the opportunity to pitch ideas for group discussions throughout the day. Those that were brave enough stepped forward and briefly talked about what they wanted to discuss in more detail. From there, we filled up our day with open and honest group chats.

We also had the opportunity to share about our own Umbraco projects. I bit the bullet and volunteered myself to get on stage and talk about the Service Worker code I’ve been working on in the back office. It was a fantastic (albeit a bit scary at first) experience as I got some really good feedback that I’ll definitely be sure to put into practice! I also had other developers asking me to help them improve their code too, which was unexpected.

10/10 would attend again

Codegarden was a fantastic experience that I’m keen to repeat (hint, hint!). It was inspiring to be around so many likeminded people and I learnt a lot about how Umbraco can make client’s lives easier.

So, a huge thanks to everyone who organised and attended the event, I can’t wait for the next get together. #h5yr

P.S. The food was amazing, you could attend purely for that reason.

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Articles by Matthew Wise

Biography coming soon!