Last year I had an almost overwhelming first Codegarden experience, where I got to attend not only as a first time visitor, but also as a speaker and as an Umbraco MVP. Let's take a look at how I experienced Codegarden 2023 this year around! Let's have a coffee and look back at how it went for me! ☕
Networking Friend Making
We're starting Codegarden off with the opening keynote on Wednesday, hosted by the wonderful Karla Santi. Where last year she was part of the jury to judge the Umbraco Awards, this year she was our host. The atmosphere was amazing, but two of the things I believe thoroughly helped where the standing ovations, and the friend making. The what? Yes, you heard me!
Where at some conferences you make call it networking, at Umbraco they do things a little different. Networking sounds so formal, so Karla suggested we call it Friend Making instead, which I thought was the perfect descriptor for Codegarden! Not only that, but to give all the wonderful speakers this year an even better start of their sessions, she suggested that we should start giving standing ovations whenever someone steps onto the podium... and they all did! 🤯 It sure made the atmosphere even more amazing than it already was, and it was great to be able to see so many amazing Umbracians out there. Old friends, new friends, friends you've perhaps only ever spoken to online, it was great to be able to see (almost) everyone in-person again! 💖
Attachment 1. A fully packed crowded withh all the amazing Umbracians at Codegarden 2023
Renewed Umbraco MVP (2x)
Last year I've had the honor to be awarded as an Umbraco MVP, and I am excited to say that I've been renewed for another year! In addition to that, the community was able to welcome 17 new MVPs this year to add to the list, and 66 renewed MVPs in total, congratulations to each and everyone of them! 👏
You can find the full list of Umbraco 2023 MVPs over at the official Umbraco Blog!
Attachment 2. Umbraco MVPs and Umbraco Hall of Fame
Talk the talk... Tuesday
I don't know how they manage to do it, but each and every year the talks & speakers seem to become better and better! This year I didn't have the opportunity to attend as a speaker myself, which left me even more headspace to attend the wonderful talks of others! 📢
Before the official event started, I had the privilege of attending the Business Summit on Tuesday, one day earlier than Codegarden itself. During the day we've had the chance to net... Friend Make with a lot of other business representatives, doing a bit of reflection with Umbraco HQ on the year that has past, and get a sneakpeak on what in stall for the future of Umbraco! 🔮
After the opening by Umbraco, we've travelled around Odense to visit various different sessions, where I got scheduled to attend the "Umbraco Cloud and You" session by Kec, "Carbon Emissions in the Cloud" by Andy Eva-Dale, and "An Introduction to Vendr" by Matt Brailsford. All three of them excellent sessions!
During the evening break I've also had the chance to speak to Owner of Semantic, Neil Lewin, to gain some more insights in growing an agency! We've had some chats about how great it would be for a growing business to be nominated as potential Best Cloud Solution during the Umbraco Awards... and not just be nominated, they've ended up actually winning the Best Cloud Solution Award! Congratulations Neil & Semanticl 🥂
Attachment 3. Welcome to Umbraco Business Summit 2023
Walk the walk... Wednesday till Friday
Next to all the opportunities to do some friend making, it was great to be able to attend so many wonderful sessions this year. Instead of focusing purely on the various technical talks, I decided to put some extra focus on the non-technical talks among the bunch. It was great to see so much attention on non-hard-skill related sessions, but the few non-tech talks that stood out to me the most were definitely:
- From Classroom to Career: Nurturing Newcomers for Success and Innovation, by Jasmine Greenaway
- Mental Health in Technology, by Jacob Spencer
- The Importance of Mentorship and Communities in Tech, by Jonah Anderson
- Why coding and empathy aren’t that far apart, by Mette Balslev Lorenzen
I personally considered it a great chance of pace, and very inspiring to learn more about welcoming newcomers, the importance of mentorship, and talks about mental health and empathy! 🧠
But of-course I wouldn't be a developer at a tech conference if I didn't love some of the amazing technical talks too this year! We've had talks look at the differences between working Umbraco 'In the olden days' compared to the new ways of working with Umbraco in .NET Core, we've had talks looking at the new features ahead in Umbraco 12/13/14, and there was a lot of attention to Sustainability, MACH, and DXP this year, all of which are very relevant topics! 🍀
All in all it was another amazing experience, on which I was extremely glad I was able to make it! With only 8 hours of flight delays, a not-out-of-the-ordinary lack of sleep, and something about competitive Jenga (you had to be there 😉), it was another wonderful Codegarden worth looking back on!
If there is one more thing I can share with you lot, it would be this wonderful blog written by Mikkel Secher whose article has gotten some worthy praise by the Umbraco community this year, where he writes all about his experience as a first time Codegarden attendee. Be sure to give it a read:
Attachment 4. Enjoying a cold beer on a warm summer day with my colleagues in Odense
Thank you very much for making it to the end, see you next time! 😊☕