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Kevin Jump
Kevin Jump

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Codegarden 2023

I'm Just back from Codegarden, (if you don't know, plenty of people will tell you what that is).

For me its a place I struggled-and-failed to get to last year because the UK government wouldn't let me leave the country (delayed passport). So much so that I had to give a talk last year remotely (package development, fun and profit)

Giving a talk at a conference is scary great. For one - once you have given a talk, people will already know who you are, and you get a free conversation started to ease awkward situations - but the pre talk stress does eat in to your enjoyment of the rest of the event, so this time I had chance to enjoy the whole event stress free*.

I went to a wide variety of talks, and as always is the ones you least expect that give you the new insight or way of thinking:

The talks I went to could probably be put into three groups:

Current (AKA you can do it now stuff)

For me the talks that covered 'current' (e.g not the new backoffice) things seemed to have a theme. Migrations. Now that might be because i see these things through the lense of my own code (uSync.Migrations) - but they made me have thoughts...

The talks on the Strangled Fig (bit by bit migration), web.config replacement and Middleware, had my head spinning with package ideas, about how we could have some sort of migration dashboard that lets you define which bits of your site are in v7 and which have made it over to v10.

Lee Kelleher blazes through contentment's features

Lee's talk on contentment just confirmed its not worth me doing any customization work on properties in the Backoffice because Lee has probably already done it with Contentment.

Future (AKA The New Backoffice)

  • Exploring the new Backoffice - Jacob Overgaard
  • Web components in Umbraco: crash course - advanced 😉 - Julia Gruszczynska
  • The Backender's Guide: Vite, UUI, and everything - Callum Whyte
  • Future of property editors: A Collaborative discussion. Niels Lyngsø and Jacob Overgaard

There was a lot of chat and talks around the new Backoffice and I personally can't wait to get home and write a dashboard with an incremental counter on it - because that was demoed a lot 😜

In all seriousness the people giving talks did a great job at demystifying web components and how we will all be able to work with the new Backoffice.

Jakob Overgaard and the backoffice API's

Both Jacob and Julia's talks gave me a real insight into how Web components will actually work, and Callum helped close the gaps on how we might actually start to build packages with the new tech.

but one of the most valuable sessions for me was the CMS backstage collaborative discussion around property editors. There Niels Lyngsø and Jacob Overgaard went over how you might build a property editor.

But more importantly they took questions about the whole process and integrations. I may have asked quite a few questions, but their answers and willingness to dive into any bit of the code to show us examples really helped me understand and begin to work out how things might actually work.

Despite the 'alpha' release there are still some rough edges that probably need to be ironed out before anything to 'technical' can be achieved by package developers.

How we will do custom Backoffice to front office communication isn't fully clear and I have been hanging out for localization - mainly as a marker to me that its probably ready enough to commit some serious time to._ (but see below for more!)_


  • The compassionate developer in open-source - Laura Weatherhead
  • World’s Best Kept Secret: Going from Dungeons & Dragons to Fortune 500 - Elise Bentley

They are not everyone's cup-of-tea, but I like a good "thinking" talk, and there a couple I missed that I wish I had seen. Laura's talk gave a great overview of how different people's personalities and skills contribute to the world of open source, and left me wondering if i need to be a bigger spanner in the world of Umbraco (in this sense that's a good thing, not a spanner in the works).

The talk by Elise from TinyMCE - was the last talk I could attend before I had to leave for home, and it really sealed the deal on an amazing Codegarden for me.

TinyMCE are a successful global company build on the foundation of an open source editor that was first build for a specific thing (dungeons and dragons forums) and has since become used well everywhere. Now they have a core open source tool with paid for add-ons and its proving they can run a successful company that way.

TinyMCE - Flywheel of success

Their "open source core" model resonated with me because that is so how we operate with uSync - a core free model, with value added extra coolness in the paid product (uSync.Complete).

The talk left me buzzing with some validation that what we are doing is OK and does make sense, and ideas especially on how we can close the feedback loop with uSync (and complete). I expect we will be doing some outreach very soon, to see if we can help people who can help us to see where we can improve people's pain points and make it all even more awesomerrer.

The post conference - conference 'workshop'

(the SAS lounge at Copenhagen Airport)

Firstly many, many shoutouts to Jacob Overgaard, who told us the secret that is the SAS lounge (surprisingly cheap if you are already flying with SAS, and really much much better than hanging around it the main airport paying for food and drinks).

Both Marc Goodson and Myself, had a wonderful chat with Jacob, while we waited for our flights, about all sorts of things from Umbraco cloud to heated butter dishes (I mean of course!).

But then Jacob gets out his laptop and we (well mostly him) started tackling the problem of localization in the new Backoffice!

Jacob had lots of ideas and before long he was coding away on possible solutions - while we quaffed the free coffee and fishcakes.

I felt a little guilty that I might have "nerd sniped" him into this, but he seemed really happy! Even when we had to leave him coding away as our flight was called!

All-in-all I am so fortunate that part of what I call my 'job' involves spending time with some many friendly and clever people who like to spend time at the 'conference' that is code garden.

Not so stress free: There have been a number of posts since Codegarden from people describing just how hard it can be to attend a conference like Codegarden when you are alone. And it is really hard. I had those times throughout codegarden when I was floating around to afraid to approach anyone or start a conversation and its scary, hard and well scary.

I have in the past walked out of conferences in fear of talking to people before, now I am so lucky that something like uSync makes for an ice breaker for so many people.

What I can say is I have never had anyone at Codegarden or any Umbraco event turn me away, and some of the best friends I now have I have met at Codegarden/Umbraco events over the years. So the scary can be worth it.

If you see me at a Conference please do come and talk to me, I like cycling, butter dish warming solutions, code and have far to much knowledge about localized advertising in Odense, but I am also interesting in almost anything - like did you notice how sharp the corners of the badges where this year?.

Top comments (2)

leekelleher profile image
Lee Kelleher

Ha, good to know that I'm not the only one nerd sniping people! (*cough* uSync Migrations) 🫢 Exciting to hear more about new backoffice localisation ideas (I'm sure Jacob will have info soon).

Good write up... and yes, those badge corners were so sharp!!! border-radius:1rem;

mrinasugosh profile image
Mrinalini Sugosh (Mrina)

Hey good to know you had an amazing time at CodeGarden this year! @kevinjump Would you be interested in contributing this article to the TinyMCE community?