Two of our Umbraco developers Kerry Lindsay and Chris Williamson attended Umbraco Codegarden in a less than sunny Odense, Denmark. Codegarden is the largest Umbraco conference in the world, with panel sessions, keynote speakers and networking events, attracting over 600 delegates from around the globe.
Following the conference, we caught up with Kerry (KL) and Chris (CW) to learn more about Codegarden and any developments to Umbraco.
Kerry and Chris being welcomed to Codegarden
Tell us about the conference in three words…
KL: Friendly, enlightening, fun.
CW: Informative, entertaining, interesting.
What was your key takeaway from Codegarden?
KL: Although I learnt an awful lot at Codegarden, it also made me realise how much more I have to learn! The immediate things I am looking into following Codegarden are project structure and microsites. I have also joined the Umbraco community – GitHub (which is a developer community with 36m members) and I am looking forward to contributing to discussions.
CW: One of my main takeaways from the conference is exactly how flexible the Umbraco platform is! There were many instances where development organisations are only using the Umbraco CMS (not its website ability) alongside artificial intelligence to identify images and sort them into information to create responses for a Facebook chatbot for one of the UK’s leading supermarkets.
What new Umbraco updates did you see at the conference and how could it improve the websites we create for our clients?
KL: The main new update is, of course, Umbraco 8. There are many improvements in Umbraco 8 including a whole new way of creating multi-lingual content, improvements to the aesthetics, increases in performance and loading speed. The introduction of content apps will also help to provide a better and more intuitive editor experience, potentially giving immediate feedback on optimising content as it’s being written instead of after publishing.
Also, on the Umbraco roadmap is an updated rich text editor – which is easier to style and extend, a block-based editor for structured data and an improved grid using CSS grid – providing a much more flexible grid structure, instead of the bootstrap 12 column grid. The result will be that our websites have more styling options.
CW: There was a large focus this year on accessibility not just within the Umbraco CMS but across web development as a whole. Technical and industry standards that are being used to shape and improve website experiences for everyone by building this functionality natively into the markup will mean that the websites that we build for our clients will be better for everyone to use.
Tell us about any new technologies that were explored at Codegarden…
KL: The most interesting new piece of technology that I saw at Codegarden is the plan to change some of the underlying Umbraco architecture and to convert at least some of the underlying structure to .Net Core with new features being introduced to the new framework.
CW: The Umbraco Cloud was a hot topic at the conference, from discussing it at the key talks through to a booth where people could use it. With the cloud Umbraco are providing future integration with build engines such as TFS, this will allow clients to potentially release their own changes live after testing with a click of the button from the CMS. The other part of the cloud that was showcased was the baseline site, this means changes and bugfixes can be done in one place then rolled out to all site simultaneously, but still allow customisation on each individual site if need.
Would you like to attend Codegarden 2020?
KL: Yes, most definitely.
CW: Within a second, yes and every following year after that 😊!
Codegarden in full swing