There are lots of words used to describe Umbraco Codegarden09,
my two favorite being Ole Erling! This year's Codegarden had
174 attendees, loads of speakers, 36 open space sessions, 1,000's
of lines of code, 100's of liters of beer, and some - one of a kind
- bed sheets printed with a goofy picture of the Umbraco Core Team
and MVPs taken home by the lucky Umbraco bingo winner.
The venue this year in Copenhagen was Kedelhallen and it was
fantastic - plenty of space to interact and collaborate, a cozy
cafe, lawns filled with chairs, and the weather was absolutely
perfect (a Codegarden tradition). Personally, I had a
fantastic experience meeting many new people in the community and
(finally) meeting people I interact with daily in Twitter and the
Umbraco Forum. I never had a minute where I thought 'what
should I do now?' as friendly Umbraco people were eager to share,
discuss, and chat - this is one of the things that makes Umbraco
Codegarden unique among conferences.
Real Time Input
Between the Core Team retreat and Codegarden the week spent with
Umbraco people was exhausting, inspiring, and extraordinarily
productive. As many know already, one of my main projects is
Commerce for Umbraco and I received excellent
and relevant feedback from a number of attendees regarding items
that work well and items that don't work as well. This type
of feedback is the most valuable for an open source project as it
gives us a direction. Based on the feedback and experiences
of the project's users we expect a full release in approximately
60-days - hurray!
Another area that I focus some of my time and money in is the
development of the Umbraco Store (http://store.umbraco.org/) and
this received feedback as well. During an open space session
we discussed integrating the three current package repositories
(projects on our.umbraco.org, package repository, and the Umbraco Store)
into a more unified user experience. From this session
we created very clear, actionable items with assigned owners and,
with some luck and a bit of work, we'll have prototype of the
integrated experience in a few weeks. Look for more posts
from me on this topic as we continue to develop it. One
interesting item is that the reluctance to commercialize one's work
by selling packages in the Umbraco Store was noticeably absent in
discussions this year.
As you no doubt already know, the new Umbraco community site was
unveiled at Codegarden09 (http://our.umbraco.org/).
This site sets the standard for a much higher level of
collaboration between members of the Umbraco community. If
you haven't seen it yet, go check it out now.
Umbraco ASP.NET MVC
Some of the biggest news is the announcement of Umbraco's
adoption of the ASP.NET MVC framework for the v5 release. At
Codegarden this was the announcement that generated the greatest
buzz. At the Core Team retreat this was the focus of our
discussions and some prototypes were created to prove the proof of
concept. This is a very exciting direction for Umbraco and
one that you'll no doubt see many more posts and discussions about
in the coming year.
Scale and Momentum
Finally, as an attendee of past Codegardens one could not miss
that the scale of the event was actually, well, big. I think
this year (2009) marks the point at which the Umbraco Project is
bigger than Niels, or the Core Team, it is truly a community
project that is made by, and for, the people that use it. I
see this as a tremendous accomplishment and one that is
See you next year!