Last week was the second annual Umbraco Spark event which focuses on innovation, with technical talks from the Umbraco community. And, it was the first time we got to share the simplicity of adding Vendr to an Umbraco site.
Hosted in Bristol by Gibe Digital, Umbraco Spark is not just another Umbraco event. It's aim is to focus on innovation and the technical side of Umbraco. This was the second annual Umbraco Spark and the first time we had attended. For such a new event it was really well executed, with some great talking spaces and a lot of community engagement.
The schedule was made up of two tracks, jam-packed with excellent technical talks from many of the big names in the Umbraco community. From talks on the status of Umbraco .NET Core migration, to product demos from the uMarketingSuite team and an unbelievably personal talk from Lee Kelleher on his experience developing open source packages, there was so much great content being shared it was hard to decide who to go see.
And of course, the schedule also featured a talk from our own Matt Brailsford, sharing for the first time all the hard work we have been putting into Vendr to make it simple to add to existing sites.
Thankfully for us, our session was one of the first of the day so we could share our story, sit back and enjoy the rest of the event.
For our talk we wanted to showcase the hard work we have been putting into the Vendr API making it a quick and easy way to integrate with an existing Umbraco website, a scenario that many Umbraco developers have been faced with in the past. To do this, we put together a story of a furniture maker, Clive, who hires a developer to create a portfolio website for his creations. After launch, he decides to add eCommerce into his site so that he can take orders. During our talk we showed how the original site could be extended to add those features using Vendr.
The room was packed and the talk went down really well. By presenting everything as a story that developers could relate to we really think it helped show the simplicity of implementing Vendr. So simple in fact, that we were able to show within a 1 hour talk all the elements that would be needed to do this.
For anybody who attended our session that would like to access the code presented, we've uploaded an example of the Remade by Clive site to GitHub in both pre and post Vendr setup so you can easily see the differences.
Throughout the day there were a number of excellent talks we really enjoyed.
The team from Perplex showcased their uMarketingSuite package which, little did the community know, we had collaborated on together before the event allowing us to use the same story of Clive the furniture maker for our demonstrations sites. This meant we could really showcase how well uMarketingSuite and Vendr could work together. The work the Perplex team have put into uMarketingSuite is unbelievable and we are just so pleased that by following the same ethos in development we are able to work together so well in an Umbraco solution.
The other stand out session for us was the one by Lee Kelleher sharing his personal experience of developing open source packages throughout the years. For anyone in the know, Lee Kelleher and our Matt Brailsford had long been collaborators when it came to open source package development, but even Matt was surprised with the story of Lee's burnout. It was a raw, emotional, heartfelt talk and something we can totally relate to. We are so glad to see Lee get his spark back and are so excited to see where his Contentment package goes (spoiler alert, we are using Contentment on this very site and it makes editing an absolute dream!).
It's so exciting and inspirational to see the creation of community driven events like these and for them to be so well received. Umbraco Spark have created a well oiled event with it's own twist, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
We can't wait to attend Spark next year and would like to thank everyone involved in putting this event together for doing such a fantastic job. 🙌 #h5yr