This year's Codegarden was one like no other. A virtual gathering of Umbraco enthusiasts, ready to connect and learn. Tons of great talks, lots of buzz for Umbraco 9 and a whole heap of fun and friendly faces!
Oh, and we won an award!
We were delighted to see so many great agencies win awards for their excellent work, but doubly so when our Vendr Prestige Partner, Bump Digital, won Best Editing Experience for their Umbraco + Vendr eCommerce site, cakeshop.com.
We were also very pleased that our own Matt Brailsford was a renewed MVP for the 8th year running!
Later, on that same evening, we were treated to some pre-party fun with Lotte Pitcher and Arnold Visser. We loved the brilliant concept of the virtual Codegarden bar! A super idea from Lotte, executed by Sven Geusens. It really brought the CG vibe we’ve all been missing. All we had to do was Tweet @codegardenbar with our drink request from the bar menu and hey presto, our drinks were served! We could also ‘buy’ drinks for our fellow Umbraco friends, which was a lovely touch.
There were many great talks across the two jam-packed days. Initial talks on day one were from Umbraco HQ team members, centred around the changes to come in Umbraco 9 and beyond, providing a lot of insight for what’s to come. Some stand out talks for us on day one came from Mike Masey with his talk - Web Components through the medium of tea an coffee - an enthusiastic presentation on how web components work, and from Filip Bech-Larsen of Umbraco HQ with his talk - Future APIs for Extending BackOffice - this was of particular interest to us for the future of Vendr and the things we can do to improve our product.
Day two started with a bang, straight into the Umbraco Package awards. Again, it was brilliant to see so many super packages win awards. Especially for the likes of long-time package dev pal, Lee Kelleher for his awesome package, Contentment, a beautifully created component tool which we use on vendr.net site. For Jeffrey Schoemaker and the team at Perplex for uMarketingSuite, a slick marketing A/B testing package which we’ve had the honour of collaborating with for the Umbraco Cloud + uMarketingSuite + Vendr Swag Shop, which will launch soon. And finally to Kevin Jump, winning All Round Best Package for uSync/uSync Complete. I think everyone was waiting for this win as we all love uSync and the support that comes with it from Kevin. Which we know first hand from the top-notch support we received from Kevin when we created the Vendr uSync add-on, allowing easy deployment of Vendr settings between environments.
There was another award win we’re absolutely thrilled with, Vendr won an Umbraco Award for Best Expansion Package! The category was for “packages that add substantial additional functionality to Umbraco, extending into areas beyond the CMS and demonstrating how Umbraco can be a true experience platform.”
The Judges said, “Vendr has everything you need to get up and running with Umbraco eCommerce very easily and quickly. One of the great things about Vendr is the documentation around it, clearly a lot of love invested here. It also allows extensibility, payment providers for example, where you can make your own and contribute it back to the community.”
The fact we were nominated is amazing, but to be selected to receive an award means the world to us. Big thanks to those who nominated and to the judges for selecting our solution to win. Vendr, award winning eCommerce, has a ring to it!
After we had calmed down from the excitement, it was onto the last day of talks. Two tracks this time, full of lots of interesting subjects. Matt was up to talk about “Why we built the Vendr docs site four times”. So many lessons learnt there!
With two tracks of talks to choose from it was impossible to see them all. We heard so many good things about a lot of talks we missed, but we had some favourites from the day. We loved Callum Whyte’s talk - Making search FRIENDLY - Callum went into great detail about best approaches for using Examine for search in Umbraco. With so many options and possibilities, having them honed and explained was very insightful. We were slightly scared but fascinated by Steven Harland’s talk - Offensive Umbraco: Notes of a Friendly Adversary - as an infosec expert, Steven explained some of the many ways in which websites, servers, you name it, can be open to hack attacks. But in particular how packages can provide a way in, which as package developers, is something we’re keen to learn more on. We know Steven has a lot more to say on the subject, so we’re looking forward to any follow up talks or blog posts he might publish.
As the day went on with so much information to take in, excitement from seeing our lovely friends and the award win, we began to flag a little. Plus our third, furry team member (Tiggy the cockapoo) wanted to go for a walk and play ball, so we had to dip in and out. But the day was all wrapped up nicely with an aftershow, hosted by Umbracoffee's Callum Whyte and Marcin Zajkowski. We switched coffee for beer/pop, cast it to the big telly and sat back to watch the fun unfold.
We really enjoyed Codegarden 2021. It was clear to see the amount of hard work and prep that had gone into the three days, from the technical behind the scenes work, on screen presentations, to the fun promotional videos and in between segments. Everyone really got into their roles and it was brilliant to see. We did miss seeing the Chief Unicorn, Niels Hartvig, at the event. He brings so much fun and positivity to proceedings. We really hope to see him and all our Umbraco friends, in person, at next year’s Codegarden. It’s been super hard not to see folk, hug them and experience the whole thing together. It’s NOT a cult!
Thanks for reading.
Lucy, Team Vendr