Umbraco Festival Deutschland
I have wanted to visit Germany since I started studying the language when I was 10 years old. Umbraco Festival Deutschland would be my first time in the country, and the city of Frankfurt certainly didn’t disappoint. From the awesome views from the Byte5 offices at the festival pre-party to the sunrise on my morning run before the conference, the city was lovely.
The Most Popular .Net CMS
In the keynote, Niels Hartvig, the chief unicorn and founder of Umbraco, gave us an update from Umbraco HQ. As is a tradition in keynotes, we like numbers! We got an update on the latest number of active installs - which is set to be half a million by the end of the year. Niels also confirmed that Umbraco is the most popular .Net CMS.
High five Umbraco!
“Be mentored, be a mentor”
The conference kicked off with the always inspirational Doug Robar, making sure we wake up and talk to each other. We were asked to find someone we didn’t already know and say good morning, share a bit about yourself and give a high five! As a fairly shy person, this is always a wee bit awkward but after a few seconds that goes away and you have made a new friend - wonderful! Doug told us the power of mentors and how we should both be mentored by someone helping us to move forward but also be mentors ourselves. Even if you don’t think you have anything to share, you do!
In the keynote we also got a sneak peek at Umbraco V8, even if it was accidentally referred to as the now infamous V5! The first thing I noticed was the changes to UI, where the sidebar menu is now a header nav, and goodbye to tabs in doctypes! Niels mentioned (and later tweeted) that the 4 new words for Umbraco this year are: Variants, Infinite Editing, Headless and Content Apps. It seems like 3 out of 4 of these are aimed at V8. When I mention Varients, I mean multilingual content built into Umbraco. We saw a demo in the Keynote, it looks really cool and intuitive to use for content editors. This was good to see the work in progress and is a great addition to Core Umbraco. Niels also mentioned segments would come in a later version of V8.
As for launch dates for V8, we don’t know yet but it seems like the effort at HQ has turned to V8 development, so here’s hoping we can get playing with it soon.
Matt Brailsford’s session was called “How I fell in love with VueJS” and he gave an intro to how VueJS works and how we can get started. Matt’s slides were awesome and really unique. He showed the story of other “relationships” with JS frameworks and how he met “the one” in VueJS. Again, I really would recommend watching the video when they are online.
Go Live is Just Day One
I was really pleased to be invited to speak at UFD18, not just as an excuse to visit Germany but a chance to show some of the cool work we are doing here at Equator! In my talk “Go live is just day one”, I discussed our Village Hotels project; focusing on all of the work we have done since going live to optimise conversion, help business transformation and implement some innovative IOT projects too. As always, the Umbraco community is a friendly crowd and I got some good feedback on my talk and the project.
One of the most talked about things in Umbraco at the moment is Umbraco headless. Basically a headless CMS is one with no set front end & the content is available to use anywhere (via API). At Equator, we often have our sites serving content via API as well as the web front end so we are keen to see where this new product goes. After a demo of headless in the keynote, we got a full session on this from Rune and Mads from Umbraco HQ. This talk was really useful and funny ( I would suggest catching the video when it goes online for full context). It was really interesting seeing how the Umbraco API could then be used to implement a site in Node.js using the Umbraco npm library. This means once set up, a front end developer could build an Umbraco site with no .Net/ C#/ Razor views needed!
We also got a demo of a chatbot created using the information from the headless API, this time using the .Net standard library. Therefore, you could have any .Net (even core) version implementing an Umbraco solution. There is so much potential for building cool stuff here, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it develops.
As always when attending an Umbraco event, I am overwhelmed by how welcoming and encouraging the community is. How cool is it that you can go to another country you have never visited and be welcomed with big hugs, often by people you have only “met” on Twitter or Slack?!
Being able to travel to other countries and share what we are working on and learn from others is something I really enjoy. If there are any developers out there reading this, thinking it sounds like something they would like to do... get involved! The community is so welcoming (not called the friendly CMS for nothing!) and there are so many ways to contribute. Find out more about local meetups and community online resources here and if you are a local Umbraco developer here in Glasgow, come along to Equator office for the Glasgow Umbraco User Group. We hope to see you soon!