Umbraco CodeGarden 2013

I'm belated writing on the conclusion to my trip to Europe in June. There is a lesson on failing to stop and smell the roses, but I haven't time for that:


While in Denmark for the first time this year for Addisolv, I attended Umbraco CodeGarden 2013, the three day conference (or, as they say, festival) for the Danish .Net-based Content Management System (CMS). Umbraco is open source and emphasizes its friendly community, making the personality of CodeGarden extremely different from the usual corporate .Net product conference.

Photo by Doug Robar 

It very swiftly lived up to the "Code" in its name when the keynote only took about ten minutes before jumping into JavaScript. We got a preview of the shiny, new, Angular.js-powered back-end for Umbraco 7, which looks like it will rectify the outdated look of the back-end tools for administrators. By putting the software and developer experience first, the conference immediately took on a tone of knowledge sharing rather than corporate salesmanship.


Umbraco really emphasizes its friendly community, and friendly they were. Most people seemed to be from just around the geographic corner. For instance, Marc from Germany was a hybrid devsigner able to talk branding strategy or Umbraco pipeline. Denmark, Holland, and England seemed to be the largest contributing nations. The diversity did force a lot more spoken English, which was a relief after a week of being surrounded by culturally encrypted communication.


Plenty of other American attendees did make it, such as Janae and her friends from Mindfly who are also from WA. On the final day, recovering from the mind-blowing experience of Umbraco Bingo, a conspiracy formed to bring some of the Umbraco culture to the US. Joining the North American Umbraco Users Group and Umbraco USA LinkedIn Group are two ways to get connected as it happens.

Umbraco CodeGarden was a fantastic experience. The best aspect of open source products is when people can feel like contributors instead of just customers. It was a chance to enumerate group accomplishments and look forward to more, rather than just waiting for the next command from the mothership. I hope I can return to Copenhagen to celebrate another year at the best .Net software festival in the world.