CodeGarden Retreat 2018

28/05/2018 umbraco codegarden cg18

About this time of year for the last few years I write a blog post about going to Umbraco Codegarden. But this year it’s a bit different… I arrived in Odense a few days earlier as I was invited to the pre conference retreat.


What’s the retreat? Well, exactly. I didn’t know either, but I was excited to find out. That kind of nervous excited that means you only got 3 hours sleep (thanks brain, I appreciate it). The TLDR: a mix of Umbraco HQ and community members who then spend 3 days together creating ideas, collaborating and hacking. Want the long version? Then read on.


Day 1:

So, with my 3 hours sleep and a laptop I met up with the other attendees for brunch. Not going to lie, it’s a bit strange being able to hang out with people who you “know” from their name in source code or from on the stage at conference talks. I guess that’s the friendliness of the Umbraco community!

The attendees were: NielsShannonSebastiaanStephanMadsJacobIlhamEricaKyleEmmaLeeMattEmmaJefferyMikeMarcDamiaanJeavonLarsCallumMarcin & Anders.


After brunch we headed to Umbraco HQ. Kicking off with some introductions and demos from the HQ team we got to setting the agenda of the retreat. 4 main themes were used to focus us and we then voted on the ideas to be worked on. These were based on: handling PRs, Our Umbraco, HQ & Community collaboration and v8.

Day 2:

Bright and early we were taken to Stella Maris hotel in the lovely area Svendborg. If you follow any of us on social media you might think we just sat by the sea (some went in, crazy people!) and drinking beer but we soon shut ourselves away from the wonderful view and got to work. We split into groups to kick off our projects. Some worked on UX of Our Umbraco, v8 Grid, building a microsite for v8, documentation, pull request workflow. I worked in a team with NielsMike and Kyle looking to implement a community social feed around the idea of giving each other high fives for the awesome work we do. I also took some time out from coding to take part in some chats with Ilham & Jacob from HQ about collaboration & communication with community.

Then it was time for a lovely 3 course dinner, I’m not going to lie and say it was all coding. We were working hard but totally spoiled at the same time. This ended up being a surprisingly late night chatting with everyone. Particular shout out to Erica and the Emma’s (sounds like a band name, right?), we all have a shared experience of being a women in the tech industry and it was awesome to get to know these amazing ladies a bit better.


Day 3:

After an early morning 8km run and some more awesome food for breakfast, it was time to get coding again. We started off with a progress report from the day before then continued on our projects. I finally started to feel like I knew where I was in the Our Umbraco code base and was able to make good progress on the API and database side of the project.

This afternoon Callum and Marcin streamed a live episode of UmbraCoffee called "Demystifying the Umbraco Retreat", check it out here!

Next up: lunch in the sunshine. I know I keep mentioning meals, not just it was *that* good but also because it was the time to chat to each other. Hearing the stories of how people found themselves in their career path really interests me and also just getting to know them better as “real people”, not just developers.

But anyway, back to being developers. We finalised what we could for the retreat and presented our work to each other. It was great to see how much people can achieve in just 2 days on a task, we got a chance to demo this at the conference too.


The end :(

On Tuesday morning we left shortly after breakfast and headed back to Odense.

I genuinely can’t explain how appreciative I am to have the chance to take part in things like this. A wee girl from Glasgow who likes computers somehow finds a job that allows her to fly to Denmark and hang out with awesome people who like the same things?!…Seriously grateful!

Thanks to the team @ Umbraco for the invite <3



...The beginning :)

Just as we arrived in Odense sad that the retreat was over, all the fabulous Umbracians from around the world started arriving and it was actually just the start of CG18! I think the story of CG18 conference is one for another blog post (coming soon!).

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