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Key insights from Codegarden 2019

Hej! (Hello in Danish)

I am happy to report I am back from Denmark and keen to spread all the Codegarden love to Australia. Codegarden is the annual gathering of the Umbraco community in at DOK5000 in Odense, the home of Umbraco HQ.

I was lucky enough to spend three days as an Umbraco Gold Partner, learning, mingling, and celebrating the best of Umbraco. I was also honored to be a judge for the Umbraco awards and helped select the communities best projects for recognition.

As a returning attendee, I was particularly impressed with the quality of speakers this year. A few talks stood out that I'd like to highlight in this post. I would suggest keeping an eye on the Codegarden19 website, as they will post videos in the weeks to come.

Emma Burstow, @emmaburst and Umbraco MVP, did a cracker of a talk on developing .NET talent. It was not the talk I thought it was going to be. Instead, it was an exploration of how we learn, the danger of stereotypes, and the benefits of praising on process rather than outcomes. I found her insights and emphasis on the importance of reflection in the learning process to be the most valuable. I quickly picked up a copy of Dr. Carol Dweck's work: Mindset, Changing the way you think to fulfill your potential, as per Emma's suggestion. If there is one resource I'd recommend from attending Codegarden, it would be this book as the takeaways can improve your work, relationships, and personal leadership journey.

Speaking of performance, Tim Kadlec, @timkadlec, opened my eyes to how web performance is not merely a one-off annual process but needs to stem from an ongoing culture of performance. I am not a developer, but he broke down website performance into manageable and logical pieces. Too often the brief is to make a site faster but rarely do we talk about the why, how, and what-ifs on an ongoing basis. I had not paid much attention to Google's Data Saver extension; Tim helped me understand the value of this setting and how developers need to take control of providing lightweight user experiences regardless of browser settings. You can learn more about Tim's perspective and holistic website performance on his blog -

My last highlight is Deane Barker, @gadegetopia; he did a barn burner talk about the future of content management systems. Deane has literally written a book on content management systems; he offered some mind-blowing insights into what the future may look like. He foresees content management systems seamlessly gluing content together from various places without the user being able to distinguish the difference in sources. This type of content distribution strategy currently exists but is custom development heavy. Deane suggests that in the future, we might need content management systems that combine channels out of the box and even natively combine multiple content management systems.

When you look at the Instagram photos from Codegarden, #cg19, it is easy to assume it's all bingo, beer, and having a great time connecting with the Umbraco community. Yes, that is the fun part of it. Going back to Emma's talk, it is, above all, a fantastic time to reflect on digital perspectives from around the world. Codegarden reiterates that many of us are battling similar issues in digital development, but we are all overcoming obstacles in our unique ways. Codegarden is, for me at least, taking time out of my busy life, to improve, share, and enhance my own digital spaces and communities. I came back inspired to be a better digital leader with new tools and ideas to put into the Australian Umbraco community.

If you want to learn more about the technical highlights of Codegarden, please join us at the next BUUG meetup on June 20th as we dive deeper into the Umbraco v8 roadmap and development insights.