Meetups, partnerships, events... A Year of Firsts

We’re nearly three quarters of the way through 2023 and, in the wake of our recent announcement about our Umbraco Platinum Partner status, our head of software engineering Ian Grieve reflects on a year that has held lots of firsts for Shout – proof that agencies can still be doing new things at the grand old age of 14.

The first Umbraco Newcastle Meetup

We hosted the first Umbraco Newcastle Meetup in April and were delighted to see some new faces from the region attending to hear talks from our guest speakers Rick Butterfield and Bjarke Berg. 

Rick’s talk “Decarbonising the planet, one Umbraco upgrade at a time” was packed with concrete statistics and certainly inspired me to think about what developers and the IT industry can do to make our products and services sustainable! 

(This is also aligned to Umbraco’s commitment with the creation the new Sustainability Team.) 

The EU’s adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has a massive impact on how businesses operate and on how developers build digital solutions.  Umbraco are taking it seriously too, with the introduction of a reporting dashboard to verify how green the website is performing.

Bjarke delivered his talk on the hot topic of the “New Backoffice”.  It was great to see what that means for content editors and developers going forward, especially aspects of development that should be considered when preparing for the upgrade when the time comes.  This one has really got our front-end developers excited.

We’re a friendly bunch so do pop along to future events.

The first Umbraco Newcastle meetup

The UK’s First Umbraco Contributing Platinum Partners

We were the first Umbraco Platinum Partners to be announced in the UK, back at Codegarden in June, and that is nothing short of amazing! 

The Platinum tier represents agencies that are creating enterprise level solutions with the Umbraco platform and there are only 9 UK agencies on the list, so we are very proud to be there.

Fundamentally it’s all down to the great job our engineers and delivery team do day to day.  A job they LOVE doing day to day.  Everyone cares about the quality of work we produce, partnering with our clients, and making a real difference to end users.

Well done, and a massive thanks.

celebrating Shout's Inclusion on Umbraco Platinum Partner Tier

My First (in-person) Umbraco Codegarden

Colleagues from Shout Digital have attended Codegarden previously but this was my first in person experience and I wasn’t disappointed.

We got to Odense early to attend the Business Summit before Codegarden kicked off officially.

The main focus centred around Composable DXP, Sustainability, and the future of the CMS we all love. Umbraco CMS Core remains at the centre of all things Umbraco, supplemented by Cloud and Heartcore.  Encompassing those are support, training and add-ons, and finally the partner program.

Add-ons such as Umbraco Commerce (created from the acquisition of Vendr / Outfield Digital) and CI/CD Cloud will be a great additions to Umbraco. All of this supports Umbraco’s commitment to become best-of-breed content management system and to expand its offer to compete with the enterprise DXP Platforms.

Marianne Dahl’s talk was certainly insightful. Key takeaways that resonated with me are to stop chasing the next KPI by moving from “Burning platform” to “Burning desire” and to motivate people by shifting from a culture of “Know it all” to “Learn it all”, and from “Functional management” to “Value management”

Hearing the growth and direction of Umbraco’s roadmap and more about the organisation’s core values reminded me why it’s my favourite CMS platform, as both a content editor and a developer. 

Reflecting on the Codegarden experience, I was amazed by the number of people I spoke to from all over the world – Australia, US, South Africa and obviously Europe.

There was a pretty consistent theme around DXP, MACH, Headless, and the new web component-driven back office experience. 

Kevin Jump has done a Codegarden 2023 Roundup which is a great read if you want to get a flavour for the whole event  

But these are the improvements we’re most excited about at Shout HQ:

  • Headless coming to the main Umbraco offer from v12
  • EF Core
  • The New, web component-driven Backoffice experience coming in v. 14
  • Lazy loaded content being brought into the CMS by default in v13
  • Block level variants
  • CI/CD for Cloud
  • Improved load balancing

And of course watching Candid Contributions & umbraCoffee was awesome.

Bjarke got his Viking on when playing the hammer games and no one will forget Jenga!

Thanks Emma Garland for taking time to come and chat in between talks and the entire HQ for putting on a such great event #H5YR

Codegarden 2023

My First time in Odense

Odense is the third largest city in Denmark (behind Copenhagen and Aarhus) and, among other things, is the home of Umbraco – their HQ is there, and the Codegarden conference is hosted in the town’s redeveloped Harbour area.

Andrew Long and I did manage to get a small window of time after the conference before heading home. 

So we decided to visit the Hans Christian Andersen House Museum.  Described on their website as “a surprising and fascinating journey into the author’s creative universe – and his beloved fairy tales.” The experience didn’t disappoint.  The museum comes to life with an immersive audio experience, enhanced with, art, design and visual effects centred around his life and works.  A fairy tale gem of a museum.

Odense is a beautiful city – from cobbled streets, to extensive parks, to the cycling and café culture – there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

We bumped into Andrew McKaskill (Fresh from his stint on stage at Codegarden, talking about how the Royal Navy powers its MyNavy platform with Umbraco) in the museum and decided to head to the local park, where we watched a dress rehearsal for the H.C. Andersen Festival Plays, whilst chatting all things Umbraco and life in general. 

If you get the opportunity, Odense is definitely worth a visit!

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