Codegarden is the biggest Umbraco conference in the world and is the only Umbraco conference that’s organized by Umbraco HQ - the company behind Umbraco CMS. Over three days developers, business owners, and creatives meet to discuss all things Umbraco.

This year’s conference (which happened June 9-11) was a little different as it needed to be an all-virtual experience.  While we weren’t all able to gather in the same place, it also meant that we didn’t have to fly across an ocean to attend - although we did have to wake up a little earlier than usual (Umbraco is based in Denmark, meaning the conference ran on Denmark time!)

The conference took place over 3 days, with the first day being a pre-party, the 2nd day focused on talks from Umbraco HQ around the product, and the 3rd day focused on the community.  The organizers did a great job at keeping the technology platform running and keeping the energy of an in-person conference in a virtual setting. Let’s break down how the conference went and the 4 takeaways we’re most excited about!

The Conference

Each day was broken into groups with four sessions all focused around a similar topic, followed by an “unconference” session, which was a time for Q&As and interaction with the speakers. It was great to hear all the perspectives on each topic since each day was focused on a single subject and the format was great in keeping attendees engaged as they moved from session to session.

The first day of the conference started with the Gold Partner Summit. Emergent Software is an Umbraco Gold partner and we were able to attend to hear exclusive updates about Umbraco initiatives and how we can best utilize them to support our clients. After that was the Umbraco awards, where Umbraco highlights all the great solutions their partners create for the community. Finally came the pre-party, which included games and networking time. Despite being virtual, it kept many Codegarden traditions alive!

The second day focused on technical talks from Umbraco HQ. It kicked off with the keynote given by Kim Sneum Madsen, the CEO of Umbraco, highlighting all that Umbraco has done in the last year, and its roadmap for the future. The day continued with product updates from the various Umbraco teams, such as the Umbraco Cloud, Umbraco Deploy, and of course the Umbraco CMS. It was great to hear the team’s thoughts and reasons behind the recent decisions and to see where the future of Umbraco is going.

The third day was all about the community, with 2 tracks and 28 talks. This day was filled with all sorts of different ways in which people are using Umbraco. It is always awesome to see how other people approach their clients’ problems and how they solve them. It was also great to hear the perspectives of non-developers such as designers and marketers, in how they think about websites and how Umbraco can help them do their job.

4 Umbraco Codegarden takeaways we’re most excited about

1. Umbraco v9 is almost here!

Umbraco 9, the next major version of Umbraco, is going to be amazing. It is built on .NET 5, the next generation of Microsoft .NET framework (also known as  .NET Core), which is going to make it the most powerful Umbraco version ever. People have already started building with it and are seeing dramatic performance increases - making their sites faster while using fewer resources. It is scheduled to be released in August, and we cannot wait to start building sites with it!

2. Umbraco is looking ahead to 2022 and beyond

Umbraco is working on a new initiative to “future-proof the back office”, separating the concerns of UI of the CMS, to make it easier for Umbraco to deploy updates without breaking existing sites. This involves removing the current dependency on AngularJS and using web components instead, allowing for any Javascript framework, and making it easier than ever for developers to add amazing features into the back office. This initiative is going to improve the processes of developers and make updates to the platform significantly easier – saving everyone time and frustration!

3. Headless Umbraco solutions are becoming more popular

A headless CMS is a way to separate the front-end presentation layer from the content repository and is growing in popularity among Umbraco users.  While this adds some complexity to the system, it gives developers more flexibility in how the presentation layer is built, allowing for things such as Single Page Apps or Static sites. This idea opens the world of possibilities with Umbraco and it was great to hear all the different ways people are using this to deliver amazing solutions. We’ve used headless Umbraco CMS solutions previously and we’re excited to see how we can continue to apply Umbraco to meet the unique needs of our clients!

4. Umbraco’s community is awesome!

Normally, meeting the great members of the community and socializing would be a highlight of any conference, but this year being virtual, things were a little different but still had the energy you would expect from an event. In place of a real bar, Umbraco hosted a virtual bar, where you could tweet about the conference and get a virtual drink. During each session, the video had a live chat, where users could discuss the talk as it went on. And, the “unconference” sessions gave a direct connection with the speaker, so we could connect and ask questions. We had a blast meeting fellow Umbraco users from around the world and connecting with the community behind our favorite CMS.

The three days of talks were filled with lots of useful information on what we can do with Umbraco. We’re already counting down the days until next year’s conference and hope to one day attend in person!

Interested in learning more about why we love Umbraco? Contact our team today to discuss your next website development project!