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Umbraco Codegarden 2023

by Thomas Morris

4-minute read

Tech Blog Umbraco Codegarden 2023 Header

Recently, a couple of our team had the opportunity to attend the annual Umbraco conference known as Codegarden.

Hosted in Odense, Denmark it pulls together 800+ in person to the event, but also a number of people were able to attend online as a hybrid experience.

Split across 3 days there is a real community feel to the conference, with social events happening around the usual schedule of talks. Breaks in between were greeted with friendly conversation and games. There was even a pre-party where we got to meet a number of people ahead of the main event. 

Umbraco highlights

On day one, we were greeted with a high five, informed to welcome our speakers (with a standing ovation, a theme that continued throughout) and introduced to a keynote from Umbraco. This was a whistle stop tour on the highlights from the team, with lots of interesting changes on the horizon. 

  • Umbraco 12 launch (inc. the content delivery API)
  • Umbraco Cloud improvements for enterprise (e.g. load balancing, 2FA, custom deployment strategies)
  • Sustainability dashboard in Umbraco Cloud
  • DXP evolution, introducing Umbraco Commerce and Workflow
  • Alpha release for the new backoffice (expected in v14)

As you can see, there is a lot in the pipeline and we’re pleased to see the headless capabilities being added to the core product opening up new opportunities for how we use Umbraco in our projects. 

The other side that we’re really pleased to see is the sustainability focus and Umbraco taking ownership of their carbon footprint, as well as allowing customers to monitor this within Umbraco Cloud projects. It’s something we’re actively engaged with Umbraco on after two members of manifesto joined the Umbraco sustainability team, looking at ways we can work together to reduce carbon emissions on Umbraco websites and share best practices when it comes to building sustainable websites. And it’s not just websites, all attendees had their carbon offset, and the swag store was using leftover stock from previous years.


The talks

There were a number of great talks at this year’s conference. As you might expect, there were a number of tech talks from a deep dive into the new Block Grid editor to advanced debugging techniques to interacting with low-code platforms to automate common tasks.

There was significant interest in the new back office and related talks referring to web components, which is the approach being used to build out individual elements of the back office to produce the overall experience. It’s all based on web standards, something that should see this achieve longevity from a tech point of view. Due to launch next year, getting an introduction to the technology stack in this sense was super helpful.

The DXP team got to showcase the great work they’ve been doing recently, with feature talks for Umbraco Commerce and Umbraco Workflow, and a run-through of Umbraco as an extensible platform. The point is that whilst Umbraco provides a great core, it can be composed of a number of integrations that can be handled via packages or custom development to make it truly work for you and your clients' needs. The marketplace for Umbraco is taking shape, with a newly launched website to find possible options.

In contrast to perhaps some other tech conferences, there were also a number of other talks ranging from mental health in technology, to the compassionate developer in open source and how coding and empathy aren’t that far apart. Accessibility and sustainability were both on the program, showcasing their importance in digital projects.

Given that well-being is so vital for our day-to-day life, it was great to see a mixture of tech-focused talks and others that were aimed at the surrounding teams and behavioural aspects of working within our industry.


Thoughts from the team

It was Richard’s first time at the conference; here are a few of his thoughts:

"Being a part of the Umbraco community for many years I was always aware of Codegarden and the rich lore and stories surrounding it. Having a good idea of what to expect I was blown away by the scale of the event and the attitude of all its attendees."

"Umbraco really is the friendly CMS! It was apparent by the content and the variety of talks provided that not only Umbraco as a business and CMS have matured but also the community and what they expect of their industry leaders."

For Thomas, he’s been a number of times before and was awarded with Umbraco MVP status on stage this year. Here’s what he had to say:

"As conferences go, this one is pretty special, and it was a welcome return to see how much it's grown from previous years whilst keeping the community feeling that makes working with Umbraco so awesome."

"It was a pleasure to join the list of MVPs alongside so many other great names known for their contributions to the community. And it was lovely to see a bunch of new and familiar faces. Shout out especially to the sustainability community team who I was able to meet in person for the first time."

From the talks presented and the wide variety of associated activities, the conference as a whole has really matured into a fantastic event for the Umbraco community supported by the HQ team.

We were delighted to be able to attend and improve our partnership with Umbraco, meeting a number of the core members of the team and asking questions that can assist with our projects. If you have an interest in an Umbraco project for you, then please get in touch.