This morning I read a post from a Dev Evangelist at Oracle, who wrote about all the talks he is looking forward to at Oracle Code. It was a great post, but it got me to thinking, there’s so much more to look forward to about Code Garden than just the talks. So here’s the things I’m gong to enjoy at my CG18 experience.
My first Gold Partner Summit
The summit is the opportunity for all the Umbraco Gold Partners worldwide to get together to learn about the roadmap for the next year, to discuss issues and opportunities and to influence the direction of HQ. Although Carbon Six has been a Gold Partner for 5 years, the summit is fairly new, so this is an exciting time for me. The Gold Partner Programme has grown over the last 18 months so it’ll be great to meet some new Partners.
Code Garden has outgrown Umbraco HQ as a venue, so the pre-party will be our only opportunity to see Unicorn Square. This is another first for me, so I’m really excited about that.
The Key Note
Every Code Garden Niels, the Chief Unicorn (Umbraco’s CEO), gives the Key Note Address on day one. Niels always gives a great speech - usually a proper rabble rouser - but the key note is our chance to celebrate the achievements of HQ and the community, to see how much the platform has grown, to honour those that contribute most, and to crystal ball gaze about what is next on the road map.
The team organising Code Garden always put on a great spread. Great salad lunch’s and BBQ short ribs are some of my favorites. But I could happily live the rest of my life with it eating the pickled fish in a tin that was served at Umbraco Bingo a few years ago.
Meeting up with old friends
The Umbraco community is hugely supportive, and through meetups, conferences and online forum’s I’ve built a network of great friends, and Code Garden is a time to get together to catch up on work, family and life. But it’s not just a jolly, it’s a time to reconnect old bonds which often lead to new ideas and opportunities.
Getting a new profile photo
There’s always loads of great amateur photographers at Code Garden, chief among them being the redoubtable Doug Robar. If you’re lucky one of these great photographers will catch a reportage shot of your in mid-conversation, those make great profile shots.
Learning new stuff
This is a conference right, you’d think this was the most important thing. Not quite for me, but it is important. I’m only at Code Garden for the first two days, but that still means I’ll be there for some great looking talks on Headless Umbraco, AI and Bots, Building Umbraco sites in big teams.
Practicing my public speaking
After listening to a talk by Pete Duncanson about how we all have a responsibility to give back to the community, I’ve spent the last 18 months building up my public speaking skills at Umbraco conferences in Poland and USA, and this year I have my first slot to talk at Code Garden. I won’t lie, I’m properly nervous, but I’m among friends taking about my team’s achievements so I’ll be fine, and if not there’ll be a bar nearby.
Meeting new people
Now here’s the kicker: CodeGarden is an opportunity to meet new people. As a business owner this is gold dust so it’s my number one reason to be at Code Garden. I’ve met so many talented people at Umbraco events over the years that I’ve never needed to use a recruiter to secure contract developer resource.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t come naturally to me. I hate the last 5 seconds BEFORE I talk to someone new at a networking event of any sort - it makes me sick to my stomach. If I let it, then avoiding that feeling will completely paralyse me for the hour running up to that 5 seconds.
But I love it once I’ve started the conversation. I love finding out about what people do, why they’re at the event and what they’re hoping to get out of it. If I’m lucky then I conquer the fear, but sometimes not. So don’t be put off if you see me sticking with my colleagues or my friends, sometimes that’s just a security blanket, I still want to meet new people so come over and say hi.
This year we’re on the look out for a technical lead / lead developer, as well as contractor developers. So come on over, you never know where the conversation will lead.