TinyMCE co-founder Joakim Lindkvist recently made his first visit to Umbraco’s annual user conference, intriguingly called CodeGarden. As you’ll learn, it was an amazing event, and we think there will be a much larger TinyMCE contingent next year. After all, who doesn’t like fighting knights and sushi?
What I learned at CodeGarden 2016
By Joakim Lindkvist
Umbraco HQ knows how to inspire and get the most from their community. What I found most interesting speaking with Umbraco’s founders were the similarities with how the TinyMCE team works, sharing many of the same issues we face as developers. Knowing that we have common challenges definitely helps build a sense of community.
The Umbraco events team went out of their way to activate and engage the community at the conference. The environment was incredibly supportive, and I know that a lot of people who are normally introverted (in a good way!) were freely able to communicate and interact with their Umbraco developer peers.
A friend of mine (with whom TinyMCE previously shared office space in Skellefteå) attended, along three peeps from Umeå-based web development agency Humbly, and as a first-time “CodeGardener” it was nice to be able to lean on these people when there were things about Umbraco I did not understand.
On the first day I mostly just tried to see what the conference was about, learn a bit from the other speakers (and then in a semi-sneaky way) listen to what different groups of people thought about the talks and what level they were on. Knowing this allowed me to improve my presentation and make sure I pitched it at the right level.
Even though the TinyMCE team are not users of the Umbraco CMS, a large number of the talks were about open source, or semi-related stuff, like how they work with the community. These were the talks I mostly attended because we’re putting more and more focus on how TinyMCE engages with our community.
I also dropped into the “Umbraco as a Service” talks, as their transition into Cloud is interesting and similar to what we are doing at TinyMCE.
Some of the .NET talks were interesting, and I learned a lot about .NET Core. It seems like Microsoft is doing everything right with this (except changing its name every week). They are taking .NET cross platform in a thoughtful way, and I think it’s worth keeping an eye on how they go about doing this.
I must say the food served at CodeGarden was excellent. I know that one of the founders is into gourmet food big time, so catering probably didn’t come cheap. I was too busy eating the good stuff to photo it, so here’s some sushi (it was quite tasty).
Day Two + “The Talk”
I must admit I was somewhat nervous before my talk. I don’t regularly speak in front of people in a conference situation, but I think the session went fairly well. Feedback and questions were outstanding, and a significant number of people approached me after the talk and said they enjoyed it. Huge thanks to everyone who attended for the support and I know we all learned something new together.
In my presentation, I went into a lot of TinyMCE’s history, the merger with Ephox and then into technical stuff like browser issues, the use of contentEditable as well as a discussion on how TinyMCE approaches our open source community.
One thing I found interesting was how much the Umbraco community was open to and interested in commercial, feature enhancements and I think this speaks very loudly about the professionalism of Umbraco’s open source community.
I also had the chance to talk to some of the Umbraco team on the second day and a highlight was connecting with Per Plough. We had a great conversation, and not only did I find him to be an incredibly interesting person to talk with it was a highlight of my time at CodeGarden.
TinyMCE + Umbraco
After talking to Per, I’m excited about the opportunity to grow TinyMCE with Umbraco. They are doing a lot of things right, and we are both heading down some similar paths, even if only in parallel for now.
What I know for certain though is that Umbraco and TinyMCE care passionately about user experience when it comes to creating content on the web and that alone is a great place to start.
My personal take on the Umbraco project is that it is definitely on the rise, they have gotten super nice support from Microsoft, and the project could start to take off big time. They are also a frontrunner with the new .NET Core, cross platform .NET, it might just explode.
One look at the Bingo EULA and I knew it was going to be a crazy night. I mean, who has an EULA for a conference dinner. Hilarious. After all, at last year’s event, prizes included 500 yoyos, body piercing and an Umbraco tattoo, etched directly into the winner’s flesh, live on stage (!) at the dinber. Now that’s some crazy, dedicated stuff.
If a picture tells a thousand words, what does this video say about the event? I guess that’s some kind of fight knight …
What I learned at CodeGarden 16
- Umbraco HQ seriously knows how to engage the community
- Cloud and “as a Service” solutions greatly interest developers
- Incremental updates are the right way to progress development for projects like TinyMCE
- .NET Core might make a big impact in the future
- The Danish really know how to party!
I had a great time at CodeGarden 16 and cannot wait for next year’s event. In fact, I think we’ll take a much bigger contingent because TinyMCE can learn a lot about how to run a fun, engaging community conference. Thanks to the entire Umbraco team for creating such an inspiring event.
TinyMCE is the rich-text content editor in Umbraco, one of the world’s leading open source ASP.NET CMS platforms.