Reflecting on Codegarden 2023: A memorable experience
Published June 21, 2023 by Ravi Motha – Developer & Umbraco Community MVP
Last week the dotcentric team and I joined the rest of the Umbraco community at Codegarden in Odense, Denmark.
During the two and a half days, I fully embraced an environment focused on knowledge sharing, establishing connections with fellow Umbracians, seeking inspiration, and actively participating in a vibrant event that honors Umbraco and its dedicated community.
Even though this was my eleventh Codegarden, the event continues to surprise and inspire. So, I decided to round-up some of my highlights of the week.
Jacob Spencer on mental health in technology
This year, Tech Lead at dotcentric Jacob Spencer shared his insights on mental health in technology on Thursday morning.
Jacob is one of three, soon to be five, Mental Health First Aiders at our agency, and at Codegarden he spoke about some important key indicators of mental health in technology, the benefits of a mentally healthy team, what you can do to become mental health aware both personally and in a workplace and ways to implement this into your work life.
At dotcentric, we’ve been building a culture of compassion where we can speak openly to each other about our mental health, so Jacob’s talk was a natural progression of that.
A big ‘thank you’ to Mental Health First Aid England for their help with the content and promotion of the talk.
Renewed MVP status
A personal highlight was being renewed as an MVP for the seventh time. No, I am never going to catch multiple winners Lee Kelleher, Jeavon Leopold or Jan Skovagaard, but I’ll keep adding to the community wherever I can. It’s truly an honour to be named again in a place where I feel at home in the Umbraco community.
People come from far and wide: this year we had attendees from Australia, Iceland, Mauritius, the US and India, amongst many others.
While there are a large number of people who have been attending for almost 14 years, it still is a good blend of old timers and new attendees. It’s a perfect mix of people who can sit and rekindle friendships, forge bonds, share ideas and go away powered up and ready to build better web sites and experiences.
An inclusive environment
Codegarden embraces and celebrates diversity, bringing together a vibrant community of passionate individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. The organisers work hard to foster an inclusive and enriching environment for everyone, so it’s great to see that hard work pay off.
On top of that, each year we are delighted to witness a growing number of women attending Codegarden—an encouraging sign that the industry as a whole is moving towards greater inclusivity and representation.
Insightful sessions, workshops, and presentations
One of the notable highlights at Codegarden was a thought-provoking presentation by Jason Wodicka, the Principal Developer Advocate at Karat. They eloquently discussed how our desire for excellence sometimes hampers the progress we can achieve from seemingly ordinary tasks, which can actually lead to remarkable results.
It was an insightful talk that resonated with numerous attendees and was a standout moment for many at Codegarden.
The preparty is a good place to come along and meet either other first timers or seasoned Umbracians. Codegarden can be daunting for first timers, but this is a good place to make new friends for the week ahead. Umbraco has created the Ubuddy scheme, offering a helping hand to Codegarden first-timers and those who seek the comfort of attending sessions and socialising with a friendly companion. I know there’s more to be done to help new attendees – maybe the quiet space provided could be separate from the main halls to give people space to relax.
It was great seeing people I hadn’t seen in a long time. Among them were producer of highlights video Kyle Brigham with Alex Vilmur from Marcel Digital in Chicago; Heather Floyd, Alice Meng, Blake Watt, Rob Foster from Australia; Fuji Kusaka from Mauritius; Alina-Magdalena Tincas, Rasmus Pedersen, and the awesome Skrift team; and Erica Quessenberry, Janae Cram and Kyle Weems.
And it was a pleasure getting to meet new people. They included: Aimee Smith from Great State; Kate Rafferty and Zeb Sadiq from ClerksWell, Kate Basilevskaya and Elise Bentley from Tiny, amongst many others.
I heard good reports from some of the other pre-conference activities. Padel and the early morning swim and run were both well-received. Bingo, retro-gaming and competitive Jenga were spectacular! Well done the organising team Lotte Pitcher, Rune Strand, Lucy Brailsford and Steve Temple.
There are a few details that need improving – more vegetarian food options, please – but overall it was another great celebration of Umbraco. I only regret not taking photos of all the people I met!
Thank you so much to the organisers of another hugely successful Codegarden.
Dates for the diary
13th July 2023: Umbraco London Catch Up
June 10th – June 14th 2024: Codegarden
If you want to find out more about how Umbraco can help grow your organisation, talk to us at dotcentric.