For the second year running the festival took place in the beautiful surroundings of the rooftop gardens at the London Barbican, definitely a fitting venue for such a great CMS product. Starting at 9 am, there were coffee, tea and pastries on offer to keep us going all morning, followed by a seminar briefing.
Throughout the day there were a large number of talks, with 3 or 4 happening at once, so it wasn’t possible to see them all but what we did get to see was of great interest. Anything we didn't get to see was noted and watched when an online video of the session became available.
Security and Umbraco
First up was a talk by Jeffrey Schoemaker on hardening Umbraco for maximum security.
It was great to underpin that Umbraco sees security as paramount and that previously I have implemented the recommended security settings and more when it comes to development and our IT hosting setup.
Fail Often, Do Stupid Things, Learn, Repeat
The second talk was Marcin Zajkowski who gave an in-depth talk about testing called "Fail Often, Do Stupid Things, Learn, Repeat" which essentially emphasised the old mantra of "Test, test and test again", one that we are all too familiar with.
Don't Forget Your Blazor
The speaker, Jamie Taylor is a well-known podcaster who hosts one of my favourite podcasts and he gave a great talk, crammed full of interesting information for the future of client-side coding and definitely something I'll be looking into.
Lunch is Served
As seems obligatory for a developers' conference, lunch consisted of great pizza with sides of salad and homemade coleslaw… finished off with fruit and curiously mountains of Milky Way bars (it’s the lighter way to eat chocolate after all).
Love your Editors
Kicking the presentations off after lunch was a great talk by Fedosja Van Der Lee about making simple modifications to your development to make your editors’ lives that much easier.
Some of the great tips included having 'quick links' to the most used operations, such as adding a new blog post. One thing that was impressed on us throughout the whole talk was that it's important to get to know your client and work hard to create an editing environment that is tailored for them instead of just providing out-of-the-box functionality.
The next talk was "When Umbraco and Mobile App development combine" by Emma Garland.
This focused on the new headless functionality that Umbraco is introducing in the next few months, headless content management. Essentially, it allows an editor to manage content not only for websites but for other systems such as mobile phone apps and advertising screens.
This is an advancement that I will be looking at very closely as I have a major interest in mobile app development.
The last talk was the one that everybody came for, the keynote by founder and "Chief Unicorn" Niels Hartvig.
Niels announced that Umbraco 8 is almost ready and will be available shortly, along with the company's vision that by 2021 they want 1 million live sites on the Umbraco platform (currently there are over 510,000 active installs).
As always, Niels was highly entertaining and talked about a number of new version 8 features such as variants, a new caching system, interface redesign, code cleanup and the integration of the new examine search feature.
All in all, it was another great and informative Umbraco festival. I will looking forward to using some of the new features of version 8 in future website builds, there's certainly a lot to look forward to for developers and clients alike.
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Date: 10 Nov 2018
Author: Craig Pickles (YorkshireTechy)