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Unicorns, Umbracians and Bingo: Andy Does Codegarden 2017

Niels Hartvig (HQ Chief Unicorn)

Last month I was lucky enough to attend Umbraco Codegarden 2017 in Odense, Denmark. The conference is the largest meeting of Umbraco developers/users in the world. I thought I’d had a long journey to get there but at 6 hours it was significantly shorter than travelling from Mauritius....


On the evening prior to the start of the conference, Umbraco Headquarters open up their doors to the Conference Pre-Party. This is a great opportunity to meet up with people you’ve met at previous events and get to know some more. The HQ building is an impression engine room (really it is an engine room!)

The Main Event

The event itself this year was the largest ever with over 500 Umbracians in attendance. The venue was DOK5000 a short walk from many of the hotels within Odense. There were 6 main themes this year ranging from Happiness and Community through to Security.

Codegarden opened with a keynote from Niels (HQ Chief Unicorn) with his review of the last 12 months and the plans for the forthcoming year. It was impressive to see the changes in Umbraco as a company over the last 12 months. After the keynote there was a choice of talks, running concurrently with workshops. Some of the talks I attended which I found useful were:

  • Securing your Umbraco Sites – Sebastiaan talked through the right ways to secure your Umbraco site, looking at SSLs and then looking at some of the common attack methods and how to protect against these. Finally he looked at 2 factor authorisation  - something which will come to Umbraco shortly.
  • Building Core Strength – Shannon gave a must see talk showing how HQ are changing their release strategy and what additions have been made on recent releases. Following this there were a few demos on what would be added in forthcoming releases - some very exciting things to come.
  • Manage all the things: Controlling Content for the Connected World – Carole demonstrated some of things Equator had been doing to bring IoT and content together using Umbraco. It was cool to see beacons and Alexa used in the real world!
  • Progressive Web Apps – Matt talked through how to build progressive web apps with Umbraco back end. This showed how the web and apps are converging and how the app experience can be provided using technologies we all know. Once browsers catch up this should be exciting.
  • New Adventures in Responsive Web Design – Vitaly did a whirlwind tour through what works and what doesn’t on responsive design and the right way to do it.

The Friday of Codegarden was a little different with the chance for group discussions on any subject led by anybody in the community. Whilst this was happening I attended an additional workshop by Vitaly on Responsive Web Design.

If you’d like to know more of what happened in the sessions, slides and videos are available at

The Social Side

Each evening a social activity is arranged. The first evening was a boat ride through Odense. Now if that wasn’t odd enough, the next night is the world renowned Umbraco Bingo - an event which all who were asked to explain couldn’t and you’ve got to attend to experience it (I can’t say I understand it as you probably won’t!)

What made this event the best was the community. Throughout the event everybody was happy to talk - the Umbraco community is just full of friendly people!

With the amount I’ve learned I’ve already booked my ticket for CodeGarden 2018. Looking forward to seeing many of you next year!

Conference Photos


Lead photo: Umbraco HQ

CC Licence

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