Why we attended codegarden

Codegarden is the largest Umbraco conference in the world, and you can take that quite literally. This year, we were with over 700 participants! It is the place to be if you are working with Umbraco or interested in working with the friendliest Content Management System (CMS) ever! As we are big fans of this CMS here at The Reference, we prepared ourselves for 3 days filled with inspiration on a tech level,  complemented by business and creative talks. 
Expectations were high as our Umbraco Solution Architect, Davy Lowyck, received loads of inspiration and new things to try out at Codegarden 2018 last year. This year, we decided to go with 4 Umbraco team members to be immersed in Umbraco and the community. Since each one of us has a different level of (technical) expertise with Umbraco, we all attended with their own expectations.

Thomas - Service Director

thomas lepouttre codegarden

Thomas flew in a day before Codegarden to attend the Gold Partner day, a day that values the Umbraco Gold Partners and offers a platform to get to know other partners & people from Umbraco HQ. It proved to be very insightful as The Reference got a unique sneak peek on Umbraco's roadmap for the upcoming year(s).

The Gold Partner day was also a great networking event. After all, all Gold Partners share a burning love for Umbraco, which made it easy to connect with one another and share experiences. From a business perspective, meeting new partners, sharing success stories and discussing collaborations with new vendors and suppliers is worth a lot in a worldwide community.

At Codegarden, some of the talks Thomas followed were: 

  • Next generation agencies on Umbraco Cloud to stay informed about the future of Umbraco Cloud and to see how your projects will benefit from new insights
  • About circular e-commerce to know more about an atypical view on ecommerce for the fashion industry: combine sustainability with the option to 'rent' your clothes and you get a lot of inspiration for your e-commerce solutions.

Davy - Solution Architect

davy lowyck solution architect

As a Solution Architect at The Reference, it's extremely important to stay informed of all new technologies, new packages and new ways to integrate Umbraco with 3rd party tools at Codegarden. Those are valuable insights and pieces of information to take back to Ghent, because a Solution Architect is always searching for the latest insights and valuable information to provide you with the best possible solution. He forms a direct line between understanding a request from you and translating that in the best approach so your solution is built to last. Every chunck of information that serves that goal, is valuable.


Part of being doing a good job as Solution Architect, is also having a broad network: you need to know the people behind the tools and packages and they need to know you. This ensures a strong collaboration between The Reference and its partners and guarantees innovative Umbraco projects for our customers.

If we summarize the value of Codegarden for a Solution Architect in a few words that would be: inspiration and networking.


Some of Davy's attended sessions:
  • The future might be distributed where Deane Barker explained why 'best-of-breed' has become a marketing buzzword instead of a proper solution
  • Umbraco 8 - worth the w8, a talk where the Umbraco core team shared its favorite features of Umbraco v8. Because, after all... how do you convince your clients to migrate to the latest version of Umbraco? What's in it for them?

Jeroen - Senior .NET Developer

For a developer with a good 'bullshit radar' and quite some years of experience in frameworks, content management systems and challenging projects, Codegarden needs to bring great technical challenges. Talks about automated testing, machine learning, performance and Umbraco Headless are only worth attending if they encourage you to test out what your host has been talking about.

Thank god that Codegarden sets the bar quite high for its speakers. We got home inspired and with some extra challenges on our to-do list.

After all, a good developer at The Reference, is a developer that keeps on learning and trying out new things.

During Codegarden, Jeroen enjoyed some tacos while learning more about Umbraco Headless.
Since he was part of the team that won the Google Hackathon, the talk about performance optimizations was a must see!


Joke - Project & Operations Manager

joke and poormina

"My main expectations were to get to know the people I follow on Twitter and to meet with HQ. I particularly looked forward to two talks 'Developing talent' by Emma Burstow and 'Empathy in Tech' by Carole Rennie Logan"
I love it that Codegarden not only focusses on developers, but also has a broad spectrum of sessions that focus on privacy, soft skills and innovation. Worth attending for all people in digital that don't need feel the need to go in-depth on a particular technical topic.
Codegarden is the perfect occasion to get to know the community and see the friendly faces behind Twitter handlers or community-based initiatives such as and 24DaysIn.

Since Joke also recently started organizing Meetups with the Belgian Umbraco Community and started taking an active part in the BUUG Board that will organize a Belgian Umbraco Festival in March 2020, Codegarden is perfect to get introduced by the people at HQ that can support her in this mission.

Joke had 2 talks on her must-see list:
  • Developing talent to learn more on how you can convince your team to keep a Growth mindset instead and keep them motivated to constantly improve themselves.
  • Empathy in tech where the impact of talking about 'technical' versus 'non-technical' people and referring to developers as 'guys', is measured and explained.

BTW... did you know that Joke won her Codegarden ticket by entering a competition on International Womens Day? Codegarden surely practices what Carole Rennie Logan preached!

Looking forward to more insights on Umbraco and Codegarden?

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