The Reference visiting DUUGfest

On the 5th of October, three friendly Umbraco fans from DUUG (the Dutch Umbraco User Group) organized the yearly DUUGfest in Utrecht. This year event was located in the Fabrique, a renovated old factory with plenty of charm. The Reference attended this event with a group of 5 Umbraco enthusiasts.

First impressions

Umbraco is known for its friendly community. Visiting this event only confirmed this: the entire place is filled with kind Umbraco fans, trying to help each other out. The renovated venue, the branding, the food & drinks, the global communication, ... everything is spot on. 



Todays' keynote is given by Anders Sørensen, Umbraco's Chief Friend Maker (or in normal language, the guy responsible for the commercial success of Umbraco). We learned that Umbraco is now the biggest Microsoft based CMS in the world, with more then 500k live sites. Market growth is expanding quickly with emerging markets such as Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Their newest cloud product ("Umbraco Cloud") is maturing rapidly, now servicing about 5000 live sites. Ambition is to grow this number to 10% of all Umbraco live-sites.

Good to know: Umbraco Cloud has already shown its benefits. Recently there was a major security issue being patched automatically on +4000 live sites in a matter of hours. 

Compared to some of the competitors, Umbraco remains focussed on the concept of best of breed. Most competitors grow horizontally by adding more and more features. Umbraco chooses to become the hub in the middle to connect the right "best of breed" tools in a smart way. 

Umbraco roadmap

During the keynote the Chief Unicorn (CEO) of Umbraco, Niels Hartvig, made a guest appearance. Main message he wanted to spread are the plans for the new Umbraco version, v8. Some smart new features involve Variants (eg making it easier to setup multilingual applications), Infinite editing (allowing content updates without every leaving the content itself), a new release flow and the concept of Content apps. Especially the latter got a round of applause in the audience. It is thé idea of best of breed: an easy and smart way of extending your Umbraco setup, using apps. 

It is unclear when the new version will be released, but according to Niels it will be soon. When it's ready!


Apart from the global news in the keynote, there were (ofcourse) plenty of more in-depth tracks as well. Inspirational talks by Jonathan Mills about "knowing things versus knowing about this". Give away: as a clever developer you don't need to know everything from every possible language. Choose wisely, stay up to date with your information and sources, and learn on the go when required.

Dave Woestenborghs talked about nifty little hacks and tweaks to make the CMS interfacing just a little bit more user friendly, making a difference for your content editors. View his slides and codesamples at Github.

Emma Garland had a very interesting vision on "content first" approach of sites, where they first do a complete analysis of the required content, then design around and with that content (instead of designs filled with "fake" lorem ipsum). Smart case for (name of project). Give away: Mine, Define, Refine : mine your content, define your architecture, refine & refine & refine ... hint: atomic design by Brad frost.

Paul De Metter from Arlanet had an interesting talk about Innovation & the culture of learning. "How can we thrive in world that has been wordpressed into stand-alone solutions"? Gartner claim: in 3 years time we don't talk about a simple CMS anymore, it will require far more advanced solutions, such as a DXP. 

Furthermore there was Laurent Bugnion talking about the Azure/CMS combination, Wouter de Kort on DevOps, Sebastiaan Janssen (HQ) on the community behind Umbraco, Callum Whyte on using Umbraco with Elastic Search, Ismail Mayat on the purpose of using clean code and many, many more. 


A well-organized event, packed with usefull talks and plenty of networking opportunity. Kudos and a #H5YR for the organizers Martijn Maris, Arnold Visser and Henk Boelman



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