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Wattle at Umbraco Spark 2024

Last week was Umbraco Spark week, during which almost 200 people from all over the world came to Bristol, UK, to share their knowledge and experience on the latest trends and innovations using Umbraco. My colleagues Alex Wines, Scott Wiltshire, Harry Buxton, and I attended this big Umbraco event.

Looking at the event lineup and from my previous experience, I knew that Umbraco Spark IV would be yet another great event.

Umbraco HQ Visits Wattle & Umbraco Spark Pre-Party

The day before Umbraco Spark, we spent a few hours with Mike Pedersen and Frederik Klerens from Umbraco HQ, talking about a lot of exciting opportunities. We have a great plan that we will follow this year to contribute more to Umbraco products and packages, and we are very excited about our stronger relationship with Umbraco HQ.

I spent a few hours with many Umbraco Community members on the same day at the Umbraco Spark Pre-party.

Some Highlights

Similar to previous years, we had the opportunity to listen to two different tracks of talks. My colleagues and I attended as many presentations as possible.

The New Umbraco Backoffice

This was a talk about the new Umbraco Backoffice by Lone Iversen and Jacob Overgaard from Umbraco HQ.

The new Backoffice for Umbraco CMS is scheduled for release along with Umbraco v14 in May 2024. It has been developed using Web Components (and Lit), which means we will no longer have to work with the old AngularJS tech stack, and things will work no matter if we are using Angular, Vue, vanilla JavaScript, or React.

Beautiful Migration of the Packages

This was a fantastic practical talk by Lee Kelleher, the creator of many Umbraco packages, including the popular Contentment package, about migrating Umbraco packages into the new Umbraco Backoffice.

During his talk, Lee migrated his Robots.txt Editor package into the new Backoffice and shared valuable personal experiences with the rest of us.

Unlocking Sustainability at Scale with Static Site Generation & Composable Architecture

I have previously seen Mikkel Keller talking about composable architecture strategies and creating truly headless solutions. As a Solution Architect, this was a perfect talk for me.

Mikkel talked about how he and his team architected a headless and sustainable structure for their client's website, where they consume data from various CMS platforms. They used multiple methods, like intelligent pre-processing of page data at publish time and processing data once content is created and updated, rather than processing it on every request.

Accessibility: Building & Deploying Accessible Sites & How to Think & Design in an Inclusive Way

Rachel Breeze is one of the Umbraco Community's Accessibility Champions, and her talks are always a must-see for me, as I am also very passionate about being inclusive and creating accessible websites for everybody. Similarly, Molly Watt talked about accessibility, particularly how to think and design inclusively. It was such a great experience to learn from Molly, who, as a disabled person, shared her first-hand experience with accessibility.

Measuring the Carbon Impact of Your Umbraco Sites

Another great talk was the sustainability talk by Hannah Smith, Thomas Morris and James Hobbs. The trio talked about the new Umbraco Sustainability Package, which the Umbraco Sustainability Team developed. They also gave many valuable tips on how to create more sustainable products.

Advancing the Umbraco Cloud Platform

Dan Lister from Umbraco HQ discussed how they designed the Umbraco Cloud Platform and provided many practical technical details.

The Final Talk of the Day & After-Party

The day's final talk was "How to copy & paste: Effectively working with strangers (and robots) on the Internet" by Joe Glombek. Joe's talk was practical, covering how to ask questions and get help on the Internet. Seeing my photo in Joe's talk was also a pleasant surprise! Following the final talk, there were closing drinks and an after-party that my colleagues and I attended. We had fun with the Umbraco community.

Final Thoughts

It was another successful Umbraco Spark conference, during which I had the chance to spend quality time with my colleagues, listen to many talks, meet great people, and exchange many ideas. We will certainly apply some of these ideas to our projects, and we are already very excited about the next Umbraco event, which we will be hosting at Wattle's office in April.


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