This is true's second year running partaking in Digital Ocean's ‘Hacktoberfest'. We have found the sessions to be a productive way to bring the team together, collaborate, and problem-solve on live updates, which we can then take learnings from for ongoing and future work. It's also a effective way for the team to skill share and learn about new tools or try different approaches to tasks.
A clear focus
We looked at enabling three different routes for us to contribute on the day. The team decided which route to take forward so there was a level of focus to what we were trying to achieve.
The three routes:
- No-code contributions by accessibility testing Version 12 through to the ‘Belissima’ release for Version 14.
- The more traditional issue fulfilment based upon what is ‘up for grabs’.
- Partaking in some R&D branches on recent releases from Umbraco (and their notable partners) to see how they align with our clients' needs and how we might utilise them going forward.
This clarity enabled the team to think about what they wanted to achieve and get out of the session, which went on to formulate some innovative ideas, as well as some clear wins for the Back-Office open issue board.
There have been a few key and notable releases from Umbraco over the last few months. Some of the team spent time investigating the impact of those releases for our clients and put together some dummy implementations for us to learn from.
Umbraco have released Version 12, which has been live for few months. Importantly it includes the ContentDeliveryAPI which is the start of Umbraco’s (open source) approach to headless. Some of the team spent time upgrading our own true site onto V12, to see how the move from our own custom headless integration to Umbraco's approach worked. We’re now thinking about how we roll this out to the rest of our clients after this investigation.
uMarketingSuite have released their headless marketing API (as was announced at the Umbraco US Summit) and Umbraco Commerce have their StoreFrontAPI that both hook into Umbraco 12.0+ and the ContentDeliveryAPI . It was great opportunity to get our hands dirty with these APIs and test how they work within the context of our existing architecture and start to think about how it can benefit some of our existing clients, alongside new ones.
We also had a few members of the team check out the back-office for the first time and work on their first contributions, which is always a landmark moment for the team.
A topic of interest over the course of this year has been ‘starter kits’ or ‘template’ projects. It is something we have always had a practical use for whilst not necessarily a conclusive answer. It was useful that some of the team also worked on related areas, for instance, a CLI that based upon the user’s answers, will provide an ‘out of the box’ skeleton for Front End builds that consumes the Content Delivery API from Version 12 (using NuxtJS). On a similar theme Sean and Jack from the tech team looked at creating a fluent wrapper for the Umbraco Content Delivery API.
In summary, bringing the team together to collaboratively solve some pretty complex technical issues, all whilst eating copious amounts of snacks, playing ‘guess the song’ and ‘guess the tech company logo’ was time well spent.