Codegarden 19 and how I found a new family

It's now a few days after Codegarden, and after resting a bit, I can sit down, look back and draw some conclusions.

Codegarden 19

This was my 7th Codegarden, but in a sense, it was my toughest. I was in a very bad mood when I arrived. It was due to many reasons, work-related, personal and even related to the community. It was so bad that the day before leaving I was even considering not going at all. When I arrived I was grumpy, easily irritable, but then everything changed, even just after the pre-party. The people there were so friendly, everyone understood how I was feeling and the mood started rocketing. At the end of the 4th day, I was totally reborn. Such an amazing experience.

Why new "family"?

In the title, I say new family. I might wonder why I say that. When I was in Italy, and the first years I was in Belgium, I was a very active member of the Italian ALT.NET community. I was part of the organizers. We organized a lot of successful conferences and all the members were really like family to me. But eventually the ALT.NET moment had no reason to exist anymore, and we closed the community. Then I came to Belgium, tried being part of the local community, but soon the local Microsoft developer evangelism group closed, and the community was Dutch-based and being the only non-Dutch speaker felt weird. And some individuals aside, I never really bonded with the people either.

I attended lots of Codegardens and many other Umbraco conferences, I even contributed to the Core with some (accepted) PRs, but I never felt an active part of the community. There are so many bright and much more committed individuals that I didn't feel like I was bringing anything.

Then came Codegarden 19, and all the amazing support received, the great discussions and inspiring talks, and I think I've now found a community I can call family. Or maybe it has always been, but I never realized it.

Way forward

This year I now want to contribute more, so I'd like to follow up on some of the ideas and inspirational talks from this year. And this year there is so much to do that I feel like a list is due:

  • Migrate my blogs (this and my test-bed blog) to v8
  • Build a simple v8 content app/package
  • Migrate my NuTranslation (better translation manager) to v8
  • experiment more with Computer Vision API, Machine Learning
  • experiment with building a chatbot backed by Umbraco

But before I start any of these, I want to finish (or at least go a bit further) with my Raytracer challenge.