Dutch Umbraco Experience Group 2022 - Highlights

Picture of the autor Daryl van den Berg

Daryl van den Berg

Full Stack Developer

Dutch Umbraco Experience conference 2022

After a two-year period of COVID preventing us from going to all sorts of conferences, this year we were finally able to visit the Dutch Umbraco experience conference of 2022 in person with some of our colleagues! Aside from the great food and drinks, we were able to learn some cool new things about Umbraco which we’re going to share with you today.

Journey into the unknown

What better way to kick off all the awesome things we saw, other than to start off with the talk of our seven times Umbraco MVP, Dave? His talk was all about diving into the unknown of Umbraco. Features that you might not know of (not yet at least!).

Dave talked about the possibility of improving the editor experience using C#. He showed us that you can prevent certain actions or modify processes within Umbraco by hooking into certain events raised in Umbraco. For example, did you know you could limit page creations? Dave showed us an example of creating a maintenance page for your Umbraco website. It does not make sense to have multiple of those right? By hooking into the ‘SendingAllowedChildrenNotification’ (available since version 9.5), which is fired every time you click the create menu in Umbraco you could modify the logic. Here, Dave showed us that you could remove the option to create a maintenance page if this already exists. After this, he went even deeper into this by creating the option to put your site under maintenance which is just one toggle that works on all pages!

Another thing he showed, which I was very excited about, is the ability to extend the search functionality in the Backoffice. Normally, this functionality will only search for a few fields like NodeId’s and keys, UmbracoFileFieldNames, email, and login names. By extending this logic, replacing the implementation of IUmbracoTreeSearcherFields, you’re now able to set your own searchable fields, for example, specific content fields.

If this got you curious, you find more in-depth details and even code examples on his GitHub page!

Umbraco anywhere

What if I told you that I learned that you could run Umbraco anywhere you want? Let this sink in for a bit... 

Callum Whyte, both Microsoft and Umbraco MVP gave a talk just about this subject. In his presentation, he showed the possibility of running Umbraco V10 on almost anything you can think of now that it has cross-platform support. For this example, he chose a very specific type of system... a fridge. Yes, a fridge. Sadly he wasn't allowed to bring one, but that is not the point!

Callum went over several examples. First, he showed that you were able to create a very basic API connecting to the Umbraco services in a non-traditional context. He basically explained that when you create an application, you can inject Umbraco specifics. Callum also showed the possibility of using Umbraco within an MAUI mobile app or even using it in a serverless environment like Azure functions to create scheduled tasks.

Basically anywhere you can run .NET you can run Umbraco!

Gamification in Umbraco

Paul Seal, a Umbraco Certified Master at Moriyama Ltd., gave us a talk, teaching us about how gamification can help us learn, and how the Umbraco community can help each other improve our Umbraco knowledge in a fun way.

What motivates people to study is crucial to understand beforehand. Paul listed six motivations for wanting to learn:

  • We want to stay on top of all the newest technological developments.
  • We're interested in learning about best practices.
  • We want to accomplish everything as securely as we can, and in order to do so, we need to be knowledgeable.
  • We want to avoid becoming stale.
  • We are curious.
  • There are business requirements that require us to learn new things.

We are all aware that maintaining the motivation to learn can be challenging. To make learning more fun, we can apply game mechanics to a non-gaming environment. This is called gamification. There are specific game mechanics that increase players' motivation, engagement and interactivity including:

  • Action, having objectives to complete.
  • Social, having competition during your learning process.
  • Mastery, being able to score points.
  • Achievements. being able to win awards
  • Immersion; wrapping users up into the virtual experience.

So, how could we achieve such things?

  • Create Competition
  • Challenges
  • Rewards, give users (exclusive) ‘things’
  • Badges; award users for certain ‘things’
  • Win streaks; show recognition for being disciplined
  • Leaderboard; detailed tracking of the user’s learning objective, process, and progress

Knowing this, Paul Seal came up with the amazing idea of gamifying Umbraco. He built a website where people could learn how Umbraco works, in a fun way. On the website, you can take quizzes to test your knowledge of Umbraco. You can earn points, view your score on the leader board and compete with other users. You can evaluate your responses after completing a quiz and see the supporting documentation for the questions you answered.

Branches where gamifying learning could be implemented:

  • Human Resources; onboarding
  • Development; learning new tools such as Umbraco, creating an in-house learning platform or making it open-source, or contributing to an open-source project.
  • Teamwork: Giving feedback on processes within a team ‘a feedback platform’ where teams can evaluate how aspects could be improved.

The quiz website is currently online, and you can create an account and test your Umbraco knowledge. The website is open-source, so be sure to check it out!

Website link: https://communityquiz.net/
GitHub link: https://github.com/prjseal/Umbraco-Community-Quiz