Could there be anything better than waking up in a remote cabin with spectacular views of the UK countryside? Yes. Add some Umbraco, C# code and Azure DevOps for good measure!

I recently attended CODECABIN19, an Umbraco event like no other.

CODECABIN venue exterior in Peak District sunlight


CODECABIN is organised by Matt Brailsford, Lee Kelleher and Lucy Brailsford. They describe the event as “the Umbraco developer unconference”. Essentially, it is a weekend away for developers and professionals with an interest in Umbraco to write code, share ideas and network.

23 attendees of different skills and backgrounds spend three nights in a large, gorgeous cabin in the Peak District. Attendees plan the schedule in advance of the weekend and get food, drink and accommodation included. This leaves them free to focus on sharing and discussing in a relaxed atmosphere.

The inclusive nature of CODECABIN really does make stronger and lasting connections between individuals. Everyone comes away with a great experience, new knowledge (hopefully), and amazing friends.

Attendees enjoying drinks and chat about Umbraco and more


CODECABIN19 was my fourth year in a row attending this event. I feel very privileged to have been a part of those years and I recommend applying for CODECABIN (see below). Knowing that I cannot apply for next year due to other commitments means I am missing out. Serious #FOMO.

I am also pretty sure that I would have been given a Rolex or carriage clock for length of service...

Being at CODECABIN is like the conversations you have between presentations and talks at a conference - it is when you really get to share and discuss ideas with others. You don’t have to wait until the end of a talk to ask a question. Or worry about the fear of having others looking at or judging you for your questions.

Beautiful countryside views from the cabin

The sessions

This year we had some cracking discussions about:

  • Hosting Umbraco websites with Umbraco Cloud, Azure and other platforms
  • Using Azure DevOps (and other tools) to deploy your Umbraco projects
  • Best practices, packages and setup for new Umbraco websites
  • Umbraco package development and commercial opportunities
  • Website performance and optimisation
  • The future of Umbraco and content management systems

Plus, there was so much more.

I didn’t attend every discussion. Instead, I spent some time writing code and hacking with others. We also managed to try mob programming for installing an Umbraco website with NuGet and Visual Studio. Many thanks to the wonderful Sven Geusens, Jacquie Steele and Alice Meng for making that session so much fun.

In the evenings

Socialising in the evenings was time well spent together.

Lucy Brailsford lovingly prepared fantastic food for us, something past attendees are quick to recall after the event. You will not be disappointed with the delights of Lucy’s delicious cooking!

I hosted a pub quiz (with some Umbraco questions and a few community faces) on the Saturday night. And we all watched Mean Girls* for movie night on the Sunday.

*The film choice was based on an attendee vote… but it is such a good film anyway, nobody should complain.

Karl Tynan and Lee Kelleher wearing pink t-shirts for Mean Girls movie night
Karl Tynan and Lee Kelleher sporting fashionable pink t-shirts for Mean Girls movie night...

Why you should apply

People often joke and say something like, “Hey, Karl. Did you get into CODECABIN… again?”. And I respond with absolute pride, “Yes!”.

I have taken so much from attending these events and hopefully I have given something back. It’s not just about sharing and learning Umbraco, C# or code.

I have had many conversations on a personal level with others. And I have felt at my most comfortable with the people behind the friendships that I have made each year at CODECABIN.

My confidence around other developers and in the Umbraco community has improved. I no longer lurk in the corners at conferences waiting for the next session... I actively approach others and try to include those who look to be less involved.

You may not have the same experience. But you will have an experience of your own that you will never forget.

When you apply for CODECABIN, and you really should, remember this… Everybody who applies has different levels of knowledge. Nobody is there to judge or belittle you. And everyone is welcomed openly and equally.

You will not regret it. I know I don’t.

If you would like to apply for CODECABIN20, visit

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