I recently attended the Umbraco V8 hackathon at an unusual venue of a floating harbour studio on a boat in Bristol. It was the first ever Umbraco hackathon held on a boat... probably.

As part of the umBristol Christmas Party day of events (aka #umBrismas), including an evening gathering for food and drink, the V8 hackathon was the daytime portion of events to demo, use and bug fix with the latest version of the Umbraco CMS. And it was on a boat...

Table on the boat where the hackathon happened

After a quick tour of the newly redesigned UI and functionality by Callum Whyte, we started to play around with the new product. It was polished and well-considered in every aspect. I really appreciated the fact that I was able to try the new interface before we look to use this on production websites in the future.

Callum briefly broke away to sign in to his weekly YouTube channel chat, umbraCoffee, while we were hacking away. We continued using and trying to break the Umbraco backoffice. Having setup a small dummy site in my normal style and approach, I quite quickly realised that there was very little wrong with the product interface and functionality in my setup.

There was, however, a chance for me to raise a pull request to fix a minor translation issue regarding the recycle bin. Within the morning of the hackathon, I had forked the GitHub repository for Umbraco V8 (branch: temp8), made several fixes for the translation issue, and created the pull request for the Umbraco HQ Pull Request team to review. It was a great feeling.

Previous events

This hackathon wasn't my first. In fact, I had recently attended the Umbraco UK Festival hackathon with my colleague, Emma Garland. In that session, I had focused on some Umbraco V7 fixes, so it was good to get hands-on experience with version 8.

Emma and I had both submitted pull requests at the London event and I was able to generate a pull request at this event. Fantastic!

Benefits of trying Umbraco V8

Getting the chance to play with Umbraco V8 before release is a huge benefit on two levels.

On a personal level, I am continually learning about the product and developing my own career to understand the CMS ready for future works and our clients. This is invaluable for me as an Umbraco developer who needs to keep up-to-date on the latest technology and software.

On a professional level, I am working with the product sooner. I am aware of the changes, improvements and benefits that will undoubtedly help our team at Rock Solid Knowledge, which will help benefit our clients when we start to use the new version of Umbraco with them in the (hopefully) near future.

What next?

It's hard to know for sure when Umbraco V8 will be released. It's even harder to know when it will be ready for use in production sites. But we continually learn and seek more information about the Umbraco CMS so that we are ready for when it does happen.

As regular contributors to the Umbraco community, and umBristol in particular, it is important for myself, and other members of our team at Rock Solid Knowledge, to be involved in these kind of community-driven events.

I recommend it for people who haven't attended these events before. Many developers who attended this and the London event were unfamiliar with the Umbraco contribution process, myself included. Working with others in such a welcoming environment is the perfect way to try it.

Interested in working with us on your Umbraco project? Get in touch

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