Let me introduce you to the newest member to the Community Corner. A multi talented, avid reader, total podcast junky, outdoor enthusiast, quilter, and vegan foodie - both cooking and eating.
So put your hands together and welcome Erica to the Community Corner.
Name: Erica Quessenberry
Occupation / Where do you work: UX/UI Designer at Studio RedDesigns / Co-Founder of Skrift Magazine
Home base: Bellingham, Washington, USA (for now)
Twitter handle if you have one? @reddesigns / @skriftmag
Website, if you have one? https://studioreddesigns.com / https://skrift.io
Short introduction about you.
e.g. Hobbies, where do you work, anything you'd like to share.
On the personal side, I love to travel. There's something both terrifying and exciting about roaming the world, hiking new terrain, meeting new people, putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, and trying new food that I just cannot get enough of. This year I've dipped my toes in the whole nomadic lifestyle and I'm learning how to work from anywhere. It's been an exercise in discipline trying to balance time working with time exploring. Totally worth it! I'm hoping as I roam, I'll also find a new place to call home with better weather than the winters in the Pacific Northwest. (I'm open to suggestions!)
Aside from that, I'm an avid reader, total podcast junky, outdoor enthusiast, quilter, and vegan foodie - both cooking and eating.
On the work side of things, I am a 2x Umbraco MVP, a certified Umbraco Expert, a co-founder of Skrift Magazine (an online Umbraco community magazine), and I work with Umbraco agencies and developers around the world rounding out their teams when they need UX or UI on a project. I pick up some frontend projects a couple times a year as well. I feel understanding frontend and keeping my Umbraco certifications current makes me a better designer. I also speak internationally on diversity in tech and why we have the gap we do in hopes that raising awareness on the issue will get people thinking about how they can start changing the tide. In fact, I'm co-hosting a few episodes on this topic on Happy Porch Radio season 4 as well. Episode 1 is out now and I can tell you it's going to be an awesome season.
How did you first hear about Umbraco?
My journey with Umbraco started with v4.5 when the agency I worked for at the time adopted it. We got ourselves trained up, weathered through the death of v5 at our very first Codegarden, became a Gold Partner in spite of that, and launched the North American (now US) Umbraco Festival. And I wouldn't change anything about that journey.
What are you currently doing with Umbraco?
I've been helping build out doctypes and templates on my current design project while the dev was on vacation in effort to keep the project moving forward. I also just upgraded my first site (v7.2.1 to 7.12.3). I know, I feel like I should have done that ages ago, but I've always had lovely devs around me to take care of it. A couple hiccups along the way, but it was pretty exciting when it was successful :) The next step is to move it to the cloud.
When I say 'Umbraco Community' what first comes to mind?
Family! Joining the community can be super intimidating, especially for introverts (like myself). But I have honestly never met a more friendly, caring, willing-to-help group of people. I love love love going to Codegarden every year and catching up with all the people I've met through the years and meeting new ones! I've given up trying to explain this event to my friends and family and have started telling them it's like a giant family reunion.
What would you like to see more of in the Umbraco Community?
Diversity! I was one of maybe five women at my first Codegarden in 2012. I've loved seeing the uptick in women coming to festivals the past couple years and getting involved in the community. I'd love to see that continue to grow as well as meet and hear from the Asian community. I know they're out there!
Potato chips, Danish bread (seriously can't get enough), and YA novels.
Favourite website that you couldn't live without?
I don't know if it's a favorite, per say, but it's definitely a much-used and that is Google Maps. Thinking back, I was still pretty adventurous before it was a thing, which probably explains my habit of randomly wandering around new places, but I really do depend on it heavily, not only for directions but also finding food in new places that I can eat. I'm not sure I could live without that one.
Anything else you'd like to say?
This is a community worth getting involved in. I am not a joiner by nature, and it did take me a few years to feel comfortable, but I cannot express how worth it it has been to me. Not only have I met some amazing people to call friends, but my career has also blossomed as well — both when I worked at an agency and now out on my own. Put yourself out there; it's totally worth it! Who knows, maybe we'll meet one day and do an awesome project together.
Also, we are always looking for new authors on skrift.io. It's a great way to get started in the community, plus you'll become an internationally published author. Who wouldn't want that on their resume?! Please feel free to get in touch if you'd like to write. We'd love to hear from you!
Where to find Owain