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Today I welcome Jan in to the Community Corner. Jan has been an active community member for a number of years and it's fantastic to have him in today's edition. 


Grab yourself a coffee / tea and enjoy learning a little bit more about Jan. 

Jan Skovgaard Olsen

Jan Skovgaard Olsen

Jan Skovgaard Olsen

Job Title: Frontend developer

MVP Status:
Renewal

Twitter account:
@TheRealBatJan

How did you first hear about Umbraco CMS?

Back in 2006 on a danish forum for entrepreneurs where Morten Bock mentioned it in a thread

How long have you been part of the Umbraco community and what do you like / dislike about it?

I think I actively started getting involved on the forum around 2009... Up until then I had lurked at the old yahoo forums before the first independent forum was a thing. A few years before "Our" was born. I like the openness and friendliness - It's easy to get to know new people within the community. Also the effort to try and help each other out when we're facing some issues we don't quite know how to deal with. Lately I've noticed people nagging a lot more on Twitter than they used to. I get that they're feeling frustrated about something and that Umbraco HQ has grown and is transforming into a professional company at some levels but people nagging in a tone of voice that can sometimes in my view get a bit ugly does not help anyone. Sometimes some debates are just not meant for Twitter :-)

Have you been to Codegarden? If yes, what did you think about it, if no, is there any reason why?

Yes, I think 2019 was my 10th or 11th even? So quite a veteran. I absolutely love it and it's amazing to see how big the event has grown. It's like a second Christmas eve when it's CodeGarden week where it's possible to learn new stuff, while having fun with old and new friends in a safe environment. I like to see how diverse the event has become. I'm not saying it's perfect but we've come a really long way!

How did it feel when you received the notification that you were being awarded an MVP award?

It's always a very special feeling and I can't think of a time where I did not get a little bit emotional. It's a big recognition of the contributions one have made at many different levels throughout the year. It's a very special feeling - At least it is for me.

I remember how I was absolutely flabbergasted when Niels called me when I was awarded my first MVP in 2010. Back then 5 MVP's where selected based on a voting system on our.umbraco.org where the top 20 people who had earned the most karma throughout the year was nominated. I became the 6th MVP that year because there was a very narrow gap between number 5 and 6. So initially I had received the "Sorry, you did not become an MVP" e-mail a few days before Niels called me.

It was also a very special moment being announced during bingo night at CG19 because I was forgotten about in 2018 - It got goosebumps when I heard everyone cheering, shouting and making a lot of noise. I think I also wept a wee bit :-)

Has being awarded the MVP made you look at things differently / has it changed anything in your day to day life e.g. asked to do more Umbraco talks? Asked more Umbraco questions at your workplace?

It's very rare that I have been asked to do talks about anything Umbraco related actually. But I've also tried to avoid doing talks because of the infamous imposter syndrome unfortunately. But I have been the "Go to" guy at former work places when my colleagues had some questions.

Sometimes I think I may also be overly defensive when someone criticises Umbraco even though their criticism is valid :-)

If you could offer a new member of the community one bit of advice, what would it be?

Get involved - But make sure to do it in your own pace. It's a friendly community and you will be able to meet so many wonderful people and experience many happy moments. But being new it can all feel very very overwhelming. But if you have something you want to share don't hold back, please do share positive as well as negative since that's the only way we can improve things and HQ are very open to feedback. Especially if something is harder to use than it should be. This goes not only for developers but for content editors as well.

Tell us about 1 of your most favourite things whether it's a band, a colour, a bit of software you couldn't live without, an item of clothing, a book, anything but tell us why you love it so much.

I think I will mention an old book by Dan Cederholm called "Web standard solutions", which is absolutely brilliant at explaining that it's possible to achieve thing using HTML in very different ways and why one approach is better than another in terms of semantics. It's helped me as a self taught developer a lot throughout the years.

What does a typical day look like for you during the working week?

Ideally my typical workday would be me working on some frontend code for an Umbraco powered solution - But currently I'm working on a project where EPIServer is the CMS being used. So when this project is finished I hope to be back on my favorite CMS again - But otherwise my day is typically a daily scrum meeting, code reviewing PR's from my frontend buddy, fixing review notes from my frontend buddy when he has reviewed my issues and after that working on new features. That's roughly what a day at work looks like for me.

What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies?

Ideally my typical workday would be me working on some frontend code for an Umbraco powered solution - But currently I'm working on a project where EPIServer is the CMS being used. So when this project is finished I hope to be back on my favorite CMS again - But otherwise my day is typically a daily scrum meeting, code reviewing PR's from my frontend buddy, fixing review notes from my frontend buddy when he has reviewed my issues and after that working on new features. That's roughly what a day at work looks like for me.

Anything else you'd like to share with the Umbraco Community?

Usually an awful lot of pull requests for the frontend of Umbraco. Trying to keep up with my colleague Kenn Jacobsen ;-)

Apart from that I enjoy hanging out with friends, watch a movie once in a while and go for long walks.

About the author

Owain

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Where to find Owain

Twitter: @ScottishCoder
Linkedin: Owain Williams
Our: Our Umbaco