Owain is an Umbraco MVP, an Umbraco certified master and works on Umbraco projects on a daily basis. When not coding, he enjoys running, spending time with his wife and building lego!
Another week and another new Umbraco MVP to be enrolled in to the Community Corner.
Today, CodeCabin 2019 kicks off and so I thought I'd introduce one of the organisers, Lucy Brailsford.
Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy this wonderful interview from Lucy.
How did you first hear about Umbraco CMS?
I first heard about Umbraco through my then boyfriend, now husband, Matt Brailsford. He'd been introduced to the CMS while working at an agency in Manchester. So it's been in our lives for many years. I now, however, understand more about Umbraco after Matt began working for Umbraco HQ and then set up Outfield Digital, where I joined him in the business six years ago.
How long have you been part of the Umbraco community and what do you like / dislike about it?
I've really only started being more involved with the community for the last four years, when Matt, Lee and I started CODECABIN, the Umbraco community weekend. However, having joined Matt for a weekend in Copenhagen after the 2012 CodeGarden, I met a bunch of really lovely Umbracians and so I guess from that moment I did feel like a part of the community as they're all so welcoming. What I love about the Umbraco community is just how welcoming the people are. It is true what they say, it is the friendly CMS and it is made great by the people who love and champion it.
Have you been to CodeGarden? If yes, what did you think about it, if no, is there any reason why?
Yes, I attended CodeGarden for the first time this year. I had heard so many stories about the event, some great, some a little worrying (with just how raucous it can be at bingo), but I knew I had a great guide in Matt and that I'd have a warm welcome from all the friends made over the years at other events and indeed past CODECABIN attendees.
I found it to be a brilliant event. It felt well organised with a clear agenda and the venue was a great space for each activity/session. The sessions I attended were engaging and thought provoking. Downtime in between sessions was great to catch up with people.
Bingo was hilarious and had a really fun atmosphere. I was pleased to have finally shared in this experience after years of hearing about it from others. Dolly was simply brilliant.
I was nervous beforehand and completely exhausted after the event, so was glad of a day or two off once home. It was an all round great experience and I will be going again
How did it feel when you receive the notification that you were being awarded an MVP award?
I was really shocked, flattered and a bit like, why? I was given the MVP award for my services to the Umbraco community for my role in organising CODECABIN, which was really lovely, especially to know that the work to pull off the event is recognised. It really is a team effort though, so I think of the award as being for Matt, Lee and myself, as they were keen to see an event like this in the UK and there's a lot they do to make it happen and to see it run smoothly during the weekend itself.
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?
I don't necessarily think it has changed anything day to day as such, but it has made me appreciate that the work I've done to organise CODECABIN is important for the Umbraco community, as well as affirmation that I can achieve anything I put my mind to and that it will be worth it, awards or not.
If you could offer a new member of the community one bit of advice, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to join in. That's really easy to say, but much harder to do if joining in and meeting new people is a struggle for you. I struggle with anxiety, which sometimes can be really dibilitating, but as mentioned, everyone is really friendly and welcoming, so I did feel at ease.
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 love interior design and styling (both for interiors and fashion). I studied fashion design and clothing manufacture at university and have always loved designing, illustrating and styling. Once I had my own place I found these loves translated perfectly into interiors.
We're now in a home which needs a lot of cosmetic work doing to it to get it to our style and we're starting with renovating the master bedroom and en suite bathroom. I've begun designing and planning my vision for the rooms and I'm in my element! It combines my love of lists and organising, designing and working with colours, textures and trends, as well as my love of shopping!
What does a typical day look like for you during the working week?
We work from our home office and so I juggle a mix of work and home life in each day. It usually starts some kind of tidying, washing or food prep, then moves onto checking work emails, updating Trello with the items I need to address that day. I usually check in on Slack to see what past and future CODECABIN attendees are chatting about.
Matt will have a chat about anything that has come up that needs addressing and then action anything which has come from that discussion.
Then it's a mix of project management processes, ensuring we're on track with client site builds and communicating progress with clients and suppliers, accounting/banking/cash flow processes. And CODECABIN planning, whether we're marketing the event or planning menus, travel and general organisation, as it is a year round process.
And of course, now that we own Tea Commerce, keeping track of the project to update and improve the product. Working on our marketing strategy and tracking sales and forum posts. This element to our business will be increasing in the coming months and we gear up to release a version that is compatible with Umbraco V8.
What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies?
I don't really have any hobbies. I occasionally like to get creative and might break out the craft box to make something. All my spare time at the moment is taken up with planning renovation works to the house and sourcing fixtures and fittings, as well as decorative items, which I really enjoy.
Anything else you'd like to share with the Umbraco Community?
Be sure to follow @codecabin on Twitter to find out what happens at this year's event. You never know, you could be inspired to apply for CODECABIN20!