Emma is not only an amazing Umbraco Community member but she is also a big fan of 404 error pages and has a collection of her favourites on her website! Once you've read this blog, go and check them out!
Job Title: Senior Software Engineer
MVP Status: Renewal
Twitter account: @emmagarland
Website / blog if applicable: https://emmagarland.com
How did you first hear about Umbraco CMS?
I had been exposed to CMS solutions in my graduate role, and then in my next role I used it on a customer project in 2009. Even back in version 4, I found it very intuitive and extremely easy to use.
How long have you been part of the Umbraco community and what do you like / dislike about it?
I have used Umbraco for over a decade, but I really started becoming part of the community when I moved to Bristol, UK, and started attending the fab and friendly umBristol meetups. Attending my first CodeGarden really helped me feel the Umbraco vibe, and I loved it.
Have you been to Codegarden? If yes, what did you think about it, if no, is there any reason why?
Yes I have, several times including two Codegarden Retreats which were wonderful. I fully loved it! I want to go back, I just need to work out the best travel arrangements to Odense from Bristol.
How did it feel when you received the notification that you were being awarded an MVP award?
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 has made me want to get involved more in the Umbraco codebase, something I will be striving to do in 2020.
If you could offer a new member of the community one bit of advice, what would it be?
Just "do you" - go to the sort of things that you enjoy. You don't have to follow a predefined path or role to get involved in the community. I would suggest attending an event, it really helps you get to know some new and familiar faces in the community.
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 too many things to choose just one! I'm happy to be in good health and be in a position to do the things I would like to.
What does a typical day look like for you during the working week?
Currently it is like this:
Cycle to work for 8-8:30am, put kettle on for a cuppa and have cereal and fruit and get hydrated. Catch up on any emails from the day before and get my head back into the space I was in the day before (if I hadn't finalised a piece of work). Check the sprint board to see what I'm working on, and attend the daily scrum at 10am, where there is normally someone dialling in. I try and finish anything that is on a tangent as early as possible in the day so I can focus on one thing as much as possible.
Head into code and achieve as much as possible. Pull requests, code reviews, various chats about other projects with colleagues. Sometimes we have meetings - but not excessively long - so I try and do these earlier in the day so we can get our heads down in the afternoon back onto coding. I then remember that I'm hungry (like I did just now!) and then I have lunch in the office before 2pm. Sometimes we have "Brown bag lunches", where someone presents something they have come across or learned. I try to stretch my legs in nice weather and take a wander at lunch, too.
We then have a 2pm joke of the day and then a daily quiz for the whole team using Alexa, with varying degrees of success. Cuppa tea, biscuits, back to code. Head down and coding till 4-4:30pm and cycle home.
I really do enjoy working at Rock Solid Knowledge, and have learned loads with various in-house and external training sessions.
What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies?
Depends on the weather and time of year, but riding my MT-07 motorbike, watching motorbike racing, gardening, ice-skating, creative writing, VR, gaming, going to visit friends and family, going on new adventures and road trips with my partner, old pubs, quiz and games nights, electronic drums, looking after my 2 cats, and volunteering with Cats Protection. I'm usually doing something else like a project to learn something new - I love learning and keeping my brain and body active and not bored with the same things.
Anything else you'd like to share with the Umbraco Community?
Keep being an awesome community!
Where to find Owain