Today's entry to the Umbraco MVP Community Corner is someone I have met a number of times and I was inspired by her talk 'Debugging your brain' at Umbraco Festival.
Job Title: Full Stack Developer
MVP Status: New
Twitter account: @lssweatherhead
How did you first hear about Umbraco CMS?
I first heard about Umbraco back during my first Junior Developer role at Equator. My first Umbraco project was in version 3.0.2!
How long have you been part of the Umbraco community and what do you like / dislike about it?
I have intermittently mixed with the community for a few years, but only really been an active voice since the end of last year when I moved down from Scotland. I think it is incredibly rare to find a technology-centric community that is able to move past the initial bonds of a shared language/tool and broaden into a community tied with genuine affection and friendship. I fell that being able to transcend mere technology and create real connections is the reason the community is so successful and so welcoming to newcomers. It's challenging to find anything to dislike - I mean, if you don't like hugs, high-fives and competitively bashing nails into chunks of wood, are you really human?!
Have you been to Codegarden? If yes, what did you think about it, if no, is there any reason why?
I have been to Codegarden - 2019 was my first year! It was something of an experience, and hopefully to be repeated many times in the future! It was great fun to put faces to names that I've seen in code, and I have to admit that I got a bit starstruck on more than one occasion.
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?
Being awarded an MVP has had number of effects on my outlook/career - it has given me increased confidence and opportunity to use my voice in presentations and articles, it has raised my profile a little within the community (which is always good as a freelance developer) and increased my connection to what's happening and being released both within the community and in HQ. It has definitely had a lot of positives!
If you could offer a new member of the community one bit of advice, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to ask questions! Everyone is lovely and approachable and genuinely wants to help people on their way. Don't understand something? Just ask - someone will help you if they can!
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.
One thing I couldn't live without would probably have to be... chocolate. I choose to believe that I don't have an addiction, but honestly that's probably not true. There are some programming problems that I have solved during my career which I attribute pretty much solely to chocolate (often ingested in cookie form). Jaffa cakes are also a pretty easy route to my heart!
What does a typical day look like for you during the working week?
A typical day involves a slightly convoluted cycle-train-tube journey into Central London for a 9am start. I am currently working with the folks at Crumpled Dog who are a lot of fun, and work is varied - from scoping, to fixes to features; at the moment I get to do a bit of everything! I also listen to a lot of cheesy pop, interspersed with angsty songs from my teenage years. When I get home, depending on the sort of day I've had I will either play a game (quite into Divinity: Original Sin 2 at the moment), watch some TV or read a book. If I still have coding energy left, I will have occasional bursts on side projects. I eat a lot of fish fingers for dinner.
What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies?
For the last few years I have been playing at various circus schools which is a lot of fun. I enjoy acrobatics (tumbling, handstands etc), aerial (hoop, silks, trapeze) and trampolining, and it's essentially like being a child again and getting to climb on, jump off and cling to things. When I am not potentially endangering my life, I like to write, paint and devour historical and fantasy books.
Anything else you'd like to share with the Umbraco Community?
I am terrible at Naily Log
Where to find Owain