Community Corner - Huw Reddick

Welcome to the next installment of the Umbraco Community Corner. This week we welcome Huw Reddick in to the corner. An Umbraco MVP who can be found regularly on the Umbraco Discord Server. 

I first met Huw at Codegarden last year and I'm over the moon that he agreed to be interviewed for the Community Corner. 

Grab yourself a coffee and enjoy finding out more about Huw.



Huw Reddick - Semi-Retired Fullstack developer - GitHub - Mastodon

Umbraco Community:

  • How did you first get involved with the Umbraco Community?

I discovered Umbraco while working in my last role as a Dynamics CRM developer, one of our clients needed to consolidate several websites (Sitecore, Wordpress, online store and a bespoke customer portal) into a single CMS that allowed their customers to access and provide information that was stored in a Dynamics CRM instance. Umbraco's extensibility enabled me to provide a unified solution to their requirements.

  • Can you share a memorable experience or achievement from your time in the Umbraco Community?

My most memorable experience was attending Codegarden 2023, meeting all the people I had been following and pestering online, and to collect my Umbraco MVP award.

  • What aspects of the Umbraco CMS or community do you find most appealing?

The freindliness and willingness to welcome everyone, no matter what their background might be.

Work History:

  • Could you provide an overview of your professional background and how it led you to your current role?

Where do I begin :) I became a software developer pretty much by accident, I started dabbling with HP BASIC in a previous job as a corrosion technician surveying oil and gas pipelines in the early 1990's, the software we used wasn't great so I started to twiddle with it mostly to save us time, I got hooked on code and never looked back. I then discovered Borland Delphi which I used to rewrite the survey software so it would run on Windows, that gained me my first job as an actual software developer, I eventually moved over to .Net in about 2005 and have been a .Net dev ever since.

  • How has your previous work experience prepared you for your involvement in the Umbraco Community?

I have a fairly broad knowledge of development and setting up IIS websites which has been extremely useful when interacting with the community.

  • Are there specific skills from your work history that you believe are particularly valuable in the context of open-source collaboration?

I have tutored/mentored many people from different countries and cultures during my career as both a pipeline technician and senior developer, this has given me an invaluable understanding of how to communicate effectively to achieve a common goal.

Open Source and Collaboration:

  • Why do you find open source communities, like Umbraco, important in the software development industry?

Open source communities are important because they provide a great platform to share knowledge and resources. My experience has shown me how much people are willing to help and guide you if you get stuck.

  • Have you contributed to other open-source projects, and if so, what motivated you to do so?

Back in the early 2000's I became involved with the 'Snitz Forums 2000' community, at the time I was junior developer and needed to implement an internal knowledge base for my employer, Snitz was a good fit so I joined the community looking for help, eventually becoming one of the core devs on the team.

  • In your opinion, what are the key benefits of collaborative development in an open-source environment?

Open source thrives on community participation. Developers, regardless of their backgrounds, can collaborate from different time zones and locations. This global reach enables continuous development, bug fixes, and enhancements without geographical constraints.

Umbraco Projects:

  • Could you share details about any specific Umbraco projects you've worked on and your role in those projects?

I was lead developer on several Umbraco projects which integrated tightly with MS Dynamics CRM, since getting involved with the community I have released several packages which I believed to be of use to other Umbraco developers.

  • What challenges have you faced in your Umbraco projects, and how did you overcome them?

When I first started using Umbraco, I found AngularJS quite a challenge as I was not familiar with it at all, delving around in the code from other packages and asking dumb questions on the Forum gave me the confidence to write my own packages.

  • Are there any particular features or aspects of Umbraco that you find fascinating or challenging?

I still find AngularJS a bit of a challenge :D

Community Involvement:

  • How do you actively contribute to the Umbraco Community, beyond your technical skills?

I spend quite a bit of time hanging out on the Forums and more recently on Discord offering advice and answering questions when I feel I have the knowledge to do so.

  • In your view, what makes a thriving and supportive community like Umbraco's?

Community members contributing actively, whether through volunteering, sharing knowledge, or participating in events.

Learning and Growth:

  • How do you stay updated with the latest developments in Umbraco and related technologies?

I follow several social media accounts, read Blogs, and following threads on Discord.

  • Can you share an example of a skill or knowledge area you've developed through your involvement in the Umbraco Community?

Working with Umbraco has enabled me to add .NET Core to my list of skills.

Motivation for Open Source:

  • What drives your passion for participating in open-source projects, and how do you sustain that motivation?

I just love helping people and sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years, knowing that I have helped someone keeps me motivated.

  • How do you see the philosophy of open source aligning with your personal and professional values?

I share the same passion for sharing knowledge that drives the community.

Challenges in Open Source:

  • What do you consider the biggest challenges in contributing to open source, and how do you address them?

Limited resources and time constraints. Balancing contributions with other commitments can be difficult, especially when juggling work, personal life, and other projects.

  • Have you encountered any specific challenges unique to the Umbraco Community, and how did you navigate them?

Collaboration and Communication:

  • How do you approach collaboration and communication within a distributed and diverse open-source community?

I try to be as freindly and welcoming as I can

  • Are there specific tools or practices you find effective in fostering collaboration in virtual environments?

Forums, social media, and meetups.

Future of Umbraco:

  • How do you envision your role in shaping the future direction of Umbraco or other open-source projects?

    Hopefully by continuing my involvement with the community and sharing the knowledge I have gained while doing so.
Published on : 22 March 2024