Cogworks Umbraco V8 Hackathon 1st edition


16 pull requests merged and a further 8 still waiting to be reviewed for Umbraco V8 in 1 day - that just about sums it up to be honest! Not a lot more to say on the matter...thanks for coming!

Oh, so you want to know what happened? Ah ok then…

It started with a bang!!

And not the kind of bang we expected...After nearly blowing up the 50” TV we were going to use for the all day Zoom conference 5 mins before we kicked off, it didn’t get off to the greatest of starts! But luckily this wasn’t a reflection on the day to come!

After we’d fixed the room fuse box and fed the donkey powering the generator, we were ready to go. We’d managed to gather 6 people in the Cog HQ in London, 6 in Cog Kraków and a further 10 or so remotely dialled into Zoom.

We’d started planning a few weeks before, and had been in regular contact with Stéphane and Sebastiaan from Umbraco HQ as to what we could focus on. The key mission for us was to make the day as productive as possible. We wanted to make sure we had delivered something useful to the HQ and the V8 project and not just hack for the sake of hacking.

Are we all V8 ready?

The first 30 mins or so was spent ensuring that everyone had V8 up and running. Guidance had been given to everyone before the day on how to setup V8, but as with any new system, different developer machines all have their own configurations and there were some challenges to overcome. All these have been documented and provided some great feedback to Stéphane on how to adjust the installation process moving forward.

A quick introduction to the day

To formally kick the event off Callum spent some time introducing the aims of the day, taking us through the Trello board containing the ideas and tasks we'd be focussing on throughout the day. This was followed by a whistle stop tour of all the new concepts and amazing GUI updates in V8 for those who hadn’t seen it before. We recorded the session which you can see on YouTube if you're interested.

In our Polish office, Marcin also gave a quick introduction on how to to contribute to the Umbraco core - the basic branching strategies, Pull Request creation and best practices for all those who had never contributed to the Umbraco project before.

On with the day…

The plan for the rest of the day was really then pretty fluid. The only rules we had were:-

  • We encouraged everyone to collaborate where possible i.e. work in at least pairs
  • Make sure we all check back in every hour as a whole team on Zoom. This worked really well and made sure that everyone was working together and not left alone struggling by themselves especially as we had quite a lot of people working remotely
  • Make sure that we kept all pull requests small and simple (looks at Anthony Dang!). It’s much easier to review and merge changes if lots of mini PR’s are created rather than a massive one that affects a number of different files and is much harder to review the impact.


So as mentioned earlier, the day was an amazing success and really productive. Everyone managed to get V8 up and running relatively quickly, even if there were a few issues along the way.

We managed to document a lot of things that will help the HQ and the wider community get up and running with V8 quicker in the future. 

The choice of tasks on the Trello board ranged in complexity and size which was great as some of the smaller tasks allowed developers to dive straight in and fix things quickly, whilst the larger ones requiring more thought allowed some more in-depth group collaboration.

At the end of the day retro, we tidied up the board and we have a plan in place moving forward. Hopefully a few of the tasks will continue to be worked on between now and the next hackathon, but we will be going through the same preparation process again next month before the next event.

Of course the tasks for the next hackathon will be dictated by the speed of progress of the HQ over the next 3 weeks, but we have a good idea in our minds as to what we’d like to accomplish over the next 4-6 months.

If you want to take a sneak peak of how the day was going, check out the great weekly UmbraCoffee livestream hosted by Callum and Marcin live from the Hackathon.

New core contributors - Welcome Dawid!

It was also really great to see some of those who attended receive a shiny new, “C-TRIB” badged on the same day, including Dawid one of our Polish devs. Great work guys and shows that it is really easy to help the project progress. 

Get Involved!!

We’d love more of you to be involved as every little bit of code that is tidied up, refactored, deleted or considered makes V8 that little bit closer to being ready for general use.

We are holding these monthly so if you have a spare day then why not sign up, come along and get stuck in!

Hopefully see you next month :)