InnerWorks Logo
Return to main siteReturn to main site
Blogs

Contribution Is King

Contribution Is King

Cogworks

12 Nov 2020 • 4 min read

You may already know we're an Umbraco Platinum Partner...but we're part of a much bigger community too; open source.

Innerworks is coming soon...

This blog was originally published on our previous Cogworks blog page. The Cogworks Blog is in the process of evolving into Innerworks, our new community-driven tech blog. With Innerworks, we aim to provide a space for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and connection within the wider tech community. Watch this space for Innerworks updates, but don't worry - you'll still be able to access content from the original Cogworks Blog if you want. 

Contribution is king. 

If you’ve come across our blog before, you may have already learned what it means for us to be an Umbraco Platinum Partner. Being a Platinum Partner means a lot for those of you who have just joined. In a nutshell, our team is dedicated to contributing to the growth of the open-source project by building the best solutions for our clients and absorbing knowledge from the proactive community surrounding the Umbraco CMS. 

In this post, we’d like to discuss why we contribute to Umbraco and other open-source projects.

Why do we contribute to the Umbraco Community? 

We’ve been contributing to Umbraco for as long as we can remember through technical contributions such as packages and social events like the Umbraco UK Festival (the most significant known community-run Umbraco festival (ever).

The contribution benefits extend beyond just improving specific features of the CMS platform we have specialised in for so long. When we contribute, we often connect with the community and our clients as much as possible (whether online or at a meetup with a beer in hand). 

Being part of the Umbraco community supports our team in their professional development and, in turn, helps our clients as real-life projects inspire our contributions.

Day-to-day challenges give life to creating packages that solve particular problems for our clients. The magic of an open-source project like Umbraco means we’re encouraged to release these solutions as packages that can be utilised by other organisations that may be facing similar challenges. Being part of an active community gives us the tools to create intelligent, engaging experiences, and our know-how provides us with the edge to find innovative solutions, no matter the project. 

(It is a huge plus that Umbraco is one of the friendliest, most supportive communities going.) For more on our journey with our favourite open source project, check out Cogworks CEO Adam Shallcross’s article, ‘An Umbraco Tale’.

 

The bigger community is open source.  

Outside of Umbraco, we are stuck on other open-source projects. For the team, this is a motivation to get creative, share and promote existing packages, and join discussions that will help improve existing solutions on Umbraco and Microsoft Azure.

 

How does our team contribute to open source?

Many of our open-source contributions result from a "how can we make this better” chat between Cogworks developers, content editors, project managers and designers! A project comes with challenges. Still, our shared desire to simplify a complex idea (first for a specific client) and then with the rest of the open-source community has become an intrinsic way of working.

- Raising issues - If we have the skillset, we will help maintainers and software developers fix problems in the subsequent releases.

- User Experience - If we see something in the backoffice that needs improving to make an editor's life easier, we help wireframe or map out a solution.

- Documentation - There is always a need for more documentation in every project. We help keep information up-to-date and easy to understand.

- Development -  Sometimes, when we know how to fix things, we can contribute and submit code pull requests to resolve the issues directly.

- Translations - In multi-region and multilingual ecosystems, working with tools in the correct language UI is essential. Where can our team help with translations? For example, from English to Polish. 

 

How can our open-source contributions help projects?

The Cogworks team has been working on a collection of public contributions for use with the Umbraco CMS and Microsoft Azure. Among the lineup is:

 The ‘Umbraco Perf Playground’ - A demo playground to help understand modern web performance testing on Umbraco to maximise website performance through automated processes and more!

- ‘Find and Replace’ - Built to save content editors’ headaches when using Umbraco. This simple and intuitive package allows editors to find and replace content in Umbraco.

- ‘The Cogworks Azure Search’ - We use Azure and Azure Search on many client projects. This addition to our package family will help to have a single convention for "talking" with the Search service and make setting up projects much more efficient. 

 

Latest contribution events! 

 

 Last month was Hacktoberfest, a month-long celebration of open-source software. This celebration encourages contributions like the ones listed above for anyone in the global open-source community.  

Celebrations like this let us show off our best “stuff” and allow developers of all skill sets to connect with the developer community and contribute to the quality of open-source software. 

We regularly participate in this event for additional motivation to share our day-to-day work in a competitive setting. Of course, it’s just a bonus that successful submissions can be rewarded with a free T-shirt or a tree being planted on your behalf!

Thanks for reading.

We hope you found this useful. We’re always looking into new ways to give back to Umbraco and beyond so we can power up our client projects and professional development (and occasionally win free merchandise).

Community tech aid

Innerworks and Cogworks are proud to partner with Community TechAid who aim to enable sustainable access to technology and skills needed to ensure digital inclusion for all. Any support you can give is hugely appreciated.