This article is several years old now, and much has happened in Umbraco land since then, so please keep that in mind while reading it.
My journey in the Umbraco-world started around 2007 when a fellow developer introduced me to Umbraco CMS - it was love at first sight. Since then I've implemented many sites, built customizations and packages. Every time I've come across a challenge I've either found a solution on the great our.umbraco.org forum, in a community blog or started to work on my own solution.
Back in 2011 I was trying to find a package that could send out e-mail campaigns to a list of subscribers. I found some attempts with really simple approaches but there were no "real" solution to this problem - that's when I figured "Can't be that hard - I'll build it". Some hundred hours later Newsletter Studio was born, a Umbraco package that lets you send campaign e-mails to your site members or a custom mailing list. The idea is quite simply to remove the hurdle of having several different tools to accomplish your everyday online marketing task - Newsletter Studio is integrated in the Umbraco backoffice and editors can work seamlessly with content both for the website and the e-mail campaigns.
The package has been available for four years now and it has really changed my life. But not in terms of money - if I had spent all the hours invested in that package on consulting my wallet would have been a lot bigger. That's not how things changed. I'm talking about all the priceless experiences, trips and the incredible people that it has introduced me to.
I spent the winter of 2011 in Thailand and read a Swedish book about how to grow your business when selling services. One advise was to make sure to "become an authority in your subject" - write things, create things, speak at conferences, share your insights and so on. I decided to try that and to work even harder with my package and with praising about Umbraco.
Since that day I've been speaking at several conferences in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Demark (including CodeGarden and Umbraco DK Festival), I run a fairly popular Umbraco blog that has over 2000 Umbraco-interested visitors every month and I also teach the official Umbraco Training Courses in Sweden. Not to mention that I went to an Umbraco snow mobile meet up in the north of Sweden. What a journey!
After reading this far I can imagine that you really would like to know about that code that changed my life? You might be waiting for a smart line of code that you can copy and paste into your next project? Well. The code is here: https://github.com/umbraco/Umbraco-CMS
And to be fair - it's not the code that changed my life. It's all the things it brought me. All the amazing people I've met over the years and all the awesome places that I've visited. I mean, look at this guy for example:
I'm quite sure that my experience of the Umbraco community is shared across everybody who have been at a meet up or a conference and I also think that this is the most valuable thing about Umbraco - all the friendly, smart and driven people in the community. I'm proud to be a part of this!
So with this article I just want to encourage people to get more involved! Develop packages, book your tickets to CodeGarden16 - join (or start) a local meet up group - share your knowledge - start rocking =D
To all my Umbracians out there: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
If you want know more about what I do:
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/markusjoha
Have a look at my e-mail package: http://www.newsletterstudio.org
Or read my Umbraco blog: http://www.enkelmedia.se/blogg.aspx
Markus Knappen Johansson
Markus is on Twitter as @markusjoha