Great People: An Umbraco MVP special with Andrew McKaskill

We're all about celebrating our people.

After all, without our great people, Great State wouldn't be a great place to work. And crucially, its thanks to our talented team that we're able to produce the award-winning work that we're known for.

So, without further ado, we offer you three very short, but very valuable minutes with our latest Great Person, and recently appointed Umbraco MVP.

Welcome to the Umbraco MVP Hall of Fame! For those that might not know what that means, can you explain?

Every year Umbraco selects members of the Umbraco open-source community to be MVPs. MVP stands for “Most Valuable People”, and Umbraco uses the MVP program to celebrate people that have made a significant contribution to the product and/or community.

Open Source projects live and die based on the contributions from everyone that uses them. But it’s not just code that is valuable: updating documentation, organising meet-ups, talking at events; these all help to galvanise other people to use and contribute to the product as well, so they are just as valuable.

Nice one, well done! Tell us a little about your experience with Umbraco, and what you do at Great State?

I started using Umbraco about 5 years ago, but really started getting involved in the community after my first Codegarden, just over 2 years ago.

In my role at Great State as Lead Technical Architect, I design and lead development of digital solutions for our clients. Umbraco is an incredibly flexible platform on which to develop digital solutions, and we often recommend it to our clients.

How come you were selected to be part of the special MVP club?

Over the last 2 years I’ve been actively involved in the community, helping organise the UmBristol meet-ups, writing articles and sharing our work through talks like Codegarden. Last year I also collaborated closely with Umbraco HQ as a member of the Headless Community Team. The Community Team is an industry sounding board, designed to help Umbraco develop a headless API solution, as well as contributing code to the main codebase.

What does it mean for you?

Being an MVP feels incredible! It’s recognition of all the work and effort I’ve put in over the last few years, and it only makes me want to contribute more!

What does it mean for Great State?

Having an Umbraco MVP in the agency shows our dedication to the platform and the community that supports it. It also means our clients are safe in the knowledge that they’ve come to the people that really know their stuff.

What does it mean for your clients?

My clients not only have access to my experience and insight, but also that of dozens of others through the MVP network. It allows us to resolve issues faster, as well as provide highly valued feedback to Umbraco HQ on real-life issues clients are experiencing. Working this closely with Umbraco means I can help to them to build specific functionality, that directly meets the specific needs of our clients.

In your view, what’s next for Umbraco?

Umbraco is growing and maturing all the time. They just released V14 a few weeks ago with a new back-office re-written in modern web technologies with extensive integration and extension points. I think this places them in an amazing position to continue to grow as more and more people use the platform to deliver their digital solutions.

If you’d like to speak to Andrew about your next web project, then he’s all ears.

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