Moods Before Imagine 2015

Editor’s note: One month before the greatest annual event in the Magento world we all live in anticipation of news about Magento 2, new Magento Connect, and further directions of the platform’s development.

In order to find out the moods inside the ecosystem we asked well-known Magento experts and Imagine breakout speakers about their own expectations from Imagine 2015. Karen Baker, Christian Larsen, Brent Peterson, and Gian Genovesi share thoughts in their forthright answers below.


Karen BakerKAREN BAKER

WEBSHOPAPPS, CEO

Karen has the successful Magento extension company, WebShopApps, which has been a Magento Gold Technology Partner since 2011. She is also the founder of the SAAS based Shipping solution ShipperHQ.com that launched in 2014. With offices in the UK and Dublin, Ohio and key partnerships with the likes of NCR, Endicia and UPS, Karen now heads up a multi-national team rewriting the rules around shipping rate calculation logic in eCommerce.

Imagine 2015 Breakout Speaker: Session IV | 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM. 50 SHADES OF GLOBAL SHIPPING.


aW: What do you expect from Imagine 2015?

Our hope is that Magento 2 really lifts the bar in terms of the merchant experience

Karen: First and foremost we are looking forwards to meeting up with the people we work with every week in the Magento ecosystem, whether that be merchants, web design agencies, developers, technology partners or Magento/eBay. For us this event is a chance to thank our clients for their continued support of WebShopApps and to show our new offerings, including ShipperHQ.com

In terms of the actual content we are looking forwards to seeing new innovations from the ecosystem, and to hearing announcements from eBay/Magento. We would like to see some clarity around the eBay Enterprise possible sell-off and what the possible impact of that is for technology partners such as ourselves.

And we (actually “I”) expect to get drunk and lose a few dollars on the craps tables 😉

aW: This year is expected to be a starting point of the new era for Magento with the release of Magento 2. What changes should this release bring to the ecommerce environment and Magento community, in your opinion?

Karen: Our hope is that Magento 2 really lifts the bar in terms of the merchant experience around building a store on the Magento platform. From what we have seen the new offering should improve the quality of code produced by the ecosystem, I’m definitely impressed that they are including various testing frameworks, and personally hope this encourages PHP developers to take up more of a TDD (or at the least an automated test) approach to software development.

aW: This year Magento also plans to launch new Magento Connect Marketplace. How do you estimate this initiative?

Karen: It’s been too long coming. The ecosystem has been left to fend for itself too long, this marketplace currently provides a lot of confusion for merchants, and for the good technology providers its really pretty useless in highlighting their work. For small merchants this really is the place they go to find stuff, and right now we are letting those guys down big time. I just hope that the new Connect launches soon, and that someone really takes ownership to make it reflect this great ecosystem that Magento really is.

I hope that the new Connect launches soon, and someone make it reflect this great ecosystem Magento really is

aW: You personally participate in the panel conversation at Imagine 2015. Could you reveal the main anticipated direction of this conversation, please?

Karen: Shipping 😉 We are the leading shipping extension provider on the Magento platform, specialising in rate calculation and manipulation. I’m hoping the panel discussion will touch on some of the needs of merchants and the trends around shipping in 2015. Although boring for some(!) for merchants its really something where they can win/lose/differentiate themselves in the marketplace and its often forgotten by the technologists. Let this be the year Magento brings it to the forefront at last.

aW: What are your business and personal plans for this year?

Karen: Lots going on, we are doing great things with ShipperHQ.com, by bringing all our extns together into a single solution and removing the heavy Magento dependency a whole new world is opening up to us.

On a personal side I’ll hopefully be seeing a little more of America this year with the family in tow, and my husband keeps going on about deep sea fishing so I expect a coastal trip needs to happen pretty soon! Ohio is great, but we definitely miss the beach!


Christian LarsenCHRISTIAN LARSEN

ANCHOR, CTO

“Anything that can happen will happen, so be ready. When things break, it shouldn’t matter!” Christian’s obsession with availability comes from 9 years’ experience in GNU/Linux systems administration and consulting services. Today, he architects highly available and scalable hosting infrastructures for Anchor’s global clients, helping developers achieve the same for their applications. Previously, Christian led the team behind the infrastructure for Testflight—Apple’s iOS application testing platform— as it grew to 100 times its previous size. (Photo: imagine.magento.com)

Imagine 2015 Breakout Speaker: Session II | 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM and Session X | 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM. END YOUR CODE DEPLOYMENT NIGHTMARES


aW: What do you expect from Imagine 2015?

We expect to get a lot of value from hallway discussions during Imagine

Christian: As a hosting partner, we’re looking forward to engaging with more developers and digital agencies to understand how they’re working with Magento and how we can better help. We love solving complex technical problems with unique and elegant solutions; as consequence we’re always interested to hear the stories of people who are doing cool things with the product. We expect to get a lot of value from these hallway discussions during the Imagine event.

aW: This year is expected to be a starting point of the new era for Magento with the release of Magento 2. What changes should this release bring to the ecommerce environment and Magento community, in your opinion?

Christian: We’re looking forward to an improved testing framework with encouragement for the community to adopt more robust and reliable continuous integration practices.  As a hosting partner, we’ve seen many of our customers’ shopfronts fall victim to the many negative consequences of rushed releases. We’d love to see more businesses get serious about adopting more mature workflows; the short and long term benefits are enormous.

aW: Do you expect any significant changes in hosting programs for Magento 2 merchants?

Christian: The support for newer PHP versions means that there will be a tangible performance benefit for all who are running Magento 2. This will result in less requirement for over-provisioned hosting infrastructure and hopefully more responsive storefronts.

The adoption of Composer for dependency management will also be beneficial to allow agencies to work in independence of the hosting infrastructure; thus making it easier to port storefronts between hosting infrastructures far more easily.

aW: You will be a breakout speaker at Imagine 2015. What is the main topic of your presentation?

There will be a tangible performance benefit for all who are running Magento 2

Christian: “Putting an end to Code Deployment Nightmares”. My talk’s focus is around adopting a new methodology for thinking about development, deployment and the hosting infrastructure itself. We need to think about the code itself as a build artefact that can be validated and tested, and likewise, the hosting infrastructure itself should be thought of the same way. More focus on automation and repeatable, robust processes can increase the quality of code, the stability of infrastructure, and the speed of iteration with regard to both.

If we start approaching the two distinct areas of concern with the same processes and mindset, we achieve a superior result for both storefront owners and their customers.

aW: What are your business and personal plans for this year?

Christian: Anchor is very excited to be promoting its Magento hosting platform, Fleet, at Imagine this year.  Fleet allows for automated and instantaneous environment instantiation and safe code deployments by enabling agencies to easily adopt a continuous delivery process for their releases.

Our goal is to increase Fleet’s adoption as we’ve seen current users of the platform achieve higher application uptime and increased sales through baked in scalability and better testing practices.

We look forward this year to iterating on Fleet’s featureset and making it even more useful and delighful to use through more developer feedback.


Brent PetersonBRENT PETERSON

MAGENTO EVANGELIST

Brent is Wagento’s Magento Evangelist and Head Coach. He is responsible for spreading the good news of Magento through all channels and helping clients understand how Magento can work in their environment. Brent focuses on finding business solutions to complex problems within the Magento sphere. He is a strong proponent of Community and helps promote Magento Community Events worldwide. He founded and leads the Magento Running team. (Photo: imagine.magento.com)

Imagine 2015 Breakout Speaker: Session VIII | 4:45 PM – 5:15 PM. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING: MAGENTO PROJECT MANAGEMENT


aW: What do you expect from Imagine 2015?

It will be exciting to see Magento’s new focus and energy on a new product

Brent: I expect some great news about Magento2! It will be exciting to see Magento’s new focus and energy on a new product.

aW: This year is expected to be a starting point of the new era for Magento with the release of Magento 2. What changes should this release bring to the ecommerce environment and Magento community, in your opinion?

Brent: We will see an entire group of new people join the community. Many new developers who have either missed out on Magento 1.x or new people who are now interested in the version of Magento.

aW: Do your existing clients express any confident intentions regarding their migrations to Magento 2?

Brent: I think our clients are very excited about the new product. It will be up to us as a community to get people using it.

aW: You personally participate in the panel conversation at Imagine 2015. Could you reveal the main anticipated direction of this conversation, please?

Brent: I am speaking about how we need to make sure our clients, developers and agencies leaders all have the same expectations in a Magento project.

aW: What are your business and personal plans for this year?

Brent: Person: I am running the Boston Marathon in April and hope to raise enough money to meet my fund raising goal: http://lovemyliver.org I can use all the help I can get to even collect $5.

We are planning on launching at least one Magento2 site this summer. We will keep you updated on what it is 🙂

I also plan to keeping adding little helper scripts on my github account!


Gian GenovesiGIAN GENOVESI

BRITESKIES, ECOMMERCE DELIVERY LEAD

Gian is the eCommerce Delivery Lead for Briteskies. He has a fiery passion for serving and aiding clients in fully leveraging the value, features, and functions of their eCommerce systems. With extensive experience in leveraging eCommerce systems and their wide array of supporting systems and strategies, Gian constantly strives to put his clients in an optimal position for success in the online channel. (Photo: imagine.magento.com)

Imagine 2015 Breakout Speaker: Session II | 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM. B2B IS THE NEW BLACK: DON’T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE


aW: What do you expect from Imagine 2015?

I expect and I’m very much looking forward to another great showing

Gian: Magento / eBay have consistently put on a great show for the Magento Partner & User Community. They’ve done a great job highlighting the work and accomplishments of merchants as well as solution & technology partners alike. I expect and I’m very much looking forward to another great showing of the talents and achievements of the Magento ecosystem.

aW: This year is expected to be a starting point of the new era for Magento with the release of Magento 2. What changes should this release bring to the ecommerce environment and Magento community, in your opinion?

Gian: Given Briteskies obsession with integration, Service Contracts are very intriguing. The thought of using Magento as a fabric to tie and couple multiple supporting systems together is fascinating. As difficult as the ‘rebirth’ of Magento has been and how long we’ve all waited for it, I am very excited to see what it holds.

aW: Do your existing clients express any confident intentions regarding their migrations to Magento 2?

Gian: As a technologist, the first version of any release always scares me :). We have a number of clients whose interests have been piqued, but are waiting to understand the full feature set to determine if it is enticing enough to perform a full re-platform. Any new clients from 2016 forward, we will most definitely roll them onto Magento 2. Either way, we’re very excited at what Magento 2 provides and can’t wait to learn more!

aW: You personally participate in the panel conversation at Imagine 2015. Could you reveal the main anticipated direction of this conversation, please?

We’re very excited at what Magento 2 provides and can’t wait to learn more!

Gian: Within the Magento community, we’ve worked with a number of forward thinking merchants in a myriad of different industries. The discussion will be centered around some very interesting and impactful strategies we have implemented which are very disruptive in the B2B space. As far as the specifics of the strategies themselves are concerned, you’ll have to stop our talk to find out 🙂

aW: What are your business and personal plans for this year?

Gian: Continue to do our best to make our clients goals become a reality. We have a lot of exciting projects slated for completion this year and we’re chomping at the bit to get them through the finish line.

Conclusion

We thank all the participants of our interview and wish them success in 2015. We also look forward to meetings with our numerous partners, customers, and friends at Imagine 2015.

Imagine 2015 is going to be magnificent and tremendous at the same time, and all our interviewees and whole Magento Community demonstrate this confidence.

If you have something to add to this post, please share your ideas in comments below.


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