Jamersan’s CEO TJ Gamble hosted a live stream with special guest Miguel Balparda, senior developer at Nexcess. They discussed Magento’s Community Engineering, the recent closing of two Magento locations, benefits of live events and Magento community days. Here is a highlight of the live stream and you can also watch the entire video here.
TJ describes Miguel as a Magento “evangelist” since he has the opportunity to travel to meet with Magento developers all over the world. Miguel notes that he came to this point in his career by working hard at helping others. As he has grown in his career, he is happy to now be at a company that allows him to travel and help people internationally.
Miguel values Magento as a company, especially the team of developers and the overall community. Community Engineering is a team of the developers and the company consisting of the people you want to talk to have your issues heard and addressed. The core developers are actively discussing things with other developers, which is something Miguel has never seen in other companies. He sees this as what makes Magento different and sets them apart.
TJ appreciates that this program is a way where Magento is listening to feedback and getting the community more involved. Miguel notes that they are working with a team of about 800 developers around the world, on 250 pool requests and more than 1,000 open issues. They work to keep things organized, but some long term open issues may be closed before they are fully resolved. This is an issue that the team is working on, but they are overall doing well with addressing requests.
TJ and Miguel both recognize the welcoming environment of the Magento Community. “This community is very welcoming and comforting regardless of the environment that you find them in,” says TJ. Miguel adds, “The internet is not a pretty place… If you come here from a different background, you are going to be welcomed… If you’re an outsider, it’s going to be easy for you to integrate.”
Regarding a Twitter question on an open ticket being closed on a bug report, Miguel advises that it could’ve have been a mistake, but that there are a lot of open issues which are sometimes closed. He recommends that you can submit a pool issue, try to have the ticket reopened or come to someone directly for assistance.
In the new “What You Bitchin’ About on Twitter This Week?” segment, TJ brings up the news of the closure of Magento offices in the Ukraine and Philadelphia earlier this week. Miguel has not heard much about this, but does not think it is something alarming. He notes that closures like this can be normal for the industry and that employees were given options to move or work remotely, so he doesn’t think negative comments on Twitter are warranted. He also notes that sometimes it is easier for US companies (like Magento) to have international offices initially, because it can later make it easier for employees to move to the US on a different kind of work Visa.
With regard to complaints on Magento changes, Miguel mentions that you can’t build your business on top of another business and then complain when the company changes. For example, he had previously built a product based on Facebook’s API but then realized he couldn’t be upset about Facebook changes since he had built his product based on top of another system.
TJ agrees by adding that “change favors the hungry,” meaning that you should never get too comfortable with the status quo. He feels that the changes in Magento give opportunities to those who take advantage of the changes in order to get ahead in the game.
In discussing live events, Miguel notes that Meet Magento Netherlands and Germany have been some of his favorite events. He feels that good attendance, speakers, organization and great food add up to a good event, with both TJ and Miguel agreeing that good wifi is a must!
Responding to a chat question on whether hallway track discussions are a marker of a great event, Miguel thinks that it is an interesting way to meet people, but it can also be difficult sometimes. He says it is important so that people can feel welcomed and that if you ever see him, you should approach him for discussions (and maybe even a subsequent beer).
In discussing the value of having merchants involved in conferences, Miguel isn’t sure the best way to attract merchants, but that they are important. He notes, “We don’t get to show them what we do and that means that they don’t know what the platform is capable of. So we are trying to have more merchants at these events but it is really tricky.”
TJ adds that it can be better to sell to the agencies who will then sell to merchants, but Miguel notes that it makes sense to have more merchants since they are the ones who will be making the decisions. Miguel suggests offering free tickets for merchants to encourage attendance.
TJ and Miguel discuss Magento contribution days. Miguel says these are great opportunities to sit with core developers who will show you how to code with Magento 2, how to contribute back to the community and answer your questions directly. This is a unique opportunity to work directly with the engineers who built the platform. You can participate in live events but there are also remote opportunities. He suggests that you can contact him directly or join the Slack channel.
Lastly, in response to a chat question, they discuss contribution days versus hackathons. Miguel says that the hackathons are nice because you get to spend 24 hours inside the office coding nonstop, but personally he has only done contribution days and really enjoys them.
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