Magento Developer’s Paradise Conference Recap: Magento 2, Code Quality & More
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending Magento Developer’s Paradise, the leading international Magento development conference, with our VP, Wiktor Jarka, and one of our talented Magento developers, Adam.
We align everything we do around our Core Values, so when Magento announced the Magento Certified Developer program, we decided to really encourage our developers to be Constantly Improving by becoming Magento certified. We announced that the developer to score the highest on the Magento certification exam before the registration deadline for Magento Developer’s Paradise would attend the event with us. It was a tough competition, but Adam came out ahead and joined us in Ibiza September 24th thru 27th.
When you put developers from over 13 countries representing about 50 different Magento-focused companies together in one place for 4 days, it’s amazing what can happen – in addition to helping shape the future of Magento 2, there were great presentations about Magento performance, code quality and hosting. During the hack sessions, we all broke into groups and worked on developing new Magento extensions and features, several of which have since been released as extensions.
The best part of the conference for me, though, was the debate and discussion that started in one of the sessions and spilled over to both Twitter and our break times during the conference – one on Magento code quality. Everyone – members of the core Magento team, extension authors, theme authors and Magento consultants and developers like us here at Creatuity – seemed very passionate about raising the standard of code quality in every aspect of Magento. For our less technical readers, basically, when someone writes an extension or a theme or any type of customization for your Magento store, there’s the right way, the wrong way and the Max Power way (‘the wrong way, but faster!‘). The right way to do it is to never modify the core Magento code, write everything in clean, distinct modules and follow the Magento coding standards & practices. However, some developers choose not to do things the right way – some just don’t know any better, others are looking for shortcuts and some are driven by clients who demand the absolute cheapest solution possible. However, as we discussed at Magento Developer’s Paradise, while taking these shortcuts and violating these best practices may seem faster or cheaper up front, it always finds a way of costing more time, money and frustration in the end – generally in the form of a problem that no one can quite figure out or a site that decides to crash right in the middle of Black Friday or Cyber Monday!
Magento themselves are concerned about being too ardent about code quality – some developers proposed some method by which Magento shames or otherwise publicizes developers that are taking these shortcuts and not writing quality code, but that would give the community a poor reputation. Here at Creatuity, we’ve decided that a great start is simply educating and encouraging all Magento developers to do things the right way, as well as openly discussing and promoting better ways of doing things. We’re excited to announce that we’ll soon be launching a new website specifically for Magento developers to discuss ways we can all improve. Our hope is that we’ll see better extensions, better sites and better themes as a result – no one benefits when people have a bad experience with Magento due to a developer taking short cuts and not following best practices!
And, to close out what was already a great event for the three of us from Creatuity that attended, I was the winner of a Magento Certified Developer exam voucher, to help us continue getting more and more of our development team certified. All in all it was a great time for the three of us to work together as well as for the Magento community as a whole – we’re looking forward to Magento Developer’s Paradise 2013, and we hope to see many of our Magento friends and colleagues at the next Magento conference!