Magento Imagine – Why you need to be there every year
Two of our excellent Magento experts, Attila Sági and Ferenc Varga, participated in the Magento Imagine Commerce 2016 conference, held in mid-April in Las Vegas. Now you can read a report by Attila summarizing what happened during the 4 days and why you should not miss such a conference next time!
The 1st Magento Imagine Commerce event
I first got to know Magento in 2008 when it was at version 1.1. During the past few years, as a developer, I have dealt exclusively with Magento and have followed all versions up until 188.8.131.52 and also kept an eye on Magento 2.0 before its launch last November.
Over these 8 years Magento has become a part of my life. I got the Magento Certified Developer Plus certification in 2013 as I felt it important to have a deep Magento knowledge and have an official proof confirming it.
I landed in Las Vegas, armoured with such background and expertise, and visited the first big Mageto event of my life. It was a fantastic experience. As I got out of the plane, I could hardly wait for joining the “real flesh-and-bone” Magento community.
Ferenc and I arrived to Las Vegas on Saturday night after a tiring, multi-transfer 24-hour flight. Having checked in the hotel, we decided to have some rest to begin the next day with fresh energy and also to start the conference on Monday with “full throttle”.
Some Pre-Imagine events took place on Saturday and Sunday, like the 4th Pre-Imagine Magehackathon, where developers, divided into groups, were brainstorming about new ideas for different projects and had the chance to have a chat with each other in person and not through the net.
The first larger “gathering”, a nice cocktail party, took place on Sunday night where leaders from Magento and other firms, e-merchants, partners and Magento developer companies had a great time together.
The actual conference started on Monday with the registration process, and then came the Welcome Breakfast during which leaders from the biggest payment solution providers (PayPal, Le Creuset, Blue Acorn, Gorilla Group, Espresso Parts, Classy Llama, Magento) had a talk which we could listen to and also could chat with the others at our table.
On the same day I participated in a 2-hour session about an introduction to Magento 2.0 as well as an announcement was made that Magento Marketplace would be launched replacing the presently working Magento Connect. Naturally, this wouldn’t be an overnight change, but a planned, gradual shift.
We spent lunchtime chatting with new friends and then in the afternoon Sponsors’ Marketplace began where we shared a booth with our US partner, Itegration. Here we could see hundreds of booths of different companies being either bronze, silver or gold solution partners or special sponsors. A huge hall was filled with booths where each company representative introduced their services to potential clients.
After Sponsors’ Marketplace closed for the day at 7 pm, dinner and cocktail party followed where we had a great chat with the other participants.
The second day we, again, made new friends and contacts during the breakfast and lunch breaks and the whole day, during the Sponsors’ Marketplace, we talked a lot to numerous visitors from different industries having different questions and queries.
In the meantime, we took part in the General Session & Keynotes where Magento leaders welcomed all participats and announced that Magento became a separate enterprise, not belonging to eBay anymore : ) They also announced the launch of Magento Marketplace and of Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition, which was a pleasant surprise for everyone.
Basically, the opening ceremony and the whole event was centred around Magento 2. I had the chance to visit a lecture about the performance features of Magento 2.0. A comparison was presented when run under PHP 5.6 and 7.0 with and without the use of Varnish Cache.
The day was concluded with a fantastic motivational speech by basketball legend Magic Johnson who talked about the aspects of successful business development.
The third (last) day started with the “usual” breakfast chat and again Sponsors’ Marketplace began and we kept on building further our business contact list and chatting with new visitors. At 2 pm, the conference closed officially, but still some seminars could be attended during the afternoon.
Sharing moments with the Magento Team
For me, being a senior Magento backend developer, it was fabulous talking to and sharing experience with senior and junior developers from Magento. They all were glad to answer any questions and were happy to chat about any feedback or comment I made.
It was also great to visit the Ask Magento booth, Magento’s “official spot” at the conference where we could ask the support team about topics we needed more information about.
I was particularly interested in the Magento 2.0 Certification exam, about which they kindly told me that, according to recent plans, it would be launched in 9-12 months and by then training courses would be started for preparing the developers. Unfortunately, the only location in Europe for such training sessions is going to be Spain, but I do hope there will be more added soon since these can be attended only in person and not online.
I believe this event, or any other Magento conference, is definitely worth visiting by Magento developers, and basically by anyone dealing with Magento, who haven’t yet had the opportunity to attend such a programme. This need not be the biggest Las Vegas conference, one of the smaller European events will do as well, because they will still give a nice glimpse into the world of Magento to those who work with Magento and, even better, regard Magento as their hobby too (like me).
These occasions offer a unique opportunity for building business and professional contacts, gaining new pieces of information and knowledge. Trust me, every year there will be something new and exciting, just as it happened this time. I can hardly wait for the next Magento event!
Attila Sági is a very experienced senior developer having a Magento Developer Plus certification. He started developing custom Magento stores and extensions in 2008. As one of the first members in the AionHill team, he developed extensions under the public alpha and beta versions of Magento 2 before its official launch. Beyond his development duties, he also trains colleagues with special regard to the Magento 2 system.