After attending this year’s Magento Imagine Conference, it is easy to see why Magento is the fastest growing e-commerce platform on the planet. Sure Magneto is a very powerful and extendable system, but in my opinion that’s not what makes Magento such a tour de force. Instead, it’s the thriving community Magento has built and the passionate people behind the platform.
Just now as I’m sitting in the cafe of the hotel writing this blog someone came up and introduced himself. Your initial thought is probably, “Sure what is he trying to sell you?” Yes, there’s certainly people here pushing their wares, but there’s a genuine desire to collaborate and connect with people.
Ok, just moments later someone else came up to me in the cafe, but thought I was Alan Storm. I guess Alan writes a really good Magento blog because he was clearly excited to meet me, and disappointed when I told him I wasn’t Alan. If you’re a developer you might want to take a look at Alan’s blog because it is chalk full of useful information.
Here’s a summary of the things I found interesting this year at the Magento Imagine 2013 Conference. Sorry if you’re looking for a technical summary of the conference, this is not the place. Instead, I’ll be sharing my personal experiences and anything that inspired me during this year’s conference.
Taylor McFerrin & Marshall Davis Jones
Without a doubt, the thing I liked the most about this year’s conference was the musical performances from Taylor McFerrin and Marshall Davis Jones. I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “Boy the conference must have really stunk if the highlight for you were these musical performances.” On the contrary, the conference was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers, break-out sessions, marketplace, and all the new people I met. However, I found Taylor’s and Marshall’s performances amazing and a perfect fit with this year’s theme of “The Art of Commerce”. If you ever have the chance, please go see Taylor and Marshall, they are indescribably talented and gave some of the most inspirational moments of the conference.
Side Note: I talked to Taylor a couple of times at the conference and found him to be one of the most humble and “coolest” people I’ve ever met. I’m in my mid-40s and don’t even know if saying someone is “cool” is even cool anymore. I guess that makes me most definitely not cool anymore.
My next vote goes out to Jamie Clarke. Jamie’s account of his attempts at climbing Mount Everest and crossing Arabia’s Empty Quarter literally had me buckling over in laughter. However, if you paid close attention, you realized his talk was not all about getting laughs. Jamie has a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in life. He believes you must face obstacles and challenges in your life to gain a better understanding of yourself. Everyone has gone through obstacles of one sort or another and as Jamie says, overcoming your fears, rejections and setbacks is an internal battle everyone must concur. This understanding will help you become a productive member of your “team,” whether that’s your job, expedition or family.
Magento Enterprise 1.13 Released
I was also delighted to hear about the release of Magento Enterprise 1.13. The performance improvements made to version 1.13 look very encouraging with some nice enhancements to the Magento index and cache. I’m also looking forward to seeing the improvements to the API, which is useful to those of you integrating your point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning(ERP) systems with Magento.
Finally, I need to give a shout out to Brendan Falkowski and his presentation on: “Mobile First: Responsive Design for eCommerce”. His presentation was a continuation of last year’s presentation on responsive design but with all new material. It is easy to see why Brendan was nominated for “Brilliant Newcomer of the Year” by .net Awards. Brendan has a way of explaining complex problems in a way that’s both understandable and enlightening. Brendan shared his key learnings over the last year on his work with both Skinny Ties and Angry Birds, which we’ll definitely be applying in our projects.
I look forward to next year’s conference and experiencing everything that makes Magento so great!
Special Thanks: I would like to thank Karen from WebShopApps – your insight and assistance at the conference and throughout the year is most appreciated. If you have special shipping needs for Magento, I highly encourage you to look at WebShopApps. P.S. I hope you enjoyed the Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.