MageTalk Episode 190 – “On the Go Vol. 2”

The boys talk about self-lacing shoes, the difficulties surrounding hiring Magento developers, and debate whether frontends matter in a headless world.

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Show Notes

1:12 Welcome To MageTalk On the Go

Kalen is walking around again in this episode so be prepared for an onslaught of auditory stimulation.

Phillip was inspired by Erfan Imani (@erfanimani) and is training for a triathlon on March 16th so he is currently on a stationary bike.

I can only imagine this is Phillip during this recording.

Kalen also wants to point out that there was only one comment regarding the audio in the last On the Go episode, and it was a positive one. Thanks, John Hughes (@JohnHughes1984) for the kind words!

2:54 Can Phillip talk about shoes really quick?

Phillip has fulfilled a lifelong dream (well since 1992) by acquiring a pair of Back to the Future-esque self-lacing shoes called the Nike Hypderadapt.

We live in this crazy future where shoes tie themselves and everything is possible.

-Phillip Jackson

7:40 Hard Time Hiring

In an interesting segue, Phillip brings up that the biggest issue with Magento is not any technical issues, it is finding Magento talent.

Sounds like he struck a chord.

Kalen reacts about the situation and gives some valuable insight into this issue. A major point includes the difference between hiring onsite versus remotely and the talent that is missed when companies are set upon hiring onsite only.

Kalen is a big believer in remote work and always goes to bat for the remote worker.

What are your thoughts?

13:16 Don’t Lower Your Standards, Change Them

Is there a legitimate need to have people on site? The boys have different thoughts regarding this.

Phillip’s concern is that, contrary to what he’s been told, what if the Magento ecosystem has not been growing, but has been becoming more and more specialized making hiring talent (especially onsite) harder. The demand for Magento is growing, but the talent pool is remaining steady.

Kalen discusses that building on top of a language or framework that has a wide base doesn’t necessarily mean that the intersection between that base and those who have knowledge in eCommerce or Magento is going to be large enough.

There’s a significant difference in the level of complexity that’s abstracted away when you’re working in a headless situation.

-Kalen Jordan

Will React make this process different? What skills do developers have to learn in addition to general knowledge in Magento that will make them viable candidates?

Some intriguing stuff in this section

23:10 How Developers Think

Phillip recounts a story of a time when he worked with a developer that developed a PHP frontend that (in his mind) allowed him to plug into any e-commerce platform you could throw at it.

How do you think it turned out?

Kalen drops some poetic lines.

History doesn’t repeat itself, it just rhymes.

-Kalen Jordan

Told you.

Kalen also explores some of the issues regarding what developers are enabled to do and what they desire to interact with. Should a developer react with the API? Kalen then elaborates that Magento should be focusing mainly on the API layer.

Phillip also weighs in with some ground that Magento needs to cover regarding the dashboard and the future with Experience Manager.

30:22 Hypothetical API Question

What if you had to have Magento Enterprise Edition to have full API coverage?

The boys weigh in on the various factors that contribute to full API coverage and what it means to have that included at various tiers.

31:40 Do Frontends Matter?

That’s what she said.

Kalen asks if something is headless, why should it matter what frontend you’re building on?

Phillip jumps in explaining that this is the story that Vue Storefront is telling and their go-to-market is not just Magento focused. Vue is trying to position themselves as an agnostic front-end layer for any e-commerce platform (although they seem to be the most active in the Magento space.)

Does PWA make sense for sites that are more complicated and feature rich? What are some features that Magento is missing out of the box?

35:10 SaaS Searching

Kalen says that everyone should be using a SaaS search. He just implemented Algolia and he can’t believe how good it is, how easy it is to set up, and how fast it is.

Phillip agrees that search is a complex domain with a lot of difficult issues to cater to and that SaaS solutions get the desired outcome faster and cheaper.

If you pick a specific problem to solve, there is a vendor out there that will do it better than you ever will.

-Phillip Jackson

The boys are so quotable today!

40:07 Competing Blog Posts

Phillip and one of his resident PWA expert at Something Digital both took a whack at competing blog posts regarding PWA with contradicting viewpoints.

Phillip wrote 5 Reasons to Wait on PWA against his PWA expert’s article entitled 5 Reasons to Jump on the PWA Bandwagon.

Take a gander.

Links / Mentions

Nike Hypderadapt
5 Reasons to Wait on PWA
5 Reasons to Jump on the PWA Bandwagon

-Erfan Imani (@erfanimani)
-John Hughes (@JohnHughes1984)

MageTalk Episode 189 – “Tell me about the intimate things that happen to your face”

The boys discuss the inaugural Magento Board of Directors, Magento Masters, the Top 50 Contributors, and Phillip’s aching back.

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Show Notes

1:34 Tooth Pain vs. Back Pain

Phillip can’t stop talking about how badly his back is hurting him. Kalen asks him to tell him about some of the intimate things that happen to Phillip’s face.

3:01 Athletes Abound

The boys bring up some of the outstanding athletes within the Magento community. Some shoutouts include Tobias Zander (@airbone42) for his monstrous swimming skills and Guido Jansen (@guido) also for his swimming prowess.

3:58 The Magento Board of Directors

The first big topic of the show today is the announcement of the Magento Board of Directors.

Phillip recounts when task force member Brian Lange (@brianjlange) was on the show a few months ago and discussed the bylaws and processes it takes to create an inaugural board of directors. Listen to Episode 183 for a good place to start getting caught up.

There were 100+ applicants to the inaugural board and 8 community members that were appointed. Check out the announcement from Magento.

6:29  And the Board Members are…

Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton)
Juan Ignacio De Paula
Hilda Fontana
Guido Jansen (@guido)
Viacheslav Kravchuk (@slkra)
Danny Verkade (@dverkade)
Joshua Warren (@JoshuaSWarren)
Kuba Zwolinski (“>@snowdog)

The boys go into each member of the inaugural board and give some background on each one.

Ben Marks (@benmarks) is also on the board as the representative from Magento. Brittany Mosquera (@brittanycarnes) is also on the board as a non voting member. And finally Joshua Berman from SmithBucklin will serve as the Executive Director of the board.

Congrats, all.

15:00 Task Force Diligence

Phillip brings up some of the hard work that the task force completed to form this inaugural board.

16:02 The Magento Masters

The boys talk about the 2019 Magento Masters.

Check out the three categories below.



Qualified Alumni

Kalen realizes that there have been a lot of Masters that have not yet been on MageTalk.

25:38 MageTalk Love Fest

Kalen has been messing around with Vue Storefront and has been having lots of fun. He likes that he’s doing some coding again and getting into the nitty-gritty.

Phillip commends Kalen for picking it up so quickly and already making full websites. Phillip also calls Kalen the Master of solving problems with new coding languages that he teaches himself.

Kalen has realized that Phillip is really good at podcasting and publicly admits that Phillip is the talent and that Kalen is just along for the ride.

32:22 The Top 50 Contributors

The boys briefly mention the Top 50 Magento Contributors List. It’s a great list full of great people so check it out.

Kalen might make an appearance on the list…

33:24 Enhanced Bug Bounty Program

There are some changes to bug reports including faster payments and quicker responses to reviews and responses to submissions.

Phillip commends Magento for keeping on top of this issue and following through.

36:03 “Can we talk about the headless thing?”

Phillip heard an idea about letting customers use a mobile app in a store to check themselves out. Is this a viable possibility? Will this set some brick and mortar stores apart?

He has seen two big brands recently launch headless sites and was intrigued that they chose to go headless.

Kalen one-ups Phillip by discovering a curated list of modern e-commerce sites called that lets you see what other business are up to.

Pretty cool stuff.

42:30 Phillip Complains about PWA

Phillip brings up that PWA looks like it’s a B2C feature and that you have no reason to use Magento for B2C in 2018 without PWA.

Does this bring Magento back into the B2C game and a more viable competitor with Shopify?

45:59 Abstract Periscope Art?

Kalen highly suggests you check out James Zetlen’s Periscope videos for a weird mix of abstract art and live streaming.

46:20 A Time to Learn

Kalen noticed a tweet regarding a company giving every developer two hours a week to watch Laracasts. He also asked the Magento community if there was anyone using a similar model to give their developers time with Mage2 TV.

Phillip talks about how Something Digital provides a 40 hour per year self-guided, offsite training for their employees in addition to ample opportunity per month for self-guided training.

49:10 How do you feel about this?

Phillip was talking to a potential senior dev hire and asked him what technologies he was interested in. The dev said that there weren’t any technologies he was interested in and that irked Phillip. How do you feel about that?

Kalen says that there is a difference between creative professions and non-creative professions in regards to furthered interest in the subject.

52:45 A BIG Announcement

Phillip is the MC of Imagine 2019!!


Phillip wants to hear everyone’s ideas on how to make this year’s Imagine the biggest and baddest one yet. Tweet him @philwinkle and let him know your ideas!

Links / Mentions

MageTalk Episode 183 with Brian Lange
Magento Association Board Announcement
2019 Magento Masters: Makers
2019 Magento Masters: Movers
2019 Magento Masters: Qualified Alumni
Top 50 Magento Contributors List

-Tobias Zander (@airbone42)
-Guido Jansen {@guido)
-Brian Lange (@brianjlange)
-Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton)
Juan Ignacio De Paula
Hilda Fontana
-Viacheslav Kravchuk (@slkra)
-Danny Verkade (@dverkade)
-Joshua Warren (@JoshuaSWarren)
-Kuba Zwolinski (“>@snowdog)
-Ben Marks (@benmarks)
-Brittany Mosquera (@brittanycarnes)
Joshua Berman

MageTalk Episode 188 – Passionate About Bananas

The boys are back to bantering about bananas, PWA, the landscape of development, and the fact that Kalen might be more of a Laravel guy…

Listen Now!

Show Notes

1:50 Inception Woes

The boys recount some of the trials and tribulations they endured in the development of MageTalk and how the processes behind the show have evolved to where they are today.

Phillip admits to a double rookie Podcasting mistake. Kalen is disappointed.

A shoutout to Brian Lange (@brianjlange) for being an SD Card hero when Phillip forgot to bring one to record a live event.

4:52 The Meta Segment

Kalen has noticed that the first few minutes of every episode have become a “meta segment” in which the boys talk about the show, pat themselves on the back, and are just self-referential in general.

5:19 An Assistant or A Butler?

Phillip thinks he needs an assistant. Brian Lange says he needs a butler. Either way, he is very close to hiring an assistant.

Phillip proves his knowledge of Louie Vega lyrics.

Kalen says that Phillip reminds him of PWA.

7:40 Bananas about Bananas

Phillip informs Kalen that he has been taking pictures of bananas all week since their discussion on bananas in the previous episode.

The boys also struggle to avoid all the off-color jokes about Phillip sharing his banana pics with Kalen.

I guess you could say that makes Phillip a…

And no, I don’t apologize for that.

9:18 Let’s get into PWA

Kalen lets us know that he has been getting back into coding, which has sparked this episode PWA discussion. He’s been trying to wrap his head around the face there is no direction from anybody on the Magento core side regarding what third-party extensibility is going to look like within PWA.

He also points out some companies that have PWA support such as ShipperHQ.

The boys delve into how these companies actually are implementing this extensibility.

17:22 The Landscape of Development

Phillip is excited to see Kalen get back into hardcore Dev Mode. Phillip also thinks that PWA studio is going to change the landscape of implementation yet again.

Phillip also casually mentions that he is still #7 in the world on Stack Exchange without having done anything there in about two years. Righteous Updoot.

19:20 Is it SaaS Exclusive?

Are SaaS models the only business model that can afford PWA implementation?

The boys discuss some of the technical and financial requirements of PWA implementation. They also talk about some more specific changes in how things will change in this new model.

21:04 Server Still Matters

The Server-Side Rendering Challenge. How do you approach this? What are some current fixes?

Phillip gives some insight into how this challenge affects development across multiple facets of the development process.

Technical Jargon Abounds.

24:28 An Odd Realization

Kalen realized that he might be more of a Laravel guy than a Magento guy and that made him kind of uncomfortable.

Phillip reiterates that he is glad that Kalen is back into coding.

Kalen says that he wants MageTalk to get back to being a devoted development podcast. Phillip sounds thrilled.

27:52 Zen Mode

Phillip states that he is in a zen mode right now where he is content about everything that he is doing and doesn’t currently have the coding itch.

Kalen says that his coding itch had been long gone and he’s happy now that it’s back.

There’s a cream for that…


Mentions / Shoutout


-Brian Lange (@brianjlange)

MageTalk Episode 187 – A Whole Inch-and-a-Half of Growth

The boys usher in their fifth year of MageTalk by talking about banana business ideas, the Magento Partner Kickoff, transparency, and how Phillip predicted the future.


Listen Now!

Show Notes

1:20 A Very Happy New Year

The boys start out the episode by wishing all of you a Happy New Year and letting us know that they are officially entering their fifth year of MageTalk.

Phillip reflects on the four Magento Partner Kick-Offs he has been to and how they have changed.

3:08 What is up with you?

Phillip asks Kalen what he’s been up to as they haven’t spoken for a few weeks and also asks the important question: “Can you get fat, eating only fruit?”.

Kalen lets us know that the banana industry is ripe for disruption.

Seems like things never change.

5:12 Kalen’s Been Blogging

Kalen has been blogging and lets us know that he has moved away from Medium and has been publishing on GitHub pages using Jekyll. Gettin’ fancy (even if he’s 18 months behind).

Kalen finds that Medium had too many pop-ups and paywalls. Phillip’s issue with Medium is that they are a content company, and yet you are the producer of the content and not them.

7:08 Is there money in the banana business?

Kalen talks about his subscription bananas idea because all he wants in life is optimally ripe bananas every single day.

Lots of a-peeling content here.

14:38 A Banana-A-Day

Phillip recalls a product packaging concept from South Korea that displays six bananas in various degrees of ripeness. Could this help in Kalen’s Banana Business?

Also. You’re welcome for finding the image.

And yes, there have been 20 minutes of banana content and you have all hit your potassium quota for the day.

19:55 The Good Ole PKO

Kalen brings us back on track by asking Phillip to speak more about the PKO. That’s Partner Kick Off for all of us who don’t speak Kalen.

Phillip enlightens us with some updates on Magento’s growth in 2018, Black Friday/Cyber Monday performance, changes that will be made to how they deliver cloud to smaller companies, and lots more cool stuff.

He also hints at some brands that Magento has added and he’s very excited about them.

The main theme of the kick off was “Experience-Driven Commerce” that integrates the Adobe Experience Manager into Magento.

He was also impressed that it was 45 minutes into the session before he heard anything about PWAs.

23:14 On the subject of PWA

Phillip gives us his opinion on PWA and how it makes him cringe a little bit. He also mentions that a lot of the companies that are excited about PWAs don’t have use cases for how they will benefit from them.

Phillip also notices how Magento’s growth chart had no X or Y access and yet they experienced a “whole inch-and-a-half of growth”. Whatever that means.

27:20 The Big Roll Up

Kalen asks if Magento’s numbers get rolled up into Adobe’s numbers when they are presenting growth.

What do you think the answer is?

Adobe has also been talking about Magento and Marketo on primetime television.

31:38 A Quick Bit of Love

Kalen gives some love to some recent tweets by Matt Asay (@mjasay) after Kalen had made some noise about the Adobe Experience Manager. Matt replied that he’d been responding to concerns individually over email.

34:10 Transparency Schmansparency

Phillip points out that Matt Asay has also been calling out people and companies that have not been transparent enough.

Kalen defends his use of the word enterprise-y and what he feels the ideal Enterprise company should be like.

Phillip details what his ideal Enterprise company would be and that Adobe can learn a lot from Magento.

“Getting people excited about something isn’t just about transparency, it’s also about ubiquity and use case.”

-Phillip Jackson

39:40 The Microsoft/GitHub Thing

Kalen brings up that people were tentative about Microsoft acquiring GitHub mainly because Microsoft didn’t have the best reputation in the world. However, Microsoft made recent changes for low-end GitHub customers by granting unlimited private repositories for free accounts.

Kalen thinks this is pretty cool.

Microsoft is making GitHub even more friendly to users on the low-end and strengthening their down market.

42:20 Magento Titles and Roles

Phillip remembers another topic that was discussed at the PKO and that was Mark Lavelle’s title is now Senior Vice President of Commerce at Adobe. Phillip also discusses some of the new hierarchy within Adobe.

Phillip also pulls up some interesting salary information for an Executive Vice President at Adobe.

Phillip also mentions Jason Woosley’s role was listed as Senior Vice President of Commerce at the PKO. But that was Mark Lavelle’s role…

Kalen also says that there is a possibility for Mark Lavelle to be a part of his banana business.

49:05 A Quick Commerce Hero Ad Spot

Kalen gives some updates on some recent hires for the Commerce Hero team.

Congrats All!

Kalen also reads a message he got from someone he recently put in a position and Kalen just wants to let the world know how great it felt to hear something like that.

52:30 Future Commerce Cross Promo

Kalen surprises Phillip with a surprise Future Commerce cross-promotion. Awwww. Kalen lets us know that Future Commerce predicted the interactive Black Mirror episode that was released.

Phillip enlightens us with how the prediction came about and all the clues that led to them guessing that the episode would be created.

Phillip also lets us know that Brian Lange hates Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.

Is this the future of content?

Mentions / Links

Kalen’s Blog
Banana A Day Packaging

-Matt Asay (@mjasay)
-Mark Lavelle (@mklave1)