MageTalk Episode 200 – “Oot-Gaverjet-Ploom”

In an episode plagued by audio issues, the boys cross the 200 episode threshold by talking about PWA demos, Magento 1’s trending pattern in market share, and the recent Magecart attack.

Listen now!

1:29 Prep Work and Gifts

The boys start out by announcing that guests on MageTalk will from now on be getting an entire packet of information as well as gifts.

We have also crossed a threshold and are now in the 200s in regards to episode count.

Congrats, boys!

Phillip mentions the now extinct Modern Seinfeld.

The boys also come up with what may be the Worst Superhero of All-Time.

7:55 Starting On the West Coast

Both of the boys were out in Seattle (but not together) and both enjoyed their time.

Kalen’s kids met their cousins who live there for the first time and they visited a botanical garden that everyone enjoyed.

Phillip is on the West Coast for the Pacific Northwest Magento Meetup that Brian Lange from Future Commerce started when he was still working for Amazon. The meetup has grown over the years and now has a couple of hundred members.

The boys also give a shoutout to Binary Anvil for having one of the coolest agency names.

Even if Kalen doesn’t get it.

11:23 A Possible New Segment?

Kalen pitches the idea of a new segment in which the boys make fun of one of the company names in the industry.

Cause that’s always funny.

11:40 Speaking of Names to Make Fun Of…

Brent Peterson (@brentwpeterson) has changed Mage Titans into MageX, an altogether new conference (that is kind of the same thing) that is not just for developers.

MageX is in Austin, Texas (so right in Kalen’s backyard) in September and Kalen might even give a talk on hiring.

Phillip also gives us insight into his process of creating new talks. Spoiler alert: it’s 89 days of crippling anxiety and then one day of extreme productivity.

16:55 A New Podcast on the Scene

Divante has just come out with a new podcast called eCommerce Talks that Kalen thinks has some great production quality.

eCommerce Talks discusses tech, current trends, and insights from around the eCommerce world. It features industry experts, business leaders, and top consultants to share their knowledge.

Phillip says that the setup reminds him of the Kevin Rose Podcast.

20:39 You Know Who’s Not Taking a Sabbatical?

The Magento Community Engineering Slack has reached 5,000 members and Phillip can proudly claim to have another successful vanity metric.

Also, there was a weird audio glitch here so excuse the silence when Phillip’s mic cut off.

Phillip says that this number is actually probably a better measure of activity in the community than the 250,000 developer count that he sees thrown around a lot.

Kalen predicts that by the end of 2021, a Magento developer will be hired with a salary of $300,000.

29:03 Kalen Rants About PWA Demos

Kalen saw that there was a Braintree Integration for PWA and he was curious about how extension integrations are going to work in PWA. He went to go check the PWA demo and it was down.

The boys check the demo in real-time and find that it works so Kalen retracts his rant because the demo looks great.

Phillip also mentions the Creatuity PWA Demo and that Elegentos has just launched a new site on Deity Falcon named Uitgeverij Pluim.

34:35 Magento 1 Is Still On Top

Kalen brings up a tweet from Tom Karwatka (@tomik99) that shows that Magento 1 is leading in Top 10K sites, and if you click the link in the tweet, you can see the trend patterns.

Phillip points out that there is ample opportunity for Sports and Home & Garden sites on Magento 1, so make a move before the opportunities are gone!

38:20 A Simple Request for Rebecca Brocton

Both Kalen and Phillip have heard from multiple sources that the community wants Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton) to release video overviews of Magento releases complete with costumes and all sorts of fun extras.

You owe it to the community, Rebecca.

The boys also try to come up with a song that goes with 2.3.2

41:13 Magecart Attack

On July 4th, over 960 stores were breached with an automated Magecart campaign.

Phillip woke up on July 5th to the below tweet from Talesh Seeparsan [(@_Talesh)( reminding the community that hackers know when you are off work.

Phillip also goes the extra mile and points out some of the sites that were hacked as well as some of the developers who work for the sites that were hacked.

Do you think that open source is a double-edged sword?

Phillip says that people are not vigilant about keeping their platforms up to date and people don’t sit down to calculate the cost to run software that might be inherently free but has certain costs to keep updated and secure. He also believes that a breach like this is something that can set an entire industry back.

Kalen thinks the bigger risk is companies ignoring the security threat altogether.

51:45 The Future of the Magecart Cyber Threat

Phillip asks how long it will be before Magecart evolves into ransomware. He also brings up how the technique of card skimming has come to be known as Magecart, regardless if it takes place on Magento. Well that’s quite the reputation.

Kalen thinks that GDPR will assist in preventing the leaking of data and cyber breaches like this in the future.


Modern Seinfeld
Future Commerce
Binary Anvil
eCommerce Talks
Kevin Rose Podcast
Braintree Integration for PWA
Magento PWA Demo
Creatuity PWA Demo
Deity Falcon
Uitgeverij Pluim
Magecart Breach

-Brian Lange (@brianjlange)
-Brent Peterson (@brentwpeterson)
-Tom Karwatka (@tomik99)
-Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton)

Can contributing to open source help your career?

Mario Peshev

Why do developers write code and release it as open source? It can’t be for the money, the vast majority never make a single cent off of releasing their code. Some say it is for reputation, but you can’t pay the mortgage with reputation. So why? Mario and Cal delve into why developers release their code freely to others and discuss some of the benefits.

The post Can contributing to open source help your career? appeared first on No BS Engineering.

MageTalk Episode 199– “Better Eat Your Googley-Ohs” (w/ James Zetlen)

In one of the more technical episodes of late, Phillip is joined by James Zetlen as they explore the future of UI components, UPWARD and the importance of a common coding language, and some nitty-gritty details of PWA Studio.

Listen Now!

1:36 Down a Kalen, Up a Zetlen

Today, Phillip is joined by James Zetlen (@JamesZetlen) the Senior Frontend Architect from Adobe. Kalen is not here so he’s probably off eating a banana somewhere.

Or maybe for the first time actually taking his sabbatical.

3:05 A Brief History on James Zetlen

Phillip asks James to talk about his history with Magento.

James takes us through a quick background and lets us know that he has been with Magento since December of 2016 and when he started there, he was one of the few engineers that were actually located in the Austin office. When he first started, they had just finished polishing Magento 2.2. Now that’s a flashback.

Phillip recalls when it was really difficult to vertically center things.

7:19 A Flashback Shoutout

Ten years ago, Phillip recalls that Nicole Sullivan (@stubbornella) (who invented OOCSS by the way) worked in the Austin office and now she works on the Google Chrome team.

She was kind of a hero to him.

James points out that at (Or Googley-Oh for the initiated) this year, she did a talk on Elevating the Web Platform with the Javascript Framework Community.

The boys discuss what Nicole is doing today, and how valuable her work is.

Phillip is also surprised to find out that Paul Irish (@paul_irish) was at Imagine.

11:28 The Complex UI Problem

Largely, the response of the community to Magento 2.2’s UI components might have been too much. The frontend development got very tricky and full stack developers ran into complex issues that might have been past what their skillsets allowed them to comfortably build.

Phillip goes on record saying that the implementation surpassed the maturity level of a typical open source developer working for a merchant that doesn’t have an enormous commerce budget.

18:20 The Separation of Concerns Horizontally

There’s a general principle that used to be called the separation of concerns horizontally that leads to things being decoupled in the web stack.

James goes through some of the layers of abstraction that make up the Magento framework and the history of its development.

“The web was designed as a way to surf around using hyperlinks through academic documentation and you can see that history everywhere.” -James Zetlen

Some really good technical stuff here.

Most programming shows hallmarks of its era and we have compounded functionality on top of essentially basic mechanics.

24:21 The Future of UI Components

James predicts that the future of UI components looks like a vertical integration that instead of its connectors being PHP interfaces and XML dialects, they are more broadly accepted industry standard portal directives.

Phillip then states that it seems like James has done away with all the existing UI components and rebuilt it from the ground up with a more sensible orientation.

Maybe James is the hero we need.

30:03 A Big Circle Back to Lighthouse

Phillip asked about Google Lighthouse back at the beginning of the episode and the discussion has naturally spiraled back to it.

James gives lots of juicy information on how PWA Studio was initially a project to begin the creation of the new stack for Magento. He also lets Phillip know that the process has not always moved as fast as he would want it to.

33:51 What are some exciting things on the horizon?

Phillip asks James to talk about some of the exciting things that are coming up in the pipeline.

James starts out by saying that PWA in itself is exciting. Once you begin to mess around with the capabilities of PWA, you start to see just how powerful a tool it can be. Once you’ve played around with it and bring that perspective to PWA Studio, you will have the perspective to give feedback on how to improve PWA Studio itself.

“PWA Studio will help to establish a pattern that other people will recognize, so that when they go to build their own extension concepts then they have code that doesn’t surprise them and code that works together.” -James Zetlen

James also gives some examples of how PWA will work with other languages and components out there.

39:30 Runtime Dependencies and Required JS

Required JS is a runtime dependency manager, and it has a builder that is not used in standard Magento 2 Production. James talks about some of the workarounds to make this process more efficient.

Phillip brings up how a documented javascript module system is a first-class feature nowadays, but it was not always that way.

James talks about how what they have today is not really a runtime system, but more of a build-time system.

44:30 Additional Magento Needs

James talks about how he wants the extension manifest to function, and how most of what is written in the extension manifest is Magento specific.

We should be able to identify within a component what Magento schema are present and the ability to identify the schema is and the additional component to developing the stack.

48:22 Criticism On Complex Deployment

Phillip asks James to talk about what he would say to the argument that other third-party ecosystem progressive web app approaches that exist solely because Magento has to solve them for themselves.

James explains why Magento needs to support multiple deployment scenarios, and why this can lead to complexity.

James also brings up UPWARD (Unified Progressive Web App Response Definition) that he invented because it wasn’t guaranteed that they would be able to run Node JS at run time in order to deliver up PWA made with their tool.

Say Unified Progressive Web App Response Definition five times fast.

53:59 No One Left Behind

James and the team wanted to build an environment in which no one was left behind. They wanted something that was deployable yet also something that wasn’t invasive to their existing tech stack.

James quotes Star Trek: Insurrection and Phillip signs off on the perfect analogy.

56:53 Let’s Clarify a Couple Things

James clarifies that UPWARD is a definition file for how a custom-written back end server would work. It would be great if you could maintain node servers with several different languages but what if instead of writing the same code in five different languages, you identified the commonalities in all of those languages and objects?

What if we could create a domain specific language that you need on the fly?

UPWARD has a small(ish) number of instructions and was only confusing initially because James wrote a document that wasn’t very easy to read.

“There are some things that, no matter how technical they are, need to be promoted”. -James Zetlen

1:04:10 PWA Studio 3.0.0

PWA Studio 3.0.0 has just been released.

James let us know that the most exciting thing about it to him is the existence of the release itself. This was done almost entirely without him writing commands by the awesome team of Craig Herdman, Dev Patil, and their developers.

James also thanks a lot more people and it begins to sound like an Oscar Speech.

A big update for developers in 3.0.0 is the inclusion of Peregrine hooks that is a React-based API. Peregrine uses a new paradigm that feels like magic.

1:08:08 A Big Thank You 

James wants to address his last appearance on MageTalk and commends Kalen and Phillip for their efforts in making him feel welcome and not attacked. James also gives thanks to the boys for giving them insight into what is like to actually use the tools and calls that episode revelatory in their process of development.

With praise like that, I’d check it out

1:09:25 One Other Thing About UPWARD

Phillip points out that it does us no good to have a spec for HTTP without someone building something that actually allows us to use the web. The implementation is just as important as the spec.

James asks Phillip what things would like without UPWARD and also states that he’s willing to throw it out if it’s not useful in the future.

If Magento was able to produce a proof of concept of an alternative, something that is maybe more turnkey and less flexible in its deployment, would that seem like they were invited others into UPWARD?

Phillip says that it would have to be something that is Commerce Cloud-centric first because that is where we are today.

James also talks about some of the issues in UPWARD that make it appear more confusing than it actually is.

Does anyone else have a tired brain after all the genius in this episode?


Guest Host: James Zetlen (@JamesZetlen)

  • Nicole Sullivan ([@stubbornella](]))
  • Paul Irish ([@paul_irish](
  • [Craig Herdman](
  • [Dev Patil](
  • [OOCSS](
  • [Elevating the Web Platform with the Javascript Framework Community](
  • [Google Lighthouse]([Google Lighthouse](
  • [PWA Studio](
  • [UPWARD](
  • [PWA Studio 3.0.0 Release Notes](
  • [Peregrine hooks](
  • [MageTalk Classics with James Zetlen](

Developers don’t leave companies, they leave managers

Mario Peshev

It’s true, developers more often than not leave bad managers. Yes, a lot leave companies with bad culture, but honestly, isn’t that the same thing? A bad culture lets a bad manager thrive. List as Cal and Mario discuss developer attrition and what companies can do to stem it.

The post Developers don’t leave companies, they leave managers appeared first on No BS Engineering.

Episode 6 – PHP, UI, UX, A11Y, APIs (Oh My)

irstRegarding the podcast, two of the best things that’ve happened since the previous episode is that the number of questions is steadily increasing and people are saying they appreciate the length of the show. So that’s good stuff, as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, if you’ve previously subscribed to the show, then this episode should be available in your favorite app or...


MageTalk Episode 198 – $10,000 Luxury Magento Site

Kalen and Phillip explore the complications surrounding a low budget Magento build, the concept of a luxury brand, and a possible Mage Reconciliation Day.

Listen now!

Show Notes

00:52 “Let’s Talk About Feelings”

Phillip starts the show off with a bang by suggesting that the boys talk about feelings.

Kalen harkens back to last week when Phillip told everyone to “grow up”. Phillip now refers to this as “the dark place”. Phillip also says that Kalen has a lot of similarities to Dracula.

This is quite the start…

4:18 A Most Interesting Integrated Ad for Tax Solutions

Phillip makes quite possibly the most original integrated ad by linking Dracula to Vertex by saying that unlike the former, Vertex won’t suck your blood. 

Kalen says that it makes no sense that tax filing is as stressful as it is and gives a shoutout to his accountant. Kalen also says that it is always worth it to have your taxes handled more proactively.

Does Phillip make another interesting analogy for taxes but this time involves Slip ‘N Slides?

Take a guess.

8:28 What are we talking about?

Phillip steers this ship back towards scheduled programming and brings up the $10,000 Magento site.

Kalen fills us in with some context. Essentially, he had a client sign up on Commerce Hero that wanted a site built for $10,000. In spite of the red flags going off in his head, Kalen puts the notice out for this job.

Let’s just say the feedback on Twitter was…colorful. 

12:24 Lots of Different Angles

Kalen has been thinking about the $10,000 site from lots of different angles.

Why can’t people work in whatever level of the stack they need to work in like they do with Linux?

Kalen also brings up some of the joking comments that refer to the high pricing of anything regarding Magento.

15:36 Phillip Joins In (Here’s the Deal)

Phillip is chomping at the bit to get a word in on the topic of the $10,000 build.

Magento Enterprise Solutions Partners are charging around $150-$175. It would take between 42 and 52 hours to accomplish installing Magento to remain within the budget.

In that time you need to:

  1. Decide where to install Magento (Obviously [MageMojo](
  2. Decide who’s going to set up the account
  3. Provision access to the account
  4. What plugins will we be using and are they compatible?
  5. And the list goes on and on.

See where this is heading?

There are several hours in just conversations at the beginning of a Magento installation.

22:11 Is it Even Possible?

Kalen lays out some very specific things that would have to happen in order for this project to work with this budget.

Phillip brings up Mercury, an accelerator powered by Something Digital that can do a build for around $55,000.

How is this possible? The answer is simple: fixed choices.

By creating a known environment, Mercury eliminates a lot of the choices that lengthen builds.

Phillip also brings up the below comment from David Stillson (@DavidStillson) and compares this to the Magento ecosystem.

Does supporting lower budgets hurt the higher budget projects?

30:14 The “Luxury” Trigger

Phillip brings up a good point by saying that the response to the site could have been triggered by the word “luxury” in the post.

Oooo. Luxury.

If the word “luxury” had not been included, would the responses have been the same?

Phillip asks Kalen a hypothetical question about what he would charge if he were developing a logo for a billion dollar company. Does the worth or clout of the company affect the cost of the work?

Kalen says that at the high end of the market, you want the consumer to be impressed by the level of the work and the reputation of the designer can affect the outcome.

35:17 Some Good Feedback

Another piece of good feedback that Kalen got from the comments was from Len Lorijn (@lenlorijn).

Check out what his idea below.

Kalen thinks this is a really cool idea.

Phillip says this is also timely in the Magento space because people are balking at Adobe Stock integration being part of the Magento Community Engineering Platform project.

The boys also delve into some of the positives and negatives of hackathons and work through some scenarios where this model could work.

Phillip also gives some examples of things that exist in other spaces that are similar to Len’s suggestion.

42:30 The Adobe Stock Integration Thing

Kalen wants to talk a bit about the Adobe Stock Integration thing.

Phillip points out that some people are wondering why Adobe is asking the community to build their product for them.

Phillip then picks apart the perception that we are taking developers’ time (for free) and using it to fund a commercial product. But isn’t this how all of Magento works?

Point Taken GIF by Third Rail with OZY - Find & Share on GIPHY

46:33 Mage Reconciliation Day

Kalen has been getting a lot of ideas from the Reply All Podcast and wants to create Mage Reconciliation Day.

As time has gone on, Kalen has come to know an increasing number of people who have a serious beef with each other. With this in mind, what if there was one day a year where people could come together and squash their beef?

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Kalen gives a shoutout to Nina Stocklöw (@ninnah90) and Phoenix Media

Phillip loves the idea of Reconciliation day but has some words of warning.

In reality, it’s none of your business what other people think about you.

-Phillip Jackson

He also suggests that we are all adults and if you need reconciliation, go out yourself and get it.

Kalen says that as a general rule for reconciliation, you shouldn’t expect the other party to forgive you as well, you should look to just let things go for yourself.


-David Stillson (@DavidStillson
-Len Lorijn (@lenlorijn)
-Nina Stocklöw (@ninnah90)

Something Digital
Reply All Podcast
Phoenix Media