Object Oriented Programming, PHP 7.4, CPP extensions with Lochemem Bruno Michael, and Dependency Injection

In Episode 26

Just before the Thanksgiving holidays in the United States, we reviewed the November 2019 issue “Object Orientation.”


  • Evolution of object-oriented programing in PHP and understanding how to use objects effectively.
  • Avoiding career stagnation and networking at conferences and user groups.
  • PHP 7.4’s release and what features we’re looking forwards to.
  • Eric becomes the new Community Corner contributor.
  • Chatting about building PHP extensions and CouchDB wiith Lochemem Bruno Michael.
  • Thinking like a computer (sometimes too much?) and the value of abstractions.
  • Understanding Dependency Injection and how to get it to “click.”
  • The value of frameworks versus “plain” PHP.

The post Object Oriented Programming, PHP 7.4, CPP extensions with Lochemem Bruno Michael, and Dependency Injection appeared first on php[architect].

MageTalk Episode 211 – Interview with Phil Hanson, Queue-It

Phillip is joined on today’s episode by his name twin Phil Hanson and they discuss virtual queue technology, how to handle massive traffic on your website, and of course, their sneaker obsessions.

Listen now!

Show Notes

1:02 Double The Phil, Double The Fun

Phillip is joined on today’s episode by Phil Hanson (@phlhnsn), who shares not only his name, but all of his interests.

Phil heads up the North American operation at Queue-It, which is a virtual waiting room for high-demand online events. When there is more website traffic than a site can support, they are passed off to Queue-It until the host site can accommodate them.

3:43 A Big Cupcake Shout Out At Imagine

Phillip has come across Queue-It the past a few times. Mainly when trying to buy sneakers.

Queue-It got a pretty big shout out when Melissa Ben-Ishay, the founder of Baked By Melissa, gave them a shout out on stage at Imagine 2018.

Baked By Melissa used Queue-It (which they implemented in only 15 hours by the way) to help orchestra Side With Love in which they gave away a million cupcakes for free.

4:57 What’s Up in the Magento Space?

Phillip asks Phil what he has been seeing in the Magento ecosystem in regards to how his business has been shifting in recent times.

Phil gives us the rundown and speaks a little bit about Queue-It is navigating through today’s technology ecosystem.

7:04 The Intersection of Work and Passion

Phillip brings up how his passions overlay with the work he does day to day. Inevitably, he brings up sneakers and asks Phil to talk about his intersections between his passions and work.

Are we really surprised the conversation got to sneakers?

Phil says that Queue-It naturally serves things that he is interested in: live music (he used to play in bands), sneakers, eCommerce, etc.

Phil also mentions that he comes from a smaller town where they still manufacturer Red Wing Shoes which could explain his shoe obsession. He was raised by a single mother and he couldn’t afford luxury footwear growing up, so it feels good to be able to afford sneakers in his current situation.

11:38 Some Familiar Brands

Phillip asks Phil to talk about some of the recognizable global brands that Queue-It has worked with.

Unfortunately, he can’t talk about the recent footwear brands but Phil does mention DTLR VIlla, YCMC, and Snipes just to name a few.

14:54 What Makes Queue-It Different?

Phillip mentions how Jeffree Starr broke Shopify with the release of his latest makeup collection and asks Phil to talk about what makes Queue-It different when it comes to handling large influxes like that.

With internet users being tracked on so many levels, Queue-It shrinks down their profiles to 4-5 main criteria to service each user and get them to the right place. With their set up, Queue-It is not exposed to customer data and easily passes security tests because they are not exposed to eCommerce site credit card data or sensitive user information. Over the years, they have also gotten to be masters at partitioning the traffic and distributing it effectively.

In a very intriguing example, Phil hints at a recent launch where they had 1.4 million users simultaneously queued for a release…

17:51 The Psychology of Waiting

With eCommerce, the general consensus is to not introduce friction into the customer shopping experience, so does waiting in a queue provide a better experience than having to refresh a page?

Phil clarifies that it all depends on what people are waiting for when it comes to whether or not they will wait in a queue. For example, there’s an 80/20 ratio of people who wait versus those who don’t on Black Friday.

A wait seems longer when you don’t have any information on how long it will be. You are more likely to wait if there is social proof of how many people that are in line in front of you that also value the product.

-Phil Hanson

Queue-It likes to call themselves platform agnostic, but they have a Magento plugin, Salesforce integration, and have seen a lot of uptake recently on Cloudflare CDN.

21:33 New and Evolving Lines of Business

Phillip asks Phil to talk a little bit about new and evolving lines of business that might be able to take advantage of Queue-It’s technology.

Social Media Influencers are started to sell more and more to their followers, and there are some platforms that are meeting these influencers halfway when it comes to selling their products.

Phil gives us the lowdown on some of the integrations they have been working on in collaboration with some influencers.

Influencers in the traditional sense are storytellers so it makes sense for them to choose a platform that allows them to extend that storytelling into their eCommerce platform.

-Phillip Jackson

Phillip also comments that eCommerce is typically reserved for traditional catalog setups and needs to move towards catering towards storytelling.

25:53 Some Music History

Phil talks a bit about his previous music experience. He liked to write songs from time to time but mainly played what people paid him to play.

Phillip suggests putting together a Magento community jam band the next time they get together.


Mentions / Links

Guest: Phil Hanson (@phlhnsn)

Melissa Ben Ishay

Baked By Melissa
Melissa Ben-Ishay at Imagine 2018
Side With Love
Jeffree Starr Breaks Shopify

MageTalk Episode 210 – An Interview with Ampjar Founder Pete Davis

In today’s episode, the boys mix up the format a bit by starting with a recap of MagentoLive Europe and then moving into an interview with Ampjar’s Pete Davis in which they discuss social media and Ampjar’s unique way on capitalizing on healthy social engagement.

Listen now!

Show Notes

1:02 The Foundah From Down Undah

Phillip wisely chooses to do his terrible Australian accent before today’s guest comes on the show later in the episode.

1:46 MagentoLive EU

Phillip just got back from MagentoLive Europe 2019. The boys debate if Phillip is the American Guido (@guido) or if Guido is the European Phillip.

Phillip recalls seeing Sander Mangel (@sandermangel) and Guido podcasting and commiserates with the hustle of podcasting live from an event.

3:29 A Quick Highlight Recap from MLEU

Magento has acquired a B2B product from Accorin which was the highlight of the product announcements. This is essentially a B2B purchase approval workflow.

In other news, Adobe Sensei is now going to be integrated within Magento.

There have also been continued efforts with PWA, a topic that Kalen wants to jump into headfirst because he has some thoughts. He got some traction from the Tweet below.

6:38 B2B API

Kalen thinks that B2B API coverage needs to get done like yesterday.

Phillip goes a little deeper into the B2B announcements from MLEU. Over the last two years at Something Digital, they have put a lot of effort into creating a healthy B2B practice, but they rely on Magento to have a proof of concept that they can then build off of.

Both Kalen and Phillip agree that it feels like with these product announcements that Magento has made an inch of progress over a mile-wide product map.

Maybe they should just work through one thing to completion and then move to the next thing.

Kalen has discovered the root cause of all of this: the magic quadrant. Phillip agrees that this is the reason why we are where we are.

9:14 “We’re killing it in the quadrant”

Kalen asks Phillip to explain exactly how this quadrant works because we’re talking about functionality that has been committed but not complete, yet Magento is a front runner in the quadrant.

Magento is only as good as its partner ecosystem.

-Phillip Jackson

The Magento ecosystem has always been comprised of technology partners. Forrester, the research company, performs a lot of research and want to see things first hand before they award their quadrant rankings.

commercetools has been named a visionary on the quadrant two years in a row and they are an API only product.

Gartner and Forrester aren’t going away, so the best thing that can happen is for the community to make their voice heard so that Adobe sees things through to completion. Losing business to other platforms due to better API integrations also might make Adobe see the light in this regard.

14:24 Some More MLEU Announcements

Sadly, this was the last MagentoLive and there won’t be another one. It was also announced that Magento Imagine at Adobe Summit 2020 will be the last Imagine and from then on it will be only Adobe events. The next Adobe-centric event that will take place in Europe will be Adobe Summit London.

Phillip and Rebecca Brocton (RebeccaBrocton) led a Health and Wellness/Mental Health table that went really well. Phillip and Kalen want to do a Wellness episode on the show and want Rebecca to be a part of it.

17:39 Any Last Thoughts?

Phillip would love if the people who didn’t like hearing from him would just unsubscribe.

Kalen has been putting out a lot more content and he’s been thinking a lot about what people think about him.

Phillip brings up a quote from Bernard Meltzer that sums up his feelings on releasing content or putting your opinions out there.

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

Bernard Meltzer

If you can say that what you are going to say is true, kind, necessary, and helpful then who cares how often you post?

24:42 Pete Davis in the House

Founder and CEO of Ampjar, Peter Davis (@petedavisuk) joins the boys for an interview.

Pete grew up in the UK and then moved to Australia when he was 21 (and picked up the Australian accent in just three months).

He then takes us through his personal journey through sports marketing and the eventual founding of Ampjar.

Pete also takes us through the golden age of Facebook and his struggles with being the smartest person in the room all the time: mainly when dealing with teams at various big brands that kept asking him to repeat what he had done at other brands.

When you are an expert in a field, you rarely learn new things. Phillip deeply understands this. Spending all your time being the one who is talking can leave you feeling unfulfilled.

33:03 Social Media: Beyond the Standard Conversion

In the Golden Facebook Era, Phillip remembers agency life with people telling him that social media didn’t convert. From the people who did pay attention to social a decade ago, we learned that not every conversion happens at the moment, but brand affinity/awareness has a lasting value that is hard to quantify.

The people who did pay attention to social during this time are reaping the rewards now.

The boys also talk about the shift from organic reach to paid reach.

36:10 So what does Ampjar do?

Pete starts off with a disclaimer saying he is terrible at giving “the pitch” because it is evolving all the time.

When Pete saw all of the DNVBs doing social media so well and getting a lot of engagement but not capitalizing on other very important parts of the marketing, he saw a niche opportunity to fill those marketing gaps.

Pete asked what would happen if they could grab all of the great social content that these companies were producing and pull that content into a pre-built email campaign. When the brands go into Ampjar, they can edit the automatically generated campaign which is then sent in a mobile-optimized and spam-optimized format via Ampjar.

Just to throw some numbers out there, the average open rate for an Ampjar email is about 39% with a click rate of 4.8%.

After bringing some clients on board, they started getting questions from those clients asking how they could get more customers. So what if there was a way that Ampjar could put pieces of content from compatible brands into each other’s campaigns?

Kalen asks if was a brand that had a great engagement rate with his audience, why wouldn’t he just send more email of his own brand to his own audience as opposed to sending a referral campaign based on another brand?

Pete gives some of the reasons that he has received from actual clients as to why this arrangement works.

45:49 Email is Evolving

Email is becoming more social.

-Pete Davis

The skincare brand Lush just closed their social media channels because the organic reach they were getting just wasn’t good enough anymore. Now they are focusing on creating good content and sharing that content through email and their website. Emails are tailored to sell, but now these emails are focused more on storytelling, something that is typically reserved for social media.

Pete also talks about how some brands are sending emails that have nothing to do with their brand to build customer rapport and trust.

Most people would tell you that they enjoy finding products that fit a need and make them happy, and they would want to share those products with others.

-Phillip Jackson

Kalen points out that these emails aren’t just ads, but are also forms of content.

There is an element of repurposing content that you have elsewhere to ease the creative process. Kalen confesses that he has a newsletter for Commerce Hero that he hasn’t sent in in two months because he’s lazy about it.

50:26 The D2C Marketplace?

Pete brings up how Brooklinen was a callout on the post-checkout page on Casper’s website. This was an incredibly important part of Brooklinen being able to generate a significant amount of sales.

Brooklinen has started something called Spaces by Brooklinen that pulls in like-minded home goods brands and creates a curated marketplace of brands that don’t compete with but complement their brand. These marketplaces serve as a discovery mechanism that also adds to your trust of the brands you discover due to your feelings of the main brand on the marketplace.

Giving a customer the excitement of discovering something and being able to share that discover is very powerful.

57:05 Do you know Jason?

Phillip is curious about the Syndicate money that Ampjar received from Jason Calacanis and asks if Pete knows Jason.

Pete gives us the rundown of how he met Jason and the events that led to getting backed by the Angel investor.

You can also reach Pete by [email](pete@ampjar.com].

Mentions / Links

Guest: Peter Davis (@petedavisuk)

-Guido (@guido)
-Sander Mangel (@sandermangel)
-Rebecca Brocton (RebeccaBrocton)
Jason Calacanis

MagentoLive Europe 2019
Magento Accorin Acquisition
Adobe Sensei
Adobe/Magento Integration
commercetools On the Quadrant 2 Years in a Row
Adobe Summit 2020
Adobe Summit London
Lush Shuts Down Social Media
Spaces by Brooklinen

MageTalk Episode 209 – “Just-in-Time-Doc’ing”

The boys are very energetic in today’s episode where they talk about the future of the world as we know it, what they would do with a billion dollars, and the spooky Magento 1 end of life looming ever closer.

Listen now!

Watch the video live stream here.

Show Notes

2:40 The Old Radio Style

The boys seem particularly spunky today.

Phillip brings up a podcast called The Jason and Scot Show and talks about their podcast style that is very “old radio.” He then gives examples of what this sounds like…

Kalen points out MageTalk’s capability to play to all ends of the podcast spectrum because they are the most flexible team in podcasting.

7:18 Remember When We Used to Clap?

Back when Kalen and Phillip started the show, they had to clap in order to synchronize the audio, so to give a nice “throwback” they do so again.

I’ll have whatever they had for breakfast this morning that gave them this much energy.

8:37 A Little MageTalk Quiz

Phillip asks Kalen if he remembers what the title of the first MageTalk episode was.

Feel free to play along at home.

Kalen doesn’t remember, but it was a good one.

Here’s a hint.

Kalen also gets quite the kick from Phillip’s Twitter bio. Kalen comes up with a great idea for a T-shirt.

13:09 Finally Some Content

Kalen brings up an article that Phillip wrote called “So Close to Being Complete” and comments on the ability that he has lost the ability to read long-form text. So to combat this, he asks Phillip to summarize the article for him…

Phillip throws up two minutes on the clock and summarizes the article. Essentially, there are a lot of things that are happening right now that will shape the future of the world as we know it for the next ten years. We are coming off of the greatest period in American economic advancement that we have ever known. A lot of the money we have in the world is being repurposed to see what consumers will react to.

How does the world progress in the next year? And how does Fight Club play into all of this?

Phillip also discusses the repercussions of having frictionless purchasing and how our perspectives have shifted when it comes to buying things.

If we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of what we do in eCommerce is very manipulative. It always comes down to getting people to make the decision to buy.

-Phillip Jackson

20:12 Treating Customer Better

At Future Commerce, they are trying to develop a story around knowing your customers and building a customer Bill of Rights of what good, mindful brands do to engage their customers.

Kalen gives a real-world example of a purchase he made of a cord and connects this to the mentality surrounding purchasing.

How do purchases meaningfully improve relationships? Where do we draw the line of buying things we don’t really need?

Brands that set the standard of not manipulating customers make things better not only for themselves but for people in general.

There’s an interest intersection between commerce, culture, and values.

-Kalen Jordan

24:00 Black Friday is Selfish

Every year, the number of people that buy products for themselves grows. It used to be about starting the process of buying gifts for loved ones but has shifted to be a much more self-serving day.

What are we really motivated by on these manufactured holidays that are designed to trigger a primal part of our psyches?

26:11 PreachersNSneakers

Kalen saw one of Phillip’s recent Instagram stories in which he tagged the account of a brand he ordered from. Kalen was confused by the fact that there wasn’t an actual website for the shoes he bought.

Phillip explains the story behind PreachersNSneakers and the podcast that stemmed from it.

In other news, Yeezy is now a billion-dollar brand.

Awesome Kanye West GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Phillip also brings the whole Yeezy thing back to Magento…


37:00 Monthly Vs. Annual Contracts

Kalen was recently ranting on Twitter about bait and switch tactics on monthly vs annual pricing.

39:43 What’s Happening in the World of Commerce Hero

Kalen recently brought Gary Smith (@askgaryanother) on board who has been doing his own consulting. Kalen needed some help with operations.

Kalen is also slowly but surely realizing that he probably shouldn’t be trying to do everything.

He goes over some of the cool recent jobs and heroes in his database.

Phillip talks about some of the really cool people that have been coming through his office in recent weeks.

There must be something about South Florida…

43:39 What Would You Do with $1 Billion

Kalen asks Phillip is he been following the StartUp Podcast which prompts him to also ask Phillip what he would do with $1 billion.

Phillip starts off by saying it’s an unfathomable amount of money but does give some detail on what he would do with several increments of millions of dollars.

Kalen has no idea how he would even begin to approach this amount of money.

But I have an idea…

Kalen gives some pushback on Phillip’s use of his imaginary money.

Phillip asks if Kalen had a billion dollars, could he build an eCommerce platform that rivals the feature functionality and the community of Magento.

Both the boys agree that the features would be doable, but how do you recreate a community?

They also discuss the ability to create memorable, large scale events with the vast amount of money that would be available.

53:03 Where Do Investment Dollars Go?

The boys discuss the ways in which spending money in the right way can give you credibility for your business. You are going to be spending money on things that the people who gave you the money care about.

Kalen brings up something that he recently saw that mentioned that Apple does not make acquisitions compared to every other large tech company.

Phillip points out everything wrong in this statement, so I guess the gloves are off.

57:52 A Content Plug

Phillip plugs his Magento End of Life Series over at Something Digital. If you get the chance, you should take a look at the blog series because it’s ooky spooky season and the series talks about how the plots of horror movies can be compared to Magento’s end of life story.

Something Digital has spent two years migrating their customers off of M1, so their entire portfolio is now on Magento 2 or Shopify+. Magento 2 itself is a moving target, so the move has been a bit of a slog.

1:03:03 Speaking of Good Content

Kalen only recently discovered Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) and Kalen had responded to a post he had made about Facebook’s inflated viewership metrics.

And he got a sassy reply…


Mentions / Links

-Gary Smith (@askgaryanother)
-Scott Galloway (@profgalloway)

Video Live Stream
The Jason and Scot Show
MageTalk Episode 1
“So Close to Being Complete”
Black Friday Is Selfish
PreachersNSneakers Article
PreachersNSneakers Podcast
Yeezy Is A Billion-Dollar Brand
StartUp Podcast
Magento End of Life Series
Kalen’s LinkedIn Post


MageTalk Episode 208 – “The Pillow of Authority”

In a particularly spicy episode, the boys are joined by Weidenhammer’s Aaron Sheehan and they discuss eCommerce costs in 2019, problems in the Magento community, and how product copy is so important.

Listen now!

Watch the video live stream here.

Show Notes

1:22 Aaron Sheehan In The House

On today’s show, the boys are joined by Aaron Sheehan (@AaronSheehan), the Commerce Director at Weidenhammer and occasional SQL Jockey.

Aaron’s appearance on the show has been long overdue.

Kalen last saw Aaron at the ShipperHQ Meetup and Aaron gives them a shoutout for hosting a great event.

3:00 Don’t Fear the RFP’r

Aaron gave a talk at the Meetup that he had developed a few weeks before for Meet Magento New York.

It was called Strategic Migration to M2: How to Run an RFP Process and was geared towards merchants in an effort to change the ways they approach spending money on development.

Let’s not just assume Magento 2 is a new coat of paint on an existing house.

-Aaron Sheehan

Obviously you need to do some work when looking at features, but you need to move away from making assumptions. Aaron also speaks to the importance of understanding the culture of the agency that you are working for.

In Austin, it was a less Magento-specific audience, so Aaron included possibly looking at other platforms to find an ideal fit.

8:00 No Strings Attached

Phillip brings up Merchant To Merchant and how he has found that most people believe that the things agencies tell them come with a string attached.

This idea triggered the creation of Merchant to Merchant because Phillip thought that a lot of the advice that merchants are receiving would be better received if that advice was coming from another merchant.

Phillip also proves his immense knowledge of the Spanish language during this segment. You’ve been warned.

10:52 Hammering Out Some Details

See what I did there?

Kalen asks Aaron to talk a bit about the types of clients that he deals with at Weidenhammer.

Aaron clarifies that he is contractually obligated to say that they will work with any merchant, on any platform, in any space but in the Magento space, he has seen that most of the growth has been B2B.

The flexibility that Magento offers B2B clients who have bespoke processes that they need to map to eCommerce is a big draw and where Aaron has seen the most amount of growth on Magento.

12:57 A Quick Timeout for a Review (But Make It Sassy)

Phillip derails the whole conversation to mention that the show got a review on Apple Podcasts…

Too bloated

I wish every podcast came with a shorter version of itself.

It’s just too much of self repeating and useless information.

Some episodes do have valuable stuff, others are just rumors mixed with product placements.

-hallandale-eater, 9/29/19


In reference to this, Phillip points out that so far in this episode, there have been zero rumors or product placements.

13:58 Product Photography as a Service

Phillip asks Aaron to speak a little bit more about the range of services that he feels might be applicable in 2019 and how merchants enter into conversations to discuss these services.

Aaron goes into some detail about how the potential to deliver more IT services as a large agency helps in these discussions as well as the potential to deliver smaller niche services.

Kalen jumps in to say that product photography and descriptions are part of such an interesting niche that is not serviced or mentioned very often.

The need of quality copy and quality photography is inversely proportional to the number of SKUs you have active for purchase.

-Phillip Jackson

Phillip also gives the recommendation to follow Kaleigh Moore (@kaleighf) for some great information regarding writing product copy.

18:18 The Deal with Yotpo

Aaron asks the boys if they have talked on the show about Yotpo, its inclusion into the core, and what that signifies.

Yotpo is a user-generated content media platform that has had a lot of growth in the last few years. They aggregate product reviews, product QAs, shoppable Instagram feed type items, etc. Yotpo acquired Swell last year and it was just announced that Yotpo will be automatically installed with Magento 2.3.3 and beyond.

Having Yotpo in the core makes it potentially easier to build out content around products and have richer product descriptions without having to pay a content writer to do it.

22:14 Phillip Gets Challenged

Phillip comments that in a very large catalog, you are physically unable to write copy for every item in that catalog. It’s an 80/20 split and you focus on writing the copy for the 20% of product that is meaningful, and the rest of your content comes down to product attribute data.

Phillip also states that he would love to be challenged on this, and Aaron steps up to the plate.

Aaron challenges by referencing the strong requirements that Amazon places on merchants that want to list their products on the powerhouse marketplace. Amazon tries very hard to force merchants to have a lot of information and a lot of photography, and it doesn’t get bigger than Amazon.

He goes on to say that what Phillip is commenting on is a perception about the relative importance of content on your site. If you have a large catalog, you are impacting your customer’s willingness to purchase from you because content generates trust.

Phillip rebuttals by saying that when we are talking about product copy, it’s very important to have well-formed copy that allows people to find you through organic means. But organic is not a free channel. To write copy either takes time from your internal resource or an investment in another resource to generate that copy.

Brands that get it wrong are brands that try to offload all of this content and product copy to their customers.

27:28 eCommerce in 2019

Aaron and Phillip get into the costs that it takes to separate from the pack of other eCommerce brands.

It’s more than you might think.

Phillip mentions that brands are spending more to cut through the noise of eCommerce because every channel is pay-to-play.

A lot of the conversations that Aaron has with brands are based around the fact that they need lots of expensive services because customers are demanding more and more.

The boys also get into the trials and tribulations of building your organic search presence and how expensive that whole process is.

There is no such thing as earned media because every channel you get is pay-to-play.

-Phillip Jackson

34:22 Loopy Logistics

Kalen jumps into the topic of D2C brands running into a wall when it comes to logistics.

Shopify just acquired 6 River Systems to compete with Amazon.

Kalen also compares how the rest of the eCommerce community compares to the worries of Magento and how the Magento concerns seem skewed from the rest of the world.

Should merchants have to care about delivery or should that be something that is solved in the underlying infrastructure of an eCommerce platform?

Both Aaron and Phillip weigh in with their viewpoints and give some great points when it comes to tackling these issues and a spicy debate ensues.

Aaron also calls out the Magento community for living in a Twitter bubble.

41:28 The Social Media Situation

Kalen thinks that in the Shopify community, speed has been solved (at least on the backend).

Aaron points out that there is nothing that people can do on Twitter when it comes to Shopify site speed because they don’t have access to the core, but there is so much more argument in the Magento Community, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Phillip is chomping at the bit to talk about the social media situation. He thinks that we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to affect things that shouldn’t be touched just because we can.

He was having a conversation with someone from Shopify recently in which he let them know that their success was in part due to not having half their staff futzing with the checkout. They only focused on the things that they could control.

Kalen agrees that it’s true that there is no Shopify community that can discuss the performance of the core due to lack of access, but is it arguing productive?

Developers in the Magento ecosystem should be modeling business logic and not be arguing over core performance.

-Kalen Jordan

48:16 Are we gonna talk about Magezine?

Kalen brings up the beautiful new print publication Magezine and you can check out an Issue #2 here.

You can get your hands on printed copies at various Magento conferences.

Phillip mentions that he probably won’t be asked to write for Magezine again…

50:07 One More Thing…

Phillip brings up how it’s interesting that we’re still seeing bundling in the age of Adobe and he thinks that it was painted by some people as a necessary evil that Magento had to entertain to claim they had built-in functionality.

Why, in the age of Adobe, are we still executing in this way?

Aaron has a LOT of thoughts on this. He says it’s very clear that Magento’s leadership’s goal is to climb to the top right of the Magic Quadrant. When you are chasing logos and labels, you have to make it through extensive corporate vetting processes that bundling checks the boxes for.


-Aaron Sheehan (@AaronSheehan)
-Kaleigh Moore (@kaleighf)

Video Live Stream
ShipperHQ Meetup
Strategic Migration to M2: How to Run an RFP Process
Yotpo Acquires Swell
Magezine Issue #2
Magento Magic Quadrant

MageTalk Episode 207 – An Interview with Rick Willet

Kalen is joined by Rick Willet on today’s episode and they talk about the state of Magento in Japan, Rick’s programming journey, and Rick’s performance career as a member of STOMP.

Listen now!

Show Notes

1:02 Down a Host, Up a Guest

Kalen is joined today by Rick Willet (@SlappyCoder).

Phillip is out today and attending the Klaviyo:BOS Conference.

2:24 Rick’s Story

Kalen asks Rick to talk a little about himself and what he has been up to in the Magento world.

Rick started developing professional with ColdFusion after getting bored working on static websites.

Rick also mentions that he grew up studying dance and drumming due to his father being a drummer/musical director. Four or five years into his development career, he got the opportunity to perform in STOMP, which he performed in for 10 years in New York.

We also find out that Ben Marks (@benmarks) was a professional drummer.

9:15 Back to Magento

After getting injured, Rick hated that he was stuck in his apartment and slowly started getting back into some coding with some action script. He got pretty good at Flash before Steve jobs killed Flash altogether.

This eventually led him to develop sites that required eCommerce functionality and that rabbit hole eventually led him to Magento in 2012. This was around the Magento 1.6 time.

At some point, the switch flipped, and Rick became very passionate about Magento and its open-source makeup.

14:09 A Work-From-Home Expert

Rick has been pretty much exclusively working remotely for the past seven years of his development career and admits that his home office is probably a little too tweaked out.

He also brings up that he’s starting a new gig soon at the BORN Group.

Kalen also has been working from home for about seven years and brings up how it certainly has its pros and cons.

Rick also points out that working from home has tapped into his history of being a performer and capitalizes on his mental capacity being highest in the evening.

18:36 A Japanese Love

Kalen asks what brought Rick to Japan.

First off, Rick’s wife is from Japan but he also finds that being in a country where the language is not his native tongue is very mentally stimulating for him. He also gets into his history with the country and what made him fall in love with it.

He also talks about the time when one of his friends literally saved his life.

Kalen mentions that Japan is one of the top places on his list of places he wants to visit.

Apparently, the quality of the food in Japan is striking, especially when you get out of Tokyo.

According to Rick, the celery is REALLY good.

25:13 Rick the Documentary Star

Rick gives us some history of how his documentary was made. Spoiler: he may or may not meet his wife in this story.

He also gives us a breakdown of what the documentary was about and the mission he had behind wanting to bring his skills and expertise in the world of percussion.

31:18 The Technological Galapagos

Rick refers to Japan as the “technological Galapagos” as their technology is far and ahead from what we have available in the USA.

There’s an interesting dichotomy between being very advanced in certain technologies but being completely disrupted by global technological movements.

They were building some amazing technologies, but a lot of them can’t be exported due to other countries not staying with the same technologies.

35:06 The Japanese Magento Situation

Where are programmers going to head with the newer generation of stores and sites?

Rick believes that Magento is in a good position with the changing landscape because of PWA. The easy integration between PWA and MySQL makes it easier for places like Japan to leverage the backend with any front end you want to use.

Rick also points out that the actual eCommerce ecosystem is not as advanced in Japan because there was simply no need to be up until recently because most of the behind the scene services were driven in the background by large banks.

To clarify, there was no middle man for payment services and transactions went directly through the banks themselves.

Kalen is floored by the fact that you can pay for online shopping items in cash at various convenience markets where your purchases are shipped.

42:14 Magento Devs in Japan

Kalen asks if Rick knows any Magento developers in Japan and what the situation is for Magento developers out there.

Rick mentions how he’s met some of the staff from Veriteworks which is the main solutions partner out in Japan. He also says that they’re contributing to some great stuff.

The lack of Magento documentation available in Japanese is a big reason why the Magento ecosystem has not developed as quickly. For self-taught programmers, this lack of documentation is a big hindrance to becoming fluent in the development language.

Hirokazu Nishi (@hirokazu_nishi) is a Magento Master and the CTO of Veriteworks who also organizes Meet Magento Japan.

46:30 A Huge Opportunity

Kalen brings up that Asian market of India, China, and Japan ihas huge opportunity in each of those enormous markets.

Rick dives into some of the big markets in Japan and how there are lots of areas to capitalize on in these markets by bringing the experience online.

A lot of people still find things on the internet via a portal that curates their experience.

The interplay between the real world and the digital world leads to more areas of opportunity.

-Rick Willet

52:29 Further Implications for Magento

Rick confesses that he didn’t realize his thinking was constrained to the world he had lived in until he began seeing how other countries use technology. He then takes this idea and applies it to areas of opportunity for Magento.

You are jumping past just selling a product and making peoples’ lives easier.


-Rick Willet (@SlappyCoder)
-Ben Marks (@benmarks
-Hirokazu Nishi (@hirokazu_nishi)

Klaviyo:BOS Conference
BORN Group
Hirokazu Nishi Magento Master Spotlight
Meet Magento Japan

Prepare for Weekly Career Learning Bumps

You can’t just sit and code. As a developer you have to constantly be learning new things and staying on the cutting edge. The problem is, how? Are you a reader? Do you prefer tutorials? Do you like podcasts? (We hope you like podcasts) 🙂 No matter how you learn, you have to be prepared to learn. Cal Evans and Mario Peshev talk about different methods of learning and how software developers can use them.


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