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Magento Imagine is always a good time to assess how far we've come in the last year and where the road is leading for the future. Others have already done a great job of covering the conference and key takeaways (such as Tom's excellent and very comprehensive post).

I'm a bit slow to get this written down (blame the jetlag arriving back in New Zealand...), but wanted to quickly share the top 5 things on my mind.

1. Progressive Web Apps are here - and there's lots more to learn!

Some time last year Magento put out slides and stats on the future of the Magento ecosystem. What was immediately clear is that the amount of developers needed to sustain that growth is huge.

The challenge which we already have is how to do we get the vast amount of people comfortable working with Magento 1 to the same level of efficiency working with Magento 2. The big topic this year were PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) and how they will become the norm in the near future. Magento is getting on the bandwagon with the release of PWA Studio (based on React) and later on a new reference theme for Magento.

While PWA Studio opens up Magento to the React ecosytem, let's make sure this invitation is as open as possible. Also if I understand the current direction of PWA Studio correctly it will be easier for a React developer to learn to work with Magento than a Magento developer who has no knowledge of React yet. This adds to our education challenge - we now have to make sure that we bring along as many existing Magento developers as possible on this PWA journey as well.

In summary lots to learn allround in the coming year. I am starting my own personal PWA journey this week. If you are keen to join me in Auckland please let me know via Meetup here.

2. Community engineering 1 year on

The biggest change to last year at Magento was the community engineering team kicking into high gear. The most impressive stat for me was that about 25% of new code in Magento Open Source was contributed by the community. Some of the bigger intiatives will also soon be part of the Magento 2.3 release later this year and they made it into the product announcements on the big stage - Async/Bulk API and Multi-Source-Inventory.

3. Extension Developers Network (ExtDN)

Imagine was a great chance to catch up with fellow ExtDN members and get some great discussion happening on two initiatives we have started to move the ecosystem forward: extension quality and extension interoperability. I took part at the DevExchange table on extension interoperability - thanks to all who shared views, examples and thoughts. A recap is coming in a separate post.

We also had lots of discusssion with the Marketplace team - it's great to see them putting some of our feedback into action and unveiling some of the changes they have been working on. If you want to join in our efforts please head over to the ExtDN website and hit the Join link.

4. Community shout-outs

Coming of age

It's great to witness the growth of long time community members - on a personal as well as on a business level. Seeing Kuba with snow.dog, Joshua with Creatuity and Ignacio with interactiv4 getting recognised shows how far they have come.

This section would not be complete without a shout out to the inspiring story of Phillip Jackson aceing his new gig as MC of Imagine. What struck me, is that years ago they all started small and have grown to where they are today. Congrats!

My hope, for us as a Magento community, is to make sure that we keep growing the pie so that the next generation of developers and businesses can also write their own success stories like the above. And most importantly let's make sure we keep enabling similar growth stories on the merchant site as well.

Magento Masters 2018

It's been an honour to be part of this year's Master's program. Thanks Magento for having me and thank you Sherrie for organising everything. I don't envy your job picking the list of only 20 out of so many deserving individuals. It's great to see new faces like Oscar, Damián and Danny being highlighted who really stood out for me last year with their continued contributions via github. It was also great to see Tom on stage this year as long term contributor sharing meaningful insights and providing thought leadership in the Magento world.

As you can see I am still learning from the Master of the Selfie:

5. The Big Dam Run

Thanks Brent, Susan, Maddie for organising such a cool event. Boy it was a challenge, but I'm really proud of myself for finishing the BigDamRun 10kms this year (still some way off my personal best but a great motivator to get back out there running!).

Loved Maxim's post when we only just hit the 5km turnaround... And a mental note for next year: Bring a hat. The run was hot this year and there is minimal shade on the track apart from a few tunnels.

As always there is never enough time to meet everyone you hoped to meet. The changed title of the Imagine 2018 whatsapp group to "#RoadToImagine2019" captured it best. Looking forward to seeing you next time. Until then feel free to reach out via twitter or email.

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Kristof Ringleff

Kristof Ringleff

Founder and Lead Developer at Fooman


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