What I Learned Day 2: Magento Imagine 2016

So day 2 was a lot of fun. My goal leading into the conference was to focus my attention on learning as much as I could on three topics I thought would be interesting and helpful to my practice:

  1. Magento 2 vs Shopify+ – how Magento and other Solutions Providers were thinking about the benefits of each platform, what their sales positioning was, and what the long term competitive strategy might be. Also interested in listening to merchants too.
  2. Tools and Extensions to take a Magento 2 Implementation to the next level, particularly on the Marketing side but also performance.
  3. Agile practices – learn who is leading in this space in the Magento arena and what tools and practices they’re promoting

Magento 2 Enterprise Cloud Solution

We knew an announcement was coming but didn’t know precisely what it would be. During Day 2 Magento dropped the bomb that Magento would be releasing a new product called “Magento 2 Enterprise Cloud Edition”.

Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition is an optional add on package to the EE 2.0 license that includes DevOps tools, support for common services like New Relic, and a Magento supported Cloud Hosting on AWS. It will not be made available without an Enterprise 2.0 license.

Magento was quick to clarify that Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition is a PaaS not a SaaS solution. What this mean is that Magento Cloud Edition remains open and fully customizable to distinguish itself from Shopify+ which is closed proprietary system that limits developers freedom to write custom code.

I think this is a good strategy for Magento. It will help put Magento on more even footing with Shopify+ when it comes to rapid development, all-inclusive packaging of the solution, and may even help solve the upgrades and patches (although I’m still a little fuzzy on how that will work).

The question that remains is how well can Magento support this product and I think most people at the conference recognized that.

What I Learned Day 1: Magento Imagine 2016

Okay so the first few sessions in the books here are some of the things I’ve learned at this years Magento Imagine conference.

Magento vs Shopify+


People at the conference to are certainly leaning into this conversation. Look for an announcement today from Magento that will clarify their positioning, potentially Magento Go 2.0 (please no!) or aiming more up-market and ceeding the <1m revenue merchants to Shopify.

Agile Practices

One of the areas I’ve wanted to key in on during Magento Imagine is the operational aspects of the agile agency.

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3 Things I Want to Learn at Magento Imagine Conference

Last year’s Magento Imagine Conference was great but I don’t think I got everything out of it that I could have.

This year, to get the most out of Imagine, I compiled a list of specific topics I wanted to learn about. This way I can target my attention to those things, have conversations around them, and hopefully come away with a better understanding.

Here’s the list I came up with:

  1. Magento 2 versus Shopify+: what is the positioning going to be going forward, what are merchcants thinnking, what are agencies doing
  2. Tools to take Magento Implementations to the next level: what are agencies leveraging most often to fill in some of the gaps with Magento 2
  3. Agile: good practices and particularly who is leading in this area for the Magento space.

I’m also trying to video blog a bit just for fun as an experiment. This is me this morning on this topic before heading out.

Any suggestions for additional topics or if you are at Imagine and want to connect you can comment or ping me on Twitter.

Useful Front-end Techniques, Libraries, and Examples 2015

20 Impressive CSS3 Techniques, Libraries and Examples



Bootstrap is a mobile responsive framework. There are lots or similar HTML, CSS, JS Grid frameworks. If you need to start somewhere, why not start with the most popular framework?

Some Alternatives:
Semantic UI


fancyBox is a tool that offers a nice and elegant way to add zooming functionality for images, html content and multi-media on your webpages. It is built on the top of the popular JavaScript framework jQuery and is both easy to implement and a snap to customize.


Waypoints is a library that makes it easy to execute a function whenever you scroll to an element.


CSS animations


Useful CSS & JS plugin that makes galleries, sliders, and carrousels that are touch responsive.

Programming is a Craft

Programming is a craft. At its simplest, it comes down to getting a computer to do what you want it to do (or what your user wants it to do). As a programmer, you are part listener, part advisor, part interpreter, and part dictator. You try to capture elusive requirements and find a way of expressing them so that a mere machine can do them justice. You try to document your work so that others can understand it, and you try to engineer your work so that others can build on it. What’s more, you try to do all this against the relentless ticking of the project clock. You work small miracles every day.

Andrew Hunt & David Thomas, “The Pragmatic Programmer”