Is it a mini Imagine? Is it a Magento Live Spain? No, it’s a Magento Live Europe! On 9-10th October Magento Live Europe took place in Barcelona. With approximately 1850 attendees, it was the biggest event for Magento in Europe. Magento Live Europe is officially organised by Magento’s Events team.
Andreas von Studnitz and I attended the two day event alongside many Magento agencies, service providers and a few merchants.

The Side Events

Even before the official event started, the community already had fun together. So instead of a two day event, this was actually a three day event. Interactiv4, a Magento solution integrator from Madrid, organized a Contribution Day and a party on Monday to get people together. We gladly took up the offer to sponsor both events and joined them of course.

Contribution Day
A contribution day is the place where people can work together with Magento’s Community Engineering Team on pull requests and improvements to the system. Please do not think that this is only for developers. There is plenty of things to do in the Magento sphere. For example, I continued to work on translations. Starting off with Benno Lippert, after the introduction of our topic on stage we quickly gathered more people around us.

Magento 2 Translations

We continue to work on a few issues around translations:

  • Incomplete official translations
  • Availability of official translations
  • Multiple (outdated) translation packs available on Marketplace

The current status is that we gather more ideas about how to improve the situation while Piotr Kaminski finds out who on Magento’s side is the owner of translations. It’s a big topic so it’s necessary to have someone with the right to make decisions on how to move forward.
If you want to join the conversation, please feel free to become part of our channel #translations at Magento Community Engineering Slack.

If you think your talents are better used to work on the translations themselves and not the organisational issues, then take a look at Magento 2 at Crowdin, the translation platform. For example, the German translations are currently at only 51%. There is still a lot of work to do.

Currently, it’s also Squashtoberfest where you are invited to work on open issues. Your work is then awarded with a special Squashtoberfest t-shirt. The Squashtoberfest does not only include work on Magento 2, but also the DevDocs and QA of issues on GitHub. For those who have some more questions about how to contribute to DevDocs, there is a contribution guide, and a slack channel #devdocs on Magento Community Engineering Slack that includes Lori Krell. She is the Senior Tech Writer on the Magento Community Engineering team and therefore the right person to talk to about DevDocs.

Magento 2 Bug Fixed

Meanwhile, Andreas took care of a nasty misbehavior in Magento 2 which caused fragments from integration tests to cause trouble even on the live server in certain circumstances. This lead to interesting discussions with Oleksii Korshenko, Magento Architect, and Marcel Hauri, a community maintainer and team lead from our Swiss partner Stämpfli. In the end, a pull request which fixes this error was created. If you are interested in more details, you can read it up on Github.

PreMagentoLive

Due to a 25% chance of rain, PreMagentoLive – a party with limited tickets – had to be moved indoors to the lobby of the main hotel. We were not spoiled with a great view from the terrace over Barcelona, but Ignacio Riesco and his team made sure to spoil us with good food and drinks instead. For me, it was a chance to catch up with a lot of friendly faces that I hadn’t seen in a while.

Thanks a lot to the whole Interactiv4 team who absolutely know how to party and especially to Ignacio Riesco for organising the Contribution Day and PreMagentoLive, and for taking such good care of us on the day before Magento Live Europe.

The rain in Spain does not stay in the plain – Day 1

The predicted rain was first noticed by me on Tuesday morning. While the short walk from the hotel to the metro station was still easy to do with an umbrella, the even shorter walk from the metro to the event venue managed to get inside my Magento backpack. Even inside the venue it continued to rain. I can only imagine what it must have been like for the events team and venue staff. Most of the attendees found it quite amusing to have an indoor waterfall and to see the wine coolers employed as water reservoirs.
The rain made it necessary to delay the keynote and hence led to a lot changes in the timetable. It was managed really good by the events team who used the event’s app’s push notifications to inform people.

Similar to Imagine, there were multiple tracks which made it difficult to choose a session. Other parts of Magento Live:

  • Marketplace – the area of sponsor booths
  • Adobe area – for a very special coffee experience
  • Magento U – trainings and certifications
  • Lounge area, multiple meeting rooms, etc.

If it wasn’t for the leaking roof, walls and so on, the venue would have been perfect. It created the impression of being filled with attendees without being too crowded.
The keynote auditorium featured very comfy chairs with individual lamps, desks and sockets!

The Keynote

The keynote featured Mark Lavelle, Senior Vice President of Commerce at Magento. His general statement: There will be bigger opportunities.
The question about the market Magento targets isn’t easy to answer. With Adobe, Magento has a foot in the door with bigger projects. At the same time, Magento does not give up on SMB. Working with Magento Open Source is what feeds the majority of the Magento community. It is the product we need to get newcomers started in the Magento world.

There was a brief announcement of the Magento Association Task Force. Some individuals from the Magento community are currently working alongside Magento to build up the Magento Association. For more information about this, have a look at the Magento Forums.

Also, the third round of Magento Innovation Lab is open until November 30. If you have a feature that improves frontend user experience, this could be your chance.

Together with Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, he gave insights into the future of Magento and Adobe. We will definitely see an integration of Magento Commerce Cloud in products of the latter, namely Adobe Experience Cloud. While Adobe aims to make every experience personal, Magento’s task will be to make every moment “shoppable”.

The second part of the keynot was held be Bruce Dickinson.

Who is Bruce Dickinson?

First of all I have to admit that I didn’t know Bruce Dickinson beforehand. He is the singer of Iron Maiden (a band I do know) and also an entrepreneur, pilot, and an outspoken person in general. I liked his keynote a lot, filled with anecdotes, wisdom and jokes (“If it flys, floats or fornicates, rent it”).

The official evening event

Again, due to the weather forecast the party on Tuesday evening was moved to the Ballroom of the Fairmont hotel. While the name “Ballroom” suggests a big dance floor, the predefined dancing area was rather small. Instead, sitting areas and buffets took up a great part of the venue. The food was good, the bartenders were quick, the music a bit too loud for some.

Before and after the evening event, we did get to enjoy the view over Barcelona. Thanks to Deity and their invitation to pre-after-show-party drinks and cool down drinks, I got to see the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona behind the venue location from a bird’s eye view.

Wednesday – slow start to the second day

As expected, the second day started off rather slow. The audience at the 9 am panel about PWA appeared to be rather quiet.
Admittedly, I didn’t attend many sessions during this day. Instead I spent a lot of time in the hallway track.

Magento and Adobe

The keynote this day was less interesting than the day before. I talked to some people about it, and I got the impression that we weren’t the target group for the content. We were too well informed already. We weren’t interested in an Adobe product presentation.

For some, Magento and Adobe looks like a match made in heaven: plenty of data and the ability to use said data to increase sales.

What I liked instead were the talks by Magento or Adobe employees that actually provided informational value. For example, Mark Brinton and Guliz Sicotte, both from Magento, showed how the Adobe product suite can be combined with Magento Commerce. They had a working prototype of how the Experience Cloud with its image manager can be used in Magento content pages.

Magento 2.3

Also, the session “Announcing Magento Commerce 2.3” features was filled to the brim with info – and filled to the brim with people. It will bring plenty of improvements and new features:

  • PageBuilder
  • PWA Studio
  • Magento Payments (2.3.x in Q1 2019, not available in all regions)
  • Amazon Sales Channel (in Q3 or Q4 2019)
  • GraphQL
  • Asynchronous & Bulk Web APIs
  • Declarative Schema
  • Improved Indexer Performance
  • 2FA, Google ReCAPTCHA, Access Control List for Cache Management
  • For Open Source: Extending Message Queues & ElasticSearch
  • Support of PHP 7.2, ElasticSearch 5 & 6

For more information on 2.3, please see the availability info page.

PageBuilder

In general, there were many sessions held by Magento or Adobe employees. Some of them were joint ventures: For example, John Hughes of Fisheye, an agency in the UK, presented the new features of PageBuilder together with Olena Tkacheva, Senior Product Manager at Magento. This session led to a lot of questions from the audience. PageBuilder is obviously one of the most anticipated new features. It is planned to be gradually released with the general availability and a high quality planned for Q1 or beginning of Q2 2019.

DevExchange

As the last point on the agenda of the second day, there was the DevExchange. On different tables people gathered to discuss multiple topics: Remote working, organizing and speaking at events, mental health, Magento Association, PWA and more.
There were lively discussions and people stayed around for a lot longer than they were expected to. For me, it was one of the best moments. Open-minded people in honest conversations.

When it’s over, that’s when the party starts

After the official event was over, I got the chance to join Byte’s Hypernode party, named after their Magento hosting offering. These ladies and gentlemen know how to party. They even had live music at the event. Unfortunately, my own batteries were running low so I only spent the early hours at the party. Anyway, thank you to the Byte team for bringing together so many lovely people one last time and for being such generous hosts!

Summary

Even with the rain, Magento Live in Barcelona was definitely worth the trip. I got the chance to talk to a lot of people and gather different opinions on how Magento will progress.
I wrote a blogpost before the event and it turned out to really be quite legendary. Yes, I spared you the details about the parties here… I would have expected a bit more information about the Magento Association, but since it is still work in progress I assume we will hear more details about it in Q1 2019.

A little bummer: Magento Open Source was less than a sidekick at this event. I understand that, together with Adobe, Magento looks even more after Magento Commerce (Cloud). “Magento Live” historically aims at partners and Magento Commerce clients. We got other events to promote Magento Open Source, right? And Barcelona? It’s a beautiful city.

A big thank you to the Events team for doing a fantastic job! And thanks to everyone that I had the pleasure to meet or talk to during these days.

Sonja Riesterer

Author: Sonja Riesterer

Sonja Riesterer is the Marketing Manager at integer_net. She especially enjoys organising events. As a Magento Certified Solution Specialist for Magento 1 and Magento 2, Magento Master 2017 and 2018 she also offers Magento admin trainings.

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