Douglas Radburn

Douglas Radburn

Head of Technical

Magento has gone from strength to strength both as a platform and a company since we attended Magento Live 2014 last year. Back for another great year, we headed down to London to soak up the rain and find out all about what’s coming up with the eCommerce platform.

Developer Deep Dive

Starting on the afternoon of Monday 22 June, the “Developer Deep Dive” was a great way to kick off Magento Live UK. This session was split into six individual talks; all the talks focused on customisation, performance and scalability, with four of the six concentrating on Magento 2.

Magento 2 is definitely what everyone in the Magento development community is excited about, but it was great to see that developers are still focusing on Magento 1, since it’s still got many years of life left.

Customising the Magento Performance Toolkit – Sergii Shymko

Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of this session, however, walking in halfway through just makes me want to watch the sessions once they’re up on the official site even more. Sergii spoke about the performance toolkit and how to get the most out of it whilst developing on your local machine. Using JMeter as a http proxy recording actions and mocking elements for tests.

Magento Performance Issues? FIX Them, Don’t Mask Them – Luke Fowell

Whilst the majority of the issues raised by Luke are widely known, it’s important that these elements aren’t overlooked when you’re building a store. Whilst this session was aimed at developers, it was interesting to see a mixed attendance of merchants also in the room, eager to learn about the fundamentals of the development that goes into their site.

It also highlighted a few truths about how asking for a small item on the frontend can take a large amount of development time to do right. The biggest take away from this session was that the end goal is to build maintainable, scalable code and to always future-proof as much as possible with this in mind.

Magento 2 Web Developers Workflow – Vitaliy Korotun

Having seen Vitaliy talk at MLUK14, it was great to see his continued enthusiasm to unlock some of the more interesting information about the Magento 2 platform.

He touched on many aspects of the frontend – HTML, CSS, JS (including require, angular, underscore), templates, layouts and how they all interact (and more importantly, how they have all been modularised – and can therefore be swapped out for other technologies). For example, LESS compliation for CSS is baked into Magento 2, but by changing around four lines of code, you can swap this out for a SASS compiler instead (as long as you have a compiler handy).

Preparing for Magento 2 – James Cowie

I’ve been wanting to see James speak for some time and after his recent involvement with magecasts.io, it was great to see his introduction to Magento 2 and how Magento 1 developers need to think about transferring their knowledge. James’ talk focused on the backend code level of Magento 2, touching on many aspects, including Magento’s implementation of Dependancy Injection – a concept that is likely to help many extension providers and reduce many collective headaches.

Code Customisation on Magento 2 – Anton Kril

Anton’s presentation took the concepts introduced in James’ and solidified them with a number of core code examples. Anton’s focus was on the inabilities of Magento 1 and the inefficiencies of maintaining a core that couldn’t be changed – in order to maintain backward compatibility – balanced against Magento 2’s flexibility.

He introduced service contracts as public elements with which private logic, blocks, controllers, other modules, repositories and services can interact. Anton walked through domain, presentation and persistence layers and also presented how Magento 2 deals with private data through caching. Varnish 4 is the cache manager of choice and the example showed how web requests for public data hit Varnish (and Magento via ESI), however, private data (such as for cart information, wishlist etc) went straight to Magento, ignoring Varnish.

Magento 2 Performance and Scalability – Ted Pietrzak

Magento’s Head of Technology talked more in-depth about the steps Magento themselves are taking to maintain their code base and the confidence that this then gives developers working on the platform.

Amongst other items, Ted spoke about the five pillars within the Magento development team of testing, performance acceptance, client-side testing, server-side testing and throughput. Alongside this, Ted had some great numbers regarding code speed improvements that have already taken place over the development cycle of Magento 2 and that are still being worked on.

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Ted also touched on some of the features coming to Magento 2 EE, including scaling – splitting the database layer into main, order, checkout and catalog stores.

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Magento Security Essentials Seminar

Another great session in which three speakers (Ray Bogman, Bastian Ike and Anna Volkl) presented their views on current security concerns within the industry and specifically alongside Magento. Although three separate talks, they aligned on several common factors.

As well as a long list of developer “do nots” (such as keeping SQL files in your root, leaving phpinfo files on the server and storing passwords in plaintext), it highlighted that merchants need to make sure you have the right partners in place across the entire development stack.

With the recent highly publicised issues with SSL, Apache and with Magento itself (Shoplift), it’s important that merchants have their own business continuity plan (BCP). Imagine your site gets hacked. What do you do? Undoing the hack is only a (small) part of getting you back up and running – make sure you come back bigger and stronger. Make sure you identify how this actually happened, add security against it and roll out a new satisfactory code-base.

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