My 2016 in Review

Like every year since my blog relaunch I am starting the year with a little retrospective and outlook.

Blog Stats

The visitor count did not change much over the year. There is a spike in September, which comes from a few more new articles.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 4 5 6 1 3 3 4 9 3 0 4

The top visitor sources are also similar:

# Source Visitors Visitors 2015
1 Google  10759 10011 (+0)
2 direct  6811 5997 (+0)
3 Twitter  1411 772 (+1)
4 StackOverflow  1120 985 (-1)
5  635 162 (+3)

So let’s check out the most visited articles over the year:

# Title English German Total
1 (+0) Mocking built-in functions like time() in unit tests (2011) 4163 733 4896
2 (+4) Show random products in Magento – you are doing it wrong! (2015) 1585 239 1824
3 Memoize method calls in PHP with cache decorators 1679 1679
4 Stop using helpers 1398 103 1501
5 (-3) The Magento buyRequest object – A reference (2014) 987 274 1261
6 Using class_alias() to maintain backwards compatibility while move/rename classes 1238 1238
7 Collection Pipelines in PHP 891 891
8 (-6) Magento bundle products: Use tier prices of simple products (2014) 447 332 779
9 (-1) Magento tutorial: Use increment models to generate ids or SKUs (2014) 542 142 684
10 Design patterns for framework agnostic plugins / extensions: Dependency injection 654 654

Again, half of the top ten are old articles. The post about random products in Magento could become a new evergreen based on the search engine traffic!

Hot Topics

My “Design Patterns for framework agnostic plugins/extensions” series on got some attention and this was part of my overall topic of the year: my work on the Internet_Solr search extension for Magento 2.

Besides on the blog, I also shared my experience from that on conferences (see my new “Talks” page) and got invited to do a lesson on NomadMage (coming Jan 17, 2017! Read more)

Blog Update

I’m a bit tired of my ugly old WordPress and would love to use a static site blog for better security and performance. I tried Hugo for the third time or so, but gave up again. Found a nice theme but converting >100 multilingual posts from WordPress did not work well. Same for Jekyll. I consider giving Grav a try as well, but for now I’m still stuck with WordPress, at least with an updated look. The new Twenty Seventeen theme is quite nice! Got myself a personal header image as well.

Besides the new look, I am currently changing the content for the site to be less “businessy” because I don’t sell my services as a freelancer anymore. You still can hire me for Magento training and consulting, but solely through the agency integer_net /> where I went from part time employee to full time employee and partner, starting Jan 1 2017

Goals reached?

Last year I did not make a list of new years resolutions, but still had a few things in mind for 2016:

  • Concern myself with Magento 2 As expected, there was no way around that topic. At integer_net we released a beta version of IntegerNet_Solr for Magento 2 and started our first Magento 2 customer project in November
  • Try running an own extension business I admit, this did not have high priority so I did not put enough work in it, but so far it was not profitable at all and we can scratch that.
  • More sport Technically, I said “more sport until the next company running event”, so: I did it!

For me, 2016 was also a year of Magento events:

  • Firegento Hackathon
  • Developers Paradise, Croatia
  • Mage Unconference, Germany
  • Meet Magento Germany
  • Mage Unconference, Netherlands
  • Meet Magento Romania
  • Mage Titans, UK
  • Several Meetups in Aachen and Cologne

That’s nothing in comparison to the seasoned conference travelers in our community, but for me: a lot. I could not do this for weeks or months in a row, but I really enjoyed it. I plan to continue in 2017, but also pay more attention to other interesting events, not related to Magento. Make this the first items on my new years resolution list:

  • Continue speaking at conferences
  • Attend at least one tech conference not related to Magento

2017 – what else?

I started doing small TDD Katas regularly to practice my craft and also try out new technologies and methods. This is something I definitely want to make a habit of, just 15 minutes a day.

May 2017 be a successful year for all my readers as well!