5 Minute Tips: Conference Talks

The learning coffee break is back! Today with a few tips I collected from others about preparing and giving conference talks:

On Scope

To me, a good talk is one where I learn something new or come away with some change in perspective. The more I learn / the more the speaker makes me think differently about something, the better. So, to give a good talk, you need to say a new-to-your-audience thing in an understandable way.

I don’t mind too much how many times you say “um” or how nice your slides are.

Julia Evans – Ideas for making better conference talks & conferences

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Usability for Programmers – UX Is Not Just Frontend!

This Tweet in 2015 blew my mind. I learned a bit about designing interactive systems and psychology in design, so I could relate immediately. It inspired me to a talk “Usability for Programmers” at WebCon Aachen, that unfortunately never went public because the event was cancelled, and I am yet waiting for a new chance to deliver it.

But I find the content too interesting to leave it hidden any longer, so here’s a blog post!

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TDD Kata 01 – The Bowling Game

One of my goals for 2017 is to make TDD katas a part of my daily routine. What is a Kata? Just as in martial arts it is training through repetition, practicing the same exercise again and again until you can do it in your sleep.

Some would say, it is the only way to learn TDD. This makes sense for several reasons: you start in a small, protected scope and can apply pure test driven development. This way you are able to train the different mindset (the red-green-refactor cycle) without frustration. It means, you will not have to learn working around the quirks of a framework at the same time.
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Learn Refactoring to Framework Independent Code

I’m proud to annouce that I will present the Nomad Mage session of January 2017. Nomad Mage is the Magento offspring of Nomad PHP and describes itself as:

Nomad Mage® is a virtual user group for Magento developers who understand that they need to keep learning to grow professionally. We meet online monthly to hear some of the best speakers in the community share what they’ve learned.

My topic: “Keep Magento Out of Your Magento Extensions – Refactoring to Framework Independent Code”

To port an existing Magento 1 extension to Magento 2, it can be helpful to first extract the business logic into a reusable library. This also makes for more testable and future-proof code. But how can it be done?

On Nomad Mage I’m going to walk through real examples to show you how such a refactoring can be approached. Although we will focus on refactoring existing Magento 1 extensions, the patterns you will learn are also useful for new extensions, Magento 1 or Magento 2.

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Spryker vs. Magento

Recently I had the opportunity to take a peek into the source code of Spryker, the e-commerce framework that’s composing itself to be the new player in the enterprise area. Spryker was originally developed by the Berlin based incubator Project A to be used in the companies that they build up and is supposed to be released to the public this year. While “public” is not enirely true, I can say so much in advance: An open source version is not planned, licenses will cost about 100.000 € / year. Agencies can register as partner, to get access to source code and documentation without a license. With the first sold license they get access to additional training material. Freelancers are not addressed. Already listed as partner are the agencies CommercePlus and Symmetrics that are well-known in the German Magento scene.

What is special about Spryker?

Spryker doesn’t consider itself as ready-to-use product but as framework that provides the building blocks for an individual e-commerce solution from which you can choose and extend for your project. This takes the reality into account that no project is equal to the next and each shop has its own processes and infrastructure, which you have to address individually.

The core of Spryker are two separate applications, Yves and Zed. In short, Yves is a lightweight application for the frontend, Zed the big gun for the backend.

Discover Spryker
Image: http://spryker.com/product/

Yves (in the first version developed with Yii, now with Silex) reads any needed data from an in-memory NoSQL backend such as Redis.
Zed (Zend Framework 2) handles communication with MySQL, message queue and external systems, and contains the business logic for order processes and so on.

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Retrospective: The Blog 2014

A personally and businesswise successful year has gone by and the new one is still starting slowly. Time to look back how the blog has been doing since I relaunched my site last February and set some new goals for 2015.

Hot topics

Some topics that sticked out in one way or the other:

Unit Testing

My all-time top article from 2011 [PHP] Mocking Built-in Functions Like time() In Unit Tests was still the second most visited in 2014 and I am happy to say that the concept that it introduced got some new attention:

PHP 5.3 Death March

The most controversional, most discussed and most clicked article of 2014 was my announcement to drop PHP 5.3 support wherever possible to force adaption of current PHP versions (5.3 reached its end of life in August 2014 and does not get any security fixes anymore since then).

I feel in good company because soon after, Anthony Ferrara (@ircmaxell) kicked of the same discussion on larger scale on Twitter and elsewhere with his articles about PHP versions:

  1. On PHP Version Requirements
  2. Being A Responsible Developer
  3. PHP Install Statistics

Vagrant

puphpet-vagrant-puppet-magentoI wrote a series on articles on Vagrant, specifically to introduce it for Magento developers, published on integer-net.de. Until now it is only available in German but I published an English summary in the Webguys advent calendar that covers everything to get you started: Türchen 19: Kickstart your Magento Dev System with Vagrant. Two of the four teasers on this blog made it into the top ten of 2014 (see numbers below).
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Mage Unconference 2015 – March 7.-8. – Berlin

Mage Unconference 2015

On March 7th and 8th FireGento presents the first Mage Unconference for Clients, Merchants, Agencies, Service-Providers – and for sure – Developers. The Schedule of the Unconference is whatever the attendees make out of it.

>>> Get our Ticket now and be part of the Community on March 7th and 8th, 2015 in Berlin! <<<

I will be there! If you are interested, don’t wait too long before the event gets cancelled due to not enough tickets being sold!