15th February 2021 - 5 minutes

Meet Magento India 2021: Interview with Gareth James

PureClarity are very pleased and extremely proud to say that our Senior PHP Developer, Gareth James, recently spoke at the Meet Magento India online event!

We thought this would be a great opportunity for Gareth to share his experience of the talk.

Join me for a Q&A with Gareth. He talks about Magento India, the transition to the event being online, key topics from the event and so much more – it is not to be missed!

Tell us about yourself?

I am Senior PHP Developer here at PureClarity, I handle our PHP based platform integrations. I am always looking at our extensions to ensure that they are as solid as they can be, so that our customers get a reliable integration to work with.

My role is quite versatile. Each week can be completely different, which is one of my favorite things about the job. Some days I can be working closely with marketing on website content, the next I am deep into code.

I have three Adobe Magento certifications, the ‘Professional’, ‘Expert – Magento Commerce Developer’ and the ‘Master – Magento Commerce Architect’. I was the first in the UK to achieve the ‘Master – Magento Commerce Architect’, which is a huge achievement of mine.

Out of work my big hobby at the moment is online gaming (PC, X-box, D&D) with friends and family. Although, I enjoyed gaming before lockdown, online gaming allows me to connect and chat with people that I am not able to see.

Speaking of lockdown – I am currently juggling homeschooling with my three children and working remotely – which has been quite a challenge to say the least! Thankfully, the PureClarity team have been extremely flexible with hours and availability to make homeschooling and developing work.

Why Magento India?

Meet Magento events are an important part of the Magento ecosystem and are a great platform for knowledge sharing.

India has a fast-growing Magento community and it was a good opportunity to speak to some great teams there. I used to lead a team of developers who were based in Bengaluru, so I visited a few times and enjoyed being there. This included attending Magento Live India in 2017.

So, of course when I saw this opportunity come up, I knew I had to take it!

How did it feel to be a part of the event? What did it feel like to be held online in comparison to in person?

It was a great honor to be selected as a speaker, this was my first major talk as I have only spoke at local meetups before – so it was a big step up!

I like that with the event being online, you do not miss out on any of the content! I am still going back and watching some of the talks that I missed on the day itself.

I would say that having an archive of the talks that I can revisit is one of the perks of it being held online.

How did you prepare for the event? Were you nervous?

I was nervous as it was my first major talk. But after doing it I now know that I would love to do a talk at an event with a real-life crowd.

The run up to the event was filled with lots of dry runs with the team at PureClarity, my family and friends to make sure my talk was well-timed and well-rehearsed. Everyone was very supportive and offered lots of useful tips and advice.

I was very happy with the way that my talk went. It received a lot of positive feedback.

“When Gareth, our Senior PHP Developer, was invited to be a speaker at Meet Magento India 2021, we decided to become a bronze sponsor of the event too. Gareth treated the team to an exclusive viewing of his ‘Creating Quality Magento 2 Extensions’ talk – and for any developers or Magento lovers it is essential listening for what to do – and what not to do!”

Rachel Swann, Commercial Director

Why did you choose the topic ‘Creating Quality Magento 2 Extensions’?

Quality is a big part of extension development and I see conversations implying that quality can be lacking in the Magento ecosystem at times.

The idea behind this talk is to collate a whole bunch of tips on what constitutes good quality in an extension so that development teams have a good basis to plan out how they can work on their quality.

What did you feel were the highlights of the event?

The talk about Hyvä themes (https://twitter.com/hyva_io) by Willem Wigman (https://twitter.com/willemwigman) & Vinai Kopp (https://twitter.com/VinaiKopp) was interesting as it looks nice to work with and is fast emerging as a great new way to do frontend development for Magento.

The PWA panel with Miguel Balparda (https://twitter.com/mbalparda), Arun Bansal (https://twitter.com/arunbansal), Jisse Reitsma
(https://twitter.com/jissereitsma) and Vijay Golani (https://twitter.com/Vijaygolani) had lots of great points about the choices developers face and the variety of implementations that are upcoming.

I liked the talk “Rescue Magento Project” by Sarvagya Pandey because I felt it complimented my talk well, covering quality & rescue aspects of a Magento site from an agency perspective.

What were the key takeaways?

The key takeaway for me was that there are some big frontend changes emerging. Various PWA implementations for Magento have been emerging for a while and are becoming more prominent and the Hyvä theme providing a solid alternative so it looks like there is going to be a lot to keep up with on the frontend side of things.

With PHP8 support on the way too, there’s scope for quite some big changes to take place in the next few years in the platform.

What new topics are being discussed?

PWA is a big topic in the Magento-sphere at the moment, and this showed by having a track dedicated to it, there were some great talks in there on how this fits into strategy and some details on the development side too.

There was a good set of forward-thinking content, that will help people with ideas on what could come up in the coming year.

We know you like to keep busy – what is next for you?

I am currently studying for the Magento 2 “Frontend Developer” certification, which is the next step on the way to becoming a certified Magento 2 “Full stack developer”. I have got one more to go after this one, so it is going to be a busy year for me for studying.

I will be keeping an eye out for more events to speak at, and I am working on a couple of ideas for talks to add to the quality talk I did at MMIN21.

“PureClarity is proud to support our developers and the wider developer community, and it was great to see Gareth giving a talk at Meet Magento India. He’s an exceptionally talented Magento developer and I’m sure he’ll be presenting more talks over the coming months.”

John Barton, Technical Director

If I wanted to listen to your talk, how could I get access to this?

If you want to see the recording, you can log in here >

I am the final talk on the tech track. My talk is on ‘Creating Quality Magento 2 Extensions’. Check it out and let me know what you think.

If anyone has questions, they can reach me on twitter (https://twitter.com/gareth_e_james) or linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/gareth-james-3b946a4b/)

The PDF of the slides can be downloaded from here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bnajnnxXuRtpGOPWTKHmVwVyOZ_ng7C4/view

Thank you Gareth for that great insight into Meet Magento India 2021 – and well done for smashing it!

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