Lesson 5: Be a user advocate, not a system sales rep.

Written by Guido Jansen in
October 2010

Ok, so you want to be a Magento Master: you'll know (almost) everything there's to know about the system and you'll try to convince everyone to use it. Great!

But don't confuse that with being a sales representative for a Magento company trying to make as many sales as possible. You are enthusiastic about the system, but also be realistic and a critique. I think Magento in general is probably the best e-commerce platform out there. But that doesn't mean it's a miracle system that is going to sell stuff by itself and it's not the perfect system (mostly because I think perfect doesn't exist with software). It also won't be the best choice for every businesses. So there will be bugs, faults and strange things you and users will encounter and need to deal with, just as with any other software package. Tell them about that openly and up-front, tell them what they can do about it and they'll be much happier users. There's no use in 'selling' Magento to people who won't be happy using it. For example: The way Magento is build makes it a real resource hog. Great when you want many features, great when you're a developer that wants to extend the system. Not so great when you're on a slow server and like speedy webshop performance. Luckily, there are many, many things you can do to counter that problem by using (one or more) fast dedicated servers run by a hosting company specialized in Magento. (Also see my blogposts 'Magento Performance: Myth vs Reality' and '101 ways to speed up your Magento e-commerce website' on this subject).

Tasks for this week:

  • Surf Google and the Magento forums and try to look at the cons of Magento. Since developments go fast, only try to look at recent (<6 months resources) to prevent listing cons that are already fixed in newer versions of Magento. Pick the top 5 most complained about (besides the performance issues mentioned above).
  • Take a look at the roadmap (see resources below) to find out what is being done to help prevent these issues in the future (including performance improvements).

Some resources:

Recent posts
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[EN] Datascience can do what?
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This is a bonus episode with Emily Robinson (Senior Data Scientist at Warby Parker) en Lukas Vermeer (Director of Experimentation at Booking.com). In her earlier session that day, Emily said that real progress starts when you put your work online for others to see and comment on which in this case was about Github. Someone from the audience wondered how that works out in larger companies where a manager or even a legal department might not be overly joyous about that to say the least so I asked Emily about her thoughts on that. Recorded live with audience pre-covid-19 at the Conversion Hotel conference in november 2019 on the island of Texel in The Netherlands. (oorspronkelijk gepubliceerd op https://www.cro.cafe/)