Let's start the series with a little Magento history. Varien is a company founded in 2001 by Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner (take a look at the current Magento Leadership). Varien did many e-commerce implementations using osCommerce. Lack of stability, features and flexibility of osCommerce made them decide to start a new e-commerce project in 2007.
They released the first beta version of Magento on August 31 of that year and Magento 1.0 stable was released on March 31st 2008 under the Open Software License (OSL) 3.0. Recently, Varien changed names to Magento Inc. and they now have 115+ employees in Los Angeles and the Ukraine. Currently, there are 3 versions of Magento: Community (1.4), Professional and Enterprise (1.9). The international website for Magento is magentocommerce.com. It's the place for everything official from Magento Inc. The parts you'll be using most are:
Besides the above, you'll also spend some time around the official resources (documentation, wiki, screencasts etc.), but that's something for another week :). Tasks for this week:
That should keep you busy in your first week. Good luck and let me know how it worked out!
Recently I've seen some (often absolute) statements going around, generally in the line of "open source commerce platforms are a terrible idea". Now of course different solutions always have different pros and cons.
A hierarchy of evidence (or levels of evidence) is a heuristic used to rank the relative strength of results obtained from scientific research. I've created a version of this chart/pyramid applied to CRO which you can see below. It contains the options we have as optimizers and tools and methods we often use to gather data.