Now that the house has gone quiet since the 1-year-old who usually keeps me busy while I’m at home is fast asleep – again – I’d like to write a couple of lines that should mark the first post in 2012 in a blog that has not received much of my attention lately. Not sure how long the silence will last, so I’d better hurry up.
Personally, this year surely was a wild ride. Being blessed with a child – without wanting to sound corny – absolutely turned our lifes upside down. I’ ve had and still have the benefit of being able to choose my working hours and I try to see as much of our son Jakob as possible. For the last month of 2010 and the first one of 2011 I took a mini parental leave, doing virtually nothing work-related at the time, thoroughly enjoying all of the baby business. When I got back to work, I quickly fell back into my usual routine of traveling around and providing mostly Magento-related training throughout the country. What I particularly like about this is getting around, meeting new people and being faced with new situations. Mostly, I got to know agencies using shop software for their clients and the trying to make it fit their purposes. I also worked for a fashion producer who wanted to make his in-house IT team fully understand and make the best use of the software.
In all these encounters I realised that more than anything else, I’d wanted to get to the more abstract level of things. There are surely people who enjoy talking endlessly about the nitty gritty of this or that piece of software. Even if this was the prime reason people invited and paid for me delivering the training, to me it was always important to shed some light on the bigger picture: If this or that feature is so terribly hard to implement, maybe it does not make so much sense in the first place. Is it worthwhile keeping developers busy for weeks on end just to show something to the customer that he does not really need or know how to use?
About half a year ago, in a post called Magento dude identity in good condition – anyone interested? I’d already shared my wish not to work with and for only one software package for the rest of my professional life, but rather acknowledge as well as talk about and use alternatives. Fortunately, in the spring of 2011, I had the chance to get to know both the guys from OXID and from Shopware pretty well. While the meeting of the former was the beginning of a cooperation that led to me writing the first book about OXID eShop (which is due at the end of this month) and providing official OXID trainings, the latter is a relationship that still needs to be explored further in 2012. In both cases, I got to know the software stacks pretty well – both from a technical and non-technical point of view – but I still like to keep an open mind about the question when and how this or that software package should be used ideally rather than engaging in trench warfare.
In summer I had my final go at being a full-time coder, which showed me and others that, well, I don’t want to and cannot be a full-time coder As much as I like getting to know new technologies and diving deep into code in order to understand it and be able to provide the developer trainings, coding for money is just not my thing. Another lesson learned in 2011.
The year ended – as some of you have seen – with me becoming a punk, member of the ecomPunk team and, without the slightest exaggeration, contributor to the world’s best commerce blog. Together with a great team I will keep adding good stuff and use it as my primary journalistic outlet for all things ecommerce-y in my life.
And boy there is much to talk about! That became very clear that December night in Frankfurt, which provided the icing on my 2011 commerce cake: I caught up with some of the brightest minds in commerce I know – you know who you are – and discussed what moved and shook our industry and what we will see in the future.
Good to see you 2012 – please stay and enjoy the show.