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December 4, 2015

Magento 2 in practice

The Mage Titans’ workshop

Now the dust has settled on the latest Mage Titans I wanted to share some thoughts on the workshop that took place on the Friday night before the main event. This was billed as “Dipping your toes in the Magento 2 waters”, an introduction to Magento 2 with a ‘hands on’ emphasis, run by none other than Mr Vinai Kopp. I will run through the day, but if you’re keen to try it out yourself then scroll to the bottom for more details.

The event was sponsored by ourselves and CTI, with myself, Colin Tickle (our Head of Development), and Ian Cassidy (CTI’s Head of Magento) being on hand to support Vinai and assist the developers with their work. The workshop was available to Mage Titans ticket holders on a first come first served basis, the numbers were limited and were all soon allocated!


Dipping your toes in the Magento 2 waters

The idea of the workshop was to get people hands on with Magento 2 and to hopefully learn some new skills. Specifically, Vinai planned to walk through the creation of a new custom module, the twist being that; as the architecture of Magento 2 is designed to allow for easier automated testing, Vinai would create the module in a TDD (Test Driven Development) way. Exactly how far we would delve would depend on the progress of the group.

After all, Ben Marks said, “You’re gonna have to write tests” in his talk the next day. The talk discussed the test coverage that Magento 2 core functionality has, and that custom code should also have this!

How it went

A prerequisite to the workshop was to have a working Magento 2 install on a laptop so that people could follow along. In the main everyone had this in place, although there were some subtle differences in versions due to the recent rapid releases of M2 code. There were 2 big screens at the venue that people could look to in order to follow the code changes. Having such a large group was challenging, but we were on hand to help where we could, Colin and I had recently completed successfully the Magento 2 Trained Partner Program which was invaluable!

Vinai’s experience shone through as he walked people through TDD practices and how they can be applied to Magento 2, I’m sure his techniques opened many people’s eyes, including his extensive use of PHPStorm shortcuts to aid rapid coding! (when asked, about 85% of the room had PHPStorm licenses). He continued with getting the bare bones of a Magento 2 module together, but with limited time available it wouldn’t be possible to get into the meatier aspects of Magento 2. Especially when there was pizza and beer on hand!


It was easy to see that people were engaged with the session and undoubtedly everyone in the room took something from it, I helped people where I could and it was great to meet more people in the community and be able to help them along with some Magento 2 development. Some people did fall behind later on in the session and I believe there are things we could do in future workshops to help with that. Feedback from attendees was good and there is certainly demand for another Mage Titans practical event. There is of course Mage Titans Italia which will be upon us before we know it, the 5th of February 2016.

What the workshop demonstrated to me is that there is a high demand for Magento 2 learning opportunities, off the back of this we are looking into how we can support the community more in this regard.

Lastly, I’d like to say a big thanks to Vinai for giving up his time to run the workshop, to Manchester Digital, Jon Woodall and Gabi Iskandar for all their organisation efforts behind Mage Titans. And lastly to Colin Tickle and Ian Cassidy for volunteering their time to help assist on the night.


Want to try it out?


You can try out our demo version here:

Magento 2 Demo


You can follow the below instructions and have a go yourself:

Firstly you’ll need Magento 2 downloaded and setup, preferably with the sample data installed.

Download Magento 2

The dev environment

The development environment that you pick to work with ultimately is your choice, although we can recommend working with a Vagrant VM as this can simplify the process. If you want to try an alternative, there are plenty of guides out there. One recently created by Aheadworks can be found here.

Magento 2 Vagrant Box

You can swat up on the Imagine Commerce 2015 – Magento 2 Deep Dive Sessions

The Magento 2 documentation

TDD in practice

Running the Magento 2 test suite

If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below or contact us here.