Speaking at Meet Magento conference: Motivation, Preparation, the Talk and the Outcome

A couple of months ago, I had the chance to speak at one of the respected Magento Developer conferences. I would like to share with the readers how I prepared myself for the presentation, how the talk went, what happened during the talk, and what the feeling was after I finished my first public Magento speech. I also hope that this will be helpful and inspiring for developers who plan to speak at a conference. If you are interested in the presentation slides, you can view them here: http://www.slideshare.net/ceckoslab/tsvetan-stoychev-mmspeakerseditedfinal-41955664


Motivation will always vary between individuals, even in the case of developers discussing technical matters. Basically, we, developers, are still commonly regarded as technical people who enjoy talking about profound and complicated problems. In my observations, some people consider developers to be tech nerds who have a general dislike for talking and are unable to energize and engage the audience. I believe this to be a myth, a stereotype ordinary people will project upon developers. Indeed, you will hear this kind of myth about all professionals. I argue to the contrary – because we actually take great pleasure in talking and sharing. In my case, I enjoy talking if I have something to share, and there is somebody who is willing to listen. This is great, but I also have a sort of anxiety and occasionally lose my train of thought when speaking in front of a large audience. My chief motivation therefore was to try and speak in front of many people in order to test my anxiety and try to overcome it.

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Magento: Shell script for cleaning associated product attribute options

During the last 2 months I have been trying different strategies for product imports. Also there are very often change requests about what options we should present for the product attributes. It’s  constant fun, because we have 2 data sources – PIM and ERP, but of course the client  has the final word.

From technical point of view it’s important to mention that we are using custom source tables for almost every product attribute. And we have a highly customized Magento store.

I ended up in a situation that I had to delete all the associated product attribute options. As those might lead to some problems in the future. This is because of the specific Magento setup and the custom source tables that we have. In our project if I truncate any of the custom source tables, the options ids in in any of catalog_product_entity_* tables will not be deleted automatically. But I had to rebuild the data of some of the custom tables with completely different values than what we had previously.

Basically I wrote a simple shell script. By given product attribute code deletes it’s all associated options / values from catalog_product_entity_* tables.

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Check if order items are owned by the current customer

It’s constant fun working at Jarlssen. I can say that I’ve never worked on projects with the complexity of those that we have here.

In my current project I have to deal with the task to allow the current customer to edit some fields of his order items. Basically I pass the order item ids and some extra information by html form and later in the backend code I update the order items.

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Flag new products

Recently a frontend colleague asked me if I can prepare something, that gives him an easy way to figure out, inside the template files, which products are new.
Basically he just wanted to add some visual ribbons for the new products in many different places.
In our project the administrators mark products as new by setting some time in date fields new from date and new to date in the admin panel:

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Timeout saving attribute options (for types “multiple select” and “dropdown”)

During my daily work, I have noticed that the admins of some Magento stores are experiencing problems when they have to work with attributes of type “Multiple Select” and “Dropdown”, which have many options (for example more than one thousand options). When they pressed the save button in the admin area, after they edited an attribute, their browser crashed.

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