February 10, 2020
As an open source platform, nothing is more critical to Magento’s success than its community contributions.
Case in point: Magento Solution Partner Atwix is committed to creating code patches, bug fixes, and new functionality. In just one year, Atwix created 756 new contributions, of which 687 were accepted, resulting in 26,024 points.
So what’s this team’s secret?
“The key to our success is that since we started, we have put the community first,” says Slava Kravchuk, CEO and founder of Atwix. “Contributions are at the center of everything Atwix does. It’s a perfect synergy. It helps to evolve our beloved Magento, while letting our engineers gain expertise with upcoming features before they even get released.”
Slava uses a gamification-based framework to rev up the Atwix team, relying on an internal points system. “Everyone who gets into the top 10 contributors of the month list wins Atwix points,” explains Slava. “A top 10 contributor can enjoy an evening with their partner in a restaurant, paid for by Atwix, or they can save up and get an iPhone at the end of the year. Of course, if you’re a champion like Alex [Taranovsky], the top Magento contributor for 2019, you can buy the restaurant!”
Alex, an eCommerce developer at Atwix for 13 years, is pragmatic when he talks about becoming the No. 1 Magento contributor for 2019. “Once you start, it’s hard to stop,” he says of his 237 contributions. For Alex, seeing Atwix atop the overall contributor list is just as important. “Magento is a part of our life. That’s why we should always try to make it better,” he says. “By contributing, we have the chance to learn new things, find new challenges, and meet new people.”
Alex’s work ethic has truly inspired the rest of the team. Eduard Chitoraga, who has spent two years at Atwix, was the No. 2 contributor in 2019, snapping at Alex’s heels. “Each staff member is encouraged by the way others contribute,” says Eduard.
(Maria Zaiats, COO, Atwix; Gary Specter, VP, commerce sales and customer success, Experience Business, Adobe; and Slava Kravchuk, CEO/founder, Atwix)
Yaroslav Rogoza, CTO of Atwix, has worked at the agency for more than 11 years and was No. 9 on the 2019 list. “I believe the biggest achievement is that we’ve gathered so many open source enthusiasts who delegate their free time and resources to make us the top contributor of 2019,” he says. It was not only the constant support from his fellow eCommerce developers and maintainers, says Yaroslav, but also encouragement from his wife that kept him going. “She constantly motivated me not to give up,” he says.
As CTO, Yaroslav admits that being No. 1 is great for business. “It proves and validates our knowledge of Magento code and the best eCommerce development practices,” he says. “This cannot be underestimated when we’re talking to customers about building big enterprise systems or jumping into some innovative technology, like headless Magento implementations and PWAs. Our customers know we’re not rookies.”
Atwix's Vitaliy Boyko says that passing the Magento Professional Developer certification was his biggest achievement in 2019. He also came in at a respectable 11th place on the individual contributors list. “The biggest challenge was to balance my personal life, commercial projects, and contributions,” he says. “At times it was not easy at all, but if you really love something, you will find time for it.”
For Serhiy Zhovnir, an eCommerce developer at Atwix who was one of the top three Magento contributors of 2019, seeing his name in the release notes of a new feature is rewarding enough. “The biggest thing that I learn from contributing to Magento is that you’re not alone with your problems. All you need to do is submit an issue and describe it well. Then you’ll see the Magento ‘magic.’ Many brave contributors will reproduce, fix, and test your issue, and finally it will be fixed.”
That Magento “magic” is getting stronger every year. Compared to 2018, the community grew the quantity of pull requests by 20 percent in 2019. At the same time, the acceptance rate grew to 75 percent. Several new records were reached during the year, including the biggest contribution day, at MageCONF 2019, which was organized by the Atwix team.
That event was just one of four Magento Contribution Days held by Atwix in three different cities, open for anyone to attend. “It’s incredible to see how the events encourage and motivate contributors,” says Slava.
It is not just contributors who scored highly in Magento’s annual leaderboard. Yaroslav and Dmytro Cheshun, a tech lead at Atwix, were first and third, respectively, in the Community Maintainers leaderboard. In 2019, Atwix processed over 1,000 pull requests from Magento community members, helping them find solutions to various issues. “There are thousands of issues and hundreds of pull requests on GitHub. It’s very easy to miss something important,” explains Dmytro. “It’s a huge responsibility.”
Today, Slava and his team are not resting on their laurels. The 2020 leaderboard is already underway, and naturally Atwix talent dominates the first- and second-place spots. And for Magento, it’s full steam ahead. The company plans to open new community projects across all Magento editions and give more power to its global community to shape the future of Magento. And while Atwix will be leading the charge, winning is not everything, says Slava. Contributions are all about inspiring the rest of the community.
“I believe we set a good example. Even a relatively small company can create a considerable impact on such a giant open source product as Magento,” he says. “I hope this motivates others.”