How to Get Involved in the Magento Community
March 8, 2016
As I was talking to Jon Woodall, Founder and Managing Director at Space48, while at MagentoLive France this year, he shared with me that his main goal in founding MageTitans was to help Magento developers connect, communicate, and collaborate in a valuable, actionable way. Jon gets community.
I’m often asked how to get involved in the Magento community. Community is not about you, and it’s not about me, it’s about WE. When we all work together toward a common goal, that’s community. I’ve covered a long list of ways to get involved below, but, before we get to that, here are my two main tips on how to be successful:
Focus on Thought Leadership (Not Selling)
My first tip for how to be successful in the Magento community is to focus on thought leadership rather than self promotion. If you’re not familiar with the concept of thought leadership, it’s the practice of focusing on sharing your expertise to establish yourself as a sought-after and trusted expert in your field. How often has someone walked up to you and just launched into a monologue about themselves or their product? It doesn’t engage you, or even interest you, right?
Instead, listen to others, find out how you can help, and then first offer them your expertise (e.g. examples from your experience) to solve their problem—not your product. Thing is, when people think you’ve truly helped them, they trust you, and they’re a lot more likely to trust your products
Answer Questions and Add to Answers
My second tip is to look at the various places you can get involved and find which area is best for you to contribute to—then dive in. Community isn’t about going to the forum and leaving an advertising message like, “Hey guys! Check out my new [insert product or solution],” or “Hi! I have the perfect solution for you! Go to [insert site name] to learn more.”
Community is about having actual conversations with people where they talk, and then you talk, and maybe other people talk. When you see a question that you can answer, do, and when you see answers that have been offered that you can add to, add your thoughts. This doesn’t mean your answers need to agree with answers from other community members, or that your advice will be taken. The important piece is that you chime in and offer your ideas. You might actually make genuine friends in the process (I did).
Ways to Get Involved:
Magento Forums: The Magento Forums are a great place to ask your questions as well as to contribute your expertise to those looking for help. In just under a year, we’ve reached over 100,000 members and 1,000 accepted solutions—exceeding industry averages month over month. We’re always looking for new ways to make these helpful whether it’s creating a group for meetup organizers to collaborate, hosting Q&A for webinars or open office hours with our Chief Architect, Alan Kent.
Magento StackExchange: StackExchange is home to developers across platforms and, thanks to the campaigning of Ben Marks, we have a Magento home there. Similar to the Magento Forums, Magento StackExchange is a great place to go to ask your technical questions and to contribute expertise.
Translations: We’re currently using Crowdin to help manage translations of the Magento platform and would love your help translating for your region. Thanks to community contributions, the Magento platform has already been translated in over 45 locales.
Code: If you’d like to get involved with the Magento 2.0 code, please find us on Github and create a Pull Request or Issue
Documentation: We’d love to have you to contribute to our documentation project on Github.
News and Education
Blogging: While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are a few who have centered their blogs around education on the Magento platform:
Books: Several community members have been actively writing books. Here are a few recent reads to check out:
Grokking Magento by Vinai Kopp
No Frills Magento Layout by Alan Storm
Magento 2 Developer's Guide by Branko Ajzele
Magento 2 Cookbook by Ray Bogman and Vladimir Kerkhoff
Magento Best Practices Handbook by Alessandro Ronchi
Test Driven Magento Extension Development by Allan MacGregor
Podcasts: The Magento Community is full of podcast aficionados, and as such we have a few centered around Magento:
Speaking & Events
A great way to get involved in the Magento community is by meeting others face-to-face. Here are just a few of the events and series you can get involved in whether it’s by speaking, helping to organize or by just attending:
Each week I search through all of the above resources, and a few others to compile a weekly digest called #MagentoMonday. If you subscribe to News and Announcements on the Magento Forums, this digest will be delivered straight to your inbox to help keep you in the loop.
The Magento community is comprised of some of the most helpful and innovative individuals I have ever met. Thank you for continuing to help us all move forward!