Magento Masters Spotlight: Jisse Reitsma

January 23, 2019

By: Sherrie Rohde,

Community Manager

, Magento

Magento Masters contribute a lot to the Magento Community so, naturally, people want to know what makes them tick. In this Magento Masters Spotlight, we’re chatting with Jisse Reitsma, Founder, Developer, and Trainer at Yireo

Jisse was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on his 2017 contributions in organizing MageTestFest, the Magento User Group Noord-Brabant, the Magento User Group Utrecht, and extensive educating the ecosystem on Dependency Injection, UI Components, PWA, and JavaScript Testing Tools through both his blog as well as extensive speaking engagements.

Who Are You and What Is Your Role?

My name is Jisse Reitsma from The Netherlands. I own a little company called Yireo. It's like a one-man show that I described it as. It's that sometimes amazing to people that it's just one person actually behind the whole thing. What I do is give trainings and that's really me personally going to companies, in-house, and just teaching developers how to deal with Magento 2, specifically. Besides that, I'm also developing extensions and as soon as you're a little bit more known as being an extension provider, then people tend to think actually that you're a bigger company. But it's actually not, so I'm just a Dutch boy here at Imagine.

How and When Did You First Get Involved with Magento?

If I would go back to the early stages when I got involved with Magento, I think I got on board officially, more or less, like Magento 1.0. That’s the early beginnings. I did play and install...No, correction, I tried to install and failed to install Magento 0.9.9 something. That was like an alpha release and it didn't work out, at least not for me. But once it got stable, 1.0, I got involved, built my first Magento projects webshop. And then pretty soon afterward I think, I dived also into building extensions, because that's what I do, I'm a PHP developer. I think I hated it at first because it was just so complex, and it was just overwhelming. Once I got the hang of it, the benefits of Magento was just you keep on extending the whole thing. You really benefit from the flexibility and the architecture that's just well set-up. I think around Magento 1.2 or so I really fell in love with Magento and well, never went back since to something else. So that's it, yeah. 

How Has the Magento Community Impacted You?

If I would describe really the impact of the concept of community or specifically the Magento community, on a really personal basis, I used to be a little bit inwards or introvert. The Magento community has helped me to go outward a lot. Well, every time when I say that I'm an introvert people look at me and they say, "You're crazy because you're not. You're an extrovert." But it's more like, where do you gain the energy from, and what I've really learned from the Magento community is every time when you give, you get something back. Every time when you're in need, there's people to help you both on a technical level, and on a social level. And that's basically as a side of life that I just began to love. It's really that the Magento community has changed me as a person as well for the better like, becoming more open, more happy with social interaction. I'm like the nerd that is opening up, thanks to the concept of a community, right? 

What Made You Decide to Contribute to The Magento Community?

I think for me, Magento 2 forms a challenge, first of all. Personally, the way that open source affects me is not necessarily that you make a lot of friends or that it's really nice hanging out with people that you know, whether that's the social aspect of community. I'm also much more into it because of the open source aspects, so the technical benefits. I saw the roadmap of Magento 2 when I saw the technical advances to show off Magento 2 and I thought like, "Hey, but this is going to be the next big thing. This is going to be a challenge for me as well for the upcoming let's say five years or so." And that's, I think, becoming the truth. I really felt like Magento 2 was a change for me business-wise, but also technical wise and personally as well. Then as soon as you dive into Magento 2 on a technical part, it's simply a smart move to also be active in the community as well just to contribute, learn from it, attend conferences, make friends, learn from the friends, etc. That's basically for me, like the two parts that are always linked to each other. 

What Is One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?

I'm pretty much like an outgoing guy and open guy so I'm sharing a lot of times things that other people might not be sharing. But I think like the aspects of what I just mentioned, introvert, extrovert, that maybe one of them that I'm seeing myself as an introvert person. And that's also reflecting on sometimes a gardener or ornithologist or something like that you do on your own instead of just hanging out with friends and etc. That's something I don't necessarily share or need to share because, well, it's not the business of anybody else that I'm sitting in the garden just wasting my time on a personal basis. But that's like the thing that you don't necessarily share that much, so you can share your smile, or you can share your personal experience with Magento and share your friendships. But the funny thing is like there's always a couple of parts that you never share. Gardening or doing stuff on my own, I'm really comfortable on being on my own as well and that's not something I think, like, the community is aware of.

What Is One Piece of Advice That You Live By and Would Like to Pass On to Other Developers?

One piece of advice that I would like to share with the rest of the community or actually everybody in this ecosystem is that I learned the lesson once from a lady that is not necessarily my friend or something, but she said something that's stuck with me and that is, "Whatever receives energy grows." It's such a simple thing but that means that if you want to make something bigger, that's either yourself or product or a business or something, you need to put energy into it. If you're not going 100% for the whole thing, then it's actually not receiving all of the attention that it should actually receive. Likewise, if there's not enough energy, it doesn't grow that well anymore. I'm basically applying that principle to everything in my life as well. If I'm finding out that a certain thing is not going fast enough, or that I'm not happy about the results, I'm actually simply relating it to the fact that there's not enough energy going in. That's either my energy, my personal effort to make it bigger, or just the circumstances or somebody else's energy. Well, just deal with it, just accept it.

Do You Have a Tip For Merchants and Developers to Maximize Partnership?

To make sure that a merchant and a developer are maximizing their relationship or actually their productivity because we’re dealing with Magento shops in the end, I think like the most important part is communication. Because everything that the merchant wants needs to be interpreted in a certain way by the developer. The developer needs to make sure that whatever he finds out about deadlines or a shortage in time or that it's more difficult so more hours, needs to be communicated back to the merchant as well. The work itself is just, well, not a detail because it's the majority of the thing but it's less important I think compared to the communication.

What Does Being a Magento Master mean to you?

I'm often asked, "What does it mean to be a Magento master?" I'm seriously not understanding that question that often. To me, the Magento mastership is much more a thank you from Magento itself to the stuff that I've done on a voluntary basis. But likewise, I've not only done it on a voluntary basis. I'm also doing it because I love doing it. It's fun. I'm helping myself. I'm helping other people. The mastership itself, it's always like a weird thing to call yourself a master, so I don't. But Magento calls me a master and I'm happy with that. That's basically my personal experience that the mastership itself is a title that feels a little bit awkward. However, the thing that I get back from it, that's really the awesome thing, it's opening up abilities to talk with people outside of the community, inside the community, people who are working for Magento or just the community members themselves, merchants, developers. So basically, the whole mastership allows you to be part of the vibrant community and that's just awesome.

What’s with the Tee Shirt?

Yeah. So early I had a tee shirt of...I'm not pronouncing his name properly but Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. That was a hilarious thing. Nobody knows actually who Satoshi Nakamoto is, and that's like a big mystery. In Magento community, we actually have a similar mystery: nobody knows who Veronica Costello is. Actually, not a lot of people recognize the name either, but as soon as you've installed Magento and you've installed the sample data, within the sample data there's products. There's a couple of videos, there's content. But there's also a couple of sample orders ordered by somebody called Veronica Costello. I'm just wandering around like, "Who is Veronica Costello?" Well, maybe I am. Maybe you are. I don't know.