January 10, 2020
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 TJ Gamble.
Who are you, and what is your role?
My name’s TJ Gamble, CEO and Founder of Jamersan.
How and when did you first get involved with Magento?
We’ve been doing Magento as long as Magento’s been doing Magento. We picked it up in a beta in 2007. Launched our first Magento website in 2008. It’s one of those where we’ve been using the platform forever. It was really the only option for us and our merchants in 2007. It was refreshing when we found Magento, its modularity, its upgradability. So, we gravitated to it immediately and went all in.
What made you decide to contribute to the Magento Community?
It wasn’t until about four years ago that we got to the size company to where I could come out of the day to day actual work on growing the company. So, let’s look around and see what’s out there. What are people doing? How can we stand out? How can we be a part of something bigger? We found the Magento community. We started plugging into that. I was trying to be strategic about it. We were looking to get more known, to know people. At the time the most popular people in the Magento community were Phillip Jackson and Ben Marks so we went to Sunshine PHP where Phillip and Ben happened to be speaking. I guess it’s been four years ago now. Met them there. Very welcoming. Great representatives of the community. Really showed us what Magento was all about. From there we’ve been to every Magento event in the United States in the last four years—every major one. Every Meet Magento. Every MageTitans. Every Imagine. So, we’ve gone all-in trying to be involved in this community and help it grow. A rising tide raises all ships. Whatever we can do to contribute to the betterment of the platform is going to be good for everyone including us. It’s not all a competition. A lot of people will phrase it as a competition. We’re happy to work with other agencies and Sis and help them grow if there’s anything we can do. I had an SI come to our booth yesterday [Imagine 2019] and tell us that they were actually using our content to help them close deals—which is fantastic. Right? It’s great that we can contribute to other folks like that and help them be more successful.
How has the Magento Community impacted you?
I started an eCommerce agency where there is no eCommerce. Definitely not enterprise eCommerce. So, you’re on an island. You’re by yourself. Anytime you’re going to grow something you need other people going through the same things. You need to be able to have those conversations with people who are trying to grow a business, trying to grow an agency, going through the same struggles. People who are further along in their journey that you can learn from. People that are not as far along in their journey that you can help. All of that’s very rewarding, very fulfilling, to be a part of something that’s bigger. That’s what being a part of this community is. It’s actually coming here and seeing other people that are either going through the same struggles, have gone through the same struggles, or are about to go through those same issues, and all of us just kind of working together, sharing information, seeing that it is possible. It is possible to take those next steps. It brings a lot of energy. I love these conferences. I wish we could have the energy all year long from that we get from these few events that I’m able to go to.
What’s been your favorite Magento event to attend or organize?
Imagine is a must-attend event. If you’re in the Magento space, especially if you’re in the United States, you have to be at Imagine. It’s where the big announcements are made. It’s where everybody is at. You just have to be here. If you’re overseas, the MagentoLives are really good as well. If it’s not in your budget, those might be good. Other than that it’s really dependent on who you are and what you’re looking to get out of it. The Meet Magentos, Meet Magento New York in the United States is a really fantastic event. Probably one of my favorites outside of Imagine. It’s merchant focused but there’s also a lot of technical content there as well. MageTitans in Austin, TX, has been a fantastic event. It’s a little more developer-focused, so if you’re really looking to dive into technical, even though there’s some merchant content there, I think it’s more technical first. A lot of training and things like that go on. I want to give props to everybody that puts on an event at that scale.
What’s one thing the Magento community may not know about you?
I spend most of my free time, if I have any available, I love cars. I want to own them all. Every single one of them. Not one of each type. I want your car, I want my car, I want ugly cars, I want broken cars. I have this obsession with cars that is very, very unhealthy and not good for a checkbook. I don’t know if that’s fun, but I don’t talk about that quite as much so maybe that’s at least something you might not know. Unless you went by the booth, and then you saw my swag is literally a car.
What is one piece of advice that you live by, and would like to pass on to others?
Get out there. Get involved. You’ve got to go places. You’ve got to meet people. This is a people business. This is a relationship business. Whether you’re a merchant, whether you’re a developer, whether you’re an inspiring agency doesn’t really matter. Get out. Mix with people. Because you’re going to have problems as you grow, whether that’s in your career or your business, and there are people out there that have solutions and can help guide you through the path. And that’s what’s great about the community is that they’re open to do that. There’s somebody here, just go up and strike a conversation. Try not to be shy, I know that’s hard for some people, but as communities go—this one is as open and as welcoming as any, more so than any that I’ve ever been a part of. So, just get out there. Be known and know people.
About TJ Gamble
CEO & Founder, Jamersan
TJ Gamble is the CEO and Founder of Jamersan, a Magento Partner headquartered in Opelika, Alabama that is dedicated to proving that big-time eCommerce doesn't always come from big cities. TJ has been working with the Magento platform since it was in beta in 2007 and has over 20 years of experience helping merchants grow. He is the driving force behind the eCommerceAholic Youtube channel and enjoys giving back to the community by providing advice and information to help merchants get more from their eCommerce store.
TJ was selected as a Magento Master for 2019 based on his 2018 contributions organizing Magento Meetups in , Nashville, Charleston, Charlotte, and Jacksonville, as well as connecting and educating the community through eCommerce-Aholic LIVE and speaking engagements at Magento-centric events.