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Insights from Mage UnConference Germany 2023

Insights from Mage UnConference Germany 2023

Once again in 2023, CustomGento was part of the Mage UnConference Germany, a tradition that we try to uphold every year. Being a new member of the CustomGento family, I took part for the first time in the German edition of the Mage UnConference. The event was marked by lively interactions with both familiar and new attendees, leading to open conversations and the sharing of diverse experiences. I was mainly interested in frontend related topics and open discussions about the future of Magento.

The Pre-Party

The pre-party unfolded once again at the renowned Lokal Alte Feuerwache. They find it very important ensuring that all of their ingredients are always fresh and of the highest quality. Only Simon and I attended the pre-party, as two of our colleagues got sick and Ole wanted to meet an old friend and joined us next day. I did meet with some old faces known from Mage Unconference Netherlands 2023. I also got the opportunity to make new friends. We savored delectable German noodles during dinner, engaging in delightful conversations with friends about the diverse and fascinating aspects of various cultures and their culinary traditions.

First Day

Being a research assistant for several years, I had the opportunity to attend various conferences, all of which were held on weekdays. Thus, it was surprising for me that the UnConference was scheduled on a weekend. On the first morning we arrived at the location at 8 o’clock and the event started at 10 o’clock. As usual, the first session started a bit later, around 12. This was quite understandable, as we had to come up with all the topics and vote. Finally, we had twelve interesting sessions.

first day plan
The First Day Plan

There were always three topics to discuss at every time slot. We were lucky that we did not miss any topic as we were also three people. I used to prefer anything related to frontend and happening in room COOKIES - there I had a chance to eat some of them - and avoided to go into room BUGS ;-). Before lunch we had two nice talks. The first one was about how to get most from Hyvä Components UI. We can build Hyvä shops faster than ever before by using prebuilt components. During the talk various questions came up. It is not just a matter of copy and paste these UI components. The developers have to customize them according to the needs of their clients. However, various tips and tricks were shared to build the shop as quickly as possible keeping the high quality of Magento shops. The second talk was “How does hyvä checkout work and how to customize it”. The topic sounded frontend related to me. But during the talk, I noticed it went more towards backend and I did lose my focus several times.

We had a delicious lunch, as there were also some nice options for vegetarians like me. During lunch, I had a nice chit-chat with Tom Muir, Mathias Elle, Athar Islam, Chirag Dodia and others. With Tom and Mathias, I discussed frontend design and Core Web Vitals. The discussion with Athar and Chirag was more focussed on food and family in home countries like Pakistan and India.

The second last session of the day was about how to improve Core Web Vitals, especially with Cloudflare. It helps to optimize images using its Polish and Mirage features. HTML / CSS / JS minification and using Rocket Loader for production systems are also popular features of Cloudflare to improve Core Web Vitals. The last session was quite interesting. It was about frontend testing using Cypress and Playwright. We discussed pros and cons of both testing methods. In the end, I am still liking Cypress over Playwright. It’s a matter of personal preference, and your choice might differ from mine ;-)

Second Day

The session kicked off with an early start as the topics were already displayed on the board for attendees to vote on. This resulted in a more intimate gathering, with participants emanating the same enthusiastic atmosphere. Once again, the day’s schedule was packed to capacity.

second day plan
The Second Day Plan

The second day’s sessions were also as good as on the day before. The first talk was about Copilot, which is a nice addition to the web development stack. During a live coding exercise, we noticed there is a nice chat feature included, where you can properly guide copilot to which file to create and where to create it. In the second talk we discussed “Composer replace core Magento modules”. The topic was more inclined towards backend development and adressed a new module developed by Jisse from Yireo.

After again a delicious lunch, we discussed how to use Artificial Intelligence across business more efficiently. We came to the conclusion that one can use AI in almost any field like onboarding, communication, development, production and others. The last topic of the UnConference was very funny and interesting. The topic was “Fucking up a project”. Different points were highlighted in a funny way to destroy the project. For example, not doing anything, or always coming late to meetings, never have proper communication with the client, never think of solutions but always create problems, and many more. The message between the lines was definitely to avoid all these things. I could not stop laughing even today when I recall that talk in my memories ;-).

Reflection and Prospects

I am deeply grateful to the event coordinators, sponsors, and everyone who took part. A special mention goes to Fabian Blechschmidt for his incredible ability to secure extra funding whenever we needed it for food and drinks :). The after-show party at Eigelsteintorburg was a delightful experience. The food, drinks, music, and especially the surprise fire-show were all outstanding.

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firework image

Can’t wait for the next UnConference! I truly hope to see you there again next year. Your insights and energy were inspiring, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting and learning together once more. Until then, take care and see you soon!