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Miguel Balparda’s Magento Imagine 2019 Recap

Magento Master Miguel Balparda shares his insights into the Magento ecosystem from 2019’s Magento Imagine event. See where this year took him and what he sees Imagine looking like next year.

After a week of rest, it’s time for our Magento Imagine recap. This was my fifth Imagine — and probably the last one as we currently know it…

Pre-game at the Git

This year the event started at 9 a.m. on Saturday with a 2-day contribution event organized by the Community Engineering team. Now in their second year, these contribution days have become an Imagine centerpiece, featuring community-created code for Magento 2 and a steady growth of +100% YoY.

This year, it was organized as a side event in the Country Club at the Wynn, where developers from around the globe gathered to code and contribute to Magento 2, DevDocs, graphQL, Multi-Source Inventory (MSI), among many other GitHub projects. As a maintainer, I love Contribution days because I meet people I had previously only known online and work with them to make Magento even better.

Work began with a new Adobe Stock + Magento 2
integration, a small project to kickstart the collaboration between Magento and
Adobe. See GitHub for details.

Contributing wrapped at 5 p.m. Sunday, and I headed to #preimagine at the Encore. Once again, WebShopApps and ShippersHQ organized an awesome community event with beverages and fun with friends, both old and new. See all the action at #preimagine.

Day 1: Yoga, Secrets, and Clubs

Monday marked the official start of the
conference and I attended MageYoga with Wagento, Hostdedi-supplied mats, and our
fearless instructor Vijay. After practicing the basics, Vijay led us into some
Laughing Therapy to kickstart the conference experience.

After Yoga, I headed to the super-secret
Magento Masters Breakfast, where we had the chance to talk with Adobe and
Magento executives and managers over omelettes and coffee. This is one of the
side events I enjoy most: a quiet place to talk with industry leaders about
topics affecting the future of our community. The ever-present progressive web
app (PWA) discussion made an appearance. However, most of the talk revolved
around Adobe’s interest in feedback from the open source community and the
possibilities of integrating Magento with Adobe products.

Afterward, the Sponsor marketplace opened to a
flurry of presentations. While these are often worthwhile, I stayed on the
“hallway track” to meet colleagues and talk about the present and future of
Magento 2 development. This was by far the biggest Imagine (in attendees), and
I didn’t want to miss my chance to exchange knowledge with both new and
familiar faces.

This year saw the adoption of Labs track from
other Adobe events, where people can get their hands dirty with some of the new
products. Magento and Adobe employees together played host. 

As the sun began to set on Monday, I headed to Topgolf for #NexcessLive. There are no words to describe this incredible event, so here’s a video!

Day 2: Masters of the Universe

Tuesday morning, I headed to the Keynote to
hear Philip Jackson again as well as attend the 
Magento Masters award ceremony. I had the honor of standing on stage with
19 other Masters, and in lieu of a theme this year, we rolled with capes.

I spent the rest of Tuesday afternoon meeting
with our clients and partners in our suite, and again PWA was a hot topic.
Since the release of PWA studio, plus some community initiatives like Deity
Falcon and VueStorefront, the Magento community has continued to see a rise in
early adopters. As we heard during one of the keynotes, multiple developers and
agencies (Inchoo, JH, and others) have been working on PWAs. Our own system
operations team has been creating an PWA-optimized hosting environment while working
in close collaboration with other Hostdedi teams.

Tuesday night, I attended the annual Legendary
Party at The Encore, giving us another chance to interact with developers from
everywhere over drinks and music. Once again, I was grateful for the chance to
attach faces and voices to the pixels on Twitter and GitHub. If you have ever
have the chance to attend, don’t pass it up!

Day 3: Imagine Reborn

Wednesday started slowly, but the event wasn’t
over just yet. Marketplace was open again with the final swag giveaways and
people buzzing the corridors. After a healing breakfast, we headed to the last
keynote, where they announced Magento Imagine will continue as part of Adobe
Summit, just like Marketing Nation from Marketo was included in this year’s

We also got a look at Sneaks, where Magento
shares short demos of future technology. This year’s lot included AR, VR, and
customer-engagement tools, among many other cool glimpses of tomorrow’s

After the announcements. only DevExchange
remained before lunch and the goodbyes. Now in its fourth year, DevExchange is
a space to exchange opinions on various topics around the Magento community.
This year’s all-around attendance was record-breaking — beer and nachos
probably didn’t hurt — and I was fortunate enough to lead a discussion about
working remote.

DevExchange soon wrapped. Like every Imagine,
I left Vegas exhausted and slightly dehydrated, but cozy after meeting again
with our extended Magento (and now Adobe) family.

Hope to see you all again next year at Adobe
Summit, and may you never miss a step in 2019! 

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