Hey Romain, nice to meet you. So you are in charge of the capitalization for Smile at the request of the direction de l’innovation. Can you tell me first a bit about you? Your path at Smile and maybe before.
Hello, I joined the Bordeaux Smile agency in April 2011 for my end-of studies work placement and I started by being assigned to Magento projects (version 1.10 at the time). Since then, I never left Magento and I’ve had several experts and/or technical project manager roles on numerous projects in Bordeaux until the end of 2015.
At the start of 2016, I joined the Innovation Department (at the time we called it the Smile Lab), to work on innovative topics around E-Commerce and Magento. I notably worked on Elasticsuite which is now the most downloaded Magento2 extension on Packagist.
Nice :) So you’re leading the capitalisation effort at Smile. Can you tell us what’s the capitalization exactly and what’s the point of it for us?
We wanted to start by initiating the capitalisation dynamic on Magento2, because it’s a major piece of tech for Smile in terms of production force and number of projects. This dynamic aims to extend to other tech massively practised at Smile, like Drupal, Symfony, or many others.
The first aim of the exercise is to build a catalogue of services: a library of modules for Magento2 available “off the shelf” that we can easily integrate into any project.
This should allow us to improve:
- project productivity, because it is less costly to integrate an existing module than to carry out a specific development.
- the quality of projects, because the capitalised modules are tested and proven on several projects simultaneously. We can therefore share the maintenance and development efforts.
- our business proposals, as the pre-sales teams will have an exhaustive reference document of turnkey solutions that we can offer.
To meet this challenge, we needed to build a group-wide dynamic and to work as a single person, regardless of the agency they came from. The aim here is firstly to be able to capitalise on the knowledge between the different teams working on Magento, then to identify the redundant themes from one project to another, in order to continue to the technical capitalisation phase.
The implementation of this capitalisation dynamic is particularly close to my heart because, beyond the internal aspect, it must allow us to also to spread out within the Magento ecosystem via the publication of some of these modules in Open Source, as we already do with ElasticSuite. We are the biggest Magento partner in Europe and we are already making greats strides on our projects around this solution, we can shine more and show the community our expertise and the quality of our products.
Could you reveal a bit about the roadmap?
I am currently visiting all agencies in France in order to present this action plan and to recruit local ambassadors of the programme. These ambassadors will be responsible for the inter-agency link and will be required to exchange views each month as well as to shine locally. I am taking this opportunity to review the Magento2 projects that have already been carried out in each agency and to identify all specific topics that could lead to a capitalised version.
We should have a very full backlog once this French tour is finished. The capitalisation governing body will then be able to choose in December the first subjects to be capitalised, to start developments of these in January 2019.
At the start of 2019, I will also be able to visit the international agencies working on Magento2 in order to take them on board this beautiful adventure.
So, let say I want to get involved in this effort, can I help? How?
The thing to remember is that everyone can contribute to the capitalisation process.
First, for collecting ideas, if you created a particular feature on one of your projects, or if you have a particular subject in mind, we want to hear from you! You can suggest your ideas by emailing email@example.com.
Then, on the module production side, we want to create a group-wide dynamic. The capitalisation process must not be (and must not be considered to be) the business of a handful of elected officials, we want everyone to be able to contribute. If you want to work on these subjects and participate in the implementation of capitalised modules, don’t hesitate to contact your respective managers or me. We want the agencies to produce these modules and we will, therefore, rely on YOU to produce them. Of course, we will accompany you in the production of these modules, as you can count on the Innovation Management team’s experience with Magento to help you during this build phase.
Awesome! What’s the best way to get in touch with you?
You can contact me by email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or even on the telephone number indicated in the directory. I can also be reached on Jitsi and I’m regularly on the Magento channel on Mattermost.
Physically, I’m attached to the Bordeaux agency and I am therefore present at the Bordeaux offices most of the time.