My adventures into Agile, BDD, DDD and Magento @jcowie

  • Being Agile

    I love agile and I am lucky to work for a true Agile company, However I see lots of articles and book referring to being “Agile” so what does it mean to be “Agile” ? Is it a button that we press and we become Agile ? Is it a special meal we need to eat that allows us to become Agile? Is it following the Agile guides having all the meetings and following the Agile manifesto to the letter? Does any of these make us more Agile? At our yearly christmas party I was asked the question “What is...

  • Behaviour Driven Development and Magento

    I recently gave a talk on using BDD to develop Magento modules. The talk was not recorded but goes through a breif history of Software development and finishes with a high level overview of using PHPSpec and Behat. The highlight of the talk for me was Cynefin and hopefuly the people that came to PHPNW user group took some of the ideas away with them. I will be writing up more on my exploration with Cynefin over the coming weeks so watch this space.

  • Manchester Magento Meetup February

    2015 is starting out to be a great year. The first Manchester Magento Meet up will be on the 10th February with an amazing talk from Marco Lopes. Modeling an Extension by Example We know Behat is a cool tool to help us to test Magento websites. But what if it is much more? What if Behat could also help us to model our application as much as it helps us to test it? In this session Marco will demonstrate how to use Behat and PhpSpec in order to improve your Magento modules design The great team at Boohoo are...

  • Improvement Backlog

    What is an improvement backlog? In Agile we should have a backlog for items we want to improve to help productivity. We can then review each item prioritise and bring into each sprint items we feel can add the most value. Yet I like to try and keep my own Improvements Backlog for my own personal development. This can take the form of a todo list a trello board etc but what is important is that new items are added and reviewed. I dont always focus on items that will help me become more productive, Sometimes its items that will...

  • 2014 in reflection

    What a year 2014 turned out to be. For me this has been the best year in terms of career development and personal development yet. I achieved such a large amount.. I met friends in person and made new friends online that I look forward to working a lot more with.. The later part of this year turned into a suprising one. I took a step back and I still tried to enhance my PHP, OOP, Magento knowledge but instead focused more on Behaviour. Systems Thinking, Learning, Descisson Making as a way to help improve the way that I look...

  • Magento Rewrites

    I had some spare time over the weekend so I decided to hack together a little Magento QA tool. The tool will have some added benefit in months / weeks to come with the release of a new service that might becoming available. Currently all the tool does is to look at a path or file and will generate the output for all the Magento rewrites the module(2) have. Why such a tool I head you ask ? Well rewrites in Magento 1 should be a last resort. Where possible you should always look to use the Event Observer system...

  • Magento HHVM

    At the first Mage Titans event in Manchester I had the pleasure to watch Daniel Sloof give his presentation on Magento and HHVM. Im not going to write up the entire conference here but instead I will link to the videos that can be found here So after watching this talk and others at PHPNW2014 I decided that I would look more into HHVM and Magento to further increase my knowledge and to see what all the cool kids were working on. After failing to get the mac brew version running despite many different attempts I reluctantly opted to use...

  • Manchester Magento Meetup

    It is with great pleasure to announce the next Magento Manchester User group on the 11th November at Kro Bar Manchester. You can find the official Meetup page here. Organised by Ian Hammersley the Magento Manchester User group is an assets for anyone interested in Magento or works with Magento. So what is the user group ? Well its a place for anyone to come along and talk about Magento or anything they want. We have a great mix of people from business owners to developers who all share a passion and have experience with the Magento E-Commerce framework. This...

  • Quick tip to working on Magento success page

    One of the sections that without fail is a tedious process for me when working with Magento is making changes to the success.phtml template file. I often make changes that require me to iterate my implementation resulting in a page refresh, empty basket and having to complete the checkout process again. Each time I have this pain I mean to look at a way to keep the success page on refresh but always finish the task and move onto another. Not this time. If you want to work on the success.phtml template and dont want to re complete the checkout...

  • Code Each Day. Day 1. Scrutinizer, Travis and Symfony

    Day 1 was a success. I have used Scrutinizer and Travis before in open source projects but never spent the time to really read the documentation about how its used and what it can offer. Following in the rules I set out for writing “Minimum valuable code” each night I focused on getting CI set up for my project and understanding what is possible from the solutions I have used before. So I decided to use; * Scrutinizer * Travis CI The reason I am using two services is because, Scrutinizer free account does not run tests. I plan on...