Jisse Reitsma – Magento Master 2017, is the Founder of Yireo. He has been with Magento from the beginning when Yoav Kutner and Roy Rubin were responsible for the platform back in 2009. Nowadays, he is mainly focused on Magento 2 training and promotion in different meetups, seminars, sessions, etc. Jisse is the developer mind person. He is a family guy and loves to spend time with his family. So without further ado, let’s read his interview.
Cloudways: Jisse Reitsma, I’ll start by thanking you for this interview. You are an old hand in the ecommerce industry. Would you please give us the highlights of your career?
Jisse: I’ve been with Magento from the beginning: I remember presenting a bridge between Joomla and Magento to Yoav Kutner and Roy Rubin in LA back in 2009. However, I think my real highlight was that I got announced Magento Master 2017, mainly because of my efforts to promote Magento 2 through seminars, hackathons and user groups.
Cloudways: You have vast experience in development. Why did you choose to work with Magento? How would you differentiate between Magento and other ecommerce platforms? In technical aspects, what attracts you most about Magento?
Jisse: Back in the old days, I built a couple of sites with Joomla, and back then the only option for building ecommerce shops was VirtueMart: Its codebase was horrifying, and it was nearly impossible to extend it properly. Magento 1.0 was a relief. Though it was complex, at least it did what it was supposed to do, and I never hit an architectural ceiling. Since I switched to Magento, I have always been on the lookout for new systems like Sellvana, Thelia and Sylius, but none of them reaches the same professional level as Magento does.
Cloudways: What are some of the best Magento optimisation tricks for performance and security? Can you recommend some useful extensions?
Jisse: I’m developer-minded so that I won’t dive into the details of extensions. Optimising Magento properly needs to be done by a technical person. And of the tunings that you can do, database tuning (tweaking MySQL configurations) should be on top of the list. Most times that I troubleshoot a slow Magento shop, it was due to an improper database host. Tuning things like InnoDB buffers or the query cache is a big win.
Within development environments, I also always crank up the query cache to absurd levels, which gives a significant boost (but should NOT be done in production environments). As for security, I think the best advice is to keep Magento up to date and keep scanning for vulnerabilities.
Cloudways: According to Ben Marks, the last day for Magento 1 is November 18th, 2018. What is your comment on Magento 1 vs. Magento 2?
Jisse: While Magento 2 has been on its way for ages, to many the switch from M1 to M2 comes as a surprise. Some developers have been switching since day 1; some developers are still wondering whether M2 will be a right choice. Personally, I’ve been a fan of M2 since the initial releases. It ships with many developer features that should be part of the tools of a modern PHP developer (composer, DI).
In my opinion, M2 is a great move forward. It brings advanced PHP to the Magento community. And it brings Magento to the PHP community as well.
Cloudways: At Yireo, how do you handle Magento 2 extension development process? Could you please share some valuable tips on extension development for Magento 2?
Jisse: Since the coming of M2, I’ve been focusing a lot on developer training, and it has been very busy with that. Because of this, extension development has fallen behind a bit: While we have about 60 Magento 1 extensions, we are still only at 8 Magento 2 extensions. That being said, we have created a lot of smaller Magento 2 extensions that simply apply fixes, help developers accomplish stuff or simply have been put together for the educational purpose.
From that, I’ve learned a couple of things: Most importantly, make sure your deployment strategy includes some kind of Continuous Integration strategy. Every commit should lead to a couple of tests being run, ranging from a simple Magento 2 DI compile command to see if that still works, to unit tests and integration tests being run.
With Yireo, we are currently using GitLab CI for this purpose, adding things like PHPUnit, Codeception, GrumPHP and M2 dummy deploys to it with ease. It’s a lot more complicated than ten years ago, but we have seen the quality of our releases go up.
Cloudways: Jisse, how do you define “Success?” What does it take to be a successful founder and chief of an extension development company such as Yireo?
Jisse: Well, what is a success? Personally, I don’t measure success in how big the company is or how much money is earned. We have had numerous chances to make Yireo bigger in the past, but we never did – mainly because we wanted to focus on the fun stuff.
So I define success as doing something that you are both good at and happy with – finding the perfect balance. Trying out different business strategies, embracing new things seems an essential thing to do. As a person we can regularly change, so a company should constantly change too.
Cloudways: How do you build trust in your team? What key points did you focus on while planning the workflows for the teams working under your supervision?
Jisse: Yireo actually has a tiny team, that’s how we prefer things. And everybody who is part of that team is also part of friendship. Just like with close friends, all communication is open. We try to be fair for everybody, and this includes financial agreements as well.
With Yireo, we have written down a Yireo Manifest before, and it includes a couple of points, among which that we love open source and that we thrive to shape our business model from the concept of open source as well. This open nature leads to trust and happy smiles.
Cloudways: Please share some motivational words with Magento newbies.
Cloudways: How do you spend your free time? What are your hobbies? Do you like any sports, movies, or hang out with friends and family (like I do)?
Jisse: I spend a lot of time on Yireo, and I always say that my work is my hobby. However, I enjoy my free time as well – sitting at a terrace with my wife and friends, enjoying a glass of wine. Or hiking or cycling in nature, working in the garden a bit, seeing a zombie movie when my wife is away. I’m not a complete nerd, at least that’s what I think.