Where is Magento 2 now? Let's hear the experts' opinion

Magento 2 is a buzzing topic in 2015 both for store owners and for developers. Magento 2 Merchant release is going to appear in the end of 2015, and merchants, clients and business owners started to ask us questions: should they switch to Magento 2 right away?

Or should they wait and remain on Magento 1 (which will be supported for a significant period of time after Magento 2 Merchant release) as long as possible? How different is Magento 2 going to be, when it comes to non-tech e-commerce specialists? Will it take significant resources to transfer customizations to the new version?

To help you understand what to expect and decide on your strategy, we’ve asked several Magento professionals to give their thoughts/opinion on Magento 2 and on some perspectives of its influence on Magento development market.

I suggest you grab a cup of coffee/tea to consume this longread.
David

David Alger

1) Please tell us a couple of words about yourself. Where are you now? How did it happen that you work with Magento now? Do you remember your first project?

Currently I work at Classy Llama, a US based Magento partner agency located in the mid-western state of Missouri. My role there is Director of Technology, and that means I mostly get to work on all the fun stuff! Or fix pesky bugs…which tends to make people happy once they’ve been eradicated.

Working with Magento was really my introduction to doing any real sort of web development, as most of my experience prior to working with Magento had been in desktop programming using C/C++ on the Mac OS Classic and Mac OS Carbon frameworks. I began working with Magento in early 2009. Because of my prior experience, I LOVED it and have never turned back.

My first project was for a party supply store built on CE 1.3.1.0. That project was mostly applying a custom design to the site along with some customizations to the catalog needed for products. The next project was more interesting to me because I dove into building custom reports and order fulfillment workflows for a production warehouse.

2) We’d love to hear your thoughts about Magento 2. When did you try it first? Please tell us more about your impressions about it from a developer’s and a merchant’s point of view, including advantages and disadvantages.

If I recall correctly, I first installed Magento 2 while sitting in a session room at the X.Commerce conference. Feels like ages ago. And boy has it changed drastically since then! Fast forward to where it is today, and I’m even more excited about it. I’m excited to explore and work with the new architecture.

The new architecture incorporates many modern design concepts, such as full support for dependency injection, which makes customizing and extending the platform so much simpler for agencies and module vendors alike. For developers, there will be a lot to learn, as there is with anything new.

“I’m excited to explore and work with the new architecture.  Working on some core components of Magento 2 has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience as a developer.”

– David Alger

It’s not all that difficult though. Once you take the time to learn the system, the flexibility and power it provides you is rather incredible. I’ve been spending the majority of my time this past month working on some core components of Magento 2, and I tell you, it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience as a developer.

3) Being a more feature-rich platform, Magento 2 will probably take some work (and money) from Magento development community. Indeed, it won’t happen too soon, as store owners won’t rush to switch to the new version right away after the official merchant release, because it’ll require certain resources (and we can tell that by the fact a lot of store owners are still using 1.4 version).  

But when Magento 2 market share rises, how is Magento development community going to change, according to your opinion?

As Magento 2 attains widespread adoption amongst existing merchants, I think the development community is going to stop supporting Magento 1 as they shift priority of focus to building on the Magento 2 platform.

Continuing to support Magento 1 would increase the cost of development, and since there will be fewer and fewer merchants on the Magento 1 platform, the demand for Magento 1 compatibility will begin to shrink. As this happens, merchants should consider upgrading to Magento 2 so they can take advantage of the more modern technologies. For some this may mean upgrading within 6 months after the platform reaches a GA release later this year, and for others perhaps waiting another year or two to make the leap will make more sense.

Something that I personally find exciting is the reports that early metrics are demonstrating that overall upgrade costs of moving a Magento 1 site to Magento 2 will be significantly reduced when compared to the average upgrade to a new Magento 1.x release.

MariusMarius Strajeru

1) Please tell us a couple of words about yourself. Where are you now? How did it happen that you work with Magento now? Do you remember your first project?

My name is Marius Strajeru, I’m almost 32 years “young” and I live in Bucharest, Romania. I’m married to Oana and we have a son Alex that you can see here enjoying his elePHPant: https://twitter.com/MariusStrajeru/status/511151451998269441

I’m a web developer and now I collaborate with a company called Arnia Software where I work from time to time on Magento projects.

Occasionally I write something on my blog, but my “addiction” is http://magento.stackexchange.com.

You can also find me on twitter @MariusStrajeru.

2) We’d love to hear your thoughts about Magento 2. When did you try it first?

Please tell us more about your impressions about it from a developer’s and a merchant’s point of view, including advantages and disadvantages.

I tried Magento 2 a really long time ago – honestly don’t remember when exactly. Anyway, the way it looks now has nothing to do with how it looked when I first tried it.

As a developer I have high hopes about it. With each new beta version it starts to look more and more like real software. Right now I’m trying to look at it as a framework / CMS rather than an e-commerce solution.

“As a developer I have high hopes about Magento 2. Right now I look at it as a framework / CMS rather than an e-commerce solution.”

– Marius Strajeru


I really like the dependency injection approach from Magento 2, even though at first it really confused me. The new admin design seems to be more user friendly. I also see a big advantage in splitting certain modules that existed in Magento 1, which makes it easier for developers to change or remove module behavior.

By “easier” I mean – when you get the hang of it. In my opinion the learning curve for Magento 2 seems even more steep than for Magento 1. But my view on the learning curve may be biased by the fact that I’ve been working with Magento 1 for a long time and expect things to behave in a certain way. It may be easier to get the hang of it for developers that didn’t touch Magento 1.

As a user / merchant that worked with Magento 1, I honestly don’t see a big difference in Magento 2. Everything is very similar.

The only big upside I see is the way of creating products in the backend. I did a lot of trainings for my clients to teach them how to use the backend, especially in product management, and I always had to explain the fact that they need to know in advance which type of product they are going to create. Numerous times I ended up converting simple products to configurable or bundle products because they created the products the wrong way. In Magento 2 you can change your mind during the process of product creation or even after you save a product.

But since the development for Magento 2 is ongoing I can hardly wait to see the new approaches for most of the sensitive areas, especially for admin grids and checkout.

3) Being a more feature-rich platform, Magento 2 will probably take some work (and money) from Magento development community. Indeed, it won’t happen too soon, as store owners won’t rush to switch to the new version right away after the official merchant release, because it’ll require certain resources (and we can tell that by the fact a lot of store owners are still using 1.4 version).

But when Magento 2 market share rises, how is Magento development community going to change, according to your opinion?

I agree. Most probably store owners won’t move to Magento 2 right away unless they have big problems with their current shop on Magento 1 or if Magento 2 brings some nice features to the table.

I’m sure that most of the store owners will wait for someone else to move their website to Magento 2 before they do it themselves.

Also, Magento 1 will be officially supported for 3 more years after the stable release of Magento 2. This will postpone most of the migrations.

And, as you said, there are people still using 1.4. It is very likely there will be a lot of M1 shops after the 3 years “grace period”.

Also, I ‘d like to pay attention to another aspect of Magento 2 market enter process. Right now there are a lot of third party extensions for Magento 1. Some of them are good, some of them aren’t so good, but the point is: a shop owner can cut the costs of development by using the extensions that fit his/her custom needs.

This didn’t happen over the night. So at first there will be a shortage of extensions, and some stores might not be migrated.

I hope extension developers will start to port their extensions to Magento 2 early to create a solid ecosystem when the D-day comes. Will Amasty start early?

I honestly hope I’m wrong and Magento 2 will gain momentum fast and become the “one platform to rule them all”.

Anna

Anna Völkl

1) Please tell us a couple of words about yourself. Where are you now? How did it happen that you work with Magento now? Do you remember your first project?

Hi, my name is Anna Völkl, and I’m a Magento Certified Developer from Austria. I’ve been working with PHP since 2004 and Magento since 2011 and I’m an active member of the Magento developer community.

My first Magento project was a very lovely e-book store in 11 languages for children’s books.

2) We’d love to hear your thoughts about Magento 2. When did you try it first?

Please tell us more about your impressions about it from a developer’s and a merchant’s point of view, including advantages and disadvantages.

The first time I installed Magento 2 was after the release of the Developer Beta but I’ve followed the Magento 2 development before. I was curious to see and try it on my own when the Developer Beta was released.

From a developers point of view I like the community participation on GitHub, the developer hub, increased testing possibilities, the concept of the service contracts and the new Magento Admin Panel Look & Feel.

“There’s a big chance that Magento 2 attracts new software/web developers who would like to work with a very professional and up to date e-commerce platform.”

Anna Völkl

As a merchant you’ll get an up to date e-commerce platform with a proper technology stack. There are a lot of improvements, for example, about indexing and the performance in general.

People who are currently working with Magento – both as developers and merchants – are very used to the current system regarding programming and the backend. With Magento 2 our daily “Magento routine” gets disorganized and needs new and different ways of doing things. We will need some time to get used to it to reach the same level of working with Magento again.

3)  Being a more feature-rich platform, Magento 2 will probably take some work (and money) from Magento development community. Indeed, it won’t happen too soon, as store owners won’t rush to switch to the new version right away after the official merchant release, because it’ll require certain resources (and we can tell that by the fact a lot of store owners are still using 1.4 version).

But when Magento 2 market share rises, how is Magento development community going to change, according to your opinion?

There are already some very active Magento development community members working on Magento 2 development in various ways.

Magento 1 shops will still need a lot of support in the upcoming years which means there will be a lot of developers working with Magento 1 for some time.

Developers switching from Magento 1 to Magento 2 will need to update their knowledge and skills to work with new Magento 2 shops the right way. This is a great chance for developers, but it also brings a risk: there might be some current Magento 1 developers who won’t continue with Magento 2 (let’s call it “giving up”) due to various reasons such as increased complexity. On the other hand there’s a big chance that Magento 2 attracts new software/web developers who would like to work with a very professional and up to date e-commerce platform.


We thank Marius, David and Anna for the time they spent sharing their ideas with us.
We do hope these opinions were helpful for you, and that you got better understanding of Magento 2 perspectives for merchants. Have a thought on that matter? Welcome to share it in comments.