You might have considered it love at first sight. It was a relationship that began over three and a half years ago, when we posted our first review of Magento, a platform we instantly recognized as a soon-to-be leader in the eCommerce space. It was a welcome addition in a market that was saturated with lackluster options in the small and mid-tier. Yes, there were plenty of fish in the sea, but none that caught our fancy quite like this platform It was sexy on the outside, intelligent on the inside, and had a good head on its shoulders.
We were introduced to Magento through a mutual friend, and from afar, we learned more and more about it. The more we learned, the more interested we became. We built up the nerve to embark on our first date together, and after a few more, we began to see that this platform could be “the one.” Granted, things were unwieldy at first, and getting to know each other wasn’t easy. There were no instructions on how to understand its seemingly complex ways, no book entitled Blue Acorns are from Mars, Magento is from Venus to guide us. There were a lot of late nights and arguments (with the computer), but such is the case with any good relationship, you have to work hard at it. We knew the rewards of working through this initial learning curve would be well worth it, and we were right.
At the time, we were a small business without any outside financial backing, which meant we would need to take things slow. We knew that in order for this to work long term, we would have to focus on building a strong foundation of developers, not sales people. We were in uncharted waters at this point, but we were committed to mapping out our own path of success by fully dedicating ourselves to the relationship.
After a considerable investment of time and energy, Magento had become our eCommerce platform of choice. We became evangelists. In fact, we have a “Magento Evangelist” on staff, Ben Marks. Seriously, that’s his actual title. Having trained over 100 developers on Magento across three continents, we think he’s earned it. We also became an early adopter of the Magento Partner Program. It was a signal to our clients that we were serious in bringing together best of breed services with best of breed software. It was also a signal to Magento that we were ready for our relationship to grow to new heights.
Since we’ve been going steady, our relationship hasn’t just grown. It’s flourished. Magento has been folded into eBay’s X.commerce ecosystem, and Blue Acorn has been experiencing over 300% year-over-year growth rates. Our success can be attributed to an obsessive focus on the quality of our deliverable, and it came with sacrifices.
As our last blog post explains, we became “that person” in a new relationship, ignoring our friends, our blogs, speaking opportunities, and almost every other form of self-promotional effort. We were okay with that too. While others were busy talking a lot about it, we were busy doing it. With this approach, we have been able to achieve our goals and then some, and now is the time to take our relationship to the next level.
The Big Commitment
In celebration of three years together, Blue Acorn is making three big commitments to reconfirm our dedication to Magento and X.Commerce.
Speaking at the X.commerce Innovate Developer Conference
Following the success of this year’s Imagine eCommerce Worldwide Conference, we are extremely excited for the X.commerce Innovate Developer Conference this week, especially because one of our own will be a speaker. Magento has invited Blue Acorn Founder & CEO, Kevin Eichelberger to take the stage alongside Magento System Architect, Dmitriy Soroka. Together, they will present a technical overview on Magento, from both development and business perspectives. Kevin’s strong understanding of the Magento platform and how it can be applied to create a strategic advantage for online retailers made him a natural selection for the session.
If you can’t wait to see Kevin (and who could?), he’ll be distributing free beers and smiles at a Pre-Innovate Tweetup at the Parc 55 Wyndham at 7:30pm on October 11. This event is hosted by the community at large with several contributions from many including Rhonda Rondeau (Magento), Roy Rubin (Magento), Blue Acorn, Kimberly Thomas (Red Light Blinking), Guidance, WebShopApps, and SUMO Heavy. We were anicipating an intimate gathering, but as of this posting, over 120 people have registered. We love the enthusiasm!
Magento Developer Certification Program
The Innovate DevCon will also host the launch of the Magento Developer Certification beta exam, and we’ve had our hands in that as well. Two of the sixteen Advisory Board members for Magento’s new certification program work for Blue Acorn. We’re honored to be part of such an esteemed group in shaping the qualifications for certifying Magento developers, as we’ve been advocates for a certification program – ourselves – after years of witnessing the results of poor Magento development from other agencies time and time again.
Through our involvement on the Advisory Board, we’ve helped in driving the direction of the program, along with the actual topics and questions to be covered and to what degree. “The exam has been developed using the most rigorous industry standards and methodologies to ensure its accuracy in evaluating relevant skills,” and it creates a standard for credibility within the global Magento ecosystem. “We acknowledge the high expectations placed on this community, and we’ve ensured that this program raises the bar even higher,” said Susie Sedlacek, Head of Services, Magento. “We’ve worked closely with an independent Advisory Board to identify the job skills needed to develop business-level extensions and strong implementations on Magento.”1
Magento Gold Solution Partner
Individual developers aren’t the only ones who will be seeing the bar raised. Magento Solution Partners – new and existing – are now subject to a higher degree of validation. That means review time, and we are happy to announce that Blue Acorn’s commitment to Magento has not gone ignored. Our customers continue to love us, and we are proud to be Magento’s newest Gold Solution Partner. After all, what good is renewing your vows if there isn’t a little gold involved?
Having received the increasingly coveted Gold Solution Partner status, two spots on the Developer Certification Advisory Board, and a spot at the podium at the X.Commerce DevCon, Blue Acorn is as involved with Magento Commerce than we have ever been.
This doesn’t mean we’re satisfied, though. The best thing about our industry is that it is constantly evolving. Magento’s recent acquisition by eBay, Inc. will bring about even more opportunities for our relationship to further develop. We look forward to being involved in the new X.Commerce and X Fabric communities and understanding how these technologies can be applied to further help online retailers grow.