tl;dr: I love the Magento community. This isn't an advertisement - I'm just a big fan of these guys.
If you have listened to MageTalk at all for the last year or so you’d know that I’m a big fan of InstantSearch+. I met these guys at Magento Imagine 2 years ago and I really fell in love with them, their product, their team, and the whole culture at their company - Fast Simon. When we spoke at the Something Digital booth it sounded like, despite their success in the Magento space (and something like 10,000 downloads on Connect) they were having a difficult time getting help for their Magento connector. They seemed to have problems connecting with the internal Magento teams as well. Even though they already had a lot of success on other platforms like Shopify it seemed that Magento proved difficult.
I helped them find the right tools and made some introductions to the Magento core team. They began the Magento Partner Audit and I helped them run the Magento ECG audit tool to find where their technical debt was. I gave their team some tips on how to re-architect the extension to pass the audit and conform to best practice. I did all this not because I was trying to get paid and pick up freelance work - I did it because I love community. I love seeing people succeed with Magento.
In January my friend Zohar called me up again and asked for help. They wanted to migrate their extension to Magento 2. I helped them engage a developer with my connections through MageTalk and my followers on Twitter. I pitched in with some code reviews so I could get some Magento 2 experience.
All in all it was a very long and sometimes painful process - but in the end it was so rewarding. That’s because I got some really awesome news today. InstantSearch+ is now available in the Magento Marketplace. (you can get it here: https://marketplace.magento.com/instantsearch-instantsearchplus.html)
The reason I’m so proud is because this was the community in action. I met these guys because of the community. They are on the Marketplace today because of the community. They have solid development now because of the community. The whole journey for them has been all about community investment. Their choice to continue to invest in Magento will enable hundreds, if not thousands, of people to pursue their dreams and go on vacations and pay their kids’ tuitions. There are real people who own stores who need real solutions who will benefit from this product. There are people trying to buy from these merchants who will be able to find what they’re looking for faster than ever. There are developers whose livelihood has been supported by InstantSearch+ developing for Magento. In short, an investment in Magento is an investment in real people.
This sounds cheesy - but I love their product because it “just works” - and I say that knowing full well that you the reader probably think I’m being paid to say that. I’m not. The reality is that I love products that deliver solutions for my customers. This module solves a real problem. Solr is hard to configure. Elasticsearch requires more services and daemons that I’m responsible for - without any of the dashboards and visualizations to know if my changes are actually doing me any good. InstantSearch+ has a pretty neat feature that - as soon as I install it - it sets to work to index my site and immediately starts delivering results, in under 100ms. It’s blazingly fast.
Today I’m proud of the community. A community of developers and thinkers and business people and marketers who all helped to make InstantSearch+ successful. I’m proud of Magento for building this ecosystem. I’m proud of what Magento have accomplished with Magento 2. But I’m really proud of this team of people who fought through some pretty trying months under extreme scrutiny; who persevered and succeeded.
I’d love for you to try out their extension. Read the code. Give them feedback. I’ve advised them on how they can contribute to Open Source. They want to hear your thoughts. Leave your thoughts in the comment box below and I’ll make sure that they see them.