The year 2023 is here. And with that, it is always nice to look back at the past year: To learn from your mistakes and to celebrate successes. Here is the year 2022 of Yireo.
The MageUnconference story
After having attended many MageUnconferences DE in Cologne (and having attended twice a Shopware Unconference DE (organized by the same people in Cologne) as well, I decided to see if we (Yireo) could pull off the same in The Netherlands. The MageUnconference NL is still pending: It is going to take place in July 2023 in Fort aan de Klop, Utrecht, The Netherlands. But the conception of it took place early 2022 and therefore definitely adds a landmark to our year 2022.
The Shopware story in 2022
With attending some Shopware Unconferences, the focus of Yireo continued to be on both Magento and Shopware. Magento has always been there, but Shopware was added to our vision somewhere in 2020. Next, in 2021, I personally created many videos to help developers onboard Shopware 6 - plus I helped out Shopware to create an official training curriculum (together with Rico Neitzel). And this continued into 2022 as well with a fresh new video series on the App System. Plus there were various agencies I helped with developer training. Which was nice.
For 2023, we plan many more activities for Shopware. Perhaps even considering a Shopware Unconference in The Netherlands, who knows? But for the second half of the year 2022, things fell a bit more quiet on our own Shopware front. The main reason for this was the opportunity for a training program focused on Magento.
Nameless training program
This training program is something I'm not going to elaborate upon too much. It ran for various months and I earned my bucks. And even though I had the feeling that the students were helped with my knowledge quite a bit, the energy of the entire program was not right, to say the least. Because of this, I can safely say that I will never be hired anymore by a third party training company that knows zero of the area and seems to be in it more for the money than for the glory. I learned my lessons. Even though my mortgage was lowered, these months were frustrating and drained energy. In the end, it strengthened me in forming better goals for 2023.
Partnership with MaxServ
Since COVID, I joined partnership with the Dutch agency MaxServ who focuses on Magento and Typo3. More or less every Friday, I'm helping out developers in various expertises: Hyvä, Magento Extension Attributes, font optimization, Integration Testing - the list goes on and on. This already started back in 2020, but in 2022 this was definitely a stable factor.
I'm definitely extremely grateful for this: MaxServ has given me a stable income through troublesome years. Not only that, I'm part of a great team of friendly people as well - even though I'm a third party contractor, acting as a master-of-apprentices, we are collegues as well. The joy I experienced with MaxServ and the negativity I experienced with the nameless training program demonstrated to me that I could do better in 2023.
A Yireo Academy for Magento development
Thus, the Yireo Academy came to being: The idea was to sit down with newcomers and introduce them in several weeks to Magento development. In the end, this boiled down to eight weeks in total, running from early March to end of April 2023, covering the essential parts of Magento development for a group of PHP developers from different agencies.
Once this idea was born (say Q4 in 2022), things went quickly: Various agencies including MaxServ quickly showed interests. We tried to pick up the role of recruiter as well, but this failed. Yet, as soon as we refocused on our core ability - training developers - demand picked up. Currently I'm proud to say that the Yireo Academy of Q1 2023 is (almost) sold out.
An office in Baarn
The Yireo Academy brought in another exciting development: The academy sessions were supposed to take place in real-life, so we needed a room. In the past, we always rented out training rooms, being fully equipped with everything we needed. But a quick calculation learned us that renting our own space for a year would cost the same amount as renting training rooms for the days of a single academy (March-April, eight weeks, two days a week). Even better, because of the success of the first academy (not even having taken place yet), we expected to organize yet another academy later in 2023.
So we rented an office in Baarn, The Netherlands. In the basement, but we don't care because we are developers. In the middle of The Netherlands. The office furniture still needs to be put together (IKEA) but already the decision of renting the office space ourselves seems a great thing to have done. We can't wait to put it into practice in the year 2023.
Spending time with family
It was a stormy year: Early 2022, me and my family got COVID (not that bad, but still weeks of recovering). And while on the business side, a lot of things happened, it seems even stormier on the personal side: A laugh and a tear, we got sick, we got healthy. We expected new life in 2023 and needed to drop that expectation again. But we definitely enjoyed the year 2022 as well, with various vacations and lots of fun developments.
Spending time with family got - because of the turbulence - more important. I turned down numerous opportunities for trainings on locations in Europe and speaker spots at conferences. Perhaps this will change in 2023, we'll see.
And the year 2023?
A lot of the things that happened in 2022 actually overlapse 2023 as well. The Dutch MageUnconference still needs to take place. The office is going to be put into action. The Yireo Academy is going to kick off twice and perhaps even thrice. The partnership with MaxServ (and others) continues. And we've got various plans to focus more on Shopware in 2023 as well. And me and my family are hopping to Bali soon. We are excited about 2023, but definitely grateful for 2022.
About the author
Jisse Reitsma is the founder of Yireo, extension developer, developer trainer and 3x Magento Master. His passion is for technology and open source. And he loves talking as well.