As Paweł and Netgen's ways intersect often lately, we thought it would be nice to have a little chit-chat...
NG: Hi Paweł, more than one month passed since your workshops broke the ice at Netgen’s 2014 Summer Camp; can you share some impressions about general atmosphere and was there any notable feedback after the workshops?
The whole atmosphere during SummerCamp was just amazing. I think it was because of the great community or people, amazing location, venue and generally every single aspect of the conference. All these things combined, resulted in one of the best PHP events out there.
My workshops were one of the first, right after shortest opening keynote ever. I was a bit nervous because of that, but the good part was that I could relax afterwards and spend the rest of the camp talking to people, attending other workshops and seeing Rovinj.
Regarding feedback, I've talked to the some of the guys attending my session and they seemed to be happy! My main goal was to make them interested in Sylius and showing how easy it is to implement custom features on top of my platform.
NG: Sylius project has received a lot of praise by the open-source community since it’s beginning; approvals were released on whole bunch of aspects, from development methodology to documentation. The project has been called a game-changer so many times that Dickens’s publicists are considering renaming his novel Great Expectations.
Technology roadmap is very precise and transparent, your effort in the PHP community is significant and we would like to know more about Sylius’s side that is not so often in focus - where do you see Sylius in five years business wise, what are your ideas about corporate structure that will support the project after it hits stable release?
I've started my first consulting company in 2012, but it has been 1-man project through which I have been helping companies and agencies all around the world. For the past year, I have been preparing ground for a real commercial entity behind Sylius and I am very happy to say that we are few months in business. As lakion.com, we are working on some great projects and doing even more consulting and training.
The biggest challenge is keeping the balance between the commercial work we do for clients and the open source part of our business. We sometimes need to make hard decisions in order to keep the project progressing. Things are going very good though, we are expanding our team with Sylius developers and promoting our brand during tech & business conferences.
My greatest dream is releasing stable version of Sylius and "crossing the chasm" - Evolving from trendy innovation among Symfony developers to one of the mainstream e-commerce solutions in the market.
Business wise, in 5 years, I'd like Sylius and Lakion to be well-established brands in the e-commerce world, powering at least several big brands and helping all developers make better and valuable software.
NG: After eZ Days in Oslo we saw you at Summer Camp in Croatia; the event that is closely linked with eZ Publish; what’s your feeling about eZ Publish community and can you compare it in any way with Sylius project community?
eZ Publish Community is huuuge! It is hard to compare it with relatively small Sylius world, but my impression is that we are all very open to exchanging ideas and code, which is just great. Apart from technical aspects, eZ Community is just an amazing bunch of super-friendly people, who enjoy creating websites and combining fun with learning, by creating great events, such as the PHP Summer Camp.
I'm not an eZ Publish developer, but I like to think that I am now also part of this community, because it is great!
NG: Here we are sailing steady in the Q4 2014. According to Sylius roadmap some big achievements are scheduled for this quarter (hint: Sylius Beta). Please give us some insights…
My initial roadmap set the stable release in the first quarter of 2015, but I can already say it won't happen. At the time of writing this time schedule, I was not expecting to conduct around 12 talks and workshops at international conferences in less than a year. Add all this traveling to very ambitious company, maintaining a huge open source project and trying to live a normal life... Yes, it is hard.
On the other hand, we have managed to organize the company and we are constantly hiring new developers, who will work on client projects and contribute to Sylius. I'm trying to shift my focus to management and training/consultation, which gives me a bit more time to work on Sylius during my work-day. I never wanted Sylius to be a product company, so I think that strong support from commercial company combined with open source community will result in a great product and a technical revolution in the e-commerce market.
NG: Thanks for your time Paweł and good luck with Sylius and Lakion in the future!