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The End of Magento 1 and Future of Magento 2

The End of Magento 1 and Future of Magento 2

After Magento was released in 2008, it became the most popular e-commerce platform in the world. Magento’s expansion is increasing in a very impressive way. The number of sites hosted in Magento doubled between March 2017 and August 2018. Now a quarter of a million active e-commerce shops in Magento, and only 11,000 Magento sites have migrated to version 2. Magento announced the end of support of Magento1 to November 18, 2018, exactly 3 years after the Magento 2 release. But in September 2018, the team chose to postpone the date to June 2020.

No support means that these have no security updates, no bug fixes, and no more.

MIGRATING TO MAGENTO 2?

Adobe, the owner of Magento, has already taken many actions to motivate the merchants to migrate to Magento 2. The migration is therefore not natural. The entire code structure of Magento1 and Magento2 is very different. Therefore it is required to  redevelop for achieving the same functionality. If Magento was the queen solution in the past years, then now the situation has changed with the appearance of a lot of competing solutions that have serious Arguments.

THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

At the same time, the web also underwent an evolutionary phase which made it adaptive to many service features that can be used by a site. Nowadays, monoliths are being replaced by microservices. 

In SaaS all the services offered to communicate using APIs,  thereby facilitating their  interconnection, evolution, and even replacement. This made it more convenient than flat-file synchronizations. Separation of the backend from the frontend (user view) possess many  advantages: 

Assembling, Removing, Replacing third-party services are greatly facilitated. Specialized profiles are involved in each part. The frontend is unrelated to any business solution. This is  much more adaptive and can also be updated and replaced independently. Thus, e-commerce engines which do not include the visitor theme part but a simple API that will deal with the functioning are often referred to as “headless”. For instance, Moltin or Spryker. 

Javascript frameworks like Angular, React or VueJS are strong answers to this new way of framing its services on the “Frontend” part. The most beneficial point is their high speed in front end and they work with APIs. They are the ideal response to this microservice architecture since they are consistent with the PWA (Progressive Web App) standard set up by Google. 

MAGENTO CAN BE INTEGRATED INTO THIS NEW DEAL

A front-end solution that connects to Magento 1 or 2 through its API to generate web pages itself and communicate directly with visitors is known as Front-Commerce. The core of the microservices architecture is the central connector (middleware), we deliver, which enables us to collect the different APIs (including Magento’s) to serve the theme (front) in a format optimized for integration: GraphQL. 

Magento uses the unique “blank” theme, as the basis for all our projects, which is developed in React that allows incredible browsing speed, total freedom of layout, and PWA compatibility.  

The e-merchant can now migrate some complex functionalities to detached microservices until he only has a “simple” e-commerce engine that can easily be replaced by another one when the time comes. Revolutionary change is that migrating to a new e-commerce solution supported by Front-Commerce (Magento 2, or another) will not require any change in the theme. 

CONCLUSION

Magento has gone through many ups and downs so far. Magento has a strong future, despite being challenged by Shopify. Adobe’s acquisition has provided a massive boost. Also, the regular updates and patches are making it highly secure. So, in 2021, Magento may regain a significant number of lost users. It seems to be interesting to see how it fits against the other e-commerce platforms in the nearby future.

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Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Psychologists have affirmed that solving certain puzzles requires seeing things differently.

PROBLEM

In the classic Candle Problem by Karl Dunker, we are given some thumbtacks, a candle, and a box of matches. The goal state is to attach the candle to a wall in such a way that we can light the candle without breaking the house down.

HOW TO APPROACH THIS?
Trial and Error

Most people try to solve problems using trial and error. Of course, it does help you explore the problem space. Here, many people who attempted the test explored their creativity, but less efficient methods to achieve the goal. For example, some tried to tack the candle to the wall without using the thumbtack box, and others attempted to melt some of the candle’s wax and use it as an adhesive to stick the candle to the wall. Neither method Works.

Reframing the problems

The solution comes when we realize that the matchbox can be used to make a kind of shelf to hold the candles. That is, it is not a box but possibly something else. The inability to see the matchbox as a possible solution is called functional fixedness. When  Dunker presented his research subject with an empty box and content separately, they were twice likely to solve the problem.

In the Software field, don’t learn to code! Don’t learn to code!. So many developers are focused on the syntax, they are focused on the language. They are focused on learning to code or to program but not on solving Problems.

“IT IS IMPORTANT TO VIEW KNOWLEDGE AS SORT OF A SEMANTIC TREE — MAKE SURE YOU  UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTAL  PRINCIPLES, THAT IS THE TRUNK AND BIG BRANCHES BEFORE YOU GET INTO THE LEAVES/DETAILS OR THERE IS NOTHING FOR THEM TO HANG ONTO.” EON MUSK

What you need to do as a software developer is to learn to solve problems, not just to code. The important skill needed is the actual ability to solve problems to break them down and then to translate to code.

TAKEAWAY

Perhaps the most important takeaway is perspective, when we look we often don’t see/see things in a certain way. Understanding our view and our own patterns are most important. It makes us know our limitations and reframe ourselves which takes us out of the darkness. 

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Intricacies of Being a Photographer

Intricacies of Being a Photographer

Terrific Minds | Blogs - Intricacies of Being a Photographer

We are all photographers in our own way, it is something that we all love to do. But what is photography? Why do we love it?
And what does it take to be a real photographer? Anything that arrests the viewer and makes the creator happy is a good photograph.

It need not speak a thousand words or convey any meaning or story. It takes real passion and dedication to be a professional photographer along with a mind to improve with every click. In reality, every exceptional photographer begins as an amateur who takes pictures for the sake of it, and then gradually decides on what kind of photography genre they are most comfortable in. Photography is like painting, one has to create a unique style to be successful in this field.

There are certain crucial factors that make a real difference in this field. The camera settings are the first thing you should learn to become a good photographer. A professional is someone who practices to the point that they really get wrong. An amateur is someone who practices until they get it right. There is a big difference between those two levels. A good photographer must have a very keen eye for detail, to ensure that all elements within the photo; the lighting, the composition, the subject and everything else in between is in coordination. A photographer has to be really patient and prepared (especially in fields like wildlife photography where it can take days to capture a perfect picture). A student of photography should be up-to-date with technology, should be referential(should have a mentality to study from other photographers and people) and above all, they should also develop good persuasive skills. It’s crucial to note that a student of photography is a student of life and he should make sure that his/her pictures can tell emotions that words fail to tell.

Photography is a powerful tool for storytelling. It is the ability to capture a moment as it happens with just a single click of a button. Done! that part is over. Now to the reason why we love it, there may be a combination of factors. Let’s just see.

It helps in capturing moments – life skips past us in the blink of an eye: people come and go, we change jobs, locations, hobbies, lovers. Photographs allow us to return to that moment.

Testament of ourselves – It’s a living proof that we once stood there and took it all in.

Creativity – It allows virtually anyone to express their creativity. This is especially true in today’s digital environment where the cost of entering and maintaining this hobby is within everyone’s reach.

A perfect hobby – The ability of a photograph to connect to our past, associate us with an event, and preserve memories without words or interpretation makes it an influential hobby for all of us.
These are just a few reasons for our fascination towards photography and I am sure each one of us has our own story to tell in that regard. And to answer the question of what it takes to be a real photographer, it is necessary to delve a little deeper into the art of photography. In order to be a photographer, it’s vital to have a passion for it but in order to be a professional photographer one has to have a thorough understanding of what he does.

Photography is a field of immense opportunities, one just has to be passionate, creative and work relentlessly to create an authentic mark on this discipline, along with a mind to learn from his mistakes. Photography has given me purpose to exist. It has also helped me observe things which otherwise I would have just walked away from casually.

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”
Dorothea Lange

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Why ServiceNow?

Why ServiceNow?

Terrific Minds Blog- What the TECH V.20

ServiceNow is a popular fast growing cloud platform that is used by 75% of Fortune 500 companies to drive their core business solutions thus helping them to work in a more efficient way. It has more than 6000 enterprise customers. ServiceNow is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Russell 1000 Index.

It was founded in 2004 by Fred Luddy at the company headquarters in Santa Clara, California . He created a workflow system largely based on forms in the cloud. In 2005,ServiceNow created its first limitedservice catalog with very few customers . In 2006, the company expanded internationally and created its first cloud-based orchestration platform. In 2016, the company received FedRAMP certification which means that it meets security expectations for products set up within the cloud.

Few IT companies have struggled with an outdated ITSM platform in the past which made some insecure about their service quality. This insecurity pushed companies to outsource their management and maintenance issues. This resulted in high expenditure and ended up being time consuming, which lead to customer dissatisfaction. With ServiceNow the IT companies are able to work with all the departments on a single platform which saves both time and money making it an ever growing platform.

ServiceNow’s products can be used to support most workflows because of the wide range of tools it offers. Some common ways the products are used include ticketing systems to manage large-scale projects via on-suite ticketing tools, benchmarking to track progress and predictive modelling to manage workflows. IT professionals operating a service desk/help desk can use ServiceNow products to organize their help cases, and also in Problem and Instance management. It is also able to work with many legacy systems for smooth integration. It can integrate with other tools easily and also provides an app store of tool offerings from third parties.

ServiceNow products such as ITSM,PPS, CSM, Facilites, HR service management etc. are market leaders in their domain. Recently, they are moving towards Artificial Intelligence for cloud platform. The future with ServiceNow can be termed as a secure job profile as it is being adopted by companies from diverse fields.

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Regression Testing

Regression Testing

Terrific Minds - What the TECH V.20

What is regression and why is regression testing important?

A software regression is any defect that occurs when a fix/change is added to the code. And regression testing ensures that the new change hasn’t affected the rest of the code in the application anywhere. Regression can happen in different ways :

 When new functionality is added: When developers introduce new code, it can cause compatibility problems with the existing code. Regression testing is done to find possible issues.

  • A functionality revision: When developers revise the existing functionality and delete or change some features, regression testing checks whether the feature was removed/edited with no damage to the rest of the code.
  • Integration: Here, regression testing assures that the software product performs perfectly after integration with another product.
  • Bug fixing: New bugs may generate due to another bug fixing sometimes. It requires changing the source code, which in turn calls needs re-testing and regression testing.

METHODS OF REGRESSION TESTING

Manual regression: This is the basic method for regression testing for every product, regardless of the methodology (waterfall, Agile etc). Manual always precedes automation, in some cases being even more efficient than the latter. For example, it is impossible to write a test script for testing areas adjacent to the part of the code that was changed.

Manual regression testing is efficient in the early stages of the delivery process. But the main problem is that it is time and effort consuming. For complex products, running a regression test suite over and again hinders a test engineer’s concentration and his or her performance. Thus, in such cases, teams prefer to switch to automation.

Automated regression:

Automated regression testing is done for medium and large projects at the stage when the project is stable, i.e. no critical changes in business logic and UI are expected. With thorough test planning, automation reduces the efforts a testing team spends on tedious and repeatable tasks and spares them time for testing, such as exploratory testing and UX testing.

However, today teams often start test automation at the early stages. It works well for an Agile environment where teams should deploy a product at least weekly and have no time for warming-up manual regression testing. Communicating with the whole team and studying the use case document, testers can understand the stakeholders’ needs, the product business logic and expected results for testing. The main task here in early automation is choosing the testing framework. It should provide easy scripting and low-cost test maintenance. The created infrastructure can be reused for future products, hence accelerating test automation.

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B2B Ecommerce and Magento

B2B Ecommerce and Magento

Terrific Minds Blogs - What the TECH V.20

WHAT IS B2B E-COMMERCE ?

Business to Business (B2B) Ecommerce refers to marketing or selling products or services to other business organizations. Traditional Ecommerce system mainly aims B2C Marketing (Business to Consumer) which is targeting end consumers.

Alibaba’s success got more investors attracted towards the B2B business model. B2B e-Commerce strategy is more straightforward compared to B2C, as an organization’s purchase decisions are mainly based on the revenue impact. For common customers, they are not much worried about the revenue impact or return of investment. B2B marketing is more challenging than B2C due to this reason but in terms of data analytics and prediction, B2B data sources become more robust and accurate.

WHO ARE B2B MARKETERS ?

Any organization which is selling products or services to other organizations comes under B2B. Software subscriptions, Software as a Service (SaaS), accessories, office supplies etc. are some examples. While doing B2C marketing merchants will be targeting different end consumer groups and their tastes, but in case of B2B marketing, the target audience are key decision makers in the organizations.

WHAT ARE THE B2B NEEDS ?

  • Setting up company hierarchies and parent/child level order approval process
  • Customer-specific products and pricing
  • B2B Payment options
  • Quick order and reorder with bulk products
  • Self-services quotes, requests, and approvals

HOW CAN MAGENTO SUPPORT B2B ?

Magento started as a B2C platform and initially the B2B implementations were handled using third party extensions. In 2017, Magento released Magento Commerce & Commerce Cloud Edition 2.2, which includes Magento B2B features and functionality. This provides a clear path forward for B2B companies looking to modernize their customer experience and purchasing process. Also, the main advantage here is that Magento can run multiple B2B and B2C sites from the same platform. This will be easy and efficient for the store owners to manage sites from a single back office.

WHAT DOES MAGENTO B2B OFFER ?

Magento B2B can handle most of the B2B requirements out of the box. This can reduce the complexity of implementation and amount of customization. So the merchants can hit the market faster. Magento B2B can provide capabilities needed to create a bestin- class B2B commerce experience which includes company account management, custom catalog and pricing, quick order, requisition Lists, quoting, payments on account, mobile-ready sites and detailed reporting.

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Youtube Uncloaked

Youtube Uncloaked

Terrific Minds Blog Youtube Uncloaked

Just like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, YouTube is also a social network where people share videos with viewers. It is one of the largest platforms for creating, viewing and sharing video content with more than 400 hours of video being uploaded every minute.

The company periodically tweaks its algorithm to provide the best personalized content for its users. The algorithm decides which videos to recommend and where to place that video for each individual user.

Until 2012, the view count was the major criterion for sorting videos. This strategy was not entirely foolproof as YouTubers began misleading viewers by giving false video titles. As a result, videos with good quality content never got the expected attention from the crowd, which adversely affected advertisers and brands.

From 2012 to 2016, the algorithm was revised in order to favour view duration and session times. YouTubers now began to create longer videos instead of quality content. By 2016, YouTube had introduced artificial intelligence and machine learning to the algorithm helping it provide better results to the end user.

In the beginning of 2019, YouTube removed their support to ‘borderline-content’, which are content that is very close to – but are not – crossing the company guidelines. The ultimate aim of the YouTube algorithm is to help viewers find the video they are likely to watch. YouTube mainly places videos in the following areas based on the algorithm.

SEARCH
The YouTube search engine is considered as the second most widely used search engine in the world. The videos are listed by comparing the search query with the title, description, tags and other keywords of the video. It also takes into account the videos which have more engagement for a search query

SUGGESTED VIDEOS
Suggested videos are shown on the top right end of the watch page and is a collection of videos that the user may be interested in viewing next. These videos are filtered by considering the viewers’ watch history, related videos and past search queries.

HOME
Home is the first and the most viewed page on YouTube. Homepage consists of videos that are listed based on recent uploads, user watch history, subscriptions, and watch behaviour of similar viewers.

TRENDING VIDEOS
Trending videos (a.k.a. viral videos) are the videos that are most popular in the users’ country or their region. This list is not personalized and is updated every 15 minutes. The following factors decide which videos have to be in the list.

  • Age of the video
  • View count
  • Video engagements – Like, Comment, Share, Dislike
  • How fast the views are generated

Viewers can subscribe to a YouTube channel so that whenever a new video is uploaded, they are notified. These videos are also listed on the websites’ subscriptions tab. YouTube features like end screens and notations can be used to increase the subscriber base of a channel.

The points that I have mentioned above will hopefully give you a clearer picture about how videos are placed or rendered in different regions of youtube. But it doesn’t mean that the YouTube algorithm is fully revealed, as it still remains a mystery. Moreover, the company regularly updates its algorithm for improved results. In this article, I have covered less than a fraction of the vast universe of YouTube. I will come up with more interesting YouTube insights in my future articles.

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Design Principles 101

Design Principles 101

Terrific Minds - What the TECH V.20

Suppose you look at a design, say a website. You open the webpage, and you find the images and the text not blending well. The typography is all over the place for some reason, the colors of the website are too bright for the eyes, and the animations are slow.

Infuriating, isn’t it? The user is less likely to come back to this website since it’s difficult to navigate and because they did not get the information they were looking for on time. Things like this are reasons why we should pay attention when properly designing products and services. While designers focus on how to make the website usable to people, there is another factor that they pay attention to in design.

Psychology has an important role to play in terms of design. There are several principles that designers learn with regards to human behavior when using a website. When they understand these principles, they’re able to find ways to implement this in their design resulting in more positive user experiences. Here are some design tips that can be used in the near future:

  • The most common rules that designers should learn about are the Gestalt Principles. Such as-
  1. Similarity: If the user sees objects that look similar, they perceive these objects as a group. It is defined by shape, color, size, texture, and value. It gives a sense of consistency in the design.
  2. Continuation: It is when the human eye follows one object to another. This occurs usually with curved lines
  3. Closure: This is where the human eye can see closed objects and it works when the image is half complete since the human eye can perceive the full shape with missing parts.
  4. Proximity: When objects are placed close together, the user perceives it as a group.
  5. Figure/Ground: This is when users separate objects from backgrounds.
  • Color Psychology: Color has an influence on a person’s opinion of a design most of the time. Men and Women will see colors differently, so it’s important to also consider the audience for the website. Are the majority of the audience for this website male or female?
  • Scanning Patterns would be a useful thing to keep in mind when designing web pages. A common viewing pattern would be the “F” pattern, in which the viewer starts reading the information from the top left and then making their way to the bottom.
  • Fonts are another thing to keep in mind. Users care more about the font size and simplicity than fonts for the purpose of aesthetic.
    Here’s the takeaway: there’s more to design than just the visuals as it’s a tool of communication between a designer and the user. Making use of the various principles of human behavior helps elevate great design into something amazing.

Know thy users for they are not you.

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You don’t know your JAVASCRIPT

You don't know your JAVASCRIPT

Terrific Minds - What the TECH V.20

Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript”
– Atwood’s Law

JavaScript is the powerhouse behind a rapidly evolving Internet. It is the past, the present and will remain the future of the web as we know it. As of today, more than 95% of the Internet is powered by JavaScript. According to Stack Overflow, a popular website used by developers to share their expertise, two out of every three developers use Javascript. So what makes this programming language ever popular?

LEARN ONE DO MANY

Can you imagine an ideal place, where you can learn one language and use it to develop mobile apps, make websites, and even desktop applications? Pretty cool, right? But that is precisely the possibility that javascript brings to the table.

React/Angular/Vue – These are the three most commonly used front-end frameworks and libraries used for the purpose of web development. Each has its own merits and excels in its own way.

Node – Node is not a language as many thinks, but rather a runtime environment. The original idea is to set up a web service or TCP server with high performance. We use javascript to write backend services here.

Electron – A framework to build desktop applications using javascript. Bet you didn’t see that coming, right?

React Native – The most promising aspect of React Native is that you can use the same code for deployment on iOS as well as Android. Lots of improvements are going on with this framework and I am eagerly waiting to see it take over the market among developers.

BACKBONE

Readily Available Packages – The most promising aspect of React Native is that you can use the same code for deployment on iOS as well as Android. Lots of improvements are going on with this framework and i am eagerly waiting to see it take over the market among developers.

VAST LIKE AN OCEAN

I always like to say that javascript is vast like the oceans, without any obvious organization or pattern. You can see this as a boon or a bane. But I often see developers complain about this while writing complex solutions. But JavaScript has been addressing this by bringing class concepts from ES6 onwards and bringing TypeScript into the picture.TypeScript provides classes, interfaces, and modules that allow us to properly structure our code as encapsulated reusable structures that make it easier to maintain and scale. Hopefully, in the future, it becomes even more of a Javascript front layer than it already is.

TO AI

Many don’t consider javascript to be primed for areas such as big data and machine learning applications. But even this is changing as many popular AI libraries are available in js like TensorFlow.js, etc. This is all to say that as far as I am concerned, Javascript still has a long way to go considering its vastness in all fields. It is easy to code in javascript, but to know the in and out’s of it is rare. And it is my wish that you may know the versatility of this language.

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Unconscious Biases @Work

Unconscious Biases @Work

Terrific Minds Blogs Unconscious Biases Work

Unconscious bias is, as the name suggests, unconscious. It’s a bias that we are unaware of and happens outside of our control. It occurs automatically and is triggered by our brain making a quick judgement and assessment of people and situations, influenced by our background, experiences and environmental conditions.

What we call unconscious biases are rooted in the human brain’s automatic processing systems. This unconscious decision making has played an important role in the survival and evolution of our species, without which our ancestors would have ended up as fodder for wild animals. The same ability now gets us through our day when we have to deal with multitasking, deadlines, flooded emails and more. Google even put this in numbers in their presentation on unconscious bias: “We (humans) receive 11 million bits of information every moment. We can only consciously process 40 bits.” That’s 99.999996% unconscious.

Unconscious biases can affect workplaces and organizations. It can introduce unintentional discrimination and result in poor decision making. Even a tiny bit of bias can have big consequences. The impact of little decisions can accumulate over time.

COMMON TYPES OF BIAS

  • Affinity bias: the tendency to warm up to people like ourselves.
  • Halo effect: the tendency to think everything about a person is good because you like that person.
  • Perception bias: the tendency to form stereotypes and assumptions about certain groups that make it impossible to make an objective judgment about members of those groups.
  • Social comparison bias: the tendency, when making hiring decisions, to favor potential candidates who don’t compete with one’s own particular strengths.
  • Bias blind spot: the tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in oneself.

You can’t prevent unconscious bias from happening, so stop trying to. It’s a war on evolution and the chances of winning are non-existent. So what can you do about it? Once it happens : 1. Identify it 2. Acknowledge your biases 3. Be intentional about putting biases aside when making decisions 4. Call others out on their biases Everyone has biases; it’s part of being human. From an organizational perspective, the sooner we realize this reality—and take proactive steps to overcome the biases that hold us back—the stronger our companies become, and the better positioned we’ll all be to serve our customers effectively.