Contributor Spotlight: Josh Taylor
Say hi. (who are you and what do you do in the Commerce ecosystem)
Hello! I'm Josh Taylor, a PHP Developer living in Melbourne, Australia who focuses on Drupal 7/8 and Symfony2 projects. I've been involved with helping Commerce 2.x in my spare time (not as much lately due to time constraints) to help make it the go-to eCommerce platform for users.
How did you get involved with contributing to Drupal Commerce?
benjy (Ben Dougherty) mentioned that Drupal Commerce was in the planning phase. I got really excited and checked it out, and started to contribute back small fixes with the help of bojanz (Bojan Zivanovic). Then I just kept going - I hope to contribute more back in 2016 when I have more time, especially as clients start to move onto Drupal 8.
You’ve got a pretty rich development background, you could probably be working in any software stack. What makes Drupal & Drupal Commerce attractive to work on?
I'm a huge fan of the community for Drupal, especially coming from Perth where it was an extremely small community of die-hard developers who love Drupal and create great meetups (shoutout to the DrupalWA and Drupal Melbourne meetups!).
This holds especially true for the Drupal Commerce community where the contributors are very friendly and willing to help and are a great crowd - especially through killer timezones :). Just look at the relentless reviews that bojanz replies with in the Pull Requests to ensure the code quality is up to scratch and meets the code standards.
You’ve done a lot of work making sure that tests pass and that code is up to date with the latest core changes. The type of work that many would consider “unexciting”. So what motivates you to step in where many won’t?
Because nobody else wanted to at that point, and I don't want those who would otherwise contribute something interesting to be stuck on something they found uninteresting or hit a roadblock in contributing.
I actually find writing tests and updating code mostly fun, I just put on some music and go along with it, and it helps everyone else out as they can do fun tasks.
What are a few projects that you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of ?
I've worked on a number of sites at my previous employer which I'm really happy with, the ones built with Drupal Commerce especially, such as Stride Shoes (https://www.strideshoes.com.au/), RhyannaVL (https://www.rhyannavl.com), Tyrebuy (https://tyrebuy.com).
We also built a custom admin which I'm really proud of, and the client loves it.
So Drupal 8 is here (hope you got to Celebrate8) and now attention is turning to the contrib space, like in our Case Drupal Commerce 2.x. What’s the best thing Drupal 8 brings to Commerce that wasn’t possible with Drupal 7?
Being symfony based! How much of a difference this makes! Namespaces! PHP 5.5 minimum! Massive speed increases! Excellent Translation support! Better testing support! Composer! SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.
And speaking of Drupal 7.. did you ever use Commerce 1.x? What was missing? What’s your favorite new feature coming in Commerce 2.x?
Yes! I started using Drupal Commerce in 2012, and found lots of potentional. We ended up rewriting the checkout, products, admin backend parts (still using the Drupal Commerce API), which sadly we didn't end up opensourcing - I'm hoping to use these learning experiences back to Commerce 2.x.
Considering your involvement in the Drupal Community and your contributions to Drupal Commerce specifically, what message would you give to individuals or companies that are using Commerce, but haven’t considered contributing back?
Just do it! The community is excellent! Come along to a Meetup/Drupal Camp/etc if you haven't already - the community is really friendly. If you can't make it in real life, IRC is also a great way to get support and help grow the community, as well as getting exposure for yourself or your company.
I just wish I did it sooner - you will too.
And, one last question…Working in Down-Under in Australia, is all the code upside down there? Seriously though, what’s the best part of living and working on Drupal in the Land of Oz? And why do they call it that anyway?
Yes, we need to flip everything over which means we work twice as hard as everyone else :). One of my favourite things about Australia is the community here, such as the meetups and Drupal Camps, there is even a yearly Drupal conference here with hundreds of attendees, a DrupalGov conference held in our capital city (Canberra, no the capital of Australia is not Sydney...).
Also the "Fairies in the night", where when US/Europe is sleeping, Australia is hard at work on the patch queues :).