The Magento Association began the process of selecting a board of directors in Q4 of 2018, and, on February 5th of 2019, Ben Marks, Magento’s official evangelist and a member of the association’s board, posted that “The Magento Association is Now Established, Staffed and Ready to Get to Work!”. The board is indeed comprised of an impressive group of seasoned veterans from across the Magento ecosystem.
While the association is an independent non-profit organization, the association is bound by some rules of Adobe, the parent company of Magento. As they’re leveraging Magento’s branding, for instance, certain approvals are required.
In addition to the board, and any insight from the Adobe team, the association has support from SmithBucklin, an organization that specifically advises associations on general best-practices for building, operating, and growing such groups.
During Magento Imagine 2019, it was announced that registration was open, and the Magento community at large could join the association for free. There were also multiple events at Imagine where attendees could meet the board and learn more about the association.
The association has been represented at various Magento events in 2019, including Meet Magento NYC and MageX here in the USA, as well as MagentoLive in Europe. They also created a Slack channel, which has been relatively quiet in recent months, aside from individuals suggesting their Magento 1 End of Life remedies.
As 2019 comes to a close, some of the most notable activity that’s been reported by the association has been around fundraising – a crucial topic for any non-profit. So far, the association has successfully brought on sponsors like PayPal and Adyen.
However, there are still many open questions as we get closer to the anniversary of the seating of this inaugural board of directors. Since Magento Imagine 2020 is scheduled to begin at the end of March 2020, we’re hoping that the association will have a strong report to share with attendees.
At JetRails, our short-list of questions about the progress of the Magento Association includes:
1) Has the Magento Association onboarded any employees, or is it just the volunteer board and the consultants/advisers from SmithBucklin so far?
2) Are there any open positions to volunteer or get involved?
3) What resources has the association made available to the community in 2019?
4) Is there a timeline for new resources the Association will make available to the Magento community in 2020?
5) How many members have registered so far?
6) For those that already registered as members of the association, is there any login or other resources available as a result of registering?
7) Does the Association think that they’ll ever be stewards of Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento Community Edition or CE), should Adobe want to part ways with the free version of Magento?
8) Will the association charge dues to members, what will dues give access to, how much will they charge, how much notice will be given to members to pay, and will members that signed up before a fee was established get any sort of discount or extended grace period? (#8 is based upon a suggestion from Tarandeep Singh of RaveDigital.Agency)
While some of these questions may seem pointed, they’re not meant to take away from the work the association is doing or the amount of time and effort required to successfully build an organization that’s meant to serve many thousands of members across the globe. We’re excited to see the Magento Association continue growing in 2020!
Joshua Warren, the Board Director & Chair of the Magento Association, was kind enough to share feedback that answers some of these questions. Here’s what we’ve learned:
The Assocation has chosen a website software that will make it easier to create event pages, allow users to manage their membership, manage committees, and much more. This new platform will enhance and improve the Association’s ability to share information with members as well as making it possible to collect information, such as through surveys.
Last year marked the final year that ShipperHQ would act as hosts for PreImagine, a community event that takes place right before the Magento Imagine conference in Last Vegas each year. This year, PreImagine will be hosted by the Magento Association. If you’re in Vegas on Sunday, March 29th, 2020, be sure to attend this 7PM-9PM event. More info will follow shortly regarding registration and sponsorship opportunities.
Many members of the Magento community at large have offered to volunteer for the Association. With that in mind, 5 committees are scheduled to be formed in Q1: Finance, Sales Sponsorship, Meet Magento Events, Membership, Content. These are only the initial committees – more are expected to be launched in the future. How can you volunteer? Joshua suggested that “If you haven’t joined the Association yet, please join and express an interest in volunteering. If you have already joined, keep an eye out for communication in the very near future asking you if you are interested in serving one of these five committees.”
In the meantime, the Association is continuing to grow its involvement with and support of Meet Magento events. They’ve created a more streamlined process for requesting to host a Meet Magento event, and there are already multiple such events scheduled for 2020.
We will be inviting Magento Association board members to join for an episode of The JetRails Podcast in hopes that we can share more details on these questions before Magento Imagine.