Hello, I'm pretty excited (pretty pretty excited) to build the next years of my career upon Shopware!
I have watched the Shopware community closely for more than two years. Right when Shopware 6 was released. In my perspective, Shopware has been making incredible decisions as a company. Those decisions line up very well with the values I'm currently looking for. Also, the community is vibrant and it's something that I appreciate a lot.
I'm Matheus Gontijo and I have been working with Magento for over 11 years as a Software Developer. I really enjoyed the early days of Magento and especially the community part. It has been a great journey so far! However, things changed in the past years and I realized that moving to a new platform would be the best fit for me. I had the opportunity to speak in some countries like the USA, Netherlands, Brazil and visit many conferences all over the world. I also was involved in major Magento implementations on M1, M2 and Adobe Cloud.
Big reasons led me to transition to Shopware and I'll highlight some of them here:
If a company decides to use a closed source platform that's fine. Let's be honest, it might be a good fit for many scenarios: new businesses, small businesses, medium businesses that have simple requirements. Yes, there are no upgrades, no hosting headaches, no agencies and no development. There are several benefits for them. Go all for closed source platforms.
However, not all scenarios are like that. Being "too comfortable" in a platform and not innovating means being completely left behind! Customers will always buy from stores that serve them better. No new features, no upgrades, or not keeping up to date with the latest technologies will lead to bad results in sales.
Innovation is just insane in the e-commerce industry. Everything changes so rapidly. Every single day there is a new technology or trend. Is it possible to not maintain a store for 5 years? Absolutely not! The world will be changed upside down within 5 years!
There is also a major problem to be outlined on the closed source platforms: there are *heavy* restrictions and limitations! Generally speaking, there is a low level of innovation because they were built to support generic and common scenarios. When it comes to complex features or merchant-specific needs they cannot fully handle it. Customizations are always a bottleneck for closed source platforms for obvious reasons.
Stores that innovate will strive, succeed and grow. While those who don't will be left behind. Stuck in the past. They will be only performing the mere basics.
On the other hand, Open Source gives merchants total control of innovation and room to grow. That's exactly where it shines! When we talk about e-commerce innovation there is nothing more powerful than the ability to access the code, the freedom to modify it and the freedom to eventually share with other. This process enables the community around the project to enhance the product in creative ways never ever planned. What great advantages there are! Of course, there is a price to be paid for freedom. Let's not forget about that.
Shopware has been a wise steward of the Open Source in the e-commerce world. They are bearing great fruits as a result. The platform is attracting merchants, developers and agencies that use Shopware as their rock-solid e-commerce platform. Shopware is surrounding its ecosystem with brilliant people. But is not Shopware for free...? Yes, it is — but partners are actually more than happy to pay for Shopware Enterprise licenses because they already earned so much for free in the first place. Partners pay for enterprise licenses because Shopware is providing unbelievable value to their clients. They fully acknowledge the existence of a huge and solid ecosystem of specialized developers, serious agencies, trustworthy 3rd party plugins and secure hosts that will help them to succeed. That's a win-win business model for everyone.
With all due respect: ask any Adobe Cloud client if they are really "happy" with their services. Especially the ones who want to switch to other platforms but have an expensive 3 years contract signed up. Honestly, reach out to me and tell me what they said.
Shopware is moving in the extreme opposite path: to reinforce freedom, Shopware made the latest version MIT license (Shopware 6). That particular decision speaks a lot by itself! MIT is the most permissive free software license created. You can literally do anything you want with the code. Shopware strongly believe in Open Source and did not do that by accident... but purposefully.
What better can you expect in terms of freedom from Shopware? I love it!
Do you think 1 developer can build a great solution alone? Yes, he/she can. That would take an eternity, but yes, he/she can. But what about putting 10 developers together to solve the same problem? The final result will be much better and faster!
What about 10,000 developers? Absolutely! That's what Open Source is all about. People from different backgrounds, different expertises, different cultures/countries/languages, different everything... put together to solve same problems and come up with outstanding solutions. I'm not sure about you, but that's the exact ecosystem I want to be part of. This is the beauty of Open Source.
Particularly in e-commerce 70 to 90% of the functionalities are basically the same for all stores (generic rule for most e-commerce's). Why not build an incredible product together instead of having every individual working solely by him/her own?
In addition to that, by preventing developers to access the code, the product is restricted to 20, 30... or 100 full-time developers. They become expensive and it's not scalable by any chance! Come on, we live in a ultra connected world. Why not take the opportunity to have thousands of incredible developers improving the same product constantly for "free" from every corner of the world? Open-minded businesses open their code by recognizing it's a land of opportunities, not a threat.
If you are used to following Twitter, Slack, or any other channel you will quickly notice that the community is super active. There is nothing better than to work with a platform where people have a collaborative mindset. Knowledge has been freely shared among developers, partners and agencies.
How can an ecosystem be successful without real collaboration from people? No ways. Great projects require great people that collaborate with each other. Shopware ecosystem promotes and loves the idea of supporting one another. I'm sure that collaboration will make a big impact in the long term, since collaboration is being constantly encouraged amongst the community culture.
By the way, I can't wait to attend my first Shopware Community Day and get to know the more people I possibly can! If you see me on the SCD make sure you talk to me!
It's not bloated or heavy. It's lean, fast and flexible. From a developer standpoint, the stack is super attractive!
Shopware made great decisions in terms of technology. They chose modern software such as Symfony & Vue.js. These projects already have a huge amount of developers working every single day to make sure they are up to date with the latest trends in the market. Having Shopware 6 been built upon them is not reinventing the wheel, but reusing existing platforms that are battle-proven. Let's take advantage (in a good way) by using the expertise provided by thousand others!
Shopware 6 was also built using the API-first concept, enabling all easy integrations with mobile apps, marketplaces, social shopping, or local points of sale. That's how the future will look like.
I know, it's not all roses. The reality is far away from it. It's important to acknowledge and to point out some challenges to be faced. There are limitations and a lot of room to grow — as in any other existing platform.
I tried to write a balanced overview why I'm choosing Shopware... and I'm pretty excited to start this new journey!
I'm willing to invest long-term in the platform as well as be active in the community. Great ecosystems are not found, they are built. Shopware lines up with the values I'm looking for. Together I'm sure we can accomplish great milestones. I strongly believe in 3-5 years from now we are going to be in a much better spot — see you there!