Agile origins presentation

I missed the January TAP meeting. At that meeting, Dale Stewart was giving a presentation on the origins of agile development. Dale made his presentation available online. I recently finished going through the presentation and I wish I had been there for the in-person presentation. Dale included a ton of valuable material. I can highly recommend the presentation. I especially enjoyed the sections on the Cynefin Framework and Kanban. Make sure you watch the videos linked to in those slides. I am going to have to go back and review this presentation again. There is a lot there that I can use to improve how I do things. Thank you Dale for all the hard work you put into compiling this presentation.

OpenCart multi-store problems

I have been continuing to evaluate OpenCart. One of the reasons OpenCart was selected was for its multi-store capability. I would say they have not finished implementing the multi-store capability yet. If you only use what is built into OpenCart and do not directly update the MySQL tables, the multi-store setup is incomplete. You can define multiple stores and define what inventory is available in each store, but that is the extent of what you can do. You cannot define a separate payment processor for each store or define different shipping methods for each store. If you review the MySQL table for the settings, they do support defining things separately for each store, but the front-end has not been defined for it. There is an article in the forums which explains the problem. There is an independently developed plug-in developed called Multi 201 which does provide this capability that is available for $50 AUD. If you are going to be using multiple stores, this plug-in is a necessity.

Edit – 1/25/2015: Found another problem with the multi-store setup in OpenCart. If a customer registers for one store, they just registered in all stores. I think this is a mistake in design. I don’t know of a work-around for this yet.

OpenCart shopping cart software

I have been doing an evaluation of the OpenCart open source shopping cart software. It is implemented using PHP and MySQL. It is still early, but it appears to be a capable shopping cart. I have worked with Magento in the past and OpenCart compares favorably. OpenCart’s file and table layouts seem reasonable. I got lost when I was looking for items in Magento. The biggest thing that appears to be missing from OpenCart is an API for external interaction. With Magento, I was able to use an API for adding new inventory or retrieving new orders. I haven’t found an exposed API for OpenCart yet. However, the table layouts are straightforward and I was able to write an order export script using MySQL commands and accessing the database directly.

Like I said, it is still early in the evaluation process, but I would recommend adding it to your list of packages to investigate.


hack.summit() was held in early December 2014. It was a virtual conference where you could attend from home and view everything over the internet. I was unable to view it while it was underway, but there is a playlist of the sessions available on YouTube. I have been catching up on the sessions in my spare time. There are several sessions that I would recommend:

  • Reuven Lerner’s presentation comparing Ruby and Python
  • Alex Gaynor’s presentation on Code Review
  • Kimber Lockhart’s presentation on Inheriting Bad Code
  • Yehuda Katz’s presentation on Indie OSS. (I think several of his suggestions can be applied to any project, not just OSS.)
  • Floyd Marinescu’s presentation on Running Virtual Teams