An Open Source community is more than just PR made by faceless strangers. In order to better understand the people who contribute time and skills to the PrestaShop project, we’re launching a series of interviews, starting with Anthony.

Hi Anthony! First, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi there! I am a software developer, and I have been working with PrestaShop on a daily basis for the past 5 years.
I work at Evolutive Group, a PrestaShop Platinum Partner agency, with offices in Lyon and Paris.
Last year I made the switch to my company’s “module” division.

Your company gave your contribution time in order to dedicate yourself to the PrestaShop project for several months in 2016. Could you tell us how that decision was made on your side?

Indeed, my company assigned me to PrestaShop contributions for about half of 2016, one day a week.
At the time, version 1.7 was being developed, and contributing code was a great opportunity for Evolutive to reinforce our ties with PrestaShop as an agency, and for me to better know this new version as a developer.
The idea was therefore to make some kind of “win-win” deal: my agency was getting better knowledge and recognition in the PrestaShop ecosystem, and the Core had one more regular contributor to rely on. This was also the occasion to explore a new way to collaborate.

In effect, how did you spend your contribution days?

I mostly worked on the Forge. For the first few weeks I reported issues, which allowed me to get to know the new 1.7 features. Then I started making pull requests on GitHub, solving Forge tickets created by the community or the PrestaShop crew.
All the while, Xavier was available to guide me during those days, in order to point to tickets were help was needed. He also answered many of my questions. Thank you Xavier!

In the end, what did you learn from this experience? How did you company benefited from it?

PrestaShop is the first project I have every contributed to. I discovered a new way of working with the Core team, and learn a lot about 1.7 and its features.
Those contribution days also brought a lot of precious knowledge to my company: we knew a lot about new features, several months before they were officially announced. That was really important to us in order to be able to answer our clients’ and prospects’ inquiries, most notably when talking about possible migrations.

How would you say this type of collaboration could be improved?

From my point of view, it was the right way to approach it. One day a week is ideal.
That being said, now that 1.7 is released and my contribution time is over, I do think it was hard to follow up on project from one week to the other. It would be interesting to have companies give more contributions hours sprinkled over the remaining days of the week. This would help be more present on pull-requests (rebasing, corrections, etc.)

Thanks you Anthony, we hope to see you soon in our Core Weekly reports! :)