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 with contributors of all ranges. This week, meet the idnovate team!

Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you got involved in Prestashop?

We are three Barcelona-based developers (David, Jose and Sergi) who focus exclusively on developing e-commerce solutions.

Our experience with PrestaShop first began around six years ago when we were completing a masters in open source software at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). The task of updating and modifying a PrestaShop store formed part of the final work for the masters.

At the time, we knew little about the tool, but we did already have considerable experience of PHP + MySQL projects as each of us had worked in the IT department of a banking organization prior to commencing the project.

We also began working together with users who were already part of the PrestaShop community at his point, and it was then that we really began to appreciate the potential offered by both the tool and its business model.

You are the creator of several modules, available on Addons.
What motivates you to create a module? Where do you get your ideas?

Ideas emerged thick and fast from using the tool and from the experience of working with customers, who thought of situations that could not be solved using the features PrestaShop offered at the time. Ideas also emerged from the experience of using other e-commerce tools that either offered different features or adopted a different process model.

We also maintain a presence on the official PrestaShop forum, both to help users resolve their problems and to pick up new ideas ourselves.

How hard was it to convert your 1.6 modules to 1.7?

Fortunately, our modules are developed in accordance with the development guidelines set out by PrestaShop, which has meant that making our modules compatible with version 1.7 has not been very difficult. In some cases we have not had to change a thing; and in others we have simply had to make minor modifications.

What advice would you give to new modules creators?

PrestaShop is a consolidated tool with an extensive track record behind it and a big future ahead, and which has the kind of market share that no other e-commerce CMS can claim. PrestaShop offers the opportunity for professional growth to anyone involved in e-commerce: developers, designers, marketing experts, SEO experts, community managers, etc.

Additionally, the learning curve is less steep than with other tools, making it easier to get to the point at which you are seeing results.

We encourage each and every one to get involved in the project and become part of the community.

You are a Superhero Seller on Addons. What are you best practices for selling on Addons and obtaining a “good karma”?

For us, it is very important that the customer is satisfied with both the attention received and the purchase made, and we believe that pre- and post-sales support is key in this respect. To ensure we are able to provide this, we strictly adhere to certain clearly defined guidelines:

  • We respond to all customer queries as quickly as possible. Most of our modules have a demo available so that they can be tested by the customer. If required, we also configure it to their particular needs.
  • We deal with any issues as soon as possible after receiving the message from the customer. We strive to keep the number of possible issues that can arise to a minimum, but unfortunately we cannot always detect all possible potential issues, and problems sometimes arise due to incompatibility with other modules or modifications to the stores themselves. The solution in such cases is to act as quickly as possible so that the customer’s store is not affected.
  • We adapt to the customer’s needs in cases where there is a requirement for an additional function/feature that the module does not provide, offering the customer bespoke development of the requested custom feature.

By adopting this approach, the vast majority of our customers are kept satisfied and have a positive view of us.

You have also contributed a few pull requests to PrestaShop. What motivated you to contribute to the main project?

Our business is based on PrestaShop, which makes it important that the tool works and attracts new customers. Whenever we can, we collaborate on the project by contributing code, carrying out translations or responding to queries on the official PrestaShop forum and on Stack Overflow.

Thank you David and team, we hope to see you soon in our Core Weekly reports! :)