Paweł Jędrzejewski, Michał Marcinkowski31/07/2015

First Year of Lakion

Yesterday we have celebrated the first year of Lakion. It has been very exciting twelve months. We would like to summarize what we have achieved so far and what are our plans for the future.

Getting Started is Interesting

Sylius is a real adventure! More and more brands, developers and agencies started using our technology and Paweł has noticed the growing demand for commercial services. It all started with this blog post and we have stayed true to our initial plans and goals. Sylius is not stable yet, but thanks to Lakion we have made significant contributions to the platform, built a team of Sylius experts and created a network of clients, partner agencies and grew our open source community even more.

Our start was quite interesting because our first client suddenly went bankrupt. It was unexpected and we got the bad news on the day one in our office. It has been short, but stressful period. Fortunately, we managed to quickly get back on our feet and get a really interesting French project!

First Project Launched to Production

Christophe Michalak is a famous pastry chef from Paris, France. Together with neomajes agency we prepared a full e-commerce website. The application is a highly customized Sylius store, with full in-line editing of the content, catalogue of recipes and advanced booking system for cooking lessons. We have worked hard on it and managed to deliver complete solution before the holiday sales. At the same time, we have been doing multiple remote consulting sessions for developers and agencies starting with Sylius.

Not a Two Man Army Anymore

All this allowed us to hire our first developers. We were well aware that we need to grow in order to satisfy the demand for Sylius support. Łukasz and Mateusz have joined our team! Previously, they only had experience with Java, but we convinced them to try this “new” PHP. They have learned about Clean Code principles, Behavior Driven Development and of course, about Symfony framework. Fast forward to today, they are coaching our interns.

Alcohol Delivery Made Simple

Klink is an awesome start-up from our friends in the US. Guys from Boca Raton contacted us about using Sylius to improve how their business operates. We implemented support for multiple channels and warehouses in Sylius. We are long-term partners and still work on their new platform, built as a Service-Oriented-Architecture, which is constructed from 7 Symfony and Silex applications. Klink is a start-up you want to keep your eye on.

Fashion and Open Source Join Forces

REISS is a fashion brand from London. Last year, Paweł has trained their team and they started to build a new e-commerce platform for their online store. They become an active contributor to Sylius, implementing key features like search engine! We still work together and as a result, our team has implemented Hierarchic-Role-Based-Authorization-Control, separated Customer & User entities and more!

Building Network of Partners

There is a lot of work for Sylius developers and we hope there will be even more. With that fact in mind, we are building a network of trusted partners - agencies who can support customers powered by our technology. We created a very broad network and have potential and trained partners in most of the European countries. This is really exciting and we are looking forward to stable release and official launch of our Partner Program.

From Remote to Office

We always prefer being in a single office space because it is fun, productive and allows us to develop our very own working culture, which is very important for a company. We do not do body-leasing, we build dedicated teams inside our company. Therefore, we are even more happy to inform that we have brought our only remote developer, Kamil, to our office in Łódź! Kamil has visited us multiple times before, but now he has moved permanently and finally can participate in daily stand-ups in-person :)

Academic Job Fair

We decided to invest our time and skills to train young and talented developers because what we do is pretty unique in the world of PHP. This makes it hard to find good and experienced developers, familiar with Symfony, BDD with Behat & phpspec and Scrum. Luckily, we got our spot at Academic Job Fair. We were surrounded by big IT companies and corporations, but managed to get the attention of students. The idea turned out to be a huge success and we received a lot of applications and promoted Lakion in the local market.

You can read more here.

Keeping Things Smooth

Growing company requires more and more administration. That’s why Sylwia joined our team - she is helping us with pretty much everything: from handling financial stuff with our accounting partner to organizing integration events! All this allows us to focus on what we do best.

Interns on Board

Our summer internship started four weeks ago. All our interns are surprised by the at number things they have learned so far and we still have eight weeks to go! We conducted a series of training about Object Oriented Programming, Clean Code, XDebug, Testing and BDD, Symfony and we are getting close to our first Scrum practices. It is a really great experience for us and we are happy to share knowledge with other developers. We will gather and share their feedback with you.

Our new developer Grzegorz joined us together with the interns, you will most likely see some Sylius contributions from his side in the coming weeks as well!

Pushing Sylius Forward

Our main challenge is maintaining the balance between Sylius development and commercial work. We now have much more people on payroll, client relationships to maintain and new things come up every day. Doing business with Open Source is difficult. We are trying to select clients, who allow us contribute back some of the features to the platform core. Currently, we are cleaning up all the issues and Pull Requests on Sylius repository and making sure that community is well organized and knows where to start contributing. In the coming weeks we will publish an updated roadmap and merge more exciting features from our team, including import/export, theming and grids! Future looks bright and challenging. This is why we do what we do!

Conferences and PHPers Meetup in Łódź

We have visited many conferences and presented Sylius to even more PHP communities. We have been in London, Madrid, Stockholm, Belgrade, Verona and more! We had our first ever booth at SymfonyLive London and it was great opportunity to talk with developers and promote our Open Source project! In September, we will sponsor and help to organize the first PHP meetup in our city. We hope to bring more life to our local community and share even more knowledge. In just three weeks we are traveling to Croatia, for the great PHP Summer Camp 2015, where we run two workshop sessions.

Summary and Our Future

This has been an amazing year for us. We worked really hard and this is just the beginning. Sylius is our priority at the moment and our team is ready to make it the future of e-commerce. We grew the company from 2 to 13 people, Almost tripled our office space, completed several development projects, trained teams in Sylius and helped many people start with this technology. Sylius packages surpassed 1,000,000 downloads and more than 215 people from all around the world have contributed code, which is just amazing. We are thriving to see what future brings!

Thank you!

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