From the archives: Osijek Software City hackathon – April 2012

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Today, while I was browsing YouTube, I accidentally stumbled upon a video from April 2012. The video was from a hackathon organised by Osijek Software City and the main character was me. I had completely forgotten about the great time that I had back in 2012 and watching this video again made my day.

Also, I mustn’t forget to say “thanks” to my friends from Inchoo who invited me to attend this event. I remember that the trip from Bulgaria to Osijek was long and I felt very tired, but it was definitely worthy. I met new people at the hackathon and I had some great personal and technical conversations. As a matter of fact, I met my friend Vedran Subotic at this event who, two years after “opened the door” for my moving to München, Germany.

On the hackathon I had to work alone because most of the attendees had teams and the attendees who were alone were too far from my professional expertise. I wanted to do something with Magento but the potential team members were good at C#.

My idea was to create a simple Magento auditing tool. The tool’s purpose was to give very basic and quick feedback if there are any potential problems in the Magento core. Back in 2012, I was still running my own company and this could help me to handle new Magento clients who had legacy projects better.

The tool had a very simple web interface and solved 2 main tasks:

  • Check the Magento core files and provide feedback if the core has been modified.
  • Check the Magento core database schema and provide feedback if there are missing tables, columns, and missing or modified indexes

For the task of checking the core files I used the following technique: I created a list of md5 checksums for all files in the core and later compared the checksums with the checksums of the Magento core that was being tested.

For the database schema task I extracted a clean Magento database schema and saved it in a serialized array on the filesystem (I will call this original schema). When I was testing Magento database for modifications, I was:

  1. Extracting the schema of the testing database and storing it in a php array.
  2. Deserializing the original schema and storing it in a php array.
  3. Comparing both arrays (testing database schema and original schema).
  4. Showing the differences if any.

Something I didn’t know was that at the end of the hackathon I had to present the project at front of everybody. This was unexpected and I was really stressed. My voice was very low when I started the presentation because the adrenaline rush really hit me and my heartbeat was fast. Let’s call this anxiety :) Then Tomislav Bilic decided to support me with applause and saying the phrase “Go Cecko, go”. As a matter of fact this made my anxiety even worse but a minute later I overcame it and managed to finish the presentation.

This is in case you want to see the video:

I would recommend to everybody who has a chance to visit any kind of professional event to give it a try. It’s really good for building connections and you never know where these connections might lead you!

Your thoughts / questions?

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Tsvetan Stoychev

Tsvetan aka. Cecko is the founder of Cecko's Lab. He is Magento addicted since Magento CE 1.2.1.2 and has worked on over 30 Magento projects. At the moment he is in charge to take care about the money flow of the company, to keep constant communication with the clients and to keep the people in the office busy.

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