This is Damien’s turn to answer your questions. Developer and PrestaStore manager, he talks about the daily management of our official marketplace.
Damien, you are the PrestaStore manager. Can you describe your activity in a few words?
With more than 15,000 registered members from everywhere around the world, both contributors and customers, PrestaStore is now at the center of the PrestaShop community activity.
My role is to coordinate all trade on this platform: checking and validating new modules and themes submitted by the community developers, answering pre- and post-sales questions, and improving the marketplace according to everyone’s needs. Otherwise you can add all the daily tasks of a classic e-retailer who takes care of his shop.
Where did the idea of PrestaStore come from?
PrestaStore is the PrestaShop’s answer to a need for a better communication about what is happening outside the Open-Source project itself. PrestaShop was indeed at a turning point in its development, and we needed to propose new features to our community while structuring our business. In order to avoid overloading the official website and presenting the different services clearly, we have logically decided to develop an independent platform.
We also try, as far as possible, to meet the expectations of PrestaShop’s users. That’s why we expanded the catalog of modules and themes to the free contributions in November 2009 and we now accept payments in seven different currencies.
PrestaStore is constantly evolving, what are the prior improvements planned for the future?
PrestaStore observes the same development mode that the Open-Source project: we have many ideas, many feature requests, but very little time to do everything.
Our immediate priority is to improve our responsiveness, both for the validation of the community contributions and for our post-sales service. That’s why PrestaShop was looking –and is still looking- to hire a PHP developer with both technical skills and good sense of customer relationship. If you live in France, feel free to apply!
We are also working on a partner program intended for web agencies and other resellers, but its exact content remains secret for the moment.
In your opinion, what are the points on which there are opportunities for PrestaStore contributors?
The main challenge for developers is seldom the development itself, but rather the idea behind the project. The first contributors quickly identified the first opportunities: quick / bulk update, CSV exports, or even animated product listings.
But now, in order to develop a best-seller, you have to participate to the forum and be aware of the e-retailers’ needs. The simplest ideas are often the best!
Nevertheless there is always a strong demand for good quality templates.
Do you also participate to the software development? If yes, do you have specific sections in charge?
My experience with PrestaShop began in May 2007 and I remain one of the main contributors to the Open-Source project. But it is true that my current responsibilities seriously limit the time I can spend to debug and improve PrestaShop. However I try to contribute with PrestaStore, by providing my own free modules (Catalog Evaluation, Stock Value...)
Some parts of PrestaShop are still assigned to me, like statistics and features strongly dependant of the database.