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After recently completing the ‘Core Principles for Theming in Magento 2’ course via Magento University I thought I would write a quick blog post to share my experience with the course.

Course Breakdown

The course is split up into 3 units with 6 sub-sections in each, which are as follows:

Unit one

  • Getting started
  • Overview
  • Folder structure
  • Static Files
  • Deployment
  • Fallback

Unit two

  • M1 & M2 Architecture Comparison
  • LESS Files Organisation
  • Styles-m & styles-l Files
  • Customisation Flow
  • Grunt
  • Non-LESS Files Deployment

Unit three

  • Layout Overview
  • Where to Find Layout Files
  • Page Layouts
  • Layout Files & Directives
  • Blocks
  • Templates

Pre Requisites

In order to complete the course successfully Magento recommend you have a strong understanding of the following technologies.

  • CSS & CSS3
  • HTML & HTML5
  • XML
  • PHP (Basic understanding for working in the ‘view’ layer)
  • Magento 1 Experience

The following additional skills are desirable but not essential for completing the course:

  • Responsive Web Design
  • LESS
  • Javascript

Note: I would like to point out that I had no prior Magento 1 theming knowledge before completing this course although I had several years worth of experience working with CSS HTML and PHP.

After joining CTI I began working on a Magento 2 base theme alongside a senior developer which has really helped to fast track my Magento 2 knowledge ahead of completing the course.

In Review

Pros

  • Completing the course has certainly helped me understand several areas of Magento 2 in greater detail despite having already developed a Magento 2 theme.
  • The instructions throughout the course are clear and you are able to replay the content as many times as required.
  • As the course is broken down into small chunks, you can complete the course at your own pace in order to make sure you have absorbed all of the information before moving on.
  • At the end of the section their is a manual exercise to complete in order to test your knowledge. Personally I found this extremely useful as it provided an opportunity to confirm I had internalised the information provided.

Cons

  • I felt like some parts were too concise in its explanations, making it difficult to grasp what was being said first time round. This is where the repeat button was very useful.
  • The answers to questions in the last section (unit three) were missing.

Improving the course

I would like to see the following changes to the ‘Core Principles for Theming in Magento 2’ in the future.

  • Add interaction at the end of a module in order to check your understanding. I would like to see Magento adopt coding challenges and better questioning as seen on services such as Codecademy, Treehouse and Udacity.
  • Whilst the module did feature a manual exercise, no formal questioning was present meaning users could skip this part of the module. Magento should be able to demonstrate you have understood the module contents before allowing you to move onto the next chapter.
  • The course slides could be brightened up by adding simple gifs and interactive animations as they are pretty static at the moment to make the course more engaging.

In Summary

Whilst completing the course certainly helped improve my knowledge and understanding of Magento 2 it is not as complete as the Magento 2 Developer Documentation at this point in time.

Finally if you are looking for additional resources to aid your learning check out the following GitHub Repository.