hirobe talks to: Magento and Adobe Commerce legend Kimberely Thomas

This month on hirobe talks, Tom Wynne gets together with Magento and Adobe Commerce legend Kimberely Thomas to discuss some of the surprising e-commerce successes of 2023 and the trends digital commerce agencies are likely to see in 2024.

You can watch their chat here or, if you’re short on time, have a read of the transcription below:

I'm sure most people in the E-com sector will already be aware of yourself, but for those who don't, do you mind just giving us a brief introduction as to who you are and a bit about your background?


Sure. Hi, I'm Kimberely Thomas; you may know me as @magentogirl on Twitter. I coined my Twitter name when I first went to Magento Imagine, the very first one, and I've been working with Magento for over 15 years, since version 1.0.

I started out as a Technical Architect, and I've been a developer on many implementations. I even had my own agencies, and I landed myself at Magento, the mothership where I worked in professional services until we were purchased by Adobe. I joined the Adobe Services team, where I led our entire services for Adobe Commerce in the Americas.



Amazing, so really rich background there.

I haven’t been to Meet Magento in Florida or New York, have you gone yourself?


Actually, I started Meet Magento in the United States with Meet Magento New York, I think it was 2014. I organised that conference with Ignacio Riesco from Interactive 4, and we really brought that whole Meet Magento conference to the United States. I will be the MC of the technical track for Meet Magento Florida, which is happening at the end of this month, January 31st. So please join us down at Meet Magento Florida.


Amazing. I've heard really good things about Meet Magento Florida as well. I know the UK one was incredible, and I'm really looking forward to that one as well and seeing who goes.

You're a really experienced leader in the Adobe and E-com world, so I wanted to ask what trends you see digital agencies adopting across 2024.


Definitely over 2023 going into 24, I see people diversifying. We used to be hardcore 100% work on Magento-only projects; but there are a lot more platforms out there now and staff solutions. I definitely see agencies diversifying, working on different commerce platforms as well as the different partners that they're working with.

There is more of a focus on the customer experience side of things throughout 2023 and going into 2024. With AI, everyone's also wrapping that into things, and they want to do personalisation. Everybody wants to predict the intent so that they can hopefully increase their sales.

So, a focus on customer experience and diversifying platforms, and then the third one is doing more with less. How can you improve not only your internal processes but how can you improve your website experience? One of the number one ways of doing that is by decreasing your page load time and improving your site performance, which is something I've done a lot in my career, especially at Magento and Adobe, with health checks. But more with less is definitely one of my passions as a problem solver.


I think that makes so much sense. I suppose simplifying and doing more with less, as you say, is so important in what’s predicted to be a hard year.

Did you notice anything surprising or noteworthy given the Black Friday, Cyber Monday Christmas results?


For me it was surprising that it was just continuing to grow exponentially and that it was such a great year for everybody, which is fantastic. But I think I even posted on social media. If this is what's happening, then why are we still having massive layoffs in tech and e-commerce? I'm hoping that that's behind us in 2023. I've seen a couple of really good reports about 2024 being the time for the indie industry and consulting, and I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be true.

So really looking forward to 2024.


Yeah, I agree it was so startling to see the figures that came out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday especially with layoffs being rife through 2023.

I think some companies definitely benefited from some amazing marketing as well around Black Friday, and there were those that I think really didn't make the most of what it was. It's so exciting to see those figures given the year that we had.

And again thank you for that one. Those are really good insights there.

You're obviously an experienced leader and voice in tech. What do you think is going to be important in the current job market and also in terms of businesses being successful in 2024?


Something that I've always done and has always helped with my success is networking and connections. In fact, that's kind of how we even met. I think we just met over a chance message over LinkedIn that you sent to me, and I replied back. we had a lot of connections in common, which heightened my trust in you.

It has just always been a part of my story since the beginning when I started going to conferences. The Magento community was always really big on Twitter, and we used that platform to get to know each other to share information and to really bond. We became the Magento community leaders, which evolved into the more established Masters programme. Just so many great people that I've gotten to know around the entire world and at different organisations. I think that networking and making authentic connections with people is the key.


Definitely, networking is key, as you say. Networking is so overlooked and so important now. LinkedIn is rife with job opportunities and people who are hiring and I think even connections that you can make in the industry and just having a positive impact on people goes such a long way.

You know there's always a person behind that, and I also think you mentioned the community as well. I can only speak from. I actually put a post out after Meet Magento UK, which was this community is everything. Obviously, it's such a small world, I think in that space and that community and what everyone in the Magento community has built over the years really comes to the fore at those sorts of events where people are just letting their hair down, their guards down and everyone's just talking about the amazing things that are going on in in the space. I was really impressed with that, and I think, again, a really good point that you mentioned there is that community spirit.

Everyone knows each other as well, as I'm sure you know.


We've all worked with each other at some point, and it's a joke, the six degrees of separation of Kevin Bacon and the six degrees of separation in the Magento community. It's a pretty close tight-knit family.

What are your plans for 2024 and what's on the horizon for yourself?


I'm definitely looking for a new opportunity. I'd love to join a company in a leadership role, and I'm looking for a new challenge. I love solving problems, and I love helping to define processes, doing more with less and improving any processes and methodologies that are there, making sure you're following best practices.

You know a big part of what I've done at Magento and Adobe and I'm looking to spread my wings.


Amazing. I know, obviously, you came highly recommended from there, and I think any team would be lucky to snap you up in this market.

As well I think it's important that you keep your eyes open for the right opportunity. I think when people ask, "Oh, why are you looking for a job?" I think finding a job that not only aligns with your values and your culture and what you can offer but also that meets what you can bring to the business from a technical level as well, that's so important to consider.

So I'm hoping that you can find something soon. I'm sure someone will be really lucky to have you on board.


Thank you so much.


No worries, no problem, it's much deserved, You know, I don't just plaster words about and actually you've come highly recommended through people I know as well. So that's always, you know, as we mentioned earlier, referrals are always everything. I'm hoping to catch you at a Magento event sometime as well. That would be great to actually catch you in person when the doctor gives me sign off to fly again, or if you're ever in in the UK, Meet Magento London or something, that would be great.


Yeah, I'm really looking at my calendar for like all of 2024 right now. I'm just January so I'm going to start working on planning the rest. So we'll have to work on that, Tom. My plan so far is to burn off some of the mince pies I've eaten as well in Japan.


So that's, yeah, listen, I, I know you're busy, Kimberely, so I really do appreciate your time. Thank you so much and best of luck with 2024 as well.

Share this:

21st February

hirobe talks


Whether you’re looking for a new challenge or would like help finding Adobe professionals please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

Schedule a call