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Interview with a Certified Plus Magento Developer

Hi Tibi, let’s start with a short introduction. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Magento addicted. At some point in the past I left Magento for Android application development, but after a year and a half I realized that the next step would be to return to Magento as I had great trust in the success of the platform and community.

You have a vast experience in web development. When and how did you start your career?

I started my career in 2008. I wasn’t even 20 when, one day, in the university campus, a friend asked me to join his team made up of 2 java developers. My final answer came 2 minutes later, so, after a month or so I was working for a rather small startup company. This company had a partnership with a large one in Budapest, so before I knew it, I was working on a national project with 250 experienced developers, where I was the youngest. I didn’t quite understand much of what I was doing there, and I didn’t really get involved given my age, which made this experience last 6 months. This time in my life was actually a longer holiday during which all the money I made went on fun and the enjoying the Budapest night life. Soon after I got back to Romania, I got a job at another company, a rather large one in my home town, where I started to work a bit harder.

What were the challenges you encountered at your very first work place and how did you approach them?

The greatest challenge was to deal with the tasks I received, because I didn’t have a lot of experience back then and what I had learnt at university was still not enough, given I was only in my first year. I studied a lot, by myself and tried to “steal” as much information as possible from the senior programmers.

How did you discover Magento? And please describe your first Magento experience.

I discovered the Magento platform when I was fired on the 1st of April (April fool’s day) from my second work place. Why? Apparently because of the global economic crisis, but until this day I do not know the real reason behind all that. Luckily, the following week, I was offered another job by a manager at the same company, who in the meantime, started his own business. This is where I started learning a lot, although there was little documentation I could use, given that I was working on Magento 1.3 if I recall correctly. I started as a frontend developer and then became a fullstack developer.

You are one of the 120 Magento Certified Developers in Romania and since 2016 you have your Magento Developer Plus certification. How difficult did you find the exams?

For me personally, as a developer, the Magento Certification is not as relevant as it may be for our clients, which is why I decided to take the exam only 6 years after I started working with Magento. The exam itself is not easy, but not impossible to pass either. Although it may seem like a bit too much theory, information that you can find out on forums anytime, whenever necessary, I must admit that I did find out some details I wasn’t aware of before preparing for this exam.

Given that Magento is such a dynamic and sometimes time-consuming activity, how would you describe your life in terms of leisure time? Do you have any hobbies?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of free time, although my favorite motto is Less doing, more living…
On the other hand, I had a lot of hobbies in the past. I was a professional athlete as well, training in martial arts for 9 years and I also ski since I was 6. Currently, my only serious hobby are drums. I am part of a garage band, in which I play together with a few former colleagues that I stayed very good friend with.

What was your biggest Magento challenge?

There were a lot of challenges. One that comes to my mind is a large B2B which currently sells products of a quarter million’s worth on a daily basis. We had a lot of third party integrations to do, a significant database percentage that is changing almost entirely every 24 h, this is where prices differ from one user to another, are changing every day, and so on. But it was a great success and is still going really well today. And this was just one of the many great challenges in the past.

Do you have any Magento developers as a model or inspiration?

I admire Alan Storm, who doesn’t? I learnt a lot from his blog.

How do you see the evolution of Magento from the first editions to Magento 2?

Magento has evolved to an extremely high extent. This evolution would not have been possible without its community’s support, all those developers bringing their own contribution to the community and all serving the same purpose: to develop the platform.

How is working with Magento 2 compared to the previous edition?

In the beginning, at the first Magento 2 conferences, the community was rather skeptical about it. But I now consider that this major change was actually necessary and what Magento has become today, from a code base point of view, is absolutely extraordinary.

Why do you think an eCommerce business owner should use Magento?

This platform has evolved greatly. Its community even more so. Magento is really stable and scalable. It has absolutely no limits, all depending on the developers’ experience and the architect’s vision. At least in the near future, I am sure that Magento will have no equal competitor, so I warmly recommend it to all business owners who want an online shop or a management solution.

You have been working at your current job for quite some time now. How did you start your activity here?

I came to this company at a friend and former/current colleague’s suggestion. I wanted to move to Cluj-Napoca as I was fascinated by the life here. My initial plan was to stay for a little while or maybe be part of a larger company, but I soon came to the conclusion that this place offered much more freedom and 90% of the work is done in Magento. This is how my seniority here got to outgrow the time spent at all the other companies together.

Do you have any other plans in the future, career wise, or do you see yourself continue working with Magento?

I have a lot of future plans. Most of them are mainly related to Magento. I would like to focus more on architecture. I have always been fascinated by how scalable Magento is and the fact that it is quite limitless, so in the near future I would like to use these limits to their maximum potential and prove that Magento can also be used outside its main ecommerce solution position. And when I will manage to create a personal solution and make it stable, I would like to be able to attend the largest Magento conferences so that I can present it in front of the Magento community.

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