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“Magento Is A Really Complex Platform” – Interview With Magento Guru, Gabriel Guarino

Moiz Khan Dec 02, 2016

Gabriel is a web developer with over 7 years of experience in the Magento eCommerce system. He is in the web development field for more than 11 years, which includes PHP, HTML, CSS, and jQuery).  His website is http://www.gabrielguarino.com/. Gabriel also carries a stack of Magento certifications, he is a Magento Certified Developer, Magento Certified Developer Plus, Magento Certified Solution Specialist and Magento Certified Front-End Developer. Gabriel has also been a Keynote Speaker at various Magento conferences.Today, we got the privilege to interview this multi-talented Magento specialist.

So, let’s get started:

Arpatech: Gabriel, you have 11+ years of vast experience in web development and more than 7 years of experience of working with Magento. What made you so interested in working for the e-commerce industry?

Gabriel: I’ve been working hard to improve my skills since I was very young. A time came when I was able to make progress fast and then I started to see the results of my hard work. I successfully implemented responsive HTML5 websites, following SEO guidelines and best coding practices. However, when I started working with Magento, I realized that my work had a big impact for both merchants and customers: A good Magento implementation led to sales for the merchants as well as it was a good buying experience for the customers too.

At that point, I decided to learn more every day and challenge myself to exceed all the expectations of my clients.

Arpatech: Gabriel, being a Magento Certified Developer you know the ins and outs of Magento? When anyone of us gets stuck somewhere in our projects, we Google about our query. What do you do when you face such problems? Do you prefer community or Google first?

Gabriel: Magento is a really complex platform, and you always find something that you need to investigate. After 7 years of extensive experience, I found that the best method to investigate a specific problem is reviewing the Magento core. But nowadays, developers tend to search and rely on Google for their every query and if they are unable to find the perfect solution to their query, they are stuck and they don’t know what to do. But my approach is different. Every time I wonder how to do something in Magento, I start searching for code samples in the Magento codebase or look for a similar feature in the Magento core, and I try to find the module and the class in Magento that is in charge of that specific feature.

To me this practice is really special since using this way, you can review the code that the Magento team implemented on the platform, and that means that you will follow the Magento conventions instead of just finding the solution somewhere else on the Internet.

Well, if you cannot find the solution in the Magento core, I suggest opening a new post in the Magento Forums or Magento Stack Exchange.

Arpatech: What is the most frequent myth that e-commerce merchant come up related to Magento. How do you overcome it when dealing it as a professional solution specialist?

Gabriel: Sometimes, I found merchants complaining about performance or even random issues which are hard to describe and hard to reproduce. But my perception is totally different. I found that Magento is not the reason for those problems, the reason is the bad implementation by some developers and system administrators.

Whenever, I am given the task to debug those websites, I found really poor coding practices, duplicated class rewrites, overloaded third party extensions, and so on. Magento is great, but the community should study the best practices and implement them in a right way so that the Magento website can function in a proper way.

Arpatech: Gabriel, you have all certifications of Magento. Please guide our readers on how to choose between these certifications. Many people want to learn Magento but are unable to find the perfect guidance. Please guide our newbie developers on how to get started with Magento.

Gabriel: If you are a newbie and just starting with Magento, I recommend you to read everything about Magento 2, including the available books and the Magento 2 Developer Documentation. If you have experience in Magento 1, you know that the “new era” has come: Magento 2. If that is the case, you can prove your knowledge in Magento 1 since that would be your credential that validates your experience.

Well, if you are a back-end developer or don’t have much experience with Magento, you can take the Magento Certified Developer certification. And if you have a lot of experience as back-end developer, then you can attempt the Magento Certified Developer Plus Certification.

If you are a front-end developer, then you should choose the Magento Certified Front-End Developer certification. Finally, if you are a consultant or project manager with experience in Magento, then you can choose the Solution Specialist certification.

Arpatech: We all have some mentors and motivations in our lives. Who are your mentors in Magento Community? How do you keep yourself updated in the community?

Gabriel: I don’t have a mentor in the Magento Community, but I try to follow the people who are really working hard to make Magento a reality and part of their lives. These people have an active participation in the Magento Community and they keep sharing their knowledge and experience. Also, I keep myself updated by participating in the Magento Forums, and by doing that I am able to solve the issues and problems of Magento Community and other people in charge.

Moreover, I keep myself updated by getting in touch with Magento Forums by Sherrie Rohde, reading the posts by professionals and latest articles at #MagentoMonday Community Digest.

In addition to that, I am an active Twitter user and I follow most of the Magento community members. Plus, I follow the #realmagento hashtag to be updated with the tweets that the community is posting with that hashtag.

Arpatech:  You are the keynote speaker at many Magento conferences. Please share your experience as a speaker, and also guide our readers about the advantages of being connected with Magento Meetups and conferences.

Gabriel: Having good knowledge and an extensive experience in the field of Magento, makes me satisfied when I share it with newcomers and experienced people in the field. I take it as a good opportunity to be a keynote speaker and deliver presentations about interesting topics relevant to Magento.

When I am connected to the Magento meetups and conferences I myself get a lot of knowledge about trending topics related to Magento. Also, I take it as the good opportunity as I get the immediate feedback of my queries from speakers and attendees. So, it’s the great time spent in the Magento events.

Arpatech: Many people have faced problems when moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2, so, as a developer how do you convince merchants to move to Magento 2?

Gabriel: Magento 2 is the upgraded version of Magento 1 and it has come with a lot of improvements, bug fixing options, and new features. Thus, we can say that this upgraded version of Magento will dominate the Magento 1 and nobody would be using the old version in three years or less. In addition to that, the Magento Developer Documentation team is doing a great job documenting every single aspect related to Magento 2, which is also important for the merchant since more documentation means that they have a solid e-commerce solution supported by the Magento team and the Magento community.

Arpatech: Now, let’s talk something besides your professional life. What do you prefer to do to in your free time? What activities do you do?

Gabriel: I love every type of sports and I have made it my daily routine to go GYM after my hectic workday. On Saturdays, I go cycling on rural roads. I used to swim as well but adding a swimming to my daily routine was little time taking, so I am not doing it these days and has a simpler routine. Apart from daily GYM and cycling on Saturdays, I like reading everything related to Magento and web development, so I always read something new at night before sleeping.