Do you know who are the happiest developers? Magento developers. And, this, we can say with complete confidence because we interview them on a regular basis.
You must be wondering, why Magento developers?
The reason is simple. They are content, working on great things, and building a budding development culture that is self-sustaining and long-lasting.
Unlike other ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, OsCommerce, and numerous other platforms, Magento developers are one of the highest-paid and have an incomparable skill-set.
Today, we will be interviewing one such developer from Germany.
Let’s welcome Christian Münch, a developer by profession but a creative by heart. He works as the Lead Magento Developer at Netz98 and, in his spare time, works on his pet projects. Unsurprisingly his pet projects also revolve around his development expertise. One pet project that made him a well-known figure in the Magento community is N98-magerun, the swiss army knife for the Magento community.
Cloudways: Please share your career highlights with the readers.
Christian: Hi, I am Christian Münch.
I am from Germany. My last name contains an Umlaut. That is this character which looks like a “u”.
In the business, I am responsible for the development at Netz98, a Magento agency located in Germany. Besides the business, I am married having a loving wife and two great kids.
In the Magento Community, I am known for my pet project n98-magerun, which is one of my hobbies as well.
Cloudways: How Magento is different from other ecommerce platforms? What was your basic reason behind choosing it?
Christian: There are a lot of ecommerce platforms available. When I started to work with Magento, osCommerce was the main ecommerce platform. Other platforms were very expensive and the source code was closed or only open for partners. Magento was a game-changer. Varien, a former company developing Magento created a modern open-source ecommerce system written in PHP. That’s when many PHP developers decided to switch to Magento. And, this was the beginning of the smart and intelligent Magento Community. This community made a significant advantage compared to other systems. When facing a problem, you are not alone. Everybody is willing to support you.
A second plus is flexibility and the easiness to modify existing functionalities or to introduce new functionalities to the system. If time to market matters, Magento is the system of your choice. Maybe other systems might be more stable, but the time to ramp up a new business is sometimes important. With Magento, you can easily try out new features and build up a new business.
Cloudways: How will you describe Magento in a single line?
Christian: A flexible feature-rich monster.
Cloudways: You have many Magento developer certifications. What changes did they bring to your skills and career options?
Christian: Over the years, I have collected a lot of different certificates. The biggest advantage of these certificates is not the Certificates themselves, but the preparation process. Deep in my heart, I am a backend developer. So I tried to get the frontend certificate and for which I had to learn new technologies. The certificate helps me to try different technologies and techniques.
Cloudways: Can you list some valuable resources that can be helpful for newbies to learn Magento development?
Christian: A good way to learn is to have a pet project. If you don’t have one, try to contribute to the Magento core. There is a portal that lists all Open Source projects of Magento.
- Magento offers a lot of information in its official devdocs as well. Sometimes developers skip the devdocs, because Magento 1 had not such good documentation. The Magento 2 documentation is much better.
- Another great way to learn is by joining a Hackathon and code together with other developers.
- You can also join the local Magento meetups.
Cloudways: How would you differentiate Magento 1 and Magento 2? Do you think Magento 1.x users must upgrade their store to Magento 2? If yes then why?
Christian: For me only Magento 2 matters. Magento 1 was the right tool in 2008. Today, we, the developers, want to use modern tools such as Composer. Most of the developers who are working with Magento 2, do not want to go back to Magento 1.
Should an existing customer upgrade to Magento 2? It depends. If they like the Magento ecosystem, they should. Magento 1 won’t get any new features. All new integrations of Adobe will only be available for Magento 2 from now onwards. Today there is already a huge gap in features of Magento 1 and Magento 2.
Next year, the official support of Magento 1 will end. That means from then onwards the shop owners will have to rely on the support of third-party companies to get security updates. Especially in Europe, you have to patch your shop in order to respect the GDPR.
On the other hand, Magento 2 is much more complex than Magento 1. A lot of time and money is needed to migrate an existing shop to Magento 2. If you have experienced developers or agency, you should start your migration now. If not, maybe another system is a much better match.
Cloudways: Please share your thoughts for the Magento community? How would you summarize the Magento community in one word?
Christian: As written before… the Magento Community is very unique in an incredible way. A lot of people spend their time to improve the software for free. It is not a business like we see in other communities. It is not a “Community of purpose”. In fact, a lot of people are friends. If you spend some minutes of your free time, you get back hours of fun.
Summing it all in one (German) word:
Cloudways: In your opinion, what is the future of Magento? Any predictions for 2020?
Christian: In 2020, I hope Magento 3 with a micro service architecture is released and the community is still active.
Additional predictions for Magento:
- Everything will be on the cloud.
- Photoshop tools are integrated in the Magento Admin.
- Better B2B tools are available.
- Adobe security team provides faster security releases.
Cloudways: Can you please share the picture of your workplace?
Christian: Here you go:
Cloudways: Recently you attended Magento Imagine. Please share your experience with our readers.
Christian: Magento Imagine is always a great event. It is the biggest event in the Magento event landscape. The first time I attended it was really a “WOW” experience for me. It was interesting to see how big the ecosystem has grown.
This year, I attended the Magento Imagine conference the third time. For me, it was interesting to see what the “Adobe Way of Magento” means. There were a lot of integration partners sponsoring the Magento Imagine event. The conference was a great opportunity to speak with many of them.
One great highlight for me was the DevExchange on the last day. It gave allowed me to interact with Adobe officials and the Magento community about platform related improvements.
I met a lot of new faces in Las Vegas. Sadly a lot of well-known guys – especially from Europe – did not attend the conference this year.
Cloudways: And what are your views for Magento events? How important are these events for the growth of Magento?
Christian: If it is your first time at an event, you might think that the talks are the most important part of the conference. IMHO the most important thing is to connect with people. You can do that also via Social Media, but if possible it is always better to meet in real life. Drink, eat, work together.
That’s the way how a community grows. That’s super important!
Cloudways: How do you balance your work-life balance? Do you like sports, traveling, entertainment, or hanging out with friends and family?
Christian: Everyone has 24 hours every day. Some hours should be used to sleep, for the family and work. It depends on what “work” means for you. I spend time with my family and love supporting my local football club Wormatia. I also love to code. That’s not always “work” for me. Coding can be fun. A good mix is what really matters.
Cloudways: Every one of us likes to follow some influencers. Whom do you get inspiration from? Name top Magento influencers who have inspired you.
Christian: If I reflect on my life as a developer, I am remembering a lot of guys who inspired me in different situations. My teacher in school Mr. Junker gave me the basic knowledge to start with professional programming. Some famous people are Dennis Ritchie, Linus Torvalds, Ken Thompson, Robert C. Martin, Douglas Adams, Margaret Hamilton, Grace Hopper, Alan Storm, Vinai Kopp, Jisse Reitsma. But there are also my colleagues who inspired me throughout my professional life.
Cloudways: Would you prefer shared hosting for Magento stores or a cloud hosting environment like Cloudways offers?
Christian: For me as a developer, hosting is not the main topic. I like hosting setup where it is possible to get information like access logs in an easy manner. For my usual business activities, I deal with a lot of different hosting setups. However, I have observed a continuous transition to cloud-based systems which is unstoppable. Cloudways contains “cloud” in the name and it is based on different cloud providers. That’s a big advantage.
Found Christian Münch interesting? Connect with him on Twitter.
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Syed Muneeb Ul Hasan is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. He is an expert in PHP and Magento and prefers to educate users in the implementation of Magento. When not working, he loves to play games and watch cricket.