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Hrvoje JurišIć Shares Why He Chose Magento as a Career and More

Updated on May 10, 2017

6 Min Read

Hrvoje is currently working at Inchoo as a Magento Front End Developer with 6+ years of experience. He has vast experience on this popular ecommerce solution. He is a certified Magento Solution Specialist and certified Magento Front End Developer. In this interview, Hrvoje shares his experience with Magento in general and his thoughts about Magento 2. Hrvoje said “Magento 2 is fresh out, so let’s give the core team some time for fine tuning.”

Hrvoje Jurišić Interview

With lots of talk about Magento, Hrvoje talks about his personal life as well. He was a former football player. “I actively played football for more than 20 years, but retired a few years ago.” And he also shares some of his interesting experiences. Read more to find out useful insights from the Magento World.

Cloudways: Hrvoje, you are a Magento Front End Developer at Inchoo with 6+years of experience. How did you start your career? For how long have you been involved with Magento? You chose the Mage life or did the Mage life choose you 🙂 ? Share some interesting moments from your career with our readers.

Hrvoje: I started dabbling with websites in year 2000, when I bought my first computer. The very next day, I built a website. It looked terrible, but I was proud. Next few years I was learning and eventually, paid gigs came around. I was freelancing for a few years, doing design and small wordpress websites, until I landed at Inchoo in 2009. I didn’t have any experience with Magento or ecommerce whatsoever before I came to Inchoo, but now I’ve been working exclusively with Magento for the last 6 years.

Cloudways: You are a Certified Magento Solution Specialist and Certified Magento Front End Developer. What problems did you face as a Front End Developer and how did you solve them? Share some of your responsive web design tips with our readers. What’s your suggestion for newbies who want to become good front-end engineers?

Hrvoje: In most of the cases, the real struggle is in understanding the client needs. We are teaching our developers at Inchoo not to ask “how”, but to ask “why”. Not just blindly and unconditionally follow the instructions of a client, but to ask what is behind every client’s request – what do they want to achieve. Only when we have deep understanding of those goals, we can offer the right solution.

From the technical standpoint, the biggest nightmare for front-end developer is when he has to optimize website for older browsers, such is Internet Explorer 7 or 8, for example. Luckily, those days are over and although we have a wider spectre of devices and resolutions to cover these days, it is a joy to build responsive websites on modern browsers.

My advice for newbies in this responsive world is to embrace the ubiquity of the web. That means to stop thinking about devices, resolutions and pixels and deal with the fact that we don’t know from which devices or screen sizes our users will access our websites. Those are smartphones, tablets and smartwatches today, and who knows what tommorrow. Make your websites future ready.

Cloudways: With the release of Magento 2, there is a lot of debate going on about the compatibility of web shops with the new version. What would be your recommendations for those e-merchants looking to upgrade from 1.x to the Magento 2? How do you see Magento growth in the next 5 years?

Hrvoje: Well, the merchants have to be aware that upgrade from 1.x to Magento 2 will practically demand building a new website. There is a migration tool that can help you migrate your data, but theme and code customizations will not be transferable and will need to be rebuilt in Magento 2.

My advice for existing merchants on Magento 1, presuming they don’t have any problems with existing platform, is to wait a little bit with the upgrade. Magento 2 is fresh out, and let’s give the core team some time for fine tuning.

Magento is an eight years old piece of software. That is a long time in tech industry. The most popular browser in 2008 was IE6, I think that should tell you enough. Magento 2 is long awaited upgrade, bringing modernized tech stack, performance and scalability improvements. In my opinion, that should be enough for Magento to keep its current position of a leading eCommerce platform in the world for the next few years. This upgrade also comes with a cost of increased complexity. And this will, in my opinion, create an opportunity for, let’s say, lighter and simpler systems, to take a piece of Magento market share, mostly among small merchants.

Cloudways: Hrvoje, in your opinion, what functionality improvements in Magento 2 are more competitive today: Frontend features for customers or Backend refinements? What are some useful features you’ve seen in Magento 2 for front end developers?

Hrvoje: As a front-end developer, obviously, I am more focused on Magento front-end.

Using jquery instead of prototype in Magento 2 is a big step forward for us. I also like how layouts work in Magento 2, with newly added elements and instructions.

I like new theme and UI library, and the fact that is possible to change few variables in LESS file settings and change the look and feel of the website.

On the other hand I don’t like the fact that we are forced to use LESS. I would say the same for any other preprocessor. Frontend tools and technologies change in incredible pace, and there is no need  to tie entire platform to a technology that is obsolete today, or might be obsolete tomorrow. There are some people out there that still write pure CSS, and at the end of the day, THAT is the language that browser interprets. Sure, we can add SASS if we want or omit default preprocessor and write pure CSS, but are we working against “best practices” then? Magento is the one setting the rules.

Cloudways: How has your experience been so far with the Magento Community and with the community members? How do you connect yourself in the community? What’s your suggestion for people who want to involve themselves in the Magento community, how can they become a part of the community?

Hrvoje: There isn’t any industry in the world whose members are so much willing to share their knowledge. You can get help through numerous of channels – magento official forums, stackexchange, twitter, blogs. We, at Inchoo, are trying to give back to community by sharing  knowledge on our blog or presenting at the conferences.

For anyone wanting to become a part of the community, I already mentioned the channels: go out there, get help, give help. Write a blog. Attend a conference, that’s the easiest way to meet community members in person. And they are really a friendly bunch, so don’t be shy to make a contact.

Cloudways: You participated in Meet Magento Poland 2013 and Meet Magento Greece in 2015. What was the best moment from Meet Magento Greece you’d like to share with our readers? What do you believe are the benefits of such events for the Magento Community and for the new attendees?

Hrvoje: Meet Magento Greece 2015 was a first Magento event in that country. As we know, Greece is struggling with the crisis, and all aspects of economy are affected, including e-Commerce. There aren’t many Magento developers or agencies in Greece,  so this conference was one of the smallest I attended. But during the talks, and especially, panels, there was such a great atmosphere and enthusiasm, resulting in some interesting initiatives among our Greek hosts. I like to believe that we helped a community be born.

Cloudways: Most of the online customers want to access shopping sites in less than two seconds. Speed matters a lot for Magento web stores. As a Magento Certified Solution Specialist, what’s your advice for improving the speed of a Magento website?

Hrvoje: Speed matters, and that is a fact. If your website is slow, user will go to your competitor and probably never come back.

It is important to think about performance from the very start of the project. All those big banner sliders on your homepage have impact on performance. So if you know that adding one more slide will make your website one second slower, it will make you think twice…

So, without proper planning, it will be hard to “add” speed later. It’s not how things work.

Having a “performance budget” can also help you a lot.

Cloudways: Let’s put Magento aside and talk about your interests. How do you spend your free time after work? How do you manage your family life? Are you able to achieve a work-life balance? Are you a runner? or which other sports do you like the most 🙂 ?

Hrvoje: I actively played football for more than 20 years, but retired few years ago. Being an athlete for such a long time, and then quitting, leaves a mark on your body. So I gained some extra weight, which I plan to burn with diet and exercise, starting from Monday. Next Monday of course 🙂

I am a big fan of comic books, so I have a large collection at home. I also try to draw and paint myself, some of the results can be seen on Inchoo blog.

Cloudways: Everyone has some inspiration behind their success. Name some people from the Magento Community who have inspired you the most?

Hrvoje: First people that inspired me, taught me, and lead me into the world of Magento, were my colleagues from Inchoo – Ivan Weiler and Domagoj Potkoč. There are a lot of people from Magento Community that I admire and the list would be too long, but I have to mention two guys – Ben Marks and Marius Strajeru. Hope I don’t have to explain why.


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Abdur Rahman

Abdur Rahman is the Magento whizz at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious, and aims to learn & share information about Ecommerce & Magento Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]


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