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Interview With Ivan Augusto, Magento/Adobe Commerce Tech Lead at IronPlane LLC

Updated on October 24, 2023

6 Min Read
Ivan Augusto Interview

Jyotishina: Please tell us about yourself. Your name, what is your designation at the Discorgento? What are your core responsibilities?

Ivan Augusto: I’m Ivan, a Tech Lead from Brazil who has been working with Magento since the 1.8 era, and I have worked on over 50 different projects to date.

Currently, I work at IronPlane, an e-commerce agency specializing in Magento and BigCommerce. They also have a podcast where Tim, our Director of Engagement, interviews the names behind well-known brands such as Algolia, Hubspot, Akeneo, etc.

I’m also a contributor to the Discorgento community, mainly involved in creating and maintaining open-source tools for making developers’ lives easier.

Jyotishina: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the development journey of Magento, and how did you overcome it?

Ivan Augusto: Building marketplaces.

There’s an extremely high number of business rules to be fulfilled, and you need to be more careful than ever when it comes to performance and scalability because these kinds of projects are meant to grow really big.

To do so, careful architecture planning before starting coding and exceptionally good communication among a truly efficient team are necessary to ensure the success of such projects.

We had some issues with meeting deadlines, which made it challenging to establish a comprehensive automated testing coverage. However, I believe that this can also be a game-changer for such complex projects.

Jyotishina: You have been part of the Magento industry for over 7 years. Why did you choose Magento, and how do you think it has progressed during this time?

Ivan Augusto: I first learned about Magento from a friend of mine years ago, and I was pleasantly surprised by how the framework was not only feature-rich but also highly extensible and customizable.

Since then, the platform greatly evolved further with the release of Magento 2, which is almost an entirely new framework when compared to Magento 1.

Now we have:

  • Composer for package management
  • Full page caching being available for the open source edition
  • Support for queue background processing
  • More extensibility for developers
  • Page builder for content management

The only things I miss are clear documentation and a “simplified” development process for common scenarios. But hey, it’s open source. We, as developers, can contribute to that!

Jyotishina: Can you tell us about the new module migrations in Discorgento for Magento?

Ivan Augusto: As with other modules we developed, it is meant to simplify the developer’s life, in that case, to speed up the process of building data patches or migrations.

The Discorgento Migration module abstracts the repetitive parts of creating attributes, managing CMS content, handling admin config, etc, in a way that you do it only once per code, and the changes will persist across all of your environments.

It is also extensible, so each company can build its own custom facades to work on top of it, improving the development experience even further.

Jyotishina: What advice would you give to developers, merchants, or business partners who are considering using Magento as their eCommerce platform?

Ivan Augusto: For the developers, that’s the most important thing to remember from this interview: the Magento core platform is built in a way that it supports all kinds of scenarios of all kinds of business, which means it usually has “generic” solutions and you need to build some customization on top of it.

Pay attention to what you do the most, and abstract it into your own store-agnostic modules so you can reuse your logic as often as possible.

For merchants/business: remember that Magento’s target audience are stores with medium/big operations (such as those with a high volume of sales, those that sell internationally, B2B stores, etc).

That happens because the strongest advantage of using Magento is the total control over the platform, which means whatever business rules you have can be put on Magento, but which naturally also means higher costs to maintain the store over the years, especially if not done by an agency specialized on it.

Jyotishina: How do you see the future trends of Magento 2 affecting the global market?

Ivan Augusto: Mainly two correlated aspects:

  • Unique experience for customers: as Magento allows all kinds of customization, merchants can use their creativity to build totally unique experiences that can captivate the customer. A couple of examples: having a video preview of the products on the products grid itself, which is extremely eye-catching, or integrating a 3D viewer on the product page to give customers a 360° view of the product they’re looking for.
  • Tools for storekeepers: Adobe is releasing more and more AI tools for the Adobe Commerce platform, which can provide extremely useful insights for the marketing team while also providing a customized experience for the customers (like Adobe Sensei for product recommendations).

In short: by greatly improving both customer and storekeeper experience on online stores.

Jyotishina: What is the biggest challenge when migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Ivan Augusto: Data migration, especially those from third-party modules. Eg.: you had a form builder module on Magento 1? Does it have a version for Magento 2? Does it support importing the previous forms? And so on. Sometimes, this may simply not be possible and demands a totally custom solution.

Jyotishina: How do you contribute to the Discorgento Magento community, and what is your role in it?

Ivan Augusto: Sometimes, I participate as a co-host in our podcast episodes, but mainly, I work behind the scenes on our custom modules. Whenever I notice a pattern in my daily work, I discuss with the community how to turn it into a store-agnostic tool that everyone can benefit from (including myself!).

Jyotishina: The tech industry is highly competitive and fast-paced. How does Magento maintain its competitive edge, and what role does AI play in this?

Ivan Augusto: By offering an ever-increasing range of features and tools to both merchants and developers to build unique experiences in their stores. As AI evolves, new possibilities become reality. Adobe is already embracing this by integrating its AI ecosystem, the Adobe Experience Cloud, directly inside the Magento/Adobe Commerce admin panel, like Live Search and Product Recommendations.

Jyotishina: How do you balance your work and personal life, and what do you like to do in your free time?

Ivan Augusto: I try to follow a regular working schedule and have a dedicated room in the house to use as an office. That way,, it’s easier to focus on work and avoid distractions during weekdays while also helping disconnect from the work during the night and on weekends.

Not too fancy things during my free time, I just like to spend quality time with friends and family whenever possible. I also have retro-gaming as a hobby, and for whatever reason, I enjoy assembling and fixing furniture by myself.

Jyotishina: Scalability and performance are critical when it comes to hosting. Can you share an example of a time when you optimized the performance of a client’s application?

Ivan Augusto: There’s a trick I learned while developing an ERP years ago that Magento developers often neglect but is stupidly useful on e-commerce also: using queues to optimize performance. Two real-world examples:

  • Converting tons of on-product save automated custom actions to an async process, which saved around 20 min on a daily basis with load times on admin panel.
  • Overriding the default “Apply Catalog Rules” behavior to process in background, which allowed the merchant of a big store in my country to change their pricing rules whenever they want during the day without compromising the store performance.

Also, a more generic rule I have: always doing third-party API calls in the background using the queue. This prevents the store performance from becoming hostage of an external response which I don’t have any control over.

Jyotishina: Have you heard of Cloudways? What are your thoughts on hosting a growing Magento store on Cloudways?

Ivan Augusto: I haven’t paid attention before, but since our first contact, I started noticing that now and then, I use Cloudways articles as reference on my daily work. And as someone who already played a DevOps-like role, I really liked the platform, especially on how easy it is to manage stuff directly from the web interface (back then, I had to ssh into the server and do everything manually!).

Also, there’s the cloud hosting hub thing, so it’s really easy to migrate the server to a more powerful one or to just escalate the current one.

Jyotishina: Who are some Magento influencers that you think we should interview next?

Ivan Augusto: The name is just a coincidence, but I recommend Ivan Chepurnyi. He has been working on some really neat optimizations at the Magento core level, especially indexing-related stuff.

Jyotishina: Could you share a picture of your workspace or studio with us?

ivan-interview-2

 

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Jyotishna Kumari

Jyotishina is the Magento Community Expert at Cloudways and has 4 years of experience in web development. She has worked on e-commerce sites since the turn of the millennium and was working with Magento before version 1 was released. She loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever she finds time. Get in touch with her at [email protected].

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