Today, I have interviewed Roman Hutterer, a self-accomplished Magento certified developer. Roman is from Linz in Austria, a city on which the world’s oldest cake recipe “Linzer Torte” is named after.
Just like a good cake, Magento store require both skill and technique. Roman is good at balancing both factors. His Magento Certified Developer badge is the proof of it. In a short span of time, he is known for sound Magento development. In this interview, he tells how he started his Magento journey, his favorite plugins, and the challenges Magento may face in this year.
Cloudways: Roman, now you are a Magento certified developer who, we can surely claim, has achieved a lot in professional life. When did you realize that you had a passion for programming? What challenges did you face?
Roman: I wrote my first line of code with 14 years. 🙂 That’s quite old for nowadays, but I would say my passion for programming started in my teenage years. I was always very interested in technical things. My brother and I disassembled quite everything. Sometimes, we solder the whole night. And, so as I said, at the age of 14, I got my first computer and I started to write code and was fascinated from the first line. I think I came in touch with the same challenges as everybody who starts programming. I remember my first reading of Object Oriented Code and I thought “What?!?!”.
Cloudways: There are so many well-known CMS. What made you choose Magento and become a Magento certified developer? What are the advantages of being recognised among Magento community?
Roman: When I started with Magento, my interest grew with every project. I’ve never seen such flexibility in a software written with PHP before. I attempted the certification exam to test my skills and also to underline my knowing of Magento. The community around Magento is great, there are some really cool and smart guys. It’s a big advantage to discuss and read about news and stuff before others do.
Cloudways: Magento is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) for developing ecommerce websites. How did you come across Magento? Share with us one of your experiences being involved in Magento development.
Roman: Before Magento, I was developing websites with eZPublish in a middle-large agency. Online business was growing and one day, we needed a “real ecommerce software”. So, we started to evaluate the options in the market and decided to Magento.
Cloudways: Flawless performance of front-end and back-end infrastructure, and optimization is the sole criterion of judging the credibility of a Magento-based ecommerce website. What would you suggest for ensuring optimized Magento performance?
Roman: Magento must be configured the right way and you have to know what you do. To get a really good performance, you have to know how the system works “under the hood”. Don’t misunderstand this. I think Magento is a very good software but it’s not perfect and there are some issues that you need to tweak to get the best results.
Cloudways: What challenges do you think Magento might face in 2015?
Roman: I think there is no ecommerce software like Magento. One of the challenges of 2015 will be mobile commerce. This part of online commerce has huge growth rates. Also, social commerce is emerging too in my opinion. And, last but not least, there is Magento 2 which is actually in Developer Beta and hopefully, it will be released in Q4 2015.
Cloudways: Let’s get aside of Magento and talk about your personal interests. I am following you on Twitter and I found that you love playing golf. Share some tips with over readers for becoming a good golf player? What activities do you enjoy the most during your spare time? How do you maintain your work-life balance?
Roman: That’s right, I love to play golf. It’s my favorite sport activity because it’s a tranquil activity. It takes my mind off from routine work. The only thing that counts is concentration and of course training. During wintertime, when the golf course is closed, I like to play football or tennis.
Cloudways: Magento uses extensions and modules. What are your recommended Magento extensions that every ecommerce store needs to install?
Roman: There many really good extensions. My favorite Debugging extension is Magneto_Debug (with some changes by myself). To Maintain the backend, I mostly install Mage-enhanced-admin-grids. For importing data, I use Magmi for smaller data and for big data, AVS_SimpleImport. CmsRewrites and RuleProducts are good extensions, too. Lastly, there are the extensions from AOE media which are always useful and brings some useful functionality.
Cloudways: There are individuals who tend to inspire us with their work and thoughts. Name 10 of the most important Magento influencers, who have had a profound impact on your life?
Roman: There are more than 10 I think. So, I am just telling you some names that came me in mind: Sander Mangel, Gordon Lesti, Joshua Warren, Matthias Kleine, Tobias Zander, Tobias Vogt, Fabrizio Branca, Simon Sprankel, Allan MacGregor, Kalen Jordan, Alan Kent and Alan Storm. (Of course! There are more and you can find all these wonderful in Magento communities.)
(The interview has been edited for clarity.)