Do you know why I love interacting with the Magento community so much? Because it always gives me the chance to meet interesting and generous people from all over the world. In that vein, today I have with us Vitalii Boiko, Tech Lead at Atwix. In this exclusive interview, he sheds light on his career, experiences, and journey so far.
With a decade of experience as a contributor in tech-talk and more, he has a passion for helping others in the field. So, without further ado, let’s hear it from the man himself.
Ashmal: Hi Vitalii, it’s lovely to have you with us! Could you start with telling our readers about yourself?
Vitalii: Thanks for having me. I’m a Tech Lead at Atwix Inc. My job is to manage development processes in a team and provide technical expertise. I’ve been a part of the Atwix team for over 3 years now and overall, I have over 5 years of experience in eCommerce. Along with that, I’m an open-source maintainer and contributor. Lately, I’ve been concentrating mostly on the PhpStorm Plugin for Magento 2.
Ashmal: Was there a special reason you chose to work with Magento over the other eCommerce platforms available? What would you say is the importance of using Magento to you?
Vitalii: One of the reasons why I choose to work with Magento 2 is that I appreciate the wonderful and super extensible architecture behind its system. Along with that, it’s the biggest application ever written in PHP, functional and complex. It’s hard to get bored with it.
Ashmal: You have several Magento developer certifications. Were these difficult to achieve? How did they help change your skillset and career?
Vitalii: It depends. Some of them were easy, some of them were hard, and took more than one attempt to get, especially Magento 2 Architect Master. Magento 2 certifications are experience-oriented so it’s a better way to prove your knowledge than to change the skill set. However, I learned several things during the preparation.
Ashmal: What resources do you think newbies would find helpful to learn Magento development?
Vitalii: I have to admit that a Magento 2 based project is not the best candidate for the very first job and can easily wreck anyone’s head. I recommend starting with something simpler at the beginning. For example with OpenCart, in order to get to know how ecommerce works and get familiar with PHP. After 1 or 2 years with a simpler platform, you can start trying Magento 2. However, I recommend finding a mentor, because jumping into Magento 2 on your own might be tricky. Regarding resources, there are a lot of those. I highly recommend reading Robert C. Marting Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship – this book will bring your expertise to the next level. Regarding Magento 2 specific resources, I found the following ones useful (but not only): Magento 2 DevDocs, Mage2 TV, Swiftotter study guides, and, of course, StackOverflow.
Ashmal: How would you compare Magento 1 with Magento 2? Have you tried Magento 1 after EOL?
Vitalii: Those are completely different platforms. Magento 2 is more complex, modern, and I would say, more enterprise-oriented than Magento 1. I haven’t tried Magento 1 since EOL. Moreover, I haven’t worked on Magento 1 for more than 2 years, working only with migrations to Magento 2 nowadays.
Ashmal: What’s your thoughts on Headless, PWA and other related technologies? How are they going to benefit the merchants and ecommerce industry?
Vitalii: If a business requires a fast storefront, those technologies are beneficial, especially for the high-loaded B2C stores. However, I think for the most existing B2B business, particularly those oriented on customization and automating communication between sellers and buying companies, the PWA solution might not be so expedient.
Ashmal: What do you think about the Magento community? How important is it for the growth of the Magento platform?
Vitalii: There are so many positive aspects to being part of the Magento community, I can’t count them all. I’d like to highlight some of the most important ones. First of all, when you’re an active member of the community, it becomes easier to keep pace with the rapid changes in the industry. Along with that, it’s an opportunity for developers to learn from each other and give support. Stack Overflow questions and answers, fixing issues in the platform and developing new functionalities on the GitHub, writing documentation, online and offline events, tools for speeding up the development – all of those are driven mostly by the community.
Ashmal: As we have seen, you are a highly active member of the Magento Community. What are your thoughts on online Magento events and which events are you excited about for this year?
Vitalii: I have enjoyed participating in the Magento Association Connect conference. And now I’m looking forward to the MageConf, the largest technical Magento event in the world. I very much hope that the event will be offline as it used to be.
Ashmal: How do you think these events improve the Magento experience?
Vitalii: For me, it’s important because at these events Magento architects and managers share their vision on the future of the platform. Also, it’s a great opportunity to meet nice people 🙂
Ashmal: Where do you see Magento in the future? Any predictions for 2022?
Vitalii: I don’t think we will see some significant changes in one year. I think we will see some new features (like the Live Search) and enhancements for the existing ones (MSI, PWA, etc).
Ashmal: Can you please share a picture of your workplace? And any tips on how to make a productive workstation since many of us are still working from home.
Vitalii: I don’t need much equipment for work, just my laptop mostly. The most important thing to me is a comfortable chair because this work requires sitting 7-10 hours per day. And my workplace is quite straight-forward:
Workstation of Vitalii Boiko
Ashmal: Who are the top influencers that inspire you?
Well, that’s a complicated question. I can’t mention a specific person here. I always try to learn something from people who achieved more than me in fields I’m interested in.
Ashmal: What does your work-life balance look like? Are there any activities you enjoy in your spare hours? You can share any pictures you like here!
Vitalii: I used to go to the gym, but I always had to force myself. I decided to quit and find something else. Almost 3 years ago I discovered cycling. That was life-changing. I don’t need to force myself anymore. I’m looking forward to every ride. It had begun as just an easy activity to get my mind off things. I did not even imagine how many beautiful and interesting places exist just a few kilometers from my house. And sunrises, I can’t live without them anymore 🙂
Vitalii’s Cycling Day
Then, after one year of cycling on my own, I met Ihor Pylypchuk, a professional coach, who invited me to the local cycling club. And I became, I would say, addicted to cycling. Training hard, participating in racing, sometimes taking on a crazy 300 km ride.
Vitalii Making New Records
Ashmal: Please share your tips and advice with our readers.
Vitalii: Go out and try something new. You’ll thank yourself later when you find out that this new thing you tried is now one of your favorite hobbies or lovely job 🙂
Ashmal: Again, thank you so much for your time. You’re always kind to me 🙂
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Ashmal ur Rehman
Ashmal is the Magento Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out merchants and developers in establishing and maintaining online stores. In addition, he is often busy interacting with the Magento community and figuring out integration tactics for emerging tech. When not working, you could find him playing COD & CS GO. Feel free to contact him at [email protected]