Frontend Developer, Lorena Ramonda Talks About Magento and Her Career in Magento Frontend Development

by Fayyaz Khattak  December 16, 2016

Christmas is just around the corner, and Cloudways is happy to kick off the holiday season with an interview with one of the best in the Magento Community. Consider this a gift, as we have been saving the best for the last. We interviewed  Alessandro Ronchi and Irene Iaccio from Bitbull, and today we are going to introduce another illustrious member of the Bitbull family, Lorena Ramonda.

Lorena Ramonda Interview

Lorena Ramonda is currently working as a frontend developer at Bitbull. She is well versed in the entire process of frontend development and regularly handles assignments that require her input from the initial drafts to the final UI. Right now, she is involved in several Magento focused projects.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin the interview!

Cloudways: To start off, could you briefly describe your career?

Lorena: I got in touch with this wonderful world of the web when I was just 16. I tried to make small websites for myself (although, never published) with tools that I won’t name (trust me, it’s better this way!). I simply love music. When I graduated, I took a year-long course on web design. Thanks to this course, my career started off in 2003. I have been a web designer for ten years now, designing websites from graphic drafts to frontend code (sometimes, I also wrote some backend code). This led me to understand where my real passion lied as a frontend developer. For the past three years, I have exclusively focused on frontend development. I am a happy and satisfied developer. 🙂

Cloudways: You have extensive experience in frontend development. With specialization in Magento, what challenges did you face initially? How did you tackle your problems and difficulties?

Lorena: Actually, my experience in Magento initiated when I got hired at Bitbull. I must confess, though; the first impression was shocking because of the uncountable things that I got to learn about. The main challenge was understanding the operations, theme fallback and tons of configurations. All my gratitude lies with my patient colleagues who taught me everything I needed to know in just a month!

Since you asked me how I tackle my problems; the answer is simple: asking questions, lots of questions. 😀

Cloudways: If Magento was not developed, what would have been your recommendations for ecommerce? How would you differentiate Magento from other ecommerce platforms?

Lorena: That’s a good question because the answer is: I DON’T KNOW! 😀 Well, I can’t compare Magento with any other ecommerce platforms. I am quite thankful that Magento is here!

Well, my limited experience with other ecommerce platforms does not make me the best person to compare Magento. But I can tell how Magento stands out in comparison to other ecommerce platforms. Magento is entirely extensible and customizable, and you can create thriving ecommerce platforms because you work with an excellent foundation. Moreover, it has a great community that provides commendable support and a lot of ready-to-use modules. Moreover, Magento is good for large product catalogs and large businesses. Plus, it is a safe platform for all kinds of businesses.

Cloudways: As a Magento frontend developer, what are your tips for someone who is just beginning  Magento frontend development? What are the 3 main points on which you focus every time during frontend development?

Lorena: Your question is funny! 🙂 What you’re asking me is actually the topic of my first technical blog post  My suggestion as I mentioned in the blog post is that start learning by understanding the theme fallback principle which is well explained in the official frontend guide and the difference between structural and content blocks while playing with the XMLs. These are the few core ideas you need to learn. Also learn the basics for creating your first package theme, starting from a base theme, such as boilerplates. Then find a mentor!  😀 or in the absence of one, just try and try and create the experience.

As far as my three mains points are concerned; I like taking care of the cleanliness and lightness of the code. Try to write as little code as possible to perform only what’s necessary, (very important for HTML code). In fact, I like to keep code clean and allow CSS to do most of the job. Another thing that I focus on is starting my code using cellular technology, which is all about progressive enhancement. It lets the majority of users have easier sailing through the website and enrich it for those with more advanced devices.

Cloudways: In your opinion, how is Magento 2 different from Magento 1 with respect to frontend development? Do you think that Magento 2 is better for store owners nowadays?

Lorena: Ouch! Ouch! I know very little about Magento 2, still haven’t worked with it, though, just sailed through a demo and tried to add products and configurations. What I can say is that it seems easier to manage as a store owner, more intuitive maybe, and more efficient too. As far as the differences are concerned, I can’t say anything in detail. However, I know a thing or two from my colleagues’ discussions. 🙂

My company is divided between those who love Magento 2 and those who hate it. I hope to be part of the first part when I lay my hands on Magento 2 because this field needs new technologies, developers, and users.

It appears that it managing frontend, style CSS has become tricky in particular, although, it seems that the fallback now applies to the CSS scaffolding too. For what I could understand, it’s indeed a great thing.

Cloudways: How does your work desk look like? Please share some pictures with us.

Lorena: I work in a coworking environment. I have a simple desk with my Mac only and nothing else. I don’t think I need anything else. Here’s a picture:

Lorena Ramonda Work Desk

Cloudways: Tell us about your first Magento project?

Lorena: Ah, my first project was an ecommerce store about marine fabrics and nautical accessories production called Tessilmare. I worked on it along with a colleague. My very first independent project is mybeautyweb.com and I am quite fond of it. 🙂

Cloudways: Could you offer some motivation to newbies and students who will be future Magenticians.

Lorena: Go and conquer the wooooorld! 😀

Ok, sorry! As my wise boss always told me:

“Learn Magento, and you will have plenty of opportunities.”

I will suggest the same thing because knowing Magento really opens a lot of doors. Then, and this is my own thinking, ecommerce is a fascinating world that offers many creative inspirations, both today and in the future.

Cloudways: How do you spend your spare time? Do you like playing games, watching movies and hangouts with friends, like I do?

Lorena: In my spare time, I read a lot of fiction and technical books. I also hang out with funny friends, attend rock concerts, and also, I code 😐 Yes, don’t look me that way. 😀 And sometimes I also play games and watch movies, but much less than what I’d like. I like to spend time at my countryside home. I would like to say that I am a sporty type, but I’m not. I do walk more these days, and I do yoga too! 😀

Cloudways: We all have some influencers, who impress us with their quality work or great quotes. Name some people who impressed you in your personal and professional life.

Lorena: Great question. I remember a thing a teacher of mine once said:

“Set a high goal in your life, because as much as you try, you won’t get the max, but you could get a lot. Otherwise, if you set a low goal, you’ll get little.”

I always keep this in mind. And Confucius says:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

That’s exactly what I’ve done. 🙂

Cloudways: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento installation with impressive speed & well-known cloud infrastructure embedded within the platform. Would you prefer shared hosting for Magento stores or a cloud hosting environment like Cloudways?

Lorena: No, not shared hosting. I’m very possessive. I like cloud hosting! 😀

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About Fayyaz Khattak

Fayyaz is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. His objective is to learn & share about PHP & Magento Development in Community. Fayyaz is a food lover and enjoys driving. You can email him at m.fayyaz@cloudways.com

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