Marius Strajeru talks about Magento 2, MageTitan, MeetMagento and Why Community is Essential for Magento’s Growth

by Fayyaz Khattak  January 18, 2016

Marius Strajeru is a helpful & down-to-earth person. He has vast experience and knowledge in his field. He is a famous Magento Developer, a very active person in the Magento forums & Communities, and knows very well about Magento Module Development.

Marius is one of the most dominant Magento Developer in today’s era. He is number 1 on Magento Stackexchange. His best answers come when anybody questions him about anything related to Magento and it’s core Development. He was awarded the “Magento Pioneer Award” in April, 2015 for his significant contributions to the development of Magento Platform, Magento Core Development and Magento Extension Development. Aside from being extremely talented, he is a very friendly person. Read on to find out what more he had to say about Magento in his interview with Cloudways.

Marius Strajeru Interview

Cloudways: Marius, you are currently working in Arnia Software as a PHP Developer since 2+ years and you have vast years of experience on the development side. What challenges did you face initially in your career? How did you connect yourself with Magento? Share your career journey with our readers.

Marius: I started almost about 10 years ago, right after finishing college, as an entry level .NET developer. That didn’t last long, mainly because of the project (I didn’t like it) and because I wasn’t learning too much. Then I found a company willing to train me in PHP, JS, MySQL, HTML, some Photoshop also but that didn’t stick, and pay me during that training. So I decided to give it a try. Later I found out it wasn’t the most pleasant company to work for, but at least it got me started with web development.

Two jobs later I was faced with Magento. I told this story before, but here it is again. It was my first day at a job, I was expecting to work on some project related to an add server, but the team lead said: “No, you are not going to do that. We have an e-shop for you. Do you know Magento?”. My answer was “No”, to which he replied “We don’t have any knowledge of it either, but we made a study and concluded that it might be the best platform for the online shop we need to do. Good luck.” 6 painful months later I was able to deliver my first Magento website, with the core heavily modified (I paid for that later when I had to do an upgrade), with some shady modules and a theme that had lots of model loads in the templates and other rookie mistakes. But I learned a lot from it.

Two more jobs later, I ended up at Arnia Software where I think I found my home. I’m surrounded by a lot of great people. And I’m not saying this professionally only. They quickly became my friends that make the office a nice place to work and to have fun.

Cloudways: Would you call yourself just a Module Creator for Magento or a Complete Magento Dictionary who can always answer to any question, anywhere, asked by anyone?

Marius: First of all, I don’t write magento modules anymore. I have a tool that does that. Now seriously, I really like working on modules with clear specifications, but from time to time I had to come up with solutions to already existing modules, or code modules. I don’t consider myself a “complete dictionary”. I don’t think there is someone that knows everything about Magento. There still are a lot of things I don’t know, there are still parts I haven’t touched because I didn’t have the chance to do it.

Cloudways: Since Magento 2 is launched, do you think that it will capture the bigger chunk of E-commerce’s Market? Is it fulfilling the needs of the end users and developers? Do you think merchants can improve their store sales with Magento 2?

Marius: Magento 1 already has a big market share, Already! And from what I know, the support for it will end 3 years after the release of Magento 2. This does not mean that everyone will stop using it, but most probably a big portion of the stores will move to Magento 2 because of the similarities in functionality and because of the migration tools.

I’m a developer still learning how magento 2 works. I have no idea yet if it’s good for merchants or for end users. All I can say for now is that, I, as a developer, like it and believe in its potential.

Cloudways: If Magento was not developed, which platform would you choose for E-commerce? In your opinion, what are the common problems nowadays that are commonly faced by Magento Developers?

Marius: Like I said in my answer to question 1, I didn’t choose magento. Someone else chose it for me. So I don’t know what platform would I have used in case there was no Magento.

I haven’t worked in a while on a magento project, so I may not be in touch with the latest trends and problems, but from what I saw on stackexchange the latest security patches cause quite a problem among developers and store owners lately.

Cloudways: What would you suggest, Magento version 1.x or Magento 2 and why? What will be your answer if I asks about the future of magento? How do you see Magento growth in upcoming years with Magento 2?

Marius: It depends. If you want to start a shop from scratch I would definitely say Magento 2. you will have to migrate to it eventually. I don’t think anyone starts an online shop and planning to close it down in a year or 2. Sure, Magento 2 still has some technical issues, but then again all software does. I think these will be solved soon and will make Magento 2 an even better e-commerce platform.

But if I already had a Magento 1 shop I would wait with the upgrade a few more months. The main reason is that almost nobody uses Magento 1 without any custom modules that provide vital functionality for the shop. Magento 2 does hot have yet the extension ecosystem Magento 1 has and it may be hard if not impossible to get the same functionality one already has on his magento 2 shop. This doesn’t mean that for the next months the shop owners/developers should pretend magento 2 does not exist. They should use the time to familiarize themselves with the platform and see its advantages and disadvantages.

Cloudways: In April 2015, you were awarded the Magento Pioneer Award in Magento Imagine Commerce 2015, kindly share your experience and what journey you took to be bestowed with such a precious award?

Marius: Ah..the pioneer award. It was a nice moment in my life. I really enjoyed being on stage at Imagine in front of a lot of people. It really gave me a warm feeling inside.

But I still say that was a rather subjective award. There were a lot of people that should have been there on that stage to receive the award, not just myself and Fabrizio Branca.

Cloudways: “I write code”, “It’s not a bug. It’s a feature.” From how long you are using these words for yourself or in your blogs and when did you realize that they have real importance in your professional life?

Marius: “I write code” it’s kind of obvious, this is what I do. 🙂

“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature” is a well know joke among the developers. I added this title to my blog after a discussion I had with my PM on the first Magento project I did. For about 1 week I struggled to fix a “core bug” just to realize that it was not actually a bug and I was using it wrong. Then I had to explain to the PM that I cannot fix a bug because it’s not a bug. it’s a …you know where this is going. 🙂

Cloudways: What is MageStackDay? Are you taking place in it? In your opinion what are the advantages of attending these type of events. What are your thoughts about Meet Magento? Which Meet Magento were you a part of? Would you share your best experience from Meet Magento. What are the benefits for new magenticians to attend these types of events?

Marius: MageStackDay is an online hackathon where we, the magento.stackexchange.com users, meet to cleanup the website. We answer questions, up vote good answers we missed, close low quality questions.

The previous 2 MageStackDays were organized while the website was in beta. The main reason was to get the answer percentage up a few points. Now, MageStackDay 4 will take place to celebrate the graduation.

The event is organized by my friends and community colleagues Anna Völkl and Sander Mangel. David Manners and I just offer a small helping hand. The advantages of attending this kind of events…numerous: Socializing, having fun, cleaning a Q&A website that can later help your projects, feeling good about yourself because you took part in a group event.

Now about Meet Magento. I only attended Meet Magento Romania twice. I really loved it. Every event like this, not just Meet Magento, but others also (like MageTitans for example) are a good reason to get out of the office, meet people that you’ve known for years but never actually met, present to others your ideas, hear their ideas, advertise and, most important, usually the food is awesome. 🙂

Cloudways: Everybody needs free time to energize. What are your hobbies? Share your personal interest with our readers. Are you an athletic guy? 🙂 Do you like running or are you also just a Mage runner like Vinai Kopp?

Marius: I do like sports, but they must involve a ball. I play tennis, football, basketball, ping pong with every occasion I get. I’ve never attended a MageRun, but I’m thinking about it.

Cloudways: Everyone has some inspiration, motivation and support behind their success in personal and professional life. Name some people who have real importance in your personal and professional life.

Marius: On the personal level, my family (of course) gives me all the motivation I need. My son and my wife are the most important people in my life. You want to meet the source of my motivation? You may get a chance at MageTitans Italy on Feb 5th. I’m taking them on a trip to Milano with me.

On the professional level, I’m amazed at the number of people that built and sustain a great community. I don’t want to start a list of names because I don’t want to forget a name and it will not be fair. The community as a whole is a great inspiration.

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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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