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Magento Developer and Agency Owner Mihai Craciun Discusses Ecommerce

March 7, 2016

5 Min Read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Mihai Craciun is a co-founder & CTO at 4ideas. He has vast years of experience in development. In this interview Mihai shares his advice for business leaders. He said “My advice for all leaders is to not neglect the bigger picture while they are focused on all the small pieces that build the puzzle.” Mihai was a speaker at Meet Magento Romania 2015 and he shares his views about Meet Magento; “I highly recommend Meet Magento events because they offer new opportunities, helping you to approach a situation from different perspectives.”

Mihai Craciun Interview

When I asked Mihai about Magento 2 features, he said “There are awesome new features to handle, but I’m glad that the admin panel has gotten a major overhaul – much less JavaScript and CSS and cleaner HTML5 and CSS3 valid code.” Mihai also shares his personal interests besides work and has some awesome advice for newbies. I hope the readers will love this interview with a very experienced developer of Magento and online commerce.

Cloudways: Mihai, currently you work as Co-Founder & CTO at 4ideas since the last 6 years. What made you start 4ideas? What challenges did you face during the initial years of 4ideas? Share some insights from your initial career with our readers.

Mihai: Since high school,  I’ve started to develop a strong passion for tech. I was fascinated by this new emerging world, so I dug deep into it spending lots of hours in order to learn new programming languages and to constantly improve them. My previous work experience made me realize that the moment when you offer the best solutions for your clients, that spark and energy, those are THE THINGS for me. I connected the dots, and the result was 4ideas, a new digital agency.

What made me start 4ideas? The desire to develop awesome digital products that help the brands to get closer to their customers.

During the initial years, we’ve tried to educate the clients about the difference between an advertising and a digital agency. The Romanian IT industry was in its early ages and lots of clients underestimated the impact of digital tools on the business development.

Cloudways: You previously worked at Star Storage as Technical Support Engineer. What was your work motivation for being a part of this company? What were your main challenges during your work and how did you solve them? What was your motivation behind starting development work on Magento?

Mihai: As a fresh and enthusiastic university graduate, I’ve picked a Technical Support Engineer position in a tech-related business. It was an amazing experience because I’ve learned a lot about how to work with clients, but most of the time, my job involved troubleshooting technical problems. I had to learn everything on the fly due to the dynamics of my activity, researching technical issues, managing and processing customer orders and learning about product updates and new technologies. The career outlook was different, so I started to improve my programming skills by developing the ability to smartly craft lines of code that helped me to attract the first clients for 4ideas.

In 2009, most of our clients wanted eShops, so I had to find the best solution that met their needs. Guess what? I’ve discovered Magento, the most professional Ecommerce platform with the best community. Since then, I stick with Magento.

Cloudways: As a CTO of the Magento Development company, how did you maintain work quality for your company clients and merchants? What’s your advice for those leaders who want to increase their work quality and be a good leader for their employees?

Mihai: “There’s no such thing as impossible” attitude helped me to grow the company. I am a methodical person and this is also reflected in my work. This is my recipe to build strong partnerships with my clients.

My advice for all leaders is to not neglect the bigger picture while they are focused on all the small pieces that build the puzzle. Always consider alternative strategies, ask yourself the hard questions and make sure that all your employees are client-oriented. Constantly motivate your people, make them believe in what they are doing and you’ll see the results you want.

Cloudways: After the release of Magento 2, what is its impact over the Ecommerce industry? What changes in Magento 2 would you like to see?

Mihai: Magento 2 builds a new era of Ecommerce innovation and I enjoy the performance and functionality updates available with the platform, especially the Magento Technology Stack and the external integrations. There are awesome new features to handle, but I’m glad that the admin panel has gotten a major overhaul – much less JavaScript and CSS and cleaner HTML5 and CSS3 valid code.

I’m sure that the Magento community will provide all the information (tutorials, modules, and how-tos) we need to create innovative solutions that accelerate merchant growth.

Cloudways:  Mihai, what is your recommended learning resource for Magento 2? Have you guys started developing in Magento 2? What is your advice for merchants on how they can increase their sales with Magento 2?

Mihai: All I know about Magento 2 is from the community forums and from the official website. The information is highly structured and very explanatory so that anyone could understand.

With Magento 2, any marketer or entrepreneur could materialize his idea because the new responsive design offers seamless and more personalized customer experiences, engaging the entire shopping journey. Furthermore, the platform provides the framework to perfectly express your brand values and products through your eShop.

Cloudways: How would you describe Magento Imagine, Meet Magento, and  Mage Titans events for newbies who want to connect themselves to the Magento Community? Have you attended any Meet Magento event?

Mihai: I had the pleasure to speak at Meet Magento Romania 2015, where I had the chance to meet lots of  professionals from this field with whom I shared interesting ideas about how we can develop and improve our industry.

Mihai Craciun at Magento Romania 2015

I highly recommend Meet Magento events because they offer new opportunities, helping you to approach a situation from different perspectives.

Cloudways: Let’s put Magento aside for a bit and talk about your personal interests. What’s your     activity besides work? Do you love listening to music? Which genre of music do you listen to? Who are your favorite musicians?

Mihai: Snowboarding is my first love, but the busy schedule doesn’t allow me to practice it very often. So instead, I listen to Robbie Williams and  U2 (almost obsessively) to recharge my batteries after a long day. Include here a tasty wine and a good movie.

Cloudways: Every one of us likes to follow some influencers. From whom do you get inspiration? Name some Magento influencers who have inspired you.

Mihai: I constantly read Alam Storm’s blog. He made a good job and his posts were always helpful. Magento Community forums are the other source of inspiration because I know that no matter what I need to know, i’ll find the solution there.

Cloudways: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento hosting. Experience the fabulous speed of your cloud server on Cloudways Cloud Platform. I’d highly appreciate it, if you have any suggestions or feedback about the Platform.

I haven’t got the opportunity to test 1-click Magento installation until now, but be sure I will as soon as possible and I will get back to you with my feedback.

Last, but not least, I support and encourage the startups who provide products and solutions  that help not just our industry, but the clients and their customers as well.

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