Pierre Fay is a well known Magento expert from the French Magento Community. He has been Magento Certified since 2012. He currently works as a Magento Expert at Decathlon International. Since 2009, Pierre has worked with several agencies in various capacities including developer, lead developer, technical expert, and project manager.
Pierre loves to write about Magento in English and French and has carved a niche for himself as a popular Magento trainer.
Cloudways: Pierre Fay, as a Magento Expert at Decathlon International, could you enlighten our readers about your background with Magento? When and how did you start working on this great ecommerce platform?
Pierre: Hello! My name is Pierre Fay. I am 29 years old and live in Lille, France.
I started working on Magento in 2009 as a developer consultant in France. This was actually my last internship.
I had the chance to work with good developers. Initially, I had some PHP experience, but no clues about ecommerce. However, I was keen to learn, and I had the chance to work with some very skilled developers. As a result, my skills evolves quickly.
I worked with several agencies from 2009 to 2015 as a developer, lead developer, technical expert and project manager, exclusively on Magento projects.
Working in agencies is an excellent way of working with different types of customers, gain a lot of experience with Magento and PHP, and to learn the “technical” parts of ecommerce.
Since the end of 2016, I am working for Decathlon as a technical expert. I wanted to join a long-term international project to learn the “business” part of the ecommerce including e-marketing, e-merchandising, analytics, shipping, cost optimizations.
In short, I have a fascinating career.
Cloudways: You also provide training for Magento 1 and Magento 2 on your website. When did you realize that you have the ability to work as a Magento trainer? What was your reason for starting the training and learning blog?
Pierre: I never realized that. I just did my best when the opportunity arose. 🙂
In fact, back in 2009, when I was doing the internship, I started creating simple Magento lessons because there was not enough documentation on the internet and wanted to remember Magento related information I picked up.
The blog was in French, and a lot of Magento developers expressed interest in that series of Magento tutorials. The visits (as per analytics) grew very quickly. In 2011, the blog was already well known in the French Magento community. Next, I decided to translate the blog into English to open it up to a wider audience.
As for how I became a trainer, it all started in 2009. I was in the last year of the university. The school selected me to train the first and the second year students about web development. For me, it was a way of paying my university fees, and it turned out to be a magnificent experience. The training covered HTML/CSS and PHP/ XML. This was my first experience as a trainer, and I loved it. Later, I had other opportunities as a trainer for professional PHP developers and co-workers.
Cloudways: Have you tried other ecommerce solutions in the industry? How do you think Magento is different from other platforms?
Pierre: Yes, of course, I tried Prestashop, Sylius, Thelia, WooCommerce and I had the chance to try out ATG and Demandware.
To me, Magento is the most flexible and advanced solution in the open source market. With Magento, you can do everything in ecommerce.
The solutions made in Symfony are improving a lot. We’ll see what happens in the future. 🙂
Cloudways: What is your opinion of Magento 2? What are its strengths that you have noticed so far? What improvements do you think can be made in Magento 2?
Pierre: I started to create Magento 2 tutorials on my website when Magento 2 was still under development, and recently, I reworked and improved the tutorials.
Magento 2 is a great solution, but it adds a lot of complexity, and that can frighten a lot of developers. I’m not really a fan of Knockout JS, and I think the future of ecommerce platform is about API and Reactive JS.
I think the Magento technical team is really great and they did a fantastic job with the actual Magento 2 platform. However, I would be over the moon if the Magento could be made with Symfony + VueJS.
Cloudways: Do you think Magento 2 is stable enough to be used in production? Where do you see the future and growth of Magento 2 in the coming five years?
Pierre: Yes, I think so. The first projects are always hard because The technology is new and developers have already spent a lot of time on Magento 1. However, I think it is time to start working with Magento 2. 🙂
The new announcements at Imagine 2017 are interesting, to say the least!
Cloudways: You also work as a Freelance Developer. Please tell us about the first project you worked on? What is the most challenging project you have completed so far, and why it was so difficult to finish?
Pierre: Strangely, my first project in 2009 was the hardest because it has a very BIG catalog; one configurable product was a combination of thousands of possibilities. So we had to create a configurator for the customer to be able to create his own product(s) combination from the product page.
It was a B2B website, so they had different price rules for customers, and there was a lot of import /export. The design was breathtaking – Well that was a great first experience. 🙂
I had the chance to have a killer team with me, and that’s why it is one of my best memories.
Cloudways: You are a Magento Certified Solution Specialist and a Magento Certified Developer Plus. How important are these certifications for Magento developers? What are the best resources to prepare for Magento certification exams?
Pierre: To me, the certification is just a piece of paper. The training and the efforts you put in the preparation of the exam are the main aspects of the certifications. I put a lot of effort in certifications, and I learned A LOT. Understanding how it works ”under the hood” brought me to a new level when working with Magento.
The best resources for preparing for developer certifications are:
- The Magestore blog posts
- The Magento official training guide
- The Magento U online training.
For the Magento Solution Specialist, Demac media has done a superb job answering all the questions of the study guide. For this certification, a lot of experience with the Magento backend is essential.
Cloudways: Let’s talk about Magento events like Meet Magento, Magento Imagine, and MagentoLive. Do you attend any, and do you think that Magento events are helpful in promoting yourself in the Magento Community?
Pierre: I was at MagentoLive FR this year, and I also love the Opengento events.
Opengento is a friendly group of Magento developers from France. The members include Frederic Martinez, Occitech developers, Raphael Petrini (Magento masters 2017), Jacques B, and a lot of others.
The Magento community events are not about self-promotion. They are about people!
It’s all about sharing and meeting developers, whom you chat with on Twitter or Slack, in real life. We all share a common interest in Magento and ecommerce. Everyone helps others, and it’s really a great thing.
Cloudways: On the lighter side of things, what do you do apart from work? Do you love traveling, watching movies, playing games, or hanging out with friends and family? Could you share some adventurous experiences with our readers?
Pierre: I do a lot of sports. I practice combat sports from 9 years. In addition, I try to run from time to time and to take part in the least one-half marathon every year, even though I am not good at running. I also try to travel outside France every year.
Cloudways: Name the most influential people who have inspired you in your personal and professional life.
Pierre: I’m very lucky to have so many in my life!
My wife, a nurse and marathon runner, always support my goals. I’m really grateful to have her in my life.
And of course my parents. My father, a very calm and thoughtful man is one of the nicest person to be around. My mother is a very determined person who emphasized education over everything else. I owe these people a lot.
Cloudways: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento installation with impressive speed & great cloud infrastructures embedded within the platform. Do you prefer shared Magento hosting for stores or a cloud hosting environment like Cloudways offers?
Pierre: Without exception, Cloud Environments like Cloudways.
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