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Richard Baik talks about Magento Support and Development

Updated on February 7, 2020

5 Min Read

Richard Baik is a Support Team Lead and is associated with Magento Inc. from the last 5 years. He is a Magento certified solution specialist and has over 15 years of experience in Technical Support side as well.

Richard Baik InterviewMagento Community who have inspired you the most

Cloudways reached out to Richard to ask him about his experience with Magento and asked for his suggestions on how Merchants can improve their ecommerce store. Talking about Magento 2 and Magento events, Richard recommended that everyone should at least try to attend at least one of the many Magento events that happen in an year. Richard is himself a full time runner and fitness geek and has been a part of multiple Magento events over the past years.

Cloudways: Richard, you are working as Support Lead for Magento since the last 5 years. And you have vast technical support experience. How did you start your career? What is the reason behind connecting yourself with Magento? Share with our readers interesting experiences from your initial career?

I initially started working in a call center, like most people starting in support. But I felt the job wasn’t too challenging. It was very repetitive. Later, I was lucky to find a support job for a company that offered a B2B SaaS solution for IT VARs. I then went to work for a shopping comparison site, doing backend support. Mainly writing Perl scripts and MySQL queries. And for a short while after that, I was doing support for a local web hosting company.

When I saw the job posting for a support position at Magento, I applied right away. Since most of my previous experience was in the commerce realm, I thought it was a natural fit. I also liked the idea of working for a start-up. Things move at a fast pace and are constantly changing. Also, being in start-up mode, there’s more opportunity to contribute and make a positive impact.

Cloudways: You are a Magento Certified Solution Specialist as well. As a solution specialist, what challenges did you face during work? What’s your advice for newbies who want to become a good solution specialist?

The Magento Certified Solutions Specialist certification should be the first step for anyone that wants to be a Magento professional. Implementing a Magento site is not only just about coding. It’s also about understanding the merchant’s business needs. In order to be successful as a Solutions Specialist, one should be fully knowledgeable about Magento’s functionalities and capabilities, as well as the available hosting technologies. Then apply that knowledge to help achieve the merchant’s goals.

Cloudways: Magento is a very popular ecommerce platform, and many big ecommerce names are based on Magento. What is your advice for merchants who want to increase their Magento store sales? And what is the best way to attain smooth Magento store performance?

I would say that performance is on the minds of most merchants. If a merchant’s site is too slow, that could mean a potential loss in sale. A site’s performance is usually bogged down by unoptimized code, bloated themes, third party integrations, and of course slow hardware.There are various free and paid tools out there to help diagnose these types of performance issues.

Another suggestion would be to provide a good user experience. A shopper is less likely to leave a merchant’s site if it’s easy to navigate and can be accessed from any device, whether it be desktop, tablet, or mobile. Magento has built-in capabilities for responsive web design, and merchants should take advantage of that.

Cloudways: Magento 2 beta is now in the market. The developers must be credited for their patience and efforts. What are people’s expectation from Magento 2? What features would you like to see in Magento 2?

Magento 2 is exciting for our developer community, since it brings a lot of native support for new technologies. From a merchant perspective, the admin panel has been totally revised and makes things easier to manage their Magento site.There are some new features being introduced as well, but I can’t get into much detail since the final feature list hasn’t been finalized yet.

Cloudways: Magento uses extensions and modules. Which five extensions would you recommend for each Magento web store to deploy?

Hmm. I can’t make specific recommendations. Some of my friends in the Magento community might think I’m playing favorites. 😉

Cloudways: Richard, let’s discuss about the Magento Community. Our community is huge. How do you involve yourself in the Magento Community? How has your experience been so far with the Magento Community and its members?

I think the best part of Magento is its community. It’s like one big extended family. There are some very passionate people out there that live and breathe Magento. Without them, Magento would be just another piece of software and probably would not be as popular. My experience with the community has been great. Everyone is willing to help each other and expand each other’s knowledge.

Cloudways: Do you think Twitter is the right platform to involve ourselves in the community? What’s your suggestion for newbie how they involve their self in Magento community?

Twitter is great. It’s fast, easy, and informative. It’s also fun. There’s also Magento Stack Exchange, and our own Magento forums. Regardless of the platform, I would suggest that any newbie should just join in the conversation. Ask questions, answer questions, participate in the banter. It’s a good way to get to know people.

Cloudways: Meet Magento, and Magento Imagine are the platforms where everyone can meet with the big names of Magento Community. Did you attend any events such as Meet Magento, Magento Imagine, Magento Live?  What are the advantages of attending these type of events?

Yes, I’ve been to every Imagine conference so far. And I’ve been to Magento Live Australia last year. I would recommend that everyone should try to attend at least one of the events. Developers, system integrators, merchants – it’s such an amazing time to have everyone together to discuss Magento. It’s a great opportunity to network, as well as learn new things from the keynotes and technical sessions.

Cloudways: Let’s put aside work and discuss about your personal interests 🙂 I follow you on Twitter and I saw you are a gymming enthusiast and you are a runner as well. What’s your workout routine? And how do you manage your time for workout and for running? 🙂

I’m a busy person, but I try not to use that as an excuse to not exercise. I make the time to run and go to the gym. Usually after work. My routine is nothing special. Just trying to stay fit. I also try to participate in the Mage Run events that occur before the Imagine conferences. I’d like to thank Brent Peterson at Wagento for organizing these events. He’s done a great job year after year.

Cloudways: Everyone has some inspiration behind their success. Name some people from the Magento Community who have inspired you the most?

Although they have moved on to other projects, I would have to say Roy, Yoav, and Bob. I admire their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication for making Magento become a reality. From the community, there are too many people to name. But I would have to say Guido Jansen, Ben Marks, Brent Peterson, and Sherrie Rohde stand out the most. They have been very active in the Magento community as far as I can remember. They’ve all made great contributions, and we’re lucky to have Ben and Sherrie with us at Magento now.

Cloudways: Using Nginx, Varnish, Apache, and Memcached as a recipe to optimize the server speed, Cloudways provides one-click installation of Magento. What’s your opinion about it?

I don’t have personal experience with any Cloudways solutions. However, I think that’s one of the benefits of open source. There’s no set way of doing something. Open source offers flexible solutions that fit the needs of the merchant. That flexibility will further be extended when Magento 2 is released.

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Abdur Rahman

Abdur Rahman is the Magento whizz at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious, and aims to learn & share information about Ecommerce & Magento Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]


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