Today, in a fresh installment of Cloudways interviews, we have Simone Zuurveld. She is a Magento Developer at Bold Commerce, with over 7+ years of experience in Magento development.
Apart from development, Zuurveld loves to go to the gym and keep herself active and smart. She also likes cooking (and eating, obviously 😛). So, without further ado, let’s talk to Simone Zuurveld.
Cloudways: Simone Zuurveld, the lady with beautiful eyes! 🙂 started her career 7 years ago and currently works as a Magento Developer at Bold Commerce. Please introduce yourself to the readers!
Simone: First of all, thank you for the compliment! I can’t believe it’s been 7 years already! You know what they say, time flies when you are having fun. 😉 My name is Simone Zuurveld, and I am 26 years old. I currently live in the Netherlands together with my cat named Sushi.
I’ve just recently decided joined the team here at Bold commerce, a very smart, fun-loving group of people with extensive knowledge and an intense passion for ecommerce development.
Cloudways: How did you start your career in Magento? What challenges did you face early in this career? Please tell our readers a little bit more about your work with Magento?
Simone: We all know Magento has a pretty steep learning curve which is actually what I loved about it and why I keep coming back to Magento every time, after several different career paths (both in development and non-development) as well.
At first, it was really, really difficult. I started working with the Magento framework back in 2010 when I wanted to set up an online store and started looking for a solution that fit my needs back then. Magento seemed perfect, so I went with it. I already had some experience with HTML & CSS, and a tiny bit of programming throughout the years hobby-wise, and it was just enough to get me started, before of course, it all actually really started.
In the very beginning, I had no real clue about what I was doing and used a very practical approach. ‘I would like to have this in my store, how can I accomplish this?’ Or ‘How can I remove this?’ I might’ve even done a core hack or two (sssh, don’t tell anyone! 😀). Trial and error, that’s basically how I learned to work with Magento.
When I first started working in development for a company, I didn’t really know what my strengths and weaknesses were, and I’m also not a traditionally schooled software engineer. An awesome company in Hilversum called Headline Interactive decided to give me a chance (of which I will be forever grateful) Also; that’s where I learned about professional workflows and tooling. Again, it was very challenging at first but incredibly valuable.
Cloudways: From your viewpoint, what makes Magento different from other ecommerce platforms in the market? What are the benefits of choosing Magento over other ecommerce platforms?
Simone: My favorite thing about Magento is *hands down* the community. Having worked in different places, I’ve never had such a great experience with any community ever before. In my experience, most people working with Magento are open, welcoming, very eager to learn and above all: not afraid to share.
I believe Magento’s very active community and contributors is what differentiates it from other platforms. However, I must admit, I don’t know enough about other platforms to make a good comparison really, I have been working with Magento for years and have only slightly explored other frameworks/options.
Cloudways: Magento 2 has lots of improvements with respect to security, front view, and performance. How do you think merchants and online buyers will benefit from the extensive use of Magento 2?
Simone: There are a ton of benefits that come with the overall better performance (in terms of speed). Both merchants and buyers will benefit from this. The backend user interface is definitely much more user-friendly, which I think is a great big plus for merchants. Also, the checkout process, which used to be a bit of a pain in the behind to modify, has been greatly improved. That way modifications are easier and much more cost-effective. So in the end, everybody wins, companies, developers, merchants, buyers. 🙂
Cloudways: Magento is a compact but a powerful CMS, which may present some difficulties for newbies in the beginning. What would be your advice to them in order to get the most out of the Magento? What do you think are the main challenges for a student stepping into the Magento Development?
Simone: Magento is definitely no-joke when you’re first starting off. To be quite honest, I don’t have any really great advice other than just to dive in, take it one step at a time and look at core behavior for inspiration when you’re extending the framework.
Cloudways: How would you judge the future of ecommerce? Would Magento be able to keep the momentum up with changing trends?
Simone: Back in 2010, I don’t remember there being many competitors of Magento in the field, but nowadays there seems to be a new framework (not necessarily e-commerce) being released about every month. This can be considered a good thing, as it forces companies, not just Magento, to really look at their product and see what could be improved. In a way, we all inspire each other. I think the upgrade from Magento 1 to 2 was a very brave move, and if Magento keeps listening to their users the way they do now, I see no problems there.
Cloudways: Do you think that Magento certifications can give someone the unique ability to work on the Magento? Why there is a need for such certifications?
Simone: From a developer’s standpoint, I believe that certifications are not a necessity, but one can definitely benefit from them. Not only do you have some form of ‘proof’ as a developer that you have experience with the framework, but it also helps you dive into different concepts while studying so along the way, you’re inevitably gaining more knowledge about the framework. For companies, there are a ton of benefits that come with having certified developers.
Cloudways: Recently, you represented your company at MUC16NL. How important are such events for Magento Community? How can a person benefit from them? And in which upcoming events could we find you making an appearance?
Simone: I’ve had a fantastic time at MUC16NL, and I’m very pleased to have finally met a lot of very smart and inspiring people I was already following on social media for a while. It almost felt like I was finally meeting my idols, haha.
As for upcoming events, I’m not quite sure yet. I do plan on attending more events, more often. Not only are they interesting and informative, but it’s also a lot of fun. Somebody from the community told me about a meetup on the 5th of December in Aachen(Germany) combined with a Christmas market (I love German Christmas markets!), so hopefully I will be able to clear my schedule and attend that one.
Cloudways: Do you like playing games, watching movies, or sports? 😉 How do you spend time when you are off from work? Please tell our readers about your hobbies and interests.
Simone: Aside from development, I love being active and going to the gym. It’s what keeps me ‘sane’ so-to-speak. 🙂 It’s where I leave all my stress behind, and it balances out my sedentary lifestyle during the day. Working in software development, there aren’t too many options to be active, and I am a true believer in a healthy combination of both mental and physical health to keep the brain functioning at its’ full potential.
Second, I enjoy cooking (and eating, haha 😀). I just moved into a new home with a fantastic new kitchen, so it’s like a playground.
Cloudways: Name some people who have inspired you in your personal and professional life. 🙂
Simone: My number one inspiration is definitely my father. That’s probably where my interest sparked, as my father is also a software engineer and has been working in the field for about 30 years now. I remember as a child; I used to be so fascinated by it. He would create things that didn’t exist before, with strange-looking lines of code. It was like magic to me. He’s also the one that motivated me into starting a career in development.
Cloudways: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento installation with impressive speed & great cloud infrastructures embedded within the platform. What are your Magento hosting recommendations, shared hosting for Magento stores or a cloud hosting environment like Cloudways offers?
Simone: I haven’t worked with Cloudways before, but it seems to be a very good solution for hosting Magento stores!
Fayyaz, a passionate Motorbike tourist, works as a Team Lead — Magento Community at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. His objective is to learn & share about PHP & Magento Development in Community. You can contact him at [email protected]