Editor’s note: Today it’s our pleasure to have a chat with another eminent Magento expert – Rafael Corrêa Gomes. One of the top 50 Magento contributors of 2018, Lead Software Engineer at Imagination Media, Magento Master 2018, 3x certified, open source evangelist, Rafael has proved to be a real Magento guru. In this interview he shares his priceless career memories and provides our readers with useful recommendations on a range of Magento-related topics. Therefore, sit back and enjoy the interview.
1. Lots of thanks for agreeing to this interview, Rafael. Can you provide us with a bit of your background information? How did you come into e-commerce, what was your first experience with the industry and what are you currently working on?
The first experience was working as an e-commerce manager, but my first experience developing was when I had to decide which company I would start working with e-commerce development, each company was working with its own platform, just one was using Magento as the base. I had listened about Magento and the good things that we could do with it, but I never had touched it. Analyzing the business strategy of each company, I saw that the best option would be choosing the company working with Magento, being a global, powerful and open platform. So we had to learn a lot of things about the platform, then we had many happy merchants with it. Then I had a chance to move from my city to work in a huge Magento partner in São Paulo – Brazil, where I started to be more involved with the community and decided to create some solutions that would help other developers across the world as some tools and blog posts helped me too.
2. When did you discover Magento and what were the reasons that you became passionate about the platform?
I became fascinated by how the platform is powerful and open, I started thinking in many ways on how I could create things based on that, and how I could learn everything looking at how it was made looking into the code. Since this, I have seen the growth of the platform and the ecosystem, involving even more innovations and transparency.
3. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur setting up their first online business with Magento? What was the most memorable piece of advice that you were being given about Magento?
The most valuable piece of advice in my perspective is to avoid losing your main objective during the process. A lot of the entrepreneur choose Magento because of the flexibility and autonomy which it gives, however, they are not able to handle with it, forget to be focused on the simplicity to validate the project, in order to generate more income and have fewer costs.
Start your project keeping in mind that the “necessities” that you think, are a kind of guessing. It because you haven’t enough data from your audience to analyze without having begun. So, implement pre-validated strategies made by your competitor, you usually will find and apply them faster through extensions.
4. Rafael, in your opinion, who is an ideal Magento client?
In my opinion, the ideal client is who discusses the project goals in order to create a plan considering the specialist opinion and the feedback that their customers give direct or indirect via the analysis of their browsing behavior. There are some clients that consider the project just a personal idealization focused on themselves, and it reflects into how they take the decisions because without results the client become frustrated and the project dies.
5. What is your view on Magento extendability via plugins? Can merchants gain maximum Magento efficiency and cover up to 80% of the store development with the help of Magento 2 extensions?
One of the most amazing things in Magento is the extendability through the uses of the extensions, which can improve features and grow the user experience just in one installation. For sure the merchants can gain until 80% of the store development with the extensions, and not reinvent the wheel. Even when the extension doesn’t have all the required features, the development can be made in order to customize it and reduce the time to implement the feature required into the store.
6. What Magento learning resources did you follow (any blogs, tutorials, books, etc.) or are you still following? Your answer would be an inspiration for newcomers who don’t know much about Magento yet but want to connect with it.
These are the channels that I most like to follow to keep updated about the Magento’s update and to study. So I recommend the newcomers to check:
1. – DevDocs
2. – Twitter #magento
3. – Magento Partners’ blog
4. – Magento’s community webinars
5. – Magento developers’ blog
6. – Magento on Github
7. – Questions from Magento Stack Exchange
7. You are running Imagination Media now, an e-commerce development company offering Magento-related services. What is the idea behind it? What is your proudest accomplishment within the project?
We at Imagination Media offer 6 main e-commerce services, strategic analysis, design, development, integration, marketing, and support.
My proudest accomplishment within my projects is the quality that my team and I creating the solutions for our clients, our customers put high goals, for example for Black Friday, then we’re capable to achieve them together with a good strategy, my team and I are very proud of our achievements.
8. Since you’re 3x certified – how does one become a Magento certified professional? Does the certification have an impact on your career? What does the Magento Master title mean to you?
To become a Magento certified professional, I recommend firstly practice, then study well the topics in the study guide, in my case when I had to create themes or modules for my clients I improved them, using what I need to know to pass on the exam.
I was able to learn a lot during the studies, the certifications had a huge impact at all, mostly because I was working in a Magento Partner, it gave more credibility for the company and me.
The Magento Master title was an incredible honor, I’m very grateful for it, I’m happy to help the growth of the Magento’s community, which I’m so proud of.
9. How do you see the Magento industry in 3-5 years? Is there something special we should expect in 2019?
I believe that in the next 3-5 years the adoption of new technologies and innovations will become faster, not in a package all inclusive, but in parallels projects which you will be able to use with your store. We can see this kind of thing starting with MSI, PWA and Payment Request API.
We’re sincerely grateful to Rafael for taking this time and providing us with valuable insights and helpful recommendations. If you are interested in connecting with Rafael, follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter. Keep reading our ongoing Experts’ Interview Series with other experts to be invited soon.
Before you leave the page, look through our previous interview with Guido X Jansen. He is a Magento guru with an educational background in Cognitive Psychology, community founder and speaker at numerous Magento-related events all around the globe. It’s definitely worth your time.
Note: If you are willing to expand your Magento e-store with new functionality, you are welcome to visit Plumrocket Store and choose from 60+ available extensions.