In the spotlight today is Sergey Ostapchik, Magento Certified Developer Plus at aheadWorks, and a Magento Platinum Industry Partner based in Minsk, Belarus. His recent projects include the aheadWorks Advisor Project, an eCommerce Gamification Module, and the OnePulse mobile administration extension.

How did you make a decision to become a Magento developer? Was it made by chance?

I decided to be a programmer about eight years ago. The choice was not accidental, because I’m that kind of a person who is always eager to simplify, accelerate and automate processes.

I got acquainted with Magento while applying for a job at aheadWorks. Now it makes me smile, but back then it was not particularly fun. I had to deal with a great flexible system containing a bunch of components and options and at the beginning I got really scared. Over time I reached a “comfort zone” in relationships with Magento.

That initial experience enriched me with an excellent knowledge of Magento functionality, the most common mistakes and good practices that I still try to use in my work.

What types of projects have you worked on?

Usually I’m busy with various projects as long as we release several extensions per month and constantly update 100+ modules in aheadWorks.

The last project of mine was the Magento Product Color Swatches module. It allows merchants to replace configurable product options with swatches and show different product images according to selected attributes.

You passed Magento Developer Plus Certification in April 2013. What changes has this certificate brought into your life?

Now I feel that my Magento knowledge base, proved by the certificate, is truly solid. This milestone gives confidence to me and sets the bar, which I’ll try to outperform.

What dreams do you have as a Magento certified developer?

I am planning to make a tool to simplify the development of Magento Enterprise Edition modules—so-called “two clicks” for generation and configuration of a new module database. Currently, there are two issues Magento developers face every time they create new modules manually:

  1. Too many similar actions.
  2. Very often logic blocks need to be overwritten anew, despite the availability of numerous ready-made solutions.

We can observe a slight improvement in this field. Several modules have been already created on the basis of such a tool.

Do you have funny stories related to your Magento experience?

Once, when I was too tired after spending the whole day focused on a new module, I began to talk in my sleep. The most amazing thing is that my answers were absolutely meaningful and clear. My wife told me about the night talk the next morning and specified it was something about stores reinstall connected to the move to a new server. That moment I realized how deeply Magento affected my daily life.

What is your favorite quote? Of course if you have any.

I have several, but my favorite one says: “The most severe illness in the world, it is the habit of thinking. It is incurable.”

What could you advise to junior Magento developers?

I would recommend looking for solutions in the Magento code, not in Google. As practice shows, most of the Google search results are not optimal and are often obsolete.

Don’t create interfaces and processes that are too complicated. Try to follow the principle of one click, one button and so on.

Read a lot and spend time on self-education. Browse through web-based resources covering Magento-related news (like aheadWorks Magento blog) and stay tuned to Magento community.

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