Magento Masters contribute a lot to the Magento Community so, naturally, people want to know what makes them tick. In this Magento Masters Spotlight, we’re chatting with Fabian Schmengler, software developer, trainer, and consultant at integer_net.
Fabian was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on his 2017 contributions through speaking engagements around Magento and at Magento centric events, keeping other Magento developers educated on his blog through highlighting recent solutions or sharing best practices, and contributing to the Magento 2 core on GitHub and serving as a Maintainer, as well as consistently helping others in the community on Magento StackExchange.
Who Are You and What Is Your Role?
I’m Fabian Schmengler. I’m a software developer, trainer, and consultant at integer_net, a Magento-focused agency in Germany. I’m responsible for maintaining of a few big web shops and doing website development on my own.
How and When Did You First Get Involved With Magento?
Maybe the time where I really started to contribute more and more was when I joined my current company, integer_net, because this is a company which is very involved in the community and believes in open source, in community. So it was natural that everybody can do some contribution things in their work time and do talks at conferences. I started doing that, I think, three years ago as well. I found it really a fun way to give back through my knowledge.
How Has the Magento Community Impacted You?
It’s super friendly here. If ever I think about the Magento community, I think about many people that I’ve known for several years and enjoy seeing every year, or sometimes or more often. People who I’d call friends as well.
What’s One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?
In a previous company that I owned, we designed our own condom brand and called it Nixkids. The wordplay probably only works in Dutch and German because “nix” is like nothing or no. With a cartoony logo. It was a really interesting project. We didn’t even sell them. We just gave them away for bonus activities, so we implemented some bonus-point program, originally for an online community that we had built. We had thought about [other] things that we could use this bonus program for as well and came up with, “Let’s give out condoms for free. For teenagers who are embarrassed to buy them. They can use this bonus program and get condoms.”
What Is One Piece of Advice You Live By And Would Like To Pass On To Other Developers?
Yeah, one thing that’s probably trivial, everybody will tell you, is never stop learning. Especially in software development, the world is moving so fast. But also, not only focus on technical things to learn but also non-technical skills which are also very important as a developer, and some might not realize them in the beginning of their career. Communication is key, communication with the customer, project manager, other developers, so these are skills that you should learn as well. On the technical side, if I’m not embarrassed by code that I’ve written a year ago, then I didn’t advance enough, so there’s always something to improve, always something to learn.
Do You Have a Tip for Merchants And Developers to Maximize Partnership?
Yeah, it’s really important for merchants to realize that an online shop is never done. It’s not like you buy it and then you’re done with it. It’s always an ongoing project and always growing, always changing, always reacting to new situations. So it’s important to have a partner who supports you with that, and not just gives you a shop and leaves you alone with it. [Someone who] really grows with it, with you.
What Does Being a Magento Master Mean to You?
It’s a bit hard to measure how it really impacted things like opportunities to speak because before I was a Master, I was already contributing a lot and a known face for many. I can’t say that it really made a huge difference, but I feel that it gave me and the company a bit more credibility. That’s true. What really changed for me, as I already mentioned, the difference for me is that as a Master, I’ve got a few opportunities to get to talk to important people in Magento and have some information before others and give feedback to it. They are really keen to hear back from what the Masters think about some of the new projects and what’s going on in Magento, so it’s good that we are heard at Magento.