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 Miguel Balparda, Community Developer at Nexcess.
Miguel was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on his 2017 contributions to the Magento 2 coreon GitHub while also being a GitHub Maintainer, Magento DevDocs, and extensive speaking engagements educating the ecosystem on the Magento 2 Command Line Interface.
Who Are You and What Is Your Role?
My name is Miguel Balparda. I have been working for Nexcess for the last couple of years. I usually travel around the globe. I just go to the events you organize, a couple of Meet Magento events. Mage Titans. They basically could send me everywhere. So, for example, this year I went to India. We stayed there for like a month. Last year I travelled like six months out of twelve. It’s pretty nice. I usually travel a lot actually. I’m doing that a la Ben Marks. Not that much, but it’s nice.
How and When Did You First Get Involved with Magento?
So, I started coding Magento a couple of years ago when I was a kid out of college. I was like nineteen, eighteen years old and then college was going really bad for me. I couldn’t keep up and then I started coding. I started in this really small company in Argentina and then I moved to different partners and then I’m here, you know.
What Made You Decide to Contribute to The Magento Community?
I was this kind of user where they just go on Stack Exchange and read the answers and never contribute back. But one day I was like, “Okay, this is fun. They are actually helping me. So now I want to help people.” And that’s how I started contributing on Stack Exchange and after that, a couple of years after that, they actually gave me a position in the Magento engineering team as a community maintainer within the Max Yekaterynenko team. That’s pretty nice. I get to help people who need help now with pull requests. I like it because you are actually in contact with people and not so much as a lone developer. So, I have that going.
How Has the Magento Community Impacted You?
The concept around community is crazy. You can just go anywhere and those guys, they will know what you’re talking about, they will know about Magento. And they will probably know me which is really nice because I can go anywhere and meet some guys I know, and go grab a beer with them. It’s like a really big group of friends for me, and that’s like all around the globe. That’s like the craziest part for me. Everywhere I go, I get to meet someone I know already, and have a beer, and grab lunch. That’s really nice for me. It’s a really big group of friends, if you ask me.
What’s One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?
I love sports. Like if I were able, I would be a pro sport instead of a developer because a few years ago, I actually tried that. I was not that good, but I used to play rugby and handball. I even made [it to] the state team. It’s nice, but then the company called me and, you know, I’m a developer now. That’s not really compatible between like computers and sports. I like to train and stuff. We did the Big Dam Run yesterday too. It’s pretty nice but I would rather be like, I don’t know, a soccer player or something like that instead of a developer, any time. It’s kind of hard because now it’s not the time for that but, I don’t know. That’s probably one thing, it could be, you don’t know about me.
What Is One Piece of Advice You Live by And Would Like to Pass on To Other Developers?
The community is really friendly, so I think you can just go and ask anything you need and people will actually reply to you and that’s like really important for me. It doesn’t happen in every community I know. People are really friendly. Just approach anyone and you’ll be surprised.
Do You Have a Tip for Merchants and Developers to Maximize Partnership?
One piece of advice I would give merchants and developers to work better together is to actually talk to each other. Merchants don’t talk to developers because they think they have all the solutions they need, and developers don’t talk to merchants because they think they know everything. So a really good piece of advice would be to communicate better and try to, let’s say, set up weekly meetings or something like that to actually try to understand the requirements they have for their stores and work together. That’s really important and people don’t understand that.
What Does Being a Magento Master Mean to You?
For me, being a Magento Master means to be a point of reference in this community. People will go and talk with you and they will expect you to reply. And that’s really good because as a point of reference, I don’t have all the answers, but I know some guys who may. I can point you in the right direction and actually get to know you more and that’s really cool because I get to make a lot of friends worldwide. So, for example, I did India this year. That was crazy, and I met so many guys I knew beforehand but I only knew from Twitter. So that’s really nice and I really enjoy being a Magento Master because of that.