Magento Interview of January: Enrique Piatti
We start 2017 with our second Magento interview, after Pierre Fay (in French), we wanted to invite Enrique Piatti to answer our questions!
Enrique comes from Argentina and he is well known among the Magento community as the creator of Magicento, a PhpStorm module that is definitely helping us at Blackbird Agency to save some precious time while coding on Magento.
We wanted to know in which circumstances Magicento was created and also to know Enrique Piatti a little bit better!
Blackbird: Hello Enrique! Thanks a lot for accepting our invitation on our blog.
Let’s start with your personal experience: since when are you a developer and when did you start working on Magicento?
And I’ve been working for more than 4 years developing and maintaining Magicento.
Blackbird: What have you done before creating Magicento?
Enrique Piatti: I’m actually a bioengineer not a software engineer, so I’ve started many projects related to that first, some of them were software solutions (sometimes needed for the electronics, in ASM or C, sometimes signal processing and IA, and sometimes just typical database management).
Then I started to work as a freelancer developing different kind of websites and intranets (most of them using ActionScript 3 with PHP) and then I've moved to Magento almost exclusively when I started to work for a company in Argentina (SummaSolutions).
Blackbird: How did you come up with the idea to develop Magicento? Did you first develop it for your personal use?
Enrique Piatti: Yes, I saw myself doing a lot of repetitive tasks and I always had problems to remember some XML structure from config, or wasting time with a typo or camelcase error on class names etc.
I searched a tool to help me with Magento and, since I couldn’t find any I’ve decided to start my own one. The project was private at first, only for me, then I decided to make it open source, but because it was in Java and based on PhpStorm APIs I didn’t receive too much help. When users started to need more help using the plugin and requesting more features I decided to start selling to be able to dedicate more time on it.
Blackbird: Can you briefly describe us what Magicento makes?
Enrique Piatti: Magicento makes your life easier if you are a Magento developer :)
Blackbird: Oh yes, definitely !! ;)
Enrique Piatti: It has tons of features, maybe the most important is that it helps to PhpStorm to understand what class is returned by any Magento factory, so you can get autocomplete and jump in the code easily. But Magicento can also generate code for you, it can create modules, config files, models, grids and forms, event observers, rewrites, etc. And also check the code for common errors to warn you about some problem. Magicento is not only to speed up your development process at another level, but also to make you enjoy more the development and to focus on the real problem to solve instead of the tricky and repetitive tasks from Magento.
Blackbird: Really powerful tool indeed!
We assume it’s time consuming to manage it, do you have time to work on other projects than Magicento?
Enrique Piatti: It depends on the week. But normally yes, I’m still working as a Magento developer as a freelancer, and also with some other personal projects in process.
Blackbird: What kind of projects? Websites, extensions or something else?
Enrique Piatti: Besides to Magento sites, I’m starting some new mobile apps, but they are in a very premature state.
Blackbird: Do you have any idea in which country are the most Magicento users?
Enrique Piatti: Mostly from US and Europe. Inside Europe, Germany is one of the top on the list.
Blackbird: We have tested the Magento 2 version of Magicento, but it was not as exhaustive as the Magento 1 version. Where are you on your roadmap with it?
Enrique Piatti: Yes, I have a huge TODO list for Magicento2, I have released a new version last week and I’m planning to release a new update with new features every two weeks.
Blackbird: About Magento itself, why do you use it?
Enrique Piatti: I like many of the design patterns used by Magento, and because now, after so many years working with it, it feels like part of me :) !
Blackbird: What are the main assets of Magento compared to other solutions?
Enrique Piatti: I think it has a big and strong flexibility, and also a great community.
Blackbird: And any drawback?
Enrique Piatti: Maybe is a bit complex for a small eCommerce, and therefore it could be a bit expensive for them.
Blackbird: How do you see the future of Magento?
Enrique Piatti: With Magento2 the future was renewed, eCommerce is here to stay and Magento is an excellent solution to that.
Blackbird: As a developer, can you give us some of your references ? Books, podcasts, forums, other developer that you follow closely?
Enrique Piatti: Normally I first read the official docs on everything I want to learn, and then I like to go deep into the code, I learn a lot of things and tricks just reading how it was coded. That’s also why I like to read Alan Storm blog, he is from the same school and his posts are very well explained.
What’s your favorite bird?
Enrique Piatti: The phoenix!