What makes a good Magento developer: top-7 essential skills

What makes a good Magento developer: top-7 essential skills

In 2018, Magento dominated the e-commerce industry as the most used platform and does not plan to give up the grounds.

Considering such popularity and the proven quality of performance, no wonder more and more shops are migrating to Magento. This, in turn, leads to the growing demand for knowledgeable Magento developers.
While there seem to be many developers out there who are ready to handle your store, you want to make sure that you hire an expert who knows what they are doing. To help you, we have collected the top-7 essential skills any good Magento developer should have. Although it’s not an obligatory list to stick to, these skills are highly desired if you really want to work with a professional.

Previous experience with Magento

Unless you are a software development company that wishes to train novices, it’s highly recommended to look for the people who already worked with the platform.
Magento is one of the most complex e-commerce platforms out there and has many aspects to consider. So a good Magento developer should be well aware of its frontend and backend, third-party plugins, theme development, etc.
If a person worked with Shopify or WooCommerce (as an example), it will not be enough to just switch the platforms. Magento demands an individual and careful approach so look for people with 2+ years of experience if you want to make your store convert more.

PHP knowledge

PHP is the main programming language used on the backend in Magento so it’s an absolute must that developer knows it. And it’s also desirable that a person has worked with PHP for at least a few years.
IN addition to PHP, a good Magento developer should also know and work with:

  • Database Design Principles
  • SQL
  • Basic design principles
  • Any frameworks
  • Object-Oriented Design Patterns

The knowledge of these tools will guarantee the quality of work and hence, the performance of your store.

Curiosity and enthusiasm

These are one of those requirements that you prefer to scroll down and ignore while getting to the real technical stuff.
But hold on – they are actually important.
Imagine the following situation: a developer faces a complex task. He can choose to either go with a known solution or try and find a more efficient one that will bring more benefit in the future.
That’s what puts professionals aside from just good developers. Constant passion for improvement mixed with creativity tends to deliver better results and more interesting solutions. After all, if the developer is interested in the outcome and sees his work not as a job but as something creative that he can tackle in a few ways, that will push him to constantly raise the bar and master the skills.

Knowledge of extensions integration

One of the biggest Magento advantages is its flexibility in terms of third-party integrations. These extensions and plugins significantly expand the Magento’s functionality and often improve the platform’s performance.
For example, Magento already has a built-in search function. However, by installing the Elastic Search extension, you can speed up the store and offer a more advanced search for your customers.
A good Magento developer should know about these extensions and be able to integrate them properly. Otherwise, you may be losing a big amount of revenue.

Knowledge of caching and databases

Every store owner knows that even 1-second delay in page load can result in lost conversions. So it’s crucial that your store performs at its best and takes less than 3 seconds to load.
An experienced Magento developer should know his ways around performance optimization. One of the ways to do so is caching.
Caching is used when there is a static content that does not change when the page loads or when it’s needed to store multiple and slightly different content copies. Caching allows to save time on the creation of page elements and one should know about various ways to perform caching. Since there is a ready and cached element in the storage, when the page loads, it simply uses this ready element and thus saves time on site load speed.
Now for the databases. They are third-party services used for data storage, as the name implies. The way a developer writes the architecture of interaction between the database and the app (the store) affects the speed of the store performance and the number of requests for the database from the app.
The style and method of writing the architecture depend solely on the developer and his willingness to optimize the process. This is why enthusiasm combined with skills delivers stellar results.

JavaScript knowledge

Magento frontend runs on JavaScript so it’s desirable that a developer knows this programming language. In addition, a person should be aware of the following technologies:

  • RequireJS
  • UnderscoreJS
  • jQuery and jQuery UI
  • KnockoutJS

As well, check for the CSS knowledge. Both JavaScript and CSS are responsible for your store design.

Custom CMS themes development

Magento stores are actively using CMS software so a certain level of skill is expected from a good Magento developer.
As well, consider the fact that every store wants to be unique and demands a unique store theme. So if your developer is able to build a custom CMS theme, he is a gem and you should hire him. Not only does design create the right impression of your store but also contributes to driving customers to the site and impacts conversions.

How to know if the developer will be a good fit for your team?

Apart from technical knowledge, there is a bunch of other things to watch for when interviewing a Magento developer:

  • The ability to understand other’s code,
  • Communication skills and willingness to work in a team,
  • Interest towards work,
  • Portfolio with a record of work.

Finding a good Magento developer is not always easy. But in the end, you will be rewarded with stellar store performance and rise of KPIs.

Posted by Mary Hilko

Mary Hilko

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