December 17, 2018
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 Brent Peterson, Chief Magento Evangelist at Wagento.
Brent was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on his 2017 contributions organizing Magento Meetups in Minneapolis, Mage Titans Mexico, and Mage Titans USA, and various speaking engagements around Magento and at Magento centric events, as well as through moderating and helping others on the Magento Forums.
Who Are You and What is Your Role?
Brent Peterson, Chief Magento Evangelist for Wagento. We're a Magento solution integrator.
How and When Did You First Get Involved with Magento?
I was introduced to Magento by a client. I was working as an independent contractor. And it was, basically, "Here's a new open-source platform you can try, or you can get a job somewhere else." In the very beginning, I had the luxury of sort of learning and getting paid to learn. I just dived in heavy into the coding side of it, and I got involved in the Magento forums. From the forum side, I'm asking questions and pretty soon I'm actually learning things from the forums. And then, I'm starting to contribute back to the forums. I think it was probably by April 2009 Magento would ask me, can I help find some more moderators? Can I moderate, and then can I also help find some moderators? So I found Sherry at the time, and a couple of other people that I'm sure are still around in the community. But that was like my beginning of Magento. And you know, it's a, real community. It started from the core of Magento, and the crazy things I was trying to make Magento do, and asking those questions, and then, eventually, answering them.
What Made You Decide to Contribute to The Magento Community?
In the very beginning, I think, I was asking a lot of questions, and out of those questions, I was getting answers. And finding some of those answers, I was seeing questions that I could answer. So I started giving back by answering all those questions and helping other people. I've learned in that that it's a two-way street, but by learning more, I'm giving back, and I'm able to help other people learn the same things that I learned in the past. It's not just like linear taking it in. It is a process where you're taking it in, but everything you've taken in, you're giving it back. It works exponentially.
How Has the Magento Community Impacted You?
The biggest thing for me in the impact has been meeting people internationally, going to other countries, going to meetups, and going to Meet Magentos, and going to UK Live. Going to those events and meeting those people that you've seen on Twitter, or seen on some other social media, or the forums, and then meeting them face-to-face and interacting with in real life.
What’s One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?
I owned the store called CD-ROM City. It's at the University of Minnesota campus. I bought and sold CD-ROMs retail. Oh, I got another one. I've owned and I've opened up a retail store in Ireland. Yeah, so in 1997, I was running a computer business, kind of like computer assembling when you could still make money at it. We got an opportunity to do sales in Ireland, and my first client was a law firm. I put all the computer parts into a case, into a suitcase, flew them over to Ireland, assembled them, and installed them in a law firm, and then opened up a retail store.
What Is One Piece of Advice You Live by And Would Like to Pass On To Other Developers?
I get off of work. And them to keep myself sane, I do something else, other than get on my computer.
What do you like to do after work? Do you have any hobbies?
I go running. I run every month of the year and I don't get on the treadmill.
Do You Have a Tip for Merchants and Developers to Maximize Partnership?
From a developer standpoint, ask a lot of questions to the merchant and ask often. Don't let the merchant and the communication between you and the merchant become extended so there's missed expectations. Ask the questions now and then reiterate what the client is telling you to do or asking you, tell them back to them, so you're on the same page, and then write it down. And then, after you've written it down, confirm this is what you're gonna do and then do what you wrote down.
What Does Being a Magento Master Mean to You?
Personally, being a Magento Master, it's gratifying that the community and Magento recognize what I've been doing in the Magento space. It gives me some reassurance that I'm at least doing something that's contributing.
Catch Brent at Meet Magento India 2019, 2-3 February. Tickets are selling quickly, so register now.
Take advantage of 50% off certifications from Magento U at the event, and sign up for Contribution Day. Seats are limited and it will fill up!