August 8, 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 Carmen Bremen, Magento Certified Developer at Neoshops.de.
Carmen was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on her 2017 contributions through co-organizing MageUnconference and Magento Stammtisch Köln, as well as educating the community and keeping them informed on her blog. She also shares knowledge with the Magento community through speaking engagements at Magento-centric events.
Who Are You and What Is Your Role?
My name is Carmen. I'm also known as @Neoshops on Twitter and I'm working as a Magento freelancer in the World Wide Web. I’m living in Germany, in Cologne. Cologne is a very beautiful city and if you want to get there, then you can attend the next major MageUnconference. This takes place in Cologne this year (October 27-28). I'm collecting certifications because I love stickers and I'm one of the first female developers that earned the badge for Developer Certification. This is really underline [that] there are not that many female developers in the Magento world. I hope that's getting better and there are a lot more in the next years.
How and When Did You First Get Involved with Magento?
This was 2010. A client of mine had an ERP system and he wanted to connect it with an eCommerce system and I had to find one. I looked around and then I met Magento, and I asked Magento, "Are you a good system and do you have stickers?" And I guess Magento said, "Yes." So I'm working with Magento and nothing else than Magento since 2010. The first look I took was at the database and I was shocked because I didn't understand anything. I thought, "Oh God. I need help." And I took a training with Vinai Kopp. This was a very cool entry in the Magento world to meet Vinai and train with him. I like Magento very much because it's PHP-based and before that I programmed Java. And it's near to Java. It's a very strict program code and that's what I like. And the people. I really love the people in the Magento world and that's one reason to stay there.
How Has the Magento Community Impacted you?
I'm organizing one of the conferences and that's great because I can decide which stickers we are working to have. That's really great. And the first time I get in touch with the community was also 2010, I guess. I met Andreas from Studnitz. He is the organizer of the meetup in Aachen, in Germany. And he asked me, "Why don't you do the meetup in Cologne," and then I started with the meetup in Cologne. This was my first step in the community. One other thing is that everyone knew me after the first Meet Magento because I'm writing blogs and it seems that I'm writing good because everyone loves the blog posts and gives me a reaction. I get a lot in return when I'm writing. That's also one thing of the community, we are communicating a lot.
What’s One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?
I'm really suffering from the imposter syndrome. I really think that my English is very bad and I'm a really bad developer and I am boring on stage, and so the whole community or Magento made me grow as a person because I did all these things. I stood on stage and I have to talk English and people are looking at my code. It seems that I'm not that bad but I'm still working on it to believe that. So, yeah.
What Is One Piece of Advice You Live by and Would Like to Pass on to Other Developers?
If you are in contact with clients, my advice is that if you don't trust each other then don't work together. That's really big advice. And to female developers, don't think that you're too bad. Go on stage and talk to people and grow.
Do You Have a Tip for Merchants and Developers to Maximize Partnership?
Communication, really. At the beginning, not during the process. At the beginning. It's like a contract, or if you're getting married, you also have to get a contract. Talk about everything in the beginning.
How Has Becoming a Magento Master Impacted Your Life?
I don't know really. The moment the mail came in from Sherrie saying, “You are a Master,” I felt like a sheep. I stared and I didn't believe it. Since then, much more people know me than before. That's one thing. I don't know if I got more jobs because I'm a Master or if I’m more on stage. I don't know, but maybe. But the best thing is that everyone knows you and wants to speak to you. That's a great thing.