January 28, 2019
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 Damian Culotta, Senior Magento Developer at Mediotype.
Damian was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on his 2017 contributions through submissions to Magento DevDocs, translating Magento 2 for the Spanish speaking community, speaking engagements around Magento and at Magento centric events, and keeping other Magento developers educated on his blog, as well as consistently helping others in the community on the Magento Forums while serving as a Moderator.
Who Are You and What is Your Role?
My name is Damian Culotta. I'm a Senior Magento Developer. I work in an Argentinean agency called SemExpert where I started working a month ago [Damian now works at Mediotype].
How and When Did You First Get Involved With Magento?
It was by chance in 2008. A company hired me. They said, “We started [using] a new product called Magento. You will need to understand the platform.” I said, “Ah, it’s okay. I know the software.” A month later, I couldn’t believe what I did. I needed an escape. At that moment, I started to blog about Magento and technical stuff, basically for me because I was working different places and I needed one place to have the documentation. That opened a lot of doors with a lot of people in the community. That was my first moment with Magento, with the code and with the community.
What Made You Decide to Contribute to The Magento Community?
It was basically that I started to write in Spanish (I’m from Argentina). I was the first Spanish speaking guy writing about Magento. I started to receive a lot of emails from people from everywhere, in Latin America and Spain, especially in Spain. That was the door that opened the connection with all the community. I didn't do anything different. It was writing, sharing knowledge. For me, that's really, really important. That's the way I can describe because it was growing and growing and growing. And it was terrific.
How Has the Magento Community Impacted You?
Oh, I can't describe how much. It's in everything and everywhere that I made as professional in the last ten years. I've been, I've been a developer for the last twenty years, but the last ten years...I don't know the words, even in Spanish. I can't translate the feeling. I work at home, and that's freelance mostly, so I don't have any people to talk to. For example, my wife. I guess she can pass Magento Solution Certification because I need to talk with somebody. Magento in part of my life in every level of my life.
Interviewer: It's integrated.
Damian: Yeah. Fully integrated. I feel that I'm a better professional since I started to work in Magento. I made a lot of mistakes, of course. But I can't imagine my professional life in the near future without Magento. It's a natural selection for me.
What’s One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?
I'm safe here because I'm very open, and at least the Spanish-speaking community knows me very well. But I love to code, of course. Even in my free time, I like to code. It's a problem. But also, I'm, I like to think that I'm good on barbecues. In Argentina it's called "asado." It's quite different barbecue. From time to time I publish pictures. That what I say that the Spanish-speaking community knows. But that's all. I'm quite simple, I guess.
What Is One Piece of Advice You Live by And Would Like To Pass On To Other Developers
Sharing knowledge is really, really important. Sometimes you are sharing something that you think, "Ah, this is so silly. Nobody needs this." I guess that every piece of knowledge that we can share, or experience, is important. My advice is if you like, will be to share your knowledge to a decent amount of people. In eCommerce, it's different because there is not junior customers. Everybody are customers at the same level. Everybody has a good opinion or a good idea. I guess that the most important is to share your experience and listen to the experience of the other guys.
Do you have a tip for merchants and developers to maximize partnership?
I think that being honest and transparent is the most important because maybe I can have a mistake or I can do the things in the wrong way, but if I tell you the truth, you will be able to fix the problem with the right information. If I don't say the truth to you, it will be a lot of energy dropped. I guess that transparency and honesty is the most important thing.
What Does Being a Magento Master Mean to You?
I feel like a four-year-old boy in a toy store. That's the first feeling. I don't know. I don't know how to tell. This is awesome. Having a recognition is really good, it's nice from time to time to, somebody says, "Thank you for your contribution." So that's really nice. I don't know. I don't know how to describe the feelings. I know that maybe it can help me in my professional career, but I'm still loving the part of the community and sharing knowledge. I'm always the same guy with a new developer or merchant or with the old ones. I don't know if this would change me so much. But it's really nice to have a recognition, of course.