January 8, 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 Gabriel Guarino, a Senior Magento Engineer that was leading his own agency when he was selected as Magento Master. He is currently working at Shero Commerce Inc.
Gabriel was selected as a Magento Master for 2018 based on his 2017 contributions of helping other developers learn how to take Magento 1 knowledge and apply it to Magento 2 and how to become better Magento specialists through speaking engagements as well as both moderating and consistently helping others on the Magento Forums, and writing the Magento 2 Beginners Guide.
Who Are You and What Is Your Role?
My name is Gabriel Guarino. I work at Simplific, my eCommerce agency. I am from Argentina. I have been working with Magento for nine years now, so I'm really happy about this journey.
How and When Did You First Get Involved with Magento?
I was sixteen years old, so I was really young. I started coding websites. But the first eCommerce website, it was a request from a client. It was actually in 2009. That was the first time I had to face the reality that I had to implement a new commercial website. So, analyzing the different options in terms of platforms, Magento was the best option available. I decided that I should give it a try, and I was lucky because that was the beginning of these nine years working with Magento. Not only was I able to implement different eCommerce websites of all sizes and kinds, but also I grew as a professional along the way.
What Made You Decide to Contribute to The Magento Community?
That is related to my first, probably five years working with Magento. Magento 1, the first version. At that point, there was almost no documentation or official documentation, so pretty much every time we had to implement a new feature, we had to review in websites, blogs, and forums to see what guidance we could find from other community members. That led me into basically this direction of wanting to share with other people the things I learned. When Magento 2 was released, that was the opportunity for me.
How Has the Magento Community Impacted You?
If I had chosen a completely different career, I would be a completely different person. The reason for that is that the community and the work that I do gave me the chance to meet a lot of people, and realize that the way to make progress in your own career is when you are open and you share. And always, always, every time you give something, you get something at some point. I met a lot of people in all these years, and sooner or later, they come back to me asking a question or I go to them to ask a question and we help each other. I think the mindset that we have in the Magento community is essential for the entire group. Not only the community members, also the Magento employees. The platform itself. All of us can grow much faster because we have this attitude towards others.
What’s One Thing the Magento Community May Not Know About You?
Well, maybe the fact that I am an entrepreneur. Since at very young age, I started to work on myself, on my skills, not only professionally, but also as a person. Since a very young age, I identify maybe what were my weaknesses as a person. One of them was, for example, communication. I had troubles, maybe speaking in the front with a customer in my first job. I remember. Some people get blocked by that and they think that it is going to be like that forever, for the rest of their lives. And the reality is that if you really engage yourself and work hard and you have a plan, and you have the discipline to follow the plan every single day, you can basically be whatever you want to be in life and achieve whatever you want. In terms of communication, for example, when I was living with my parents, I was seventeen years old and every night I was reading aloud because I wanted to improve my communication skills. And the same is true with, for example, the English language. I wanted to always be improving. Improve the pronunciation, improve my body language. That's something that few people know about me, and it's really good to say that it's good to be vulnerable and to say that you have things that you can improve as long as you prepare yourself and you work hard to improve.
What Is One Piece of Advice You Live by And Would Like to Pass on To Other Developers?
You never have to be afraid of asking questions because if you have good questions you will get good answers that will lead you in the right direction. And then from that point, work hard. Have a good plan of action. Have the discipline to every day be committed with that plan of action. That is going to help, not only developers, it's going to help anyone, anyone. And in this community, we are really open. If you have a question, it is okay. Both the Magento team and us as the community, will be there to answer.
Do You Have a Tip for Merchants and Developers to Maximize Partnership?
For both merchants and the service provider to report in a weekly basis the progress they made, the questions they have, and the risks on the project. Everyone is up to date with the latest news, and you have the chance to make decisions if necessary.
What Does Being a Magento Master Mean to You?
It is a great responsibility. For me is the opportunity to review and think about, what can I do next? What could be the next activity that I can do as a Magento Master to continue helping the community to continue improving the product, Magento? The first time I received the email with the news, it was a great feeling because I started, as I said before, contributing based on the great experience I have in the past, so I knew that I dedicated a lot of time, a lot of time. Every time I deliver a presentation, I prepare the presentation at least six months in advance and I dedicate at least one hour every single day. I prepare the, basically, the slides with animation, with information, and then I practice and practice and practice delivering the presentation. The first time I was selected as Magento Master, at that point, I think I delivered two presentations, but I practiced the presentation at least three times, three minutes each time. I also wrote the book, the book also took a lot of time. It is a rewarding feeling in terms of, "Okay, I dedicated a lot of time that has an impact in the community, and the same time it is great to know that Magento is recognizing that."