December 22, 2016
2016 was the inaugural year of our new top contributor program: Magento Masters. Many have asked what it takes to be a Magento Master, so we figured it would be great to spotlight our 2016 Magento Masters and let you get to know them and why they decided to get involved and contribute within the Magento Community.
Let’s get to know Vinai Kopp, Freelance Developer & Trainer:
My name’s Vinai. I’m German, I live in Germany with my family. I’m a Magento developer and I also do trainings for other Magento Developers.
How and when did you first get involved with Magento?
I first got involved with Magento back in 2008 when a prospect customer wanted a new eCommerce site. I was sick and tired of all the other eCommerce systems I’d been working with—like osCommerce, and bespoke systems, and a little bit of Intershop—so I decided to send out a quote for Magento, with Magento, and the customer said yes.
What made you decide to contribute to the Magento Community?
I love contributing to the Magento community because I think it’s a win-win situation. If the ecosystem thrives, I will be doing well, so that’s why I’m contributing. I also love working with smart people, so that’s another reason why the Magento community is an awesome place to be and play.
How has the Magento Community impacted you?
I feel my life has been impacted quite a bit by the Magento community, like so many people that I got to know and I now consider friends. It also basically paid for my family and me, my cost of living, for a couple of years now, so I’m very grateful.
What is your favorite Magento event to attend or organize?
My favorite Magento event? That’s a tricky question. The very first Meet Magento event, I think it was 2009, that feels very special. That’s where it all kind of started for me, giving my first public presentation. That’s at least still one of my favorites. Then there’s also, for example, the MageTitans events, which are very close to my heart—especially because of the very friendly people involved there and the heavy developer focus which is, well, what I do. I really enjoy being there. Then there is also the Unconference, that I only managed to attend once so far, but it was great, it was really a lot of fun, the MageUnconference. I want to go there again. So, I think those three would be my favorite events.is your most memorable career experience?
Back in, I think it was, 2000 or 1999, I was working at a company doing sports betting and two experiences I had there influenced me quite a bit. First chance, was a code I deployed, which, within the span of five minutes cost the company tens of thousands of Deutschmarks. Me and my colleagues had to spend a couple of days, while the servers were offline, manually rolling back the transaction log. That was a lot of fun, I can assure you. So, I never want that to happen again. That’s why I really try to put a lot of focus on finding all bugs as soon as I can. Secondly, we had to scale, very high for the time, Pentium. Anybody remember that? A lot of what I learned back then, how to scale applications for the web, still is very much applicable today. I still profit from that.
What is one piece of advice you would give other developers?
Well, it’s kind of cliché, right? But one piece of advice I try to live by is, when I die, I don’t want to look back and be full of regrets. I want to be content with my life. That’s what I try to have as the guiding principle of my life.
Who do you hope to see as a Magento Master in 2017 and why?
No question about it, it would be Alan Storm who should be a Master in 2017. He’s a Master anyway, so why not give him the title? He’s the Master of the Magento Community, anyway, the Grand Master. Maybe we should create a new title for him just like that. He definitely is the man. So, there you go.
Freelance Developer & Trainer
Being a web developer for most of his life, Vinai specialized on Magento in 2008. He is an official trainer for the Magento U developer trainings. He loves learning and the Magento community, two things that go together very well. He is passionate about software craftsmanship and producing high-quality solutions. When not working or studying, Vinai enjoys his family, beekeeping, running and traveling.