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Max Mironenko Emphasizes The Important Role Of Merchants In Magento 2

Max Mironenko is the Co-Founder of NEKLO and organizer of Meet Magento Czech Republic 2015. He has 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Max share his experience, knowledge and his career journey with our readers. In the interview Max also share his views on Magento 2. He said “I prefer to say that I like Magento 2 as a whole thing as a complex solution and it seems for me a ‘new feature’ of old Magento.”


Max also talked about Meet Magento and impact it has on new developers. Max said “As for newbies, Meet Magento is a nice opportunity for them to meet the professionals of the Magento development and to learn from them.” I hope the readers would love this interview with a very experienced developer.

Cloudways: Max, you are the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at NEKLO since the past 4+ years. How did you start your career? Share some interesting experiences and some challenging times of your career with our readers.

Max: The IT industry always seemed attractive to me and it’s been more than 15 years now since I started my career. Having got a Master’s degree in both Information Security Assurance and Programming, over this period I’ve been involved in a number of startups and IT initiatives, from development of free software to creating website builders, some of which grew to be quite successful companies later on. So, back in 2009 I decided to put the things together and that is when alongside with my partners we founded NEKLO to bring our craziest ideas to life.

What concerns the challenges I face on my way, here I should say that every new project and initiative is already a challenge in itself and I personally, and we here in our company, always feel enthusiastic about expanding our horizons and moving on to even more complex tasks, like iBeacon development and Meet Magento CZ arrangement.

And here are the two main things I’ve learned from my experience: whatever happens, never give up and think big, because once you take a step, a big journey will start for you.

Cloudways: Max, you have 5 years of experience in project management. What is your suggested advice for our readers regarding project management?

Max: Well, when it comes to project management in IT, the key concept to keep in mind is that the IT guys are separate kind of people. Very different from those you deal with in your everyday life. You need take an individual approach to each and every one of them for achieving maximum team productivity. What you should avoid in all possible ways in your work, is micromanagement. As soon as you notice an inner desire to control every minor task you set, just leave this feeling aside and move on. I mean it, don’t interfere. Let your guys do what they are here for. :)/p>

And perhaps the best advice I can give to you regarding the question sounds simple: trust. Trust your team, be helpful and make compromises. In my work I try to be understanding – when somebody asks me to shift his timetable so that he could come to work and leave for home earlier or to give him an opportunity to work remotely for a couple of days, I try to make concessions. And the reason I do it is that I trust my guys and know for sure that they will do the same for me whenever I turn to them.

Cloudways: How has NEKLO fared during the last two years? Where do you see the company in the next 5 years? 

Max: During the last two years NEKLO has evolved greatly and changed a lot. What is most important (apart from getting profit :) ) is that we gained more publicity and became more popular around the world. Now, we are focused on creating top-notch software products and program solutions, that our clients value so highly and we also pay much attention to developing new areas of work, as well as to thorough alignment of our internal and external corporate image.

If to talk about what my expectations are towards the next 5 years, well, that is a good question to ask. Thinking about what NEKLO will become in the near future I doubt whether we should buy Apple or Microsoft then :) And if seriously, we are more likely to buy Google.

Cloudways: Max, how do you connect yourself with Magento? You chose the Mage life or did the Mage life choose you :) ? Share your interesting experience from the Magento community with our readers.
Max: Magento became my interest since one of the first stable versions of it appeared. To better perform as a project manager and a company COO, I began studying Magento not as a turnkey solution solely but also from the point of view of a developer, to get a deep understanding of its core principles. So, I’d rather say that it was the Mage life that chose me.

Cloudways: NEKLO organized Meet Magento Czech Republic 2015. How was the experience? What were the big challenges you guys faced when organizing these events? 

Max: Well, that is not a simple question to answer now as the first Meet Magento CZ 2016 conference is coming to Prague this spring, on March 31. And this is the first time ever a conference devoted to Magento will take place in the Czech Republic. Speaking about the challenges, I should say that, of course, to hold an event of such a scale is a great responsibility for my company and it takes us a lot of time and effort to settle everything up. Besides, this is the first time in history Meet Magento comes to Prague, so we’re doing everything possible to present Meet Magento and the Magento technologies at its best. The main challenge for us now is to make this event maximally information-rich and useful for the participants. We do not make it our aim here to get money from the event as our priority goal is to promote Magento in Prague and to engage more people to the Magento community.

Cloudways: In your opinion, what are the main advantages of Magento events like Meet Magento? Do you think Meet Magento is the platform where persons can involve themselves in the community? What are the benefits of Meet Magento for newbies? 

Max: I already took part in a big number of Meet Magento events last year and I’m going to visit some more this year because I’m particularly sure that these events are a valuable experience for everyone taking part. The main advantage of Magento events like Meet Magento is that they allow people of the same interests to come together and make connections, driven by the common desire to learn, gather new ideas and share insights. I’m grateful to the Meet Magento Association for developing such a great international platform for IT and business to network and grow as Meet Magento and for their commitment to what they do. Such events help eCommerce business owners take their stores to a new level as becoming a participant they learn new approaches on how to make their stores a better place to buy and what should be done to do so. Also, Meet Magento events are a great chance for business owners to find highly qualified developers able to fulfill their dreams of a perfect store as I see many of them coming to participate each time.

As for newbies, Meet Magento is a nice opportunity for them to meet the professionals of the Magento development and to learn from them, grow professionally and even start a new career, as well as to know what the latest tendencies in the industry are and which trends and technologies are likely to become popular in the near future.

Cloudways: Magento 2 is now on the market, but a stable version is still awaited. What are your thoughts about Magento 2? What further features are you excited to see in Magento 2? What are your expectations of Magento 2 in 2016?

Max: Like everyone here in the Magento community, we’ve been waiting for Magento 2 for a long time :) And as soon as the earliest versions of the platform was published, we began working on it.

I think Magento 2 is really an amazing platform which is really the next step for Magento and the whole ecommerce world. Magento 2 significantly differs from Magento, so I can’t emphasize particular features, which I expect from it. I prefer to say that I like Magento 2 as a whole thing as a complex solution and it seems for me a ‘new feature’ of old Magento.

In 2016 my expectation are not from Magento 2 but from merchants. I expect a lot of migrations to Magento 2, because it is really cool.

Cloudways: Max, what is your advice for merchants who want to make their ecommerce stores smooth? As we all know, ecommerce is growing with each passing day. What is the impact of Magento 2 on the ecommerce industry? 

Max: For the time of my work I have been communicating a lot with the merchants who want to make their eCommerce store smooth and I see no other solution to do this apart from the Magento platform. If business is small and the number of employees is not big, then all that a merchant needs to do to make his eCommerce store function properly is install a Magento or go for a hosting with a pre-installed one, add several extensions – there are plenty of them on the market – choose a theme and start adding products to a store. And everything will work fine, as the strong point of Magento is that it allows you to start your own eCommerce business quickly. As soon as your business starts to grow  – and it will since you installed Magento – and a more advanced functionality is needed to manage it and interact with the customers more effectively, you don’t even have to switch to another solution (as it happens in case with the  SaaS cloud eCommerce solutions). All that is needed is to hire a team of developers and system administrators to upgrade your Magento in order to make your store a high performing and easy to manage one, ready to withstand big flows of visitors. Thus, your Magento will grow together with your business, adapting easily to your current needs.

And what concerns Magento 2, I think this is a huge step forward. The platform inherited all the best features of Magento 1 and accompanied by the new great features that solve some of the most common Magento issues, they made it even more powerful and perfect for businesses of any scale. Currently we can’t discuss impact of Magento 2 to eCommerce industry, because it was released only few month ago, but I am sure it will hit the market and unleash all its power.

Cloudways: Let’s put Magento aside and talk about your personal interests. I follow you on Facebook and I see you love travel. Share with our readers some of your travelling experience. How many countries have you visited so far? What did you learn while traveling?           

Max: Yes, really, I spend much time travelling and try to use every opportunity to visit places I haven’t yet been to. Still, a major part of my trips is connected with my work. As I’ve already said, I constantly take part in Meet Magento conferences across the countries to network and keep track of what is happening in the industry and always feel very enthusiastic about visiting these events when such an opportunity comes to me. Besides, our company has a vast geography – there are offices in Russia (in Moscow and Krasnodar), the Czech Republic (Prague), Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and, of course, in the USA. So I spend a lot of time travelling between the offices. Apart from this, I try to go for short trips when I have a couple of spare days as being a COO, I don’t have much time for a vacation, working 7 days a week.

I have visited almost all the Europe so far and what I’ve learned from my travels is that the most exciting and memorable things often happen when you turn aside from the beaten track – and the same is true about work. So, do not hesitate to try something new as life is rich and full of miracles. I love travelling inside the countries and it happened to me when a town 100 miles away from the popular tourist route was even more spectacular than some of the well-known sites. One more advice I can give to all those travelling is not to be shy and ask for help if needed. For instance, knowing only several key words in Czech, I try to communicate with the native speakers anyway. :) This is a great way to brighten up your life and make new friends. And no matter which country you’re in be respectful to its people and traditions they have.

Cloudways: There are always some individuals who stand out in the crowd. Name a some people that inspired and influenced you in the Magento world and helped you in organizing Meet Magento?

Max: Answering this question I can say that yes, definitely, there are people who inspire me and help a lot with the forthcoming Meet Magento. And I can easily name them: these are all the guys who work there at NEKLO. And I feel proud and happy to know each and everyone of them because these guys are the true fans of what they do and the success our company has today is the result of our mutual day-to-day collaborations and hard work.

Cloudways: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento installation with fabulous speed of your cloud server on our platform. I would highly appreciate it if you can provide some suggestions or feedback about the platform. Don’t hesitate to share your opinions of Cloudways for Magento hosting!

Max: I think that this service is very good and useful, because Magento requires administrators team and developers team to support solution and perform some operational tasks. Many merchants and even developer companies do not have their own administrators team, specially if we are talking about 24/7 support, because this is very difficult and expensive. So I think it is good that there is such service which allows to fully cover system administration tasks.

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