Finding your next Ecommerce Developer

E-commerce, Insights

Why are finding Magento developers difficult?

Whether you’re an agency or an entrepreneur, finding talent to set an ecommerce venture into motion, upgrade your existing web presentation or increase the size and capacity of your agency, the satisfaction of owning a successful Magento ecommerce store only comes with the help of quality Magento development resources.

As the growth of e-commerce skyrockets, so does the availability of development platforms and less-than-par developers. As we enter the first quarter of 2023, around ten platforms hold greater than a 1% market share, with Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source accounting for almost 4% and free builder sites such as Wix and Square Space taking the biggest share.

What does this mean for the average e-commerce developer? Well, 10 plus platforms, each with thousands of intricacies using different languages and skills, the ability to master them all is just not possible, so just like any successful business, a developer has to have the focus to become great and respected at any one thing.

Many of the non-developer crowd won’t know the difference between PHP, .Net, JAVA, JavaScript, Apache, Nginx, and a Pokemon, but imagine that most don’t master even one of these languages in 5 years of active programming; how would you expect someone to know it all. Armed with this knowledge, this is where finding the focused Magento Developer comes into the equation.

Finding your next Developer

Now, as many have come to find, landing a qualified Magento developer may be more complicated than planned. For most, the struggle begins with what makes a successful Magento development hire. With all the technical terms out there, how will the strategies applied by the prospect be helpful?

I will explain my findings and push you towards criteria I’ve found critical in helping you bring the right candidate to the doorstep and make your e-commerce / Agency needs a reality. Before you decide to hire, do they meet the qualities of an ideal Magento developer?

What to look for.

Let’s start with something traditionally thought of as an oxymoron for a programmer, communication; this characteristic is often overlooked and stated as highly insignificant for someone sitting behind a screen all day, writing in programming languages most can’t even fathom understanding. Think about it this way, your e-commerce site, in many ways, is your digital salesperson, answering the questions and listening to your customer’s needs before they can efficiently make a purchase.

Is communication a critical component in hiring a salesperson for your showroom? The responsibility of most developers is to ask questions and learn the business problem in question. If your Developer doesn’t participate actively in discussions, will they adequately present the web experience your customers / you expect?

The crucial next component, creativity and you may ask why? Well, Magento offers a feature-rich eCommerce platform solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over almost all functionality of their online channels. With this comes a professional level of technicality that, unfortunately, cannot be avoided.

The straightforward task for most developers is, “What do you want me to do, and how should I do it?” How often is knowing the exact solution conveniently available as a business owner? I can guess for most; the short answer is no. As I’ve found, finding a developer that carries both characteristics of bringing an extraordinary level of creativity and ideas to the table will help push your project to the leading edge and give you or your agency a competitive advantage.

Now let’s get a feel for their experience. Imagine the current e-commerce marketplace; we see many brands we buy products from regularly. We are paying them the cost for their ingenuity, bringing something new and different to the table.

Similarly, this concept is rather interesting as this ingenuity plays quite a similar role. A developer’s experience should be visible between the lines. The Developer must be able to turn nothing into something, starting from scratch to build something worth recognizing and priding oneself on.

You can begin by asking for a few samples of their work and having them walk through a challenging problem they experienced and learn how they came up with a solution. Their work will not only help you conceptualize similar outcomes of this Developer within your organization, but it will also give you an idea of what your Developer is capable of doing. Providing insight into how you might want to deal with them to get the desired results.

Certification What is It?

A developer must know Magento’s latest features and updates to work through the platform. Is the Developer Magento certified? A certified Magento developer must acquire the skills to understand, grasp and utilize Magento successfully. There are four primary types of Certifications to help provide insight into the candidate’s strengths.

The first is the Adobe Business Practitioner, or the ability to leverage Magento to solve common e-commerce problems. Skills range from how to create cart price rules to what is your third-party freight provider’s role in the context of G.D.P.R.

Next on the development roadmap are the Developer Professional and Developer Expert certifications; these suggest a concentration on the fundamentals of extending core logic, best practices for implementing new features, and an overall understanding of the structural layout of the Magento framework.

Additionally, the Adobe Front-end certification on the dev track indicates knowledge of multi-store theming, globalization, and styling best practices for those visual folk.

Lastly, the Architect, or the know-it-all certification, says you’ve been doing this a while and know how not only Magento (Adobe Commerce) works but how all things e-comm come together to solve today’s business problems.

Remember that certification will not directly imply that you’re interviewing an exceptional developer. I will present this as an analogy to a medical doctor for those not developers. Even if your physician obtained their doctorate in medicine, they may still need time to become a doctor you’d want to see due to their lack of real-world experience.

While certifications are helpful, as is real-world experience, it’s critical to understand that hiring inexperienced developers with little or no knowledge of how things work regarding Magento can cost you dearly. Even as an Agency owner, I’ve often found a developer who had spent days/weeks developing a custom feature only to have their dreams crushed to find out it already existed in Magento by purely flipping a switch. Often you’ll find developers wh

Your odds of turning your project into a success depend on how good the Developer is and leveraging their ability to understand the business problem and bring these ideas to fruition within Magento.

In Conclusion

Overall, it’s always best to hire communicative, creative, and experienced employees, regardless of role, who can take feedback and successfully translate their skills into your organization. However, in the complex world of e-commerce, our position as a developer often lays the foundation for the modern businesses’ well-being. Overall, the detrimental effect due to the lack of specific skills I’ve outlined in this article only amplifies within a standard development cycle. I hope that you have found this article interesting and can use this when thinking about your next hire or selection of an Agency. Good luck, and let’s turn business opportunities into success stories!

Robert Duffner
Chief Magician @ FindCanary