Carmen Bremen, A Certified Magento Developer and Recipient of Magento Master: Makers Award

carmen bremen interview

The wait is over. Magenticians is back with another Magento maverick and a lady who has been honoured with the 2017 Magento Master: Makers award. She is none other than Carmen Bremen. She has a vast experience in the field of Magento with several Magento Certifications to her name.

Let’s start talking with Carmen!

Muneeb: Carmen Bremen, thank you for taking out time for us. Could you please share some highlights of your career for our readers?

Carmen: I’m in the middle of a highlight since I was awarded as a Magento Master recently. To say it in Git, my career has a lot of branches. After school, I started my education as a photographer. After that, I began to study and received a Diploma – but this also had nothing to do with programming because the study was focussed on psychology and philosophy.

After my diploma, I began working in a company as a project manager, but I was more interested in the work of the developers and asked them a lot of questions. Because of that I finally started programming. It felt like coming home. First I learned Perl and Java. And after the Java branch I began my work as a freelancer, started the PHP branch and after a while, I met Magento. Since then, Magento and I have been lovebirds.

Since then, Magento and I have been lovebirds.

Muneeb: What was your reason behind choosing Magento? What difficulties have you faced in your career and how did you tackle them.

Carmen: A customer of mine offers an ERP system. In 2010 he wanted to connect his software with a shop system – and I compared many ecommerce platforms. I thought Magento was very exciting and installed the Community Edition – 1.4 at that time –  on my local machine. I worked with XTCommerce before and I thought it could not be that hard to import data directly into the database. But after my first look at the

But after my first look at the database, I noticed that I required immediate assistance. I booked a Magento training with Vinai Kopp – who told me not to start with an import. But I did and asked Andreas von Studnitz to take a look at my work. I didn’t know at that time that these two were one of the pioneers of the Magento universe. Or to say it in Git: help was the best idea I could have.

Or to say it in Git: help was the best idea I could have.

Muneeb: Since, you have several Magento Certifications to your name, how important a role do these certifications play in your career?

Carmen: I really don’t know if someone works with me because I’m certified. It’s been kind of a self-test to graduate the exams and they were more difficult than I expected. I guess it’s a kind of passion to collect things and pass them all. And furthermore they prove that I know what I’m doing without studying computer science.

Muneeb: You were honoured with 2017 Magento Master: Makers award. How do you feel about this big achievement?

Carmen: Since then there is a sign over me. Can you see it? The sign says: “Really?!?!?!?” with many question and exclamation marks. And it still won’t disappear. So I’m still surprised and proud and blessed and overwhelmed and grateful. Or to say it in Git: I’m still waiting for a Did-you-mean suggestion…

Or to say it in Git: I’m still waiting for a Did-you-mean suggestion…

Muneeb: There are many ecommerce platforms available, but what, according to you, makes Magento stand out from other ecommerce platforms?

Carmen: The possibility to customize it without touching the core was one reason to choose Magento in 2010. I can count many technical pros or maybe cons of Magento in comparison with other platforms – I like the flexibility of creating stores and attributes – but what makes Magento really fundamentally unique is the community. Or to say it in Git: without all these kind and supporting people, Github would be absurd and pull request senseless.

Or to say it in Git: without all these kind and supporting people, Github would be absurd and pull request senseless.

Muneeb: How would you compare Magento 1 with Magento 2? What new features would you like to see in Magento 2?

Carmen: From the perspective of a merchant, there are currently not so many changes. From the perspective of a developer, I’m happy to run relaxed tests and to work more with the command line. Features in the near future… hmm… Merchants are often asking about B2B features or drop shipping or interfaces to eBay and other platforms. But to be honest: currently I have no wishes. I’m still busy learning Magento 2 so my biggest wish would be to know that much about Magento 2 that wishes can grow…

But to be honest: currently, I have no wishes. I’m still busy learning Magento 2 so my biggest wish would be to know that much about Magento 2 that wishes can grow…

Muneeb: Do you attend Magento events? Who are the people in the Magento community that have inspired you the most?

Carmen: I attend at least one event per month. And people who are inspire me? There are so many. Most people are extremely supportive and open, but the first person who took me under his wings was Andreas von Studnitz. He always left me feeling that I’m better than I think I am. He was the reason why I started the Magento Meetup in Cologne and he escorted my first steps into the community.

To say it in Git: he was part of my initial commit. And today in nearly every current commit Fabian Blechschmidt is present. Being cuddled by him is one reason to join every event he attends. He helps me not to be so coupled with the imposter syndrome and to become more confident.

Muneeb: As a Magento freelancer, what would be your advice to newbies who want to start their career as a Magento freelancer?

Carmen: Jump into the community – they will catch you. You need someone to ask or talk to. And last but not least you need someone to joke about Magento. Join Meetups and the MageUnconference and other events near your home. And the other big advice: learn to say no and trust your instincts.

Muneeb: As is our tradition, could you please share your workplace photo with our readers?

Carmen: Here you go:

carmen bremen workplace

Muneeb: You are women with a busy schedule. How do you manage your work life balance?

Carmen: The good thing: I can work everywhere. In trains, in hotel rooms, in cafes, on meadows. And: I can work at all times. Furthermore I have a very strict working schedule. For example: I’m answering emails once in the morning and once in the evening. Between this time, I belong to the customers I promise my time for the day. And I have different laptops; one to work with and one private with no business data or email accounts. I have no office doors to close, so I close my office laptop instead.

Or to say it in Git: the private and the office branch are permanent parallel.

Muneeb: Now it’s time for a fun Rapid Fire round!

Rule: You can’t spend more than 15 seconds on this question ;)

Shopify or PrestaShop?PrestaShop
Movies or Games?Movies
Travelling or Party?Both – it’s almost identical
Tea or Coffee?COFFEE
PlayStation or Xbox?PlayStation

Muneeb: I hope that you enjoyed this interview :)  Who would you nominate to be interviewed next on Magenticians?

Carmen: I’d like to nominate Marius Strajeru – his blogpost after the Magento Imagine was the funniest of all – and I really want to read or hear more about his social thoughts – and I guess he is not aware of being that entertaining…

Thanks for asking me all this questions – it was a pleasure to talk to you. If you want to know more about me and my work, please have a look at NeoShops or on Twitter.

Tune in next week for an interview with another Magento maverick!

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