‘You Don’t Need an Office to Work’: How Miguel Ignacio Built a Magento Career While Travelling the World

Interview With Miguel Ignacio Balparda

Miguel Ignacio Balparda is currently working as a senior Magento Developer at Nexcess. He is also a certified Magento Solution Specialist with a vast experience in Magento.

Without taking more of your time, let’s get on with my discussion with Miguel on Magento and a little on his personal life!

Muneeb: Miguel, thank you for giving us your precious time. Please shed some light on your career for our readers.

Miguel: For the last 5 years, I’ve traveled around the globe working in over 35 countries on some of the biggest Magento projects. Since joining Nexcess, I’ve helped maintain Turpentine, one of the most popular OSS extensions to integrate Varnish and Magento. I also had the chance to present in several Magento events like Meet Magento, MageTitans, and other official Magento events.

Last year, I was nominated as a Magento Master in the Maker category for my contributions and for actively engaging with members of the community.

I’m also a sysadmin in my free time and a Magento Certified Solution specialist.

Muneeb: What difficulties did you face during your career and how did you tackle them?

Miguel: I used to work for outsourcing companies at home in Argentina. After some time, I realized most of those companies pay far lower than the industry standard in order to drive their profits. After that, it only made sense to move away from those agencies and start working either on my own or directly for Magento partners.

Muneeb: As a Senior Magento Developer at Nexcess, what are the key points you focus on before starting a Magento project?

Miguel: We’re a web host, not a development agency, but we still see a lot of stores struggling with few similar issues. Many sites aren’t optimized or the coders don’t have complete grasp on how their software works. This often results in performance issues and slow sites.

While there are many key points to keep in mind, one of the most important to focus on is a performance from the beginning and not to leave it until the end of the project. Code with performance in mind, and you’ll have better code and better stores.

Muneeb: Being a certified Magento solution specialist, do you think that Magento certification gives you an edge that others don’t have? Why is there a need for such certifications?

Miguel: Yes, and no. Certifications are just a piece of paper saying you have met the minimum standard of knowledge on a subject. It doesn’t matter who gives you this certification. On the other hand, the amount of time and effort you put into the work is critical. Even more important than the exam itself. When you take out the time to study, stay curious, and challenge yourself, you arm yourself with the tools necessary for success.

Muneeb: How would you compare Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Miguel: The two platforms are completely different. Magento 1 was built a long time ago when the technology was different making it hard to compare them at all. Magento 2 is a complex piece of software, and we are constantly working to make it even better.

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

Miguel: I’m about to reach my 20-events milestone for Meet Magento, and the locations range from Brazil to Vietnam and everything in between. I’ve also been fortunate enough to attend several MageTitans, and I’ve been to Las Vegas for Magento Imagine for the past 3 years.

I’d say Marius has inspired me a lot and I always try to mention Alan Storm, one of the guys who is doing and writing on almost everything about Magento 2. Also, Damian Culotta is by far the most helpful person I’ve ever met and probably the most influential Spanish-speaking Magento developer in the world.

Muneeb: There are many other ecommerce platforms available. What makes Magento different from other ecommerce platforms?

Miguel: The community! If you need help, it’s easy to find what you need. The new Community Engineering team is working hard on GitHub to quickly solve all the issues and pull requests, and if you prefer documentation, the DevDocs team is doing some amazing work!

Muneeb: Could you please share a picture of your workplace with our readers?

Miguel: I don’t have an office – I’ve visited more than 100 cities in the past 2 years. I usually just tell people, “You don’t need an office to work. You just need your computer and a reliable internet connection.”

Muneeb: How do you spend your free time? Do you like watching movies or playing games? Please share your daily routine with our readers.

Miguel: I travel a lot. I also love playing soccer and other sports or going to the gym with my friends. When I’m back home in Argentina, I cook whenever I can. Mostly BBQs and anything you can cook with chalk and fire.

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?Shopify
Movies or Games?Games
Travelling or Party?Travelling
Tea or Coffee?Tea
PlayStation or Xbox?PlayStation


Muneeb: Who would you like to nominate next for an interview on Magenticians?

Miguel: I would like to nominate Damián Culotta!

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

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