Interview with 2017 Magento Top Contributor from India – Mohan Natarajan
We’re again here to carry on with our series of interviews with industry’s great leaders and influencers. Today, we are pleased to have Mohan Natarajan with us. He is a strong and a self-motivated programmer who is now the chief extension guy behind DCKAP. With more than 8 years of experience in Magento, Mohan Natarajan is one among few in Magento ecosystem to have all four Magento certifications (Developer, Developer Plus, Front End Developer and Solution Specialist). He is one of the TOP Magento Contributors from India in the recent Magento Live India 2017. Being a huge fan of the Magento Community, Mohan is glued to Twitter, Magento Forums and Magento Stack Exchange, plus organizing the local Magento meetups in Chennai, India.
Besides his love for Magento, Mohan likes to watch movies and hanging out with his friends in his personal life. Let’s know more about Mohan:
Envision Ecommerce: Mohan, currently you are working as a Magento Certified Solution Specialist at DCKAP. How long have you been working with Magento? Could you briefly shed some light on your career journey till date?
Mohan: I started my career in Innuendo Technology Solutions in 2009 and worked for various B2C clients across the globe and in 2011, I moved to DCKAP and worked as a Magento Developer and handled several B2C and B2B projects. Currently, I’m the Head of Extensions at DCKAP and managing a team to develop enriched Magento Extensions for the community.
Envision Ecommerce: As you have completed all Magento certifications (Developer, Developer Plus, Front End Developer and Solution Specialist), why did you prefer to connect yourself only with Magento? And, what are the benefits of having such certifications in your career? It would be helpful for our readers to know the importance of Magento certifications.
Mohan: Very Interesting question – “Why did I prefer to connect myself only with Magento?” Even I’ve asked myself the same question many times. Initially, I worked in few ‘Joomla’ and ‘WordPress’ projects, but later I didn’t get much chance to explore different CMS/Frameworks. Certifications help me to realize where I am and it encourages me to learn more. Magento Certification is a matter of pride and it stands out as a proof of my expertise and encourages me to learn more. In general, certifications demonstrate our dedication, motivation and technical knowledge on a specific platform.
Envision Ecommerce: Being a Magento Certified Solution Specialist you have a sound knowledge regarding the ins and outs of Magento. So what would you say if you are asked to give a piece of guidance to the Magento merchants who are upgrading their eCommerce stores to the latest version of Magento 2?
Mohan: Very good question. Following will be my guidance. This is the right time to start migrating the project from M1 to M2. Document all your existing features and compare with Magento2 native module. Prepare a checklist with the list of third party modules needed for your store and check those modules in Magento Marketplace or wherever you find the Magento Extensions. Because we don’t want to spend too much time to develop the module from the scratch. Please work on the data migration first and see what are the bottlenecks on the data migrations and solve the issue.
Envision Ecommerce: Share your most memorable moments, awards and achievements in your professional life till date?
Mohan: First, when I completed my Magento Solutions Specialist, I felt very happy because by then, I had completed all 4 Magento Certifications and secondly, when I got an opportunity to speak in Magento Imagine 2017, I felt very recognized.
And lastly, when I saw my name listed in ‘Top Contributors’ Magento Live India, 2017, I was overjoyed.
Envision Ecommerce: You have attended Magento Imagine2017 as a speaker. Was this your life’s first Magento-centric event where you contributed as a speaker? Please share your experience with our audience and what benefits did you get from this role?
Mohan: Yes, Magento Imagine 2017 is my first venture as a speaker. This is one of the most memorable moments in my career. I actually got a chance to interact with many people in Magento. After my session, I got to have good interaction with people. I discussed with various B2B merchants and how we DCKAP as a team, helps them to build/improve their store.
Envision Ecommerce: What did you feel when you saw your name among TOP Magento Contributors of India in Magento Live India 2017? Were you expecting that? Or what else were you expecting?
Mohan: I was very very happy when I looked my name in ‘Top Magento contributors’ list of India. That was something beyond my imaginations and all I expected was just some speaking opportunity. It was a great pleasure to be the one among ‘Top Contributors’.
Envision Ecommerce: Mohan, how do you envision the future of Magento after the release of Magento 2? How do you think Magento 2 will impact the eCommerce industry?
Mohan: Magento2 is getting more and more stable nowadays. We can expect a big move in next 2 quarters. Already many of the customers working on moving from Magento1.x to 2.x for better scalability and features. Especially, for B2B, Magento has lot more features. We can expect the move of more B2B customers to Magento from other different platforms.
Envision Ecommerce: As a part of our interview process, we request you to share a picture of your workstation or the best moment that you have captured in any events. Please share.
Envision Ecommerce: Currently, you are the head of extensions at DCKAP? So, what is your advice for others who need to develop a new extension for Magento 2.0? Can you please name 5 of the most important problem-solving extensions that you recommend using with every Magento website?
Mohan: If you are exploring options to build new extensions, instead of brainstorming ideas, we need to first find the problem, then it is very easy to find the solution. We need to check if the extensions are already available in the market. Or else we’ll land up building the same extension which is already available. If we really think a particular idea will add value to the existing extension, we can redesign it. I don’t wish to mention any specific vendor for most common problem-solving extensions. Below I’ve listed the five most problem-solving extensions which I recommend based on my knowledge and experience.
1. Improved search – Cloud based
2. Layered Navigation
3. One step checkout
4. Quick order
5. Product FAQ
Envision Ecommerce: We know you have organized several Magento Meetups in Chennai, India and attended many Magento Meetups around the world. How many Magento events have you attended and organized till date? In your opinion, what are the advantages of attending such Magento-centric events?
Mohan: We actually started Chennai Magento Meetup in 2014 and so far we’ve organized 6 Magento Meetups. We are one of the largest Magento meetup group with 392 members as of today. I’m attending Magento Imagine from 2014 and I’ve attended few local meetups in the US as well. I attended Los Angeles Magento Meetup in Magento office at Culver City, LA, US. Recently I attended Magento Live India @Bangalore. Meetups help to learn and share your knowledge with each other and also you will get connected with some great people.
Envision Ecommerce: Mohan, we know you have been blogging and contributing to Magento community. So, when did you start blogging? What is your motivation for this?
Mohan: I started blogging 6 years back. I always wish to share my thoughts and feelings to my community. I believe it will help me to position myself in this industry and technology. My blog helps me to share my current passion online. When I started my career, I referred so many blogs and forums, but after then I realized to own a blog and share the knowledge to my community. Knowledge sharing generates fresh ideas and it will deepen our knowledge.
Envision Ecommerce: Besides your multi-faceted personality in your professional life, how do you spend your time besides work? Are you a family guy? 🙂 Do you love to play sports, watching movies and hanging out with friends?
Mohan: I’m single 🙂 and I’m with my parents. I often spend time watching movies and hanging out with my friends. I read Quora when bored. I visit Shopping Malls on the weekend and spend time with relatives as well. Regarding Sports, I don’t play outdoor games. In the office, I hangout with my friends to play table tennis and refresh myself.
Envision Ecommerce: You have become the inspiration for many because of your expertise & firsthand knowledge, however, we would like to know about your inspirations. So, name any 3 people who have been your most influential mentors or role models in your profession?
Mohan: Very good question. Thank you so much for asking this specific question. I’m glad that I got an opportunity to introduce the below people:
Gowtham Rajendran– Gowtham and I are friends since college and we share the same passion towards technology. He is my great inspiration.
Last but not the least, Gopal Masilamani– Gopal is my Ex- Manager and he helped me shape my career and guided me whenever needed. I learned a lot from him and he was a great Mentor. He is a great well-wisher of mine and he reaches me first with his wishes for my success.
Thanks for this opportunity and it was a pleasure answering all your questions.
We also thank you for this interview and wish you & your entire DCKAP team many more years of continued success!