My name is Gabriel Guarino and I am a Magento Certified Developer from Argentina.
Here is my story:
The beginnings in Web Development
I was just 16 years old and I was thinking about my future. I knew that I was really close to graduate from high school and I wanted to choose in advance what I really wanted to do instead of waiting until the last minute.
I was browsing the Microsoft website and I started to think about the process of creating and publishing a website. How can a website that somebody creates from a computer be accessible by everyone at any given time? This was the Microsoft website that inspired me at that time (it's not the most inspirational website ever, but I have to recognize that I decided what would be my professional career at that specific point):
At 16, I started a Web Development course in a computer training institute. It was a 9-month course, and I really dedicated myself to study, not only in the classroom but also back in my home.
Since then, I never stopped learning. I study everyday, and I really really dedicate myself to my career. There is a saying: "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.". I found my passion early in life, and I will be always grateful for that.
The beginnings in Magento Development
I started working with Magento in 2009, implementing e-commerce websites for small merchants. Soon after that, I was hired to work for one of the first Argentinean Magento Partners.
That was one of the best things that happened to me as Magento specialist. By working for a Magento Partner for a long time, I learned about the best practices and conventions that helped me in my career as Magento developer.
That is a priority. You should always learn how to do the things the right way, and then move forward to implement the best possible solution to every single problem.
Focusing in Magento
I left the company in 2011 to continue my career as freelancer. But, there was something very specific in my decision: I was going to fully-dedicate myself to Magento development.
Since then, I focused in Magento development and I covered every single aspect of working with the platform. From front-end to back-end, to server administration.
In 2014, I passed all the Magento Certifications, from Front-End to Developer Plus and Solution Specialist.
You have to be focused if you want to be really a specialist in something. And the point is that you have to do it yourself.
When I was a front-end developer, there was anyone teaching me back-end development, and anyone gave me the advice to work on the back-end of Magento.
The leap between front-end and back-end development is huge, and sometimes is scary, but you have to concentrate in one brick at time. Today, you learn something very specific, tomorrow you learn something more, and then you realize that you know what you wanted to know.
Nowadays I am focused in Magento 2. For the last year I've been working just with the new version of Magento with the purpose of mastering every single aspect of the new platform.
One brick at a time
Imagine you have to build a really big wall. If you imagine the wall, then you will be scared. But, if you focus in just one brick of the time, sooner or later you will have a wall.
I apply the same principle to everything in my life. Last year, I decided to create a command-line tool for Mac to improve my productivity. The challenge was to be focused 15 minutes every weekday, and I never missed one day. After 3 months, the command-line tool was published in Github and the reaction from the Github community was amazing with more than 5000 stars in the project.
I am really big fan of sports. I go to the GYM every weekday and I go cycling in the road once a week:
I really enjoy learning, so much that I always go to different places with my Macbook to be studying or preparing material for the community (presentation, book, reviewing code, etc):
If you go to Magento Imagine, Mage Titans Mexico, or any other Magento event this year, just let me know! I participate often in Magento events and I really like to share moments with the members of the Magento community.
Here are some photos from Meet Magento Argentina and Mage Titans USA from last year:
Presentation in Meet Magento Argentina
Meet Magento Argentina with Sherrie and Fito
Presentation in Mage Titans USA
Mage Titans USA with Brent and Susan Peterson
If you see me at a Magento event, don't hesitate to say hi. Feel free to contact me in the Magento Forums if you need help or guidance.