Cloudways has always tried to bring the voices of Magento champions to the limelight. Keeping up with the tradition, today we have Kalen Jordan, a Certified Magento Developer of the highest caliber, who candidly shares his opinions about the current standing of Magento within the CMS industry. He is really optimistic about Magento coming of age and transforming into a standalone torchbearer for ecommerce businesses.

With over 10 years of experience in web development, Kalen Jordan is one of the most celebrated Magento developers in the United States. He is the founder of MageMail. He is credited to have started MageTalkthe first English-language Magento podcast. He loves to contribute and develop open source modules on GitHub.

In this interview, he has shared his views in detail about his earlier days with Magento, the security issues facing the CMS, and those who have inspired and influenced his professional journey to where he stands today. He singles out dedication as the most important factor in becoming a Certified Magento Developer. Currently, he is working at MageMail.

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Cloudways: Kalen, you are the founder of MageMail. How did you choose Magento and when did you realize that you had a passion for programming? What challenges did you face during your initial years as a professional in the field?

Kalen: Well, I realized I had a passion for programming when I was probably about 15. I somehow picked up a Learn C In 21 Days book and just dove into it. I remember as a kid going to the library and checking out books like The Magic Machine and everything just blowing my mind.

It wasnt for quite a few years after that, that I got into Magento though. My first job out of college was doing classic ASP, then I got into PHP, and then I began to freelance for a few years. I didnt have any specialty at that time, and Id work on all kinds of random projects a social network one day, a CMS the next, and a (bad) ecommerce site from scratch after that.

Then I followed the somewhat typical path of going into project management. I think I was burned out on doing client work that wasnt very interesting or specialized. I was a project manager for 4 long years believe it or not. I even sort of started to lose my dev skills and lose confidence in myself that I could even be a developer again.

At that point, I knew from experience that I had to specialize in a certain skill set so I thought about it for a while. I also knew that I wanted to stay close to the money had worked on facebook apps and things with ad revenue models, and saw them fail over and over. So I picked eCommerce.

Then at that point I looked at the platforms that were out there. Because of a painful initial experience with Magento I was actually very tempted to go down the OS Commerce route. You think Im kidding, but Im not. But, thankfully, wisdom prevailed and it was clear that Magento was the leader in the space by far, so I chose to dive in.

From that point, I just made a very conscious decision to go deep in the platform and the community. Once I discovered that everyone in the Magento space was on Twitter, I got into Twitter even though it made absolutely no sense to me at first. And the rest is history.

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