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Peter Samoilov, aheadWorks CTO, Chooses Hiking and Riding a Mountain Bike

Editor's note: The Magento community is rich in outstanding people and our blog is always open for guests. However, the community is so widespread that we can also find them just round the corner or even inside our company and today we want to present you the interview with our CTO, Peter Samoilov.

Many of you are surely know him well, while the others have a great opportunity for this now.



Peter is a Magento certified developer with the vast experience in Magento development. He started his career as a programmer at aheadWorks and today he heads the development department of the leading Magento extension provider.
Peter is an active member of the Magento community and often attends Magento conferences as a speaker.

aW: How did you come to Magento?

Peter: aheadWorks started working with Magento many years ago, I can already say. That was the time of the 1.1 and 1.2 versions of the platform, and the Magento Community just began its formation. In those days, if you tried to get search results for the "how to create a Magento extension" query, you would just receive a couple of links to forum threads with the same question.

It was the time of our pilot project – the Product Question extension for Magento. I was assigned to develop the module and started with wild imprecations against the platform. That was my first acquaintance with Magento.

aW: How many years do you develop Magento extensions and for how long you head the development department at aheadWorks. What are your most exciting impressions within that period?

Peter: We work with Magento since 2008; at least, this is the year of our profile registration on the site. I have been heading the development department for about two years or even more. Time is ticking fast, besides I’ve always been bad with dates :)

The first year was full of coffee, broken keyboards, and new experience. Then we started to hire developers and had to teach them coding on Magento, and that was, perhaps, the most challenging and exciting experience for me.

aW: Tell our readers a bit about your life, hobbies, and activities outside the work please.

Peter: Actually, I’m a lazy couch potato, and in order to get some new impressions I usually hike on forests during my annual vacations. I also like to ride a MTB through the city. My new passion is the Suzuki Dirt Bike, which is perfect for forest and swamp rides with friends :)

aW: In your opinion, what features do SMB companies need to be included into Magento Community Edition (or Magento in general) out of the box?

Peter: I think, advanced reports and drop shipping are mandatory. Magento 2.0 is going to offer something like that, as far as I know. However, we are an extension vendor and need to enhance some Magento functionality, which is not still perfect.

aW: What do you think about Magento 2.0? Is it going to be a breakthrough?

Peter: Oh yeah! But the main changes are expected for us, developers, rather than for merchants. It is going to be an absolutely new platform – much better, faster, but more complicated, and difficult to enter for newbies.

aW: Is it difficult to develop Magento extensions?

Peter: It is not difficult, for us anyway. The starting was confusing, but eventually you get involved and the platform’s framework becomes native and clear.

aW: What is the most demanded functionality to be implemented in Magento extensions today?

Peter: Well, it’s a commercial secret :)

aW: What are your most favorite aheadWorks extensions and why?

Peter: First of all, it is our bestsellers: Ajax Cart Pro, Follow Up Email, Advanced Reports, and iPhone Theme (which is going to be greatly updated soon, by the way). I like that our products are popular among our customers.

Layered Navigation, Help Desk 3.0, and One Step Checkout are the latest favorites, which were developed with keenness and dedication.

aW: When do you feel the moments when you are completely satisfied with the work done?

Peter: This moment will probably never come, as in this scenario I am fat and lazy. I don’t want this future become true.

aW: How would you suggest merchants to choose Magento extensions? What are the most important aspects they should pay attention to?

Peter: The main objective criteria are the vendor and his reputation. A Magento module is not an apple application from the App Store, which costs a couple of bucks you can spend and forget about in half an hour. Magento modules obtain a 100% access to your store and can just damage it.

Try product demos and contact the vendor’s support team before the purchase, as it will be the only remedy, if you have any problems.

Figure out refund terms, as some vendors just do not provide them. And I would not trust reviews, either positive or negative, as they can be easily faked.

aW: Do you want to add something at the end?

Peter: Magento is a great e-commerce platform and joints many high-skilled developers and successful merchants. We all feel certain connections with each other within this close-knit community, so I wish the entire eco-system patience, passion, and success with Magento.

aW: Thank you very much, Peter, for the great conversation. We wish you success and clean code. :)

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