Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko

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Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Whether you are new to Magento or have been working with the platform since Magento 1 initial release in 2008, you probably follow Max Pronko. Max is a well-known blogger and Magento Master for many years in a row, famous for his activities in the Magento community and multiple projects, such as Pronko Consulting, 100 Day Magento Challenge, the Tech Digest, his YouTube channel with 180+ Magento-related videos, and more.

We were lucky to get Max Pronko to share the insights on Magento 2 efficiency and performance optimization in 2017. Today, we happen to get Max on the interview again and discuss his new project―Mage Mastery. Read on for more insights.

Where to Start Learning Magento?

Magento 2 Course: What is Mage Mastery

Ellie: Hi, Max! Thank you for taking the time to tell our readers about Mage Mastery. We appreciate that. I’ve been thinking about the best way to describe your activities, and the first word that pops up in my mind is ‘challenge’. You run multiple projects and initiatives. Now, it’s Mage Mastery. Can you tell us more about the project?

Max Pronko:

Thank you, Ellie, for the opportunity to speak and share my experience with your followers. Yeah, after a few successful years with the YouTube channel where I share my experience with Magento 2 developers, I found out that there is still a lack of Magento educational resources to learn Magento 2. The thing is, everyone likes watching my videos, but the main problem I found is that these videos aren’t structured. Basically, if you are a frontend developer who is looking to get up to speed with the Magento 2 frontend practices, you end up browsing YouTube for Magento tutorials. This is a challenge to get everything in one list. The other thing I noticed is the lack of practical examples on Magento 2 development in the Magento Official documentation known as Magento DevDocs. This is where I found an opportunity to launch Mage Mastery.

The main goal of Mage Mastery is to create an ultimate learning portal for PHP and JavaScript developers who want to get experience with the Magento 2 platform. Let’s say you are a Magento 1 seasoned developer and would like to move to Magento 2. This is where Mage Mastery can help you with. Or if you are a Magento 2 developer with a few years of practical Magento 2 development experience, you can find online courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

My motivation to start is to provide a one-stop portal for all web developers, not to create ‘yet another community project’.

Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko | MageWorx Blog

Learning Magento: Idea Behind Mage Mastery

Ellie: How did you come up with the idea to create an ‘ultimate learning Magento 2 resource for PHP and JavaScript developers’?

Max Pronko:

The idea to open an online course came to me back in 2018 when I launched my first ‘Payment Integration in Magento 2’ online course on my personal website. As Magento 2 topic is a specific one, there were more than 50 developers enrolled for the course. I realized a huge interest in Magento 2 education. Later, I offered inhouse training for Magento 2 freelancers and agencies in London, Dublin, New York, and Austria.

Also, I liked the idea from the other online websites where developers enroll for the course and learn something new. Recently, I’ve joined the Eastern-Europe YouTubers community, and they inspired me to go the extra mile with my YouTube educational videos. When you get into the community where people share your interests and bring value to this endless development world, you get inspired by their thoughts and actions in the same direction as yours.

So, I’ve launched the Mage Mastery portal back in October 2019 and received massive attention in the Magento Community and among developers willing to learn Magento 2. At the conferences, no matter if I was a speaker or just a participant, a lot of people came to me and said thanks for what I was doing―‘Thanks for all your efforts and videos’―and that’s another source of my inspiration. I see how my materials and efforts are justified. 

For 2020, we have huge plans to grow the Mage Mastery community. One of the plans is to build two online courses for frontend developers and two courses for backend developers. Also, we are planning to launch a full Practice Exam experience with 80+ questions. 

Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko | MageWorx Blog

Why Magento 2?

Ellie: Why Magento 2? Clearly, we all have selected Magento for some reason. Why do you recommend developers to advance their knowledge of the platform, or even switch to Magento 2?

Max Pronko:

It teaches developers to write better code. Obviously, you may find lots of rubbish code that you won’t ever recommend or learn from it. But usually, if you learn Magento 2 and follow development practices, you become a more experienced developer. The second reason to choose a Magento 2 platform is that there are lots of business owners willing to sell online and Magento 2 gives an opportunity to be present and give customers everything they need to get the superior shopping experience.

I also understand that Magento 2 platform doesn’t fit all businesses and developers. However, if you are a developer and want to learn S.O.L.I.D. principles, CQRS (Command-Query Responsibility Segregation), and other practices, Magento 2 is the right choice.

Learning Magento Development: Mage Mastery Study Options

Ellie: On the official website, I see that you offer workshops, courses, training, and even a possibility to practice for the Magento 2 exam. Can you tell us more about these study options?

Max Pronko:

Mage Mastery offers a wide range of educational resources. Whether you prefer watching video lessons or reading through the articles with detailed step-by-step development guides, Mage Mastery gives you an opportunity to learn and gain experience building extensions and customizations for Magento 2. We also decided to open a new Practice Exam section where you, as a developer, can practice Magento 2 questions. From my experience, it can help you get a better feeling on your readiness to pass real exams. We also offer in-house Magento 2 training. However, with the COVID-19 restrictions, all education went online. 

Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko | MageWorx Blog

Ellie: What course would you recommend for a beginner? Why?

Max Pronko:

I recommend starting with the free ‘Magento 2 for Beginners’ course. This was the first course on the Mage Mastery portal, and I am really proud to share it. The lessons are presented in an easy to follow way and each of them gives all the information about a Magento 2 topic.

Ellie: I see many freebies on the Mage Mastery site. What will a Magento 2 student get after purchasing the full course?

Max Pronko:

There is no requirement for a developer to purchase a course on Mage Mastery. The idea of the Mage Mastery portal is to give enough free online courses for any developer to learn Magento 2. I wanted to create a website where I can check an answer to my question when I perform development for a Magento 2 website. But if you would like to get mentor support during your educational journey, you can purchase a workshop and start your education with a Magento 2 expert developer or with my guidance.

How to Start Learning Magento: Mage Mastery Process of Education

Ellie: Max, can you tell us more about the process of education? How are the teaching and learning organized?

Max Pronko:

First of all, all Mage Mastery students are invited to the educational Mage Mastery chat on the Discord server where they can collaborate with like-minded developers, ask questions, answer the questions of others. 

Also, we have regular calls where I answer development questions and help with the educational process.

Each student does homework and submits it for the review. Once submitted, the student receives detailed recommendations for his/her code and analysis of the homework.

Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko | MageWorx Blog

Ellie: Every developer has a different background and level. Do you adjust lessons based on what a student knows?

Max Pronko:

Our Mage Mastery workshops include additional lessons for those who would like to learn and get more 360 educational experience with Magento 2. During our one-to-one video calls, developers receive detailed answers to their questions.

Ellie: It’s my understanding that Mage Mastery is for anyone who has some background in software development. In your opinion, can someone from a different field of expertise jump into Magento 2 development thanks to your education platform?

Max Pronko:

Mage Mastery includes a few free online courses for those who are willing to start their career as a PHP developer. We plan to increase the number of courses to cover beginner levels without prior experience in software development.

Mage Mastery: Challenges

Ellie: What were your major challenges when developing the course?

Max Pronko:

One of the main challenges is to find time balance between online courses/video lessons creation and improvements into the Mage Mastery portal, which should be done on a regular basis. We have huge goals for this project in 2020, and I can say that we are almost on track with all the initiatives.

Ellie: Out of purely academic interestclearlywhat are the most common mistakes Magento 2 beginner developers make? Or is it a purely individual thing? 

Max Pronko:

All mistakes are unique and on the individual level. Software developers have different backgrounds and experiences. Some developers say that they have 4-6 years of Magento experience, and you believe it is a very solid level. However, in reality, the basic tasks sometimes become challenging enough for them. Perhaps, it is so because web development seems like an easy way to start being a developer.

Mage Mastery: Interview with Max Pronko | MageWorx Blog

Best Magento 2 Developers Course: Final Words

Ellie: What would be your advice to those who want to advance their Magento 2 proficiency level? 

Max Pronko:

Practice. There is no single book or online course that would teach you being a professional Magento 2 developer. Only writing real code and solving problems will help you become better at what you do.

Ellie: Max, any words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers for the finale?

Max Pronko:

Thanks, Ellie. My recommendation is to allocate one hour a day and learn something new. It shouldn’t be Magento 2 in particular. You can start with performing development exercises or with a pet project, for example. And iteratively, you will get to the level you wish you wanted to be.

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We thank Max Pronko for the interview and wish him only the best in his new beginnings and endeavors!

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