I've been living in Melbourne since 1998 - I can't believe it's been 22 years already! Magento is something I came across in its beta form around 2007. I happened to have been looking for freelancing developer jobs on the side, and found a potential client from Japan - I think, on Odesk.

The prospect was looking for an online store and I threw a figure out there that I was not used to charging - from memory, maybe 3,000 USD. I'm not sure how I impressed them, but they wanted to go ahead. I think I said I'll provide them an 'Apple-like' eCommerce site. And the client actually thanked me once the job was done saying that I'd achieved the 'Apple-like' design.

The truth? I took Magento and I barely re-skinned it in parts. But I did provide them TLC (tender loving care) and they got an amazing solution called Magento eCommerce way ahead of time.

This project would go into my resume when I was looking for a job and I ended up landing a job at a digital agency called Balance Internet, based in Fitzroy - 10 minutes north of Melbourne CBD. I believe I was their 2nd Magento Developer.

Magento was like a tree that keeps on giving. It led me onto other digital agency roles one after another. By now I've worked for or with at least 5 award winning agencies.

After Balance Internet though, I started contracting. IT contracting was a new world. I had never heard of 'day rates', and when I heard you could make $600 a day doing Magento Development, I thought it was a scam. But I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

As a Magento contractor, I ended up creating the entire frontend theme for Priceline at Australian Pharmaceutical Industries. I put a lot of effort into that theme - it was coded with love. I didn't have control over its design, but the components, the UI and UX I could make amazing. It took them over 3 years, long after I was gone - to launch with what seemed like an ever so slightly modified version of my theme, and I believe they're still using it till this date (I just checked).

Life gave me what I asked for. If I wanted more, it gave me more. If I just wanted to go nice and steady, it gave me just that - a steady, cruisy job that didn't pay that much although I had built up enough of a reputation and experience by the 2010s that I'd never work for a job that paid less than 600 AUD a day again - until I started my business in 2017.

Going out on my own as a Magento Developer was, fun at the start. Looking back at the past 3 years - wow, what a ride it has been. There's a lot of stories to tell. I've fell so hard and so fast, I don't know how I'm still alive to be honest. I hit my absolute rock bottom during the past 3 years and I'm set on making 2020 my comeback year. It's already shaping out to be a great year with high value jobs coming in faster than I can handle them. The Magento ecosystem in 2020 still seem healthy in that regard, although Magento isn't the only thing I code.

Magento 💖, you've been nothing but a ray of sunshine to me. I love you and will love you for the rest of my life.

If you're looking for a Magento Developer based in Melbourne, Australia with over 12 years of Magento 1 and 2 experience including countless enterprise builds, that also knows a lot about AWS (the cloud) among a ton of other technologies and frameworks and libraries, get in touch now.