What Do You Need to Become an Expert Magento Developer?

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What Do You Need to Become an Expert Magento Developer

Magento is a savior for most e-commerce website owners and developers. However, if you are on your own to explore the possibilities on Magento, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. It is a CMS platform, which relies greatly on different kinds of programming languages and codes.

What are the Magento Programming Languages?

Let us take a peek at which programming languages this CMS loves to function and stay on top of the e-commerce CMS list –

  • PHP – for the backend
  • MySQL – for the database maintenance mostly
  • HTML, CSS, LESS, JS – front-end maintenance

PHP and MySQL mainly serve the purpose of connecting to a database. HTML and CSS work in coordination with JavaScript for markup.

There are a few additional languages many developers use such as the Knockout.JS, Zend Framework, and Symfony components to add libraries from the front end and the backend. However, you do not need to know KO.JS or Zend to develop a website on Magento.

Some developers can work excellently on this CMS with their extended knowledge of PHP and HTML only.

How many code pools does Magento use?

Interestingly, Magento has three different code pools – community, core and local.  

  • Community: these code pools are for custom modules developed by third parties. Developers can use these for custom development of modules. This one belongs to the Magento community devs. Third-party extensions and all the rewriting – you can do it right here, free of any guilt.
  • Core: this one holds all the modules, which make up the core functionality. Therefore, the base Magento distributes these cores to all developers. It belongs to the Magento core development team, and there are no two-words about that. That is the very reason you should not make any interference with the codes at this level.  
  • Local: this one holds all the modules for Magento that include the Mage code overrides. This one includes only the custom modules that you have developed on the CMS platform. If you want to have a field day with coding, do it at the local pool. You can add new functionalities, override old extensions and add new extensions to your site through the local pool

Why does it use three pools?

Since Magento uses all three code pools, it has a priority of loading. It starts with the local pool first, moves on to the community and then loads the third and final core code. It helps Magento to merge two APIs in the app/code/community, which is trying to reconstruct the same model and make another extension at app/code/local to solve the problem. That is why Magento almost always uses two code pools for third party customizations.

Therefore, if you are looking for existing extensions, check the community pool first. You can find all sorts of applications, extensions, modification of codes and adjustments. If you want to find a bunch of codes that add site search options, you can look here.

If you want to create your own Magento search option, take inspiration from the community pool and work in the local pool for designing something unique and functional.  

Worried about being lost in translation?

Magento has its own style guide or coding standards when it comes to HTML, LESS, PHP, JS, and CSS. It keeps the front-end elements in complete balance with the backend development.  

Do you know XHTML?

If you do, there is no reason for you to feel lost. The lingua franca of Magento is none other than XHTML. You will find all templating files named as PHTML. It is a sweet amalgamation of PHP and HTML. If you want to tweak with your theme, add new features and add extensions, you need to spend most of your time mastering the PHP and XHTML languages.

If possible, invest a little extra time in learning the W3C compliant code. It will result in faster development status, with a minimum code violation, syntax errors and an excellent site that woos all users.

CSS is not mandatory

CSS is more for the UX than the function, and we all know that by now. However, we also know that if we do not package a site right, no one will buy it! HTML and CSS are like soulmates, who just refuse to part.

Therefore, if you are planning on starting your Magento journey as a developer, better hone your basic CSS skills while you are leafing through your HTML textbook right there.

XML is going to be your mother tongue here!

So better accept it and start on your developer’s journey with your first class on XML. It will help you edit layouts, understand basic SQL statements, EAV network models and maybe a little diving into the deeps of the website database.

JavaScript drives the front-end

To be completely honest, we cannot ask you to learn JavaScript by heart since there are so many JS libraries that already have all the codes you will possibly ever need for your development project. However, you must learn to read JS even if you do not need to learn to write it.

PHP is THE language of Magento

Everyone, developing Magento websites, speak, write, and dream in PHP. You will need a thorough understanding of concepts including the Magento coding standards of PHP before you set out on the developer’s path. “Magicmethods” and “autoloader” are must-learns when you are working with PHP.

MySQL is optional for you

Since you are a developer, we will not ask you to spend too much time on MySQL. This bit is for the DBAs to figure out! Just understanding basic statements, queries and returns should be more than enough for an aspiring developer here.

MVC Frameworks is the Model View Controller

It is ideal for laying out large programs in PHP and XHTML on a Magento platform. Magento relies on MVC to keep the display code decoupled from the core code of the program that you are running right now. Isn’t that neat? That is where we will bring in the mention of Zend Framework one last time. Along with MVC framework, if you have a teensy bit of working knowledge of Zend, it will be the icing on the cake for your career.  

No one said Magento was easy, but it is surely enjoyable if you like to create new things and enjoy watching other people use these extensions. Creating a fantastic site with a brilliant UX is only possible with Magento. The finest products have a manufacturing process, which is more than just a straight line.

Editorial Team
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