Hiring a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist for Your Magento 2 Site
If you are building a new Magento 2 site, hiring a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist could be the most important decision that you’ll make. Recently, I shared my experiences on the Magento Blog about Why a Solution Specialist is Important to Every Magento Project. Yet for many merchants, hiring a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist doesn’t appear on the list of priorities. It’s often not verified that the Magento Solution Partner employs a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist at all. Let me be blunt: At this time, there are 35 Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialists in the US. If you are a US merchant not utilizing one of these individuals to help build your Magento 2 site, you are setting your project up for failure. Do not miss this critical step.
To begin, I think its important to clarify what a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist does. There are many inaccurate assumptions, or general confusion about what “Solution Specialist” means. A Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist is someone that has passed a Magento 2 focused exam created by Magento and a Board of experts from the ecosystem. This exam is Magento’s first exam for the Magento 2 platform, and tests for things like:
- eCommerce industry knowledge
- Magento’s technical architecture
- Using Magento’s core features
- Extending and customizing Magento following established Best Practices
- PCI Compliance Security for a Magento store
- Project Management
- Requirements Gathering
- Magento Business Intelligence, Magento Order Manager, and other Magento product capabilities
To correct a few inaccurate rumors I’ve heard:
- The test covers both Magento Open Source (Community) and Magento Commerce (Enterprise) Editions, as well as Magento Commerce Cloud.
- The test is for anyone performing these tasks, from developers to architects to eCommerce Managers.
- Magento Solution Partners are required to have a certain number of Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialists on their staff, though I do agree that there are only a few Partners in the US right now that have met this requirement. I truly hope that more Partners begin to place priority on properly training their team for this important role.
What does a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist do when building a Magento 2 site? They might do things like:
- Gather requirements from all stakeholders, and define technical requirements
- Map requirements to core functionality where possible, to save you time and money
- Manage the project’s development team
- Make critical decisions like number of store views needed or how to setup a complex API integration
- Recommend ways to increase ROI and/or increase performance
- Ensure the site is PCI compliant
When I served on the Advisory Board to create the exam earlier this year, we tried to focus on questions that tested for real-world knowledge. Trivia isn’t really important to the success of a Magento implementation. We thought carefully about the most important tasks that someone in this role will perform, and created questions that we thought could directly impact success of a project.
As a merchant, why is it important to hire a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist when building a new Magento 2 site? My previous article on the Magento Blog covered a lot of these, but I’d like to highlight a bit of common sense: Planning is the most critical part of your project. One of my favorite quotes explains this well:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin
Most merchants have the best of intentions when planning their Magento project. However, it is highly unlikely they have ever built a Magento 2 site before. As in life, much of Magento 2 is learned through experience. The experts who have passed the Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist exam have often built dozens, if not more. Their expertise is valuable when making critical decisions that impact the eventual ROI of your site. Building a new Magento 2 site is an investment you need to protect. It can be very costly to bring in an expert after the project is near failure. As a business owner myself, I share your concern about costs – both immediate and future. Technical debt is undoubtedly a reason so many retailers are failing right now. Thinking about your total cost of ownership now will help prevent this fate for your company.
One final tip I’d like to share: If you are hiring a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist to build a new Magento 2 site, make sure they have the Magento 2 Certification. While many of the concepts are the same (eCommerce, project management, etc.) the Magento 2 platform itself is new. The Magento 2 exam features all new questions designed at the current eCommerce landscape, including omni-channel retailing and the latest security requirements.
Best wishes for your new Magento 2 site!
P.S. Want to search for Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialists? You can do so easily in the Magento Certification Directory.