Meet the VS Team: Sander Mangel [interview]
The fastest growing eCommerce PWA solution just gained a new Technical Leader. What is his approach to open source, engaging the global community and strengthening a future-proof product? You will find answers to these questions in the interview below, but surely, with his guidance and strong spirit, the Vue Storefront community will thrive and steadily follow the VS roadmap for 2019.
Hi Sander! It’s a pleasure to see you on board of the Vue Storefront core team. Tell us, what was your drive to join this open-source project?
Both the Magento Community as well as Open Source software, in general, have been an important part of my professional life. Participating in hackathons, visiting conferences and having an active role in the community are some things I’ve done mostly in my spare time. Having the opportunity to actually do that as a job on a day to day basis is incredibly exciting. Especially when it involves something as big and ambitious as Vue Storefront.
You are the newest member of the Vue Storefront team. How do you perceive this team and the community?
I’ve had the chance to interact with the team a bit leading up to me starting this new position. It’s amazing to find so much drive and passion for a common goal as I’ve seen with this team. There is a common sense of working towards the next big thing for platforms such as Magento, and the next step for eCommerce, and that is just wonderful to be a part of.
And when it comes to the broader community around Vue Storefront; many of them I already know. Both the people involved, as well as the companies supporting this project. It feels familiar but at the same time exciting to interact with everyone in this new role.
Tell us more about your background? What have you achieved as a Magento Master?
It’s about 10 years or so I’ve been around the Magento space after I switched over from osCommerce. Both professionally as well as personally it’s been an amazing journey.
I would never have expected all those years ago I’d get the chance to travel the world and meet all these amazing people, having the chance to work for international companies.
After working for both web agencies as well as merchants as a developer and consultant, I’m excited to combine all that experience into a platform such as Vue Storefront.
What are your plans as the Vue Storefront Technical Leader?
For me, it’s all about making sure we continuously improve what we have. Not just in terms of features but also quality, ease-of-use, the developer experience, and so on.
There is so much potential in Vue Storefront and we are only at the start of this journey.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for Vue Storefront in the upcoming months?
As with any new product or platform, the biggest challenge is to continuously improve on what we already have, as well as expand features and platforms we support. Finding a balance will be important and is something that will be in the back of my mind at every step we take. But if we do that right, and I’m confident we will with the team and the partners we have, we can achieve some amazing goals.
What is your approach to open-source solutions?
The most important thing when it comes to open-source projects, in my opinion, is to make sure the value is clear to all users and contributors. Why should someone use this solution, or invest their time in contributing bug fixes or features?
It’s up to all involved to keep evaluating this. As long as everyone finds value in putting effort into the project, it means it is actually solving challenges or issues that users have.
How do you see eCommerce software in the next 5 years?
It’s hard to tell where we will be in 5 years, but the general direction, as always, will be convenience. Convenience for the user to visit the shop, browse the products, pay how they want to pay and have it shipped when they need it.
And I think that is why Vue Storefront delivers so much value. The PWA application offers ease of use that normal webshop frontends can’t always offer, such as integrations with the native devices sensors, or offline support.
… and the biggest challenges for Merchants in the upcoming quarters?
To adapt to this direction of effortless shopping. Clients are getting more and more demanding. Not only when it comes to the technical solution such as the webshop they use, but also on the operations behind that webshop. Fulfillment, customer service, etcetera. It requires the Merchant to excel at every level of the company.
Please say something more about yourself :) What are you passionate about? What makes you feel happy and fulfilled at work?
For me, a job that makes me happy is one that gives me diverse challenges, and motivated colleagues around me to solve these challenges with. What I do should have meaning, and make someone’s day a little bit better. If I can get that out of it, I’m happy.
Outside of work and technology, I love to travel, listen to podcasts, and I have a thing with plants, I love to visit botanical gardens and expand on my own collection of plants at home.
Join Sander during upcoming Vue Storefront events — here’s the list :)
More about Vue Storefront at www.vuestorefront.io