This article captures how one can start their journey with Mautic—through a personal story.
Rahul took up Mautic after twelve years of being a Drupal engineer.
He believes that every person with some technical knowledge, especially in PHP, can get the hang of the platform and do wonders with it.
What Is Mautic?
Mautic is an open-source (meaning anyone worldwide can contribute to its development) marketing automation platform that helps companies make meaningful customer connections through custom audience intelligence.
David Hurley, Mautic’s founder, believes that the platform holds the key to the future, as every company in the world wants to know:
- Who are their customers
- Where do they live
- Where do they interact with the company, and why
- How can they add more value for their customers
- And how to improve their customer experience to increase retention and loyalty
Axelerant Engineer Rahul Shinde shares in David’s belief—as Mautic focuses on getting just those answers.
Who Is Using Mautic?
Rahul Shinde and thousands of engineers—and digital marketers—like him around the world.
When Rahul started experimenting with the platform in spring 2020, about 30 volunteers worldwide contributed to the platform’s development.
In just three years, volunteer numbers have soared to over 1000.
The platform has also been translated into over 35 languages to grow its usage among 200,000 organizations worldwide.
What Made Rahul Take It Up After 12 Years Into His Career?
In college, Rahul wrote programming codes for a Linux Kernel project, a free and open-source operating system kernel.
When stuck, he would email his queries to an Australian mentor, who helped him whenever possible.
The fact that someone unknown from another part of the world would help him—without expecting anything in return—showed him the power and magic of open-source collaboration.
“We still keep in touch. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with many incredible people,” he said.
After getting his first job in 2008, the project he worked on required him to learn Drupal.
“It was difficult to make that switch. But I was also happy. I took it as a challenge to be a web developer,” he said.
It was the beginning of a journey that he would sum up in a paragraph on his website—a decade later.
Because He Wanted To Grow Out Of His Comfort Zone
During his 12-year stint with Drupal, he dabbled in other platforms and languages (like PHP) whenever the opportunity presented itself.
"While developing a Drupal product, I worked on Python and Go. We scaled that product from scratch. At one point, it served over 15 million unique users per day."
In Axelerant, he got a chance to work with Python on a client project, writing Django's application programming interface (API).
"I needed to learn new things to move from PHP to Python. But once you get the grammar of the frameworks down, anyone can do it," he explained.
During his master's degree in 2019, he also wrote machine learning (ML) scripts for his university.
His university used a computer program for class attendance using computer vision and image processing. His job was to bring in expression analysis—to stop a clever ruse.
The students had discovered that the computer program couldn't distinguish between real people and photographs.
And they leveraged that flaw to get attendance without ever having to enter the classroom.
"My project mate and I solved that problem. Not sure how many friends I made, though," he said, bursting into laughter.
"I love to solve problems and face challenges. And after working in Drupal for so long, I had settled into a comfort zone where it wasn't as challenging as it once was," Rahul shared.
That's when he came across Mautic.
How Can Someone Take Up Mautic?
To be a Mautic developer, you'd have to start from the beginning if you don't have a technical background.
For Rahul, it was more of a natural progression into something similar to what he was already doing as a Drupal engineer.
Here are some things you can do to kickstart your journey into Mautic.
Weigh Your Current Options
When Rahul wanted to explore his options, he tried to look for opportunities within Axelerant that coincided with his skill set.
He was looking for something that would pull him out of his comfort zone—but also not be so far removed from what he was doing that he couldn't cope.
"I had a basic experience and knowledge of PHP. But I wasn't a core PHP developer. And I wanted to expand my architectural knowledge," he recalled.
"I had many options. But Mautic was quite similar to Drupal as they both have a PHP framework. Of course, I knew it would be challenging. But that's how one grows," he said.
There was a new project opportunity at the time, and for Rahul, it was a matter of now or never.
Talk To People Who Have Experience Working On The Platform
"Automation and marketing were gray areas for me back then," Rahul shared.
He had three options: remaining a Drupal developer, becoming a technical architect, or taking up Mautic.
Time was of the essence, and he knew he needed more clarity. And so he reached out to Prateek Jain, Axelerant's Director of Digital Experience Services.
"Prateek said, 'Give it a couple of weeks. Try it out. If you're uncomfortable with it, you can always return to Drupal," Rahul shared.
Explore The Platform
Anyone can start experimenting with the platform after installing it on their device.
Once Rahul started exploring the platform, he realized that Mautic and Drupal had a common thread.
He had to learn Symfony to get into Mautic, and some of the core components in Drupal were also based on the same framework.
"In a way, I was upgrading myself in Drupal by learning Symfony. And I also saw that I would get more object-oriented challenges in Mautic. I was especially excited about it," he said.
Take Up Some Courses And Certifications
Here's the good news: there are tons of tutorials on the official Mautic website, which is a good starting point.
Here are some specific resources you can consider exploring:
- Mautic documentation page for helpful user, knowledge, and developer guides
- Development documentation to understand more about the code and framework
- Exploring Acquia Campaign Studio documentation to get a broader understanding of the platform and marketing automation
You can also visit the official Mautic YouTube channel for helpful resources, talks, and discussions.
If you are an Axelerant team member, you can log into Acquia Academy for free (as a partner agency member) and get access to the following resources:
Another good option to scour for certification courses is SymfonyCasts, which has resources for beginners and advanced developers.
Take A Break If You Need To
It might get hectic to figure out your next career step while juggling a full-time project.
"I talked with Prateek and some of my team members and took some time off to explore the platform," Rahul said.
Have an honest conversation with your peers, managers, and clients about your plan. And if required, take a break to explore what works best for you.
Seek Guidance From Your Coaches
Transition means change, and any form of change can be stressful and, sometimes, downright scary.
It's the perfect time to lean on your coach or a mental health professional to deal with your emotions better.
"Our emotions can tell us much about what we want in life. Emotions aren't misleading. Many of us don't know how to tap into that and listen properly," said Mridula Ujjwal, Axelerant's Director of Coaching.
In Axelerant, team members can reach out to their coaches for support, especially when making decisions that may affect their professional and personal lives.
Get Entrenched With The Ecosystem
"In 2007, Drupal didn't have any community in India. But now you can see how the community has grown and is flourishing," Rahul said.
He was among the first organizers of the Pune Drupal community, which is presently one of the biggest communities of its kind in India.
"The Mautic community is slowly gaining momentum in India," he said.
MautiCons, Code Fridays, and monthly meet-ups are some of the online avenues where Mautic enthusiasts come together from around the world.
Enthusiasts can also join the Mautic Slack community—a fantastic place for getting valuable resources and connecting with others.
In Axelerant, many team members like Rahul have participated in Mautic sessions and events.
Since 2021—when Axelerant was one of the sponsors of MautiCon—interest and contribution to the platform have been on the rise within the organization.
We are delighted to announce that @axelerant has become a Bronze sponsor of Mautic Conference Global 2021!— Mautic Community (@MauticCommunity) June 15, 2021
They offer a range of Mautic services including development of custom plugins and partnering with agencies.
Read more: https://t.co/14X4AHgUFb#mauticon #mautic pic.twitter.com/at9VHvFqAV
And Rahul has been one of the leading contributors to the Mautic core.
At Axelerant, nothing is set in stone. Axelerant CEO Ankur Gupta believes in the trying and failing fast approach.
If things don't work out, or you don't enjoy your work, you can always revert to your original role.
Or try something else that makes you jump out of bed in the morning.
There's nothing wrong with saying, "Hey, I tried that out, and it didn't work out for me."
Rohit Ganguly, Content Marketer
Rohit is a content marketer first and a YouTuber second. He loves to interact with animals, feed them, clean his apartment, and spend time with friends and family. Curious by nature, he also enjoys literature, movies, meditation, and calligraphy.