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Genie X-Files Part 1 – Dan Hanly

To many, those who work with the internet are seen as geeks, but we think geek is cool and wear that badge with pride. Anyway, where would our clients be without our clever Genies solving their techy ecommerce problems? I am going to introduce you to four key members of our team, once a week with a dash of Harry Potter glasses, braces, and bow ties – asking them a little bit about their position at TheGenieLab and what they are working on mixed with a sprinkle of fun.

So Dan, tell us a bit about yourself to get us started.

My name is Dan, and I’m the Lead Developer. I’m a 6ft 5in lump of a man who spends most of my time hunched over in-front of a black screen filled with console commands and code. I’ve been coding in some form or another right across my professional life, spending most of my time in PHP.

When did you start at Genie?

I started in February 2014, so at this point, I’ve been here a little over a year.

What kind of projects are you working on?

I’ve worked on a range of projects in the past year or so, mostly working with Magento Community Edition for a UK based Battery retailer. When I became Lead Developer, I began to oversee some further projects in Magento such as a Carribean Click & Collect Supermarket and a London Based jewelry retailer. At present, however, I’m building a connector that will integrate a custom ERP system into Shopify; it’s all built using Laravel 5, with all the commands running through a Queueing system called RabbitMQ.

I suppose another of my ‘projects’ is the other developers. As Lead Developer, it’s my responsibility to provide training to the other developers so that we can plug in any holes in our collective skillset. It’s been fun building training resources and being the point of contact for many of the other developers.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Well, when I started at the company, although I knew about Magento, I hadn’t actually done a commercial project on the platform. Of course as a coder a lot of the skills are transferrable, but there is still lots of platform specific stuff to learn. So it was a challenge to learn how to use it from the ground up, and having to do so on a live project was tough; meeting deadlines and satisfying requirements whilst learning something completely new. However, as soon as I had my Eureka moment with how Magento worked, it was plain sailing from then on out.

What do you like to do for fun?

I’m an avid PC gamer (#pcmasterrace), a full-time geek and a part-time author. I love to play fantasy/role playing games, usually getting a little too addicted until my wife kills my dreams (or ‘saves’ me, depending on which side of the fence you sit). I’ve written a couple of short stories which I publish under the pseudonym Dan Vale; granted, not all of them are winners, but it’s something I enjoy spending my time doing.

If you were an Ecommerce store what would you be?

I once made an Ecommerce store in University for a bit of a joke; we ‘sold’ individual biscuits. It was for an assignment so it wasn’t actually live. I’d probably be that store – so left-of-field that it’s horribly impractical, but with a clear vision and drive. Though, on second thought, that store would probably not get any orders. Can I change my answer?

Big thanks to our Lauren Karamouzis for putting together this piece.

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