Please give us a quick introduction of yourself for those who don’t know you
Sure, I'm Eric Saupe. I'm a developer at Deseret Book based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Computer Science. I've been a developer for over seven years and have been using Rails for three.
What do you use Solidus for?
We use Solidus for our ecommerce site DeseretBook.com. We sell over 20,000 variants. We also have our own warehouse that manages shipping, stock, and availability for our site as well as our 43 physical stores.
Some of those variants are digital products including ebooks and audiobooks which are served through our native apps on iOS and Android called Deseret Bookshelf.
Our Solidus site is the engine for all online physical and digital sales.
That’s great to hear! What is your role at Deseret Book? What does an average day look like for you?
I'm the lead developer for Deseret Book so an average day for me involves creating new features and fixing outstanding bugs.
A couple of years ago we switched from a custom ecommerce Rails app to using Spree. During that time we tried to maintain a lot of the legacy features at the expense of customizing Spree. Due to all of those customizations we had forked Spree and were no longer getting the benefits of open source.
We rewrote the app again using Solidus instead of using the upgrade path, due to using our fork of Spree. Everyday when we write new features or bugs we are trying hard to "go vanilla" with Solidus to benefit from the open source community.
Since moving to Solidus we have removed tens of thousands of custom lines of code that was overriding core functions, and now our site runs more reliably and new updates are pushed much faster.
Sounds like quite the process but with a positive outcome. What is your talk going to be about at SolidusConf?
My talk is called "Keep your store fresh with an API-based CMS". Basically, our advertising team is constantly updating the homepage and other marketing sections on the site. In the past this would require developer time and a deploy to have the marketing changes take effect. We looked into giving them a better solution and found API-based CMS.
By using an API-based CMS, like Contentful or Prismic.io, we gave an editing tool to marketers to update sections of the site without requiring a deploy. They can also schedule updates to happen at specific times for daily or event sales.
We have converted our entire homepage and added sections of taxons and product pages to take advantage of marketers controlling the content that is shown.
That will certainly be a valuable topic for the the attendees. What are you most looking forward to at SolidusConf?
I'm excited to see everyone that I see in Slack and on GitHub. It was really great last year seeing everyone and getting opinions. I really learned a lot.
Do you have any other plans for London?
It's my first time so I'm excited to do some sightseeing! A few people from our team are coming and it should be a good time hanging out with everyone around town.
Glad to hear it! Thanks for your time today Eric.
Learn more about the conference at http://conf2017.solidus.io/