SolidusConf 2020 Recap

SolidusConf 2020 is over! Wow, what a conference! First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who attended and supported the conference. It's so great to see the community come together, even especially in these hard times!

Each one of the talks was excellent, and I’m glad that we were able to hear from such talented people! Here’s a rundown of each of the talks and events that occurred during the conference:

Day 1

Peter Berkenbosch

Building Payment Provider Integrations

Peter Berkenbosch has been a long-time friend of the Solidus community, and someone who has worked very hard on the project, so I think it’s only fitting that we heard from him first!

In his talk, Peter explains how to generate new extensions using solidus_dev_support, and from there, how to integrate Solidus with any payment provider you’d like. Peter does an excellent job going over some of the more surprising and useful defaults that Solidus provides. Big thanks to Peter for starting the conference off on a high note!

Taylor Scott

The 5 W’s of Application Logging

Taylor Scott is a developer currently working at Sendoso. He’s been active in the Solidus community for years, so we were excited to have him speak at SolidusConf 2020.

Taylors talk went over a subject that I think is valuable to everyone - application logging. It sounds like a simple subject, but done poorly, it can lead to some very hard times. In his talk, Taylor takes us through some of the ways we can improve our application logging, so we always have a grasp on the who, what, when, where, and why of our application.

Edwin Cruz

Marketplace on Solidus, Helping Local Businesses

Edwin Cruz is co-founders and CTO at MagmaLabs, a Mexico-based company that specializes in Ruby on Rails and Solidus. Edwin and MagmaLabs has been an integral part of the Solidus community, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from him!

Edwins talk is an intriguing look into what it takes to get a marketplace running on Solidus. He goes over some of the ways that Solidus makes marketplaces easy, as well as some of the difficulties his team faced along the way.

Sean Denny

Don’t Panic: The Solidus Guide to ReactJS

This one is my talk! I’ve been working with the Solidus community for the last few years. I want to see Solidus thrive, and I think the best way to do that is to engage with the community as much as possible. I’ve organized the last 3 SolidusConfs, and more recently started putting together monthly meetups for the Solidus community.

My workshop is all about ReactJS and how to work with it in the context of Solidus. In the workshop, we rebuild the entire product show page from erb to ReactJS, and get an understanding of exactly what ReactJS is and how it works. The goal was to create a high-level introduction for working with ReactJS to build beautiful and fast frontends for Solidus, and I think it was a success!

Rob Johnson

Solidus & Subscriptions: Adventures of a Publisher Trying to Disrupt Itself

Rob Johnson is VP of Digital at Deseret Book and has been working with design, content and development teams since 2009. He was the MC for last years conference, and this year he took his turn on the stage.

Robs talk is an interesting dive into the world of subscription-based sales. How do you offer them? How do you pay for them? Is the cannibalization of sales worth it? And how does a large, multi-million dollar business go about disrupting themselves? The talk was a welcome addition to a lineup that was - until that point - extremely technical, and provided some huge insights into the business behind what we do. I thought it was a fitting end for day 1 of the conference, and set up day 2 nicely.

Day 2

Richard Gilbert

E-Commerce & Consumer Financing Options

Day 2 started with a bang! We first heard from Richard Gilbert. Richard is head of integrations at PayPal, and has been working closely with Solidus in recent years. PayPal has been a gold sponsor for SolidusConf for the last 2 years, and has been an incredible ally for the platform.

In his talk, Richard spoke about the importance of offering consumer financing options. Obviously, PayPal has been on the forefront of providing payment options for consumers for quite some time, so it’s great to hear from them - not just about the services they offer (and a sneak peak into what they’ll be offering soon), but also about why consumer financing is important, and some of the best practices surrounding that.

Alberto Vena

The State of Solidus

Alberto Vena - founder of Nebulab - has a lot of passion for the world of open source. If you’ve been in the Solidus community for any length of time, then you probably already know Alberto well. He’s always ready to help on the #support channel, or on any Github issues or PRs, and we’re lucky to have him as part of this community - which is why we were excited to hear from him for the first time ever as a SolidusConf speaker.

Alberto went over the past, present and future of Solidus in his talk. When planning for the future, it’s important to know where you came from, and his talk did a great job in tying everything together, as well as providing some interesting paths forward for the community.

Sean Denny, Alberto Vena, Elia Schito

Lightning Rounds

One of our long-lasting traditions at SolidusConf is the lightning rounds. This is an opportunity for the community to get up on stage and speak about what they’re passionate about. This year, we heard from Sean Denny, Alberto Vena, and a newcomer to the SolidusConf stage - Elia Schito.

Sean (that’s me!) started us off with a breakdown of the Solidus demo. I gave a quick tour of some of the cooler features of the demo, as well as an explanation for how the open admin works. Elia spoke next about some of the work happening in solidusio-contrib repositories - such as solidus_content, solidus_importer, and solidus_webhooks. Alberto ended the session with a rundown of the solidus_starter_frontend (a new version of the default Solidus frontend) and some next steps for the frontend of Solidus.

Thomas Sample

The 10 Best Ways to SEO Audit Your Solidus Store for Free

Thomas Sample gave the second workshop of SolidusConf 2020, and this one was all about SEO. For those who don’t know him, Thomas is the founder of Karma Creative, a full service digital agency based in New York. He’s very passionate about Solidus, and a fantastic speaker, and that’s why we’re happy to have him back at SolidusConf every year.

Thomas's workshop goes into detail about some of the tools & techniques that you can use to get your SEO to the next level. Rather than just tell us about these tools & techniques, this year he walked us through the actual implementation. It was an extremely helpful dive into the world of SEO.

Jared Norman

The Agile Fluency Model and eCommerce

Jared Norman is brand new to the SolidusConf stage, but he’s been with Solidus since the very beginning. Jared worked at Stembolt when the decision was made to fork Spree, and has since started his own development agency - SuperGood Software. We wanted to end the conference on a strong note, and Jared delivered in spades.

Jareds talk was all about Agile. He talks about how the Agile methodology matters to individuals, to businesses, and to Solidus, and what steps we can take to implement the Agile methodology into our own processes, as well as clearing up some common misconceptions.

Final Thoughts

Each and every one of our speakers at SolidusConf gave their all this year, and I think it really shows. In this difficult time, it’s awe-inspiring to see the Solidus community come together - stronger than ever.

This was our first time running a fully digital conference. We learned a lot of lessons, and we’re taking those with us for the next conference. But for me, the biggest takeaway is this: Despite all of the difficulties we’ve faced, the Solidus community remains stronger than ever. Thanks for sticking with us, and helping us build the future of eCommerce.