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Get to Know SpreeConf DC Speaker: Denis Ivanov

Posted on April 25, 2013 by Lynne Brehmer

On Tuesday we introduced you to SpreeConf speaker, Ryan Bigg who will be talking about open source war stories at SpreeConf DC May 20th – 21st in Washington, DC. Today we’d like to introduce you to Denis Ivanov. Denis is a Lead Developer at Downshift Labs and will be speaking at SpreeConf about how to perfect your e-commerce front end.

Denis Ivanov

Denis Ivanov

Lead Developer at Downshift Labs
Denis is a software developer who has been professionally working with Ruby on with Rails since version 1.2.2 back in 2006. During his SpreeConf talk, Denis will share his experience perfecting the front end of a unique e-commerce store that began over 3 years ago as a Spree 0.11.X project and is growing faster than ever. The store has 97,000 SKUs, receives over 40% of its traffic from organic search hits and is currently serving over 1.5 million public-facing page views each month. Denis will share practical code samples and tips on how to please both robots and humans including: search engine optimization, client side performance (and some backend, too), and conversion rate management

Getting to Know Denis

We asked Denis to give us his thoughts on the latest happenings in the Ruby on Rails space and some of the interesting projects he’s working on right now.

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

I’m very excited about the state of coder education at the moment. The industry sees the problems it has and is eager to generate solutions. Between DevBootCamp and AppAcademy here in San Francisco, we get a good amount of interesting applicants for entry level positions!

However, I’m even more excited for free workshops like RailsBridge and RailsGirls. I’m a fan of both so naturally I come out and try to instruct at as many of these as possible. These particular groups have a focus of closing the disproportionate male-to-female gap in our field.

Any interesting projects you are working on that others might be interested in?

There are a few Spree extensions that you might want to keep an eye on if you’re running a large Spree store. Our store didn’t get to 100K SKUs by manually entering the data through the CRUD interface. We make heavy use of an extension for Spree that uses various spreadsheets to update records en masse, called spree_batch_products).

What are you most looking forward to at SpreeConf this year?

Learning from others’ experience running large stores and keeping an acute ear for clever solutions to universal e-commerce problems. But in general, it is always a good time with the Spree team.

What do you hope SpreeConf attendees remember about your talk when they get home?

I want SpreeConf attendees to remember that as an industry we’re very focused on the back end performance because that is what is easy to instrument correctly, however, by far the slowest part of any webapp is the front end. I want to give them a high level understanding of the problems leading to this as well as a practical boilerplate/best practices approach to begin battling these effects in their projects.

I want my talk to be very actionable. First, I will convince people they should spend time on this. Second, I will tell them how to begin.

Do you have any interesting picks – blogs, technology, books, new companies to follow?

Check out AngularJS. Very exciting stuff!

Come meet Denis and hear his talk about perfecting your e-commerce front end at SpreeConf DC, May 20th – 21st. get your ticket now. Less than one month to go!

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