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Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Andrew Hooker

Posted on January 31, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Earlier this week we introduced you to Scott Raio who will be talking about controlling the user experience at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Hooker. Andrew is the Lead Support Engineer, at Spree Commerce and will be speaking at SpreeConf about putting the order in disorder.

Andrew Hooker

Andrew Hooker
Lead Support Engineer

Andrew joined the Spree Community in early 2010, back when Rails versions started with 2, and Spree versions started with 0. He was leading a re-platforming from a custom perl storefront to Spree 0.11. Even after that was complete, he stayed involved in the community, answering questions on IRC and on the user group, and submitting pull requests wherever he could. Andrew joined the Spree Commerce staff in Spring of 2012, doing development and customer support.

Getting to Know Andrew

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The beautification of e-commerce; stepping beyond a standard product page, and creating a rich user experience.
Technology revolutionizing brick&mortar storefronts; services like Square, Belly and Euclid Analytics

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

I lead the support efforts at Spree, and I’ve been writing a book about my experience about how you can effectively support your own open source code, and how you can benefit from it. I’m also working on getting the SpreeCommerce blog more active, working on both technical and business content that will be coming soon!

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

Seeing old and new friends, and hearing all the stories “from the trenches”.

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

I hope that attendees see the value in keeping their store up to date on Spree. We’re constantly working to improve Spree and make sure that it is providing the best possible solution for modern stores.

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

Go Sphero – I got a sphere for Christmas, and it’s just fun. The simple case is using a mobile app to power it, but it’s easy to pair with your Mac and control from a ruby command line!
We Montage – A local startup who replatformed onto Spree. They’re innovating on technology to compete with much larger potential competitors
Code as Craft – Etsy’s technical blog; not a high volume blog, but always interesting to see what they’re tackling, including things like site performance, chef, and graphing how sleep relates to on-call work and incidents.
Instigator Blog – Like many blogs, it should be treated as one person’s opinion, and not the law, but Ben typically has good insights that are thought provoking at the very least.

What did you like most about SpreeConf last year?

The venues! Both the organized venues, and all the surrounding areas we were able to take advantage of, including all the incredible DC scenery.
The people! SpreeConf never fails to be full of inspirational people, pushing the line of what we thought was possible.

Come meet Andrew and hear his talk about putting the order in disorder SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 4 weeks to go!

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Scott Raio

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Last week we introduced you to Ric Lister who will be talking about Spree operations as code at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Raio. Scott is the Chief Technology Officer, and Co-Founder, at Combatant Gentleman and will be speaking at SpreeConf about controlling the user experience.

Scott Raio

Scott Raio
Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder

Scott Raio is the co-founder and CTO of Combatant Gentlemen. His background is in databases, infrastructure, and SaaS. He has a love for all things web, data, and [programming] languages.

Getting to Know Scott

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The internet of things. The new hardware renaissance is captivating to say the least. Technology has become so cheap, connecting the physical world has never been easier. With the latest acquisition of Nest, entrepreneurs need to start thinking outside of the box with what’s possible, and I don’t mean “smart toasters”.

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

Currently at Combatent Gentleman, we’ve been working on an ERP for ecomm companies. Our goal is to make supply-chain, especially overseas production, seamless and efficient.

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

I am looking forward to meeting smart, talented hackers who are passionate about their craft.

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

I hope attendees really think about the user’s experience when building out their storefronts. How a little bit can go a long way when it comes to path-to-purchase.

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

Every JS hacker must read “JavaScript the good parts”. Check out WebRTC, it’s much more than video chat.

Come meet Scott and hear his talk about controlling the the user experience at SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 5 weeks to go!

Aloha.com: The Future of E-commerce

Posted on January 24, 2014 by Partner Post - Railsdog

Partner Post: Railsdog on the Launch of Aloha.com

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching a project finally take flight. After months of hard work, collaboration, discussions and yes, coffee, one of our most recent clients Aloha launched last month using the Spree Commerce Platform. We worked side by side with our integration partner Railsdog to implement the solution. Aloha’s online experience presented some unique challenges and we wanted to share some of the solutions we came up with along the way.

Telling Your Story

E-commerce has quickly become an essential component of many companies. Web savvy customers these days expect companies of all stripes and sizes to have a way to purchase their products online, but just adding a buy now button is no longer sufficient. Given the proliferation of e-commerce, I think we’re beginning to see the next generation of e-commerce, and Aloha.com is a prime example of treating an online store much more as an experience, not just a transaction.

Show and Tell

In the growing world of online retail there is more and more competition for your customer’s eyes (and their wallet), so finding ways to set your company apart is essential to developing a robust e-commerce solution. Aloha’s approach to e-commerce is part of a new emerging trend of combining great storytelling, a highly curated brand image and top shelf products into a complete online experience. They didn’t want just the traditional product detail page (PDP) with a couple images and some text. They needed to tell the Aloha story, to fully engage and educate the visitor. They wanted a PDP page not only with product details and an ‘add to cart’ button but also with rich images, video, expert testimonials, even detailed ingredient lists with images for each ingredient.

In other words, they wanted to tell the Aloha story even on the PDP. We needed to find a way to give them complete control over their product’s presentation.

Aloha.com

Building an Experience

The Railsdog solution to a highly curated product page was to tightly integrate a CMS with the Spree Commerce Platform. That allowed us to retain all the e-commerce functionality, but give Aloha the ability to highly customize each product experience. They can update and add new elements to each product, including images, videos, ingredient lists and product experts. And it goes without saying that the rest of the site, from the home page marque to the FAQ is all driven by the CMS.

End to End

Of course integrating a CMS isn’t the only unique feature of Aloha’s site. Customers can also subscribe to the Aloha supplements and receive a monthly shipment so they never have to worry about re-ordering. And the entire product fulfillment process is seamlessly handled through the new Spree Commerce Hub, so the Aloha team can focus on telling their story and providing a great customer experience.

Thanks again for stopping by! If you would like to learn more about the CMS implementation on the Spree Commerce Platform, be sure to come to SpreeConf 2014 in New York City and speak to us about the launch of Aloha.com or how we can help your business.

About our partner: Railsdog

Railsdog

Railsdog is a software development shop focusing on web applications and e-commerce. Railsdog provides an engaged, collaborative process while working with innovative open-source technologies. Their goal is help you design and execute clear, coherent IT and software strategies with ease.

Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Ric Lister

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Earlier this week we introduced you to Denis Ivanov who will be talking about perfecting your e-commerce front end at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ric Lister. Ric is the Director of DevOps at Spree Commerce and will be speaking at SpreeConf about Spree operations as code.

Ric Lister

Ric Lister
Director of DevOps

Ric Lister is Director of DevOps at Spree Commerce, where he wrangles servers, evangelizes infrastructure as code, and monitors all the things. Ric loves ruby, chef, and is starting to get pretty fired up about go.

Getting to Know Ric

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The narrowing boundary between development and ops means increasingly I get to work with people who understand and take responsibility for the full technology experience: architecture, code and user experience.

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

I’m working on a rewrite of the dashiki monitoring dashboard, and some of the ideas that spring from this will be making their way into the Spree Hub in the near future.

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

Getting to know some of the talented people working with Spree.

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

That infrastructure should be just another piece of code.

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

The Food Fight Show is a great podcast to follow to keep up with developments in the world of DevOps. I’m also following very closely Paul Dix’s new project Influxdb, which is a very promising time series and metrics database.

Come meet Ric and hear his talk about Spree operations as code at SpreeConf NYC, February 26 and 27. Get your tickets now! Less than 6 weeks to go!