VI: Solidus Conf 7 Recap

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Jared Norman
Jared Norman
Before I get back to Ruby/Rails content on here again, I wanted to provide a quick summary of Solidus Conf 7.

With Solidus’s seventh annual-ish conference wrapped up, I wanted to share my thoughts on where we’re at as a project and a community, as well as fill in the gaps for those that weren’t able to attend.
Day One
Thomas Sample opened the conference with the announcement that he was stepping back from his active role in running Karma Creative and is now a full time engineer at Away Travel. Away is an exciting organization who we’ve worked with, so we’re excited to see him in a new role in the Solidus community.
I’m also eager to see where Karma’s new leadership takes the company. They’ve been involved in Solidus for a long time and their contributions to the community are deeply appreciated.
My talk was the first, but since I’m sure I’ll post something about it later, I’ll skip talking about it here. The talk after mine was from George Mendoza, going over the new-ish Solidus Starter Frontend project.
The Starter Frontend is an initiative to transform the Solidus frontend into a Rails template to make it easier to change without breaking existing stores, so we can more easily move it forward. We’ve already started using this project at Super Good and are appreciative of all of George and Nebulab’s work on it.
Next, Joel Saupe got into what UI toolkits are, how they relate to eCommerce and Solidus in particular. This keys into the previous talk in an interesting way: the ideas behind making reusable components to improve the developer experience are the same behind the view components that the Starter Frontend now provides.
Matt Redd provided the first post “lunch” (breakfast for me) talk. He dove into many things that we as software developers can learn from the jazz greats. It was really a treat.
The final talk was from Chris Todorov, who I’ve been working with for ages now. He’s great. His presentation was on how to improve the separation of concerns in your application by using the Solidus event system.
Day Two
We started off day two with another talk on the event system. Marc Busque looked at it from a different perspective, focusing on the latest changes to the event bus. It has been reworked so it no longer depends on ActiveSupport. We’re loving the testing support and observability that’s been built into the new implementation.
Daniel Pritchett was kind enough to share his strategies for making the most of making remote work, something that more people are doing ever these days.
The conference essentially concluded with an open stakeholders meeting and the announcement that we’re planning on holding the next Solidus Conf this fall or winter, hopefully in person if possible.
Takeaways
While these don’t look like “big” features from a business perspective, both the event bus and starter frontend represent leaps forward in making the platform more robust to develop on.
I don’t want to downplay the new partners and integrations coming out of the community. Third-party support is key for the continued success of Solidus. That said, I continue to believe that Solidus’s strongest asset is its customizability. Both the starter frontend and event bus play to that strength.
The starter frontend stands to make the storefront much easier to customize. It also will allow the community iterate and make big improvements to the out of the box experience, something that wasn’t possible with the previous frontend (for fear of breaking existing stores.) As a community we’ve been talking about fixes this for many, many years. Kudos to Nebulab for dedicating resources to making that project happen.
The event bus represents one of the best extension points for making additive functionality changes to Solidus’s eCommerce engine. It allows stores to safely hook into important lifecycle events to add side-effects. This can be used for sending data to third-party fulfillment, analytics, or accounting systems, and more. It’s a win for both customizability and third-party integrations.
Solidus continues to cement itself at a technical level as the most customizable digital commerce platform in the market. It’s no wonder to me that it’s primarily CTOs who end up reaching out to me wanting to implement it. Solidus isn’t about buzzwords and hype; it’s about technical excellence. Now, more than ever, we’re using the tools that Ruby and Rails give us to make Solidus the best platform around.
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Jared Norman
Jared Norman @jardonamron

computers bend to my will • founder of super good software • solidus core team • Rubyist • time abolitionist • not actually grumpy • he/him

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