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Get to Know SpreeConf NYC Speaker: Ryan Bigg

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Shannon Madlin

Last week we introduced you to Andrew Hooker who will be talking about putting the order in disorder at SpreeConf NYC February 26th & 27th. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Bigg. Ryan is the Community Manager, at Spree Commerce and will be speaking at SpreeConf about the general ecosystem and one on the adjustments refactoring.

Andrew Hooker

Ryan Bigg
Community Manager

I go by two names: Ryan and Radar. You’ll see the latter one around on IRC and GitHub a lot. I’m the Community Manager for Spree Commerce and have been now for two years. Anyone who’s interacted with Spree has probably seen me around. I help the people using Spree (affectionately called “Spreeple”) by answering their emails, going through issues and pull requests for Spree and our extensions, and when I’m not doing that I write code for new features in Spree, like the new adjustments and caching work that will be included into Spree 2.2.

When I am not working on Spree, I write. I wrote a book called Rails 3 in Action which is currently being revised into Rails 4 in Action by the brilliant Steve Klabnik. I’ve written another book called Multitenancy with Rails and I’m currently writing my third book, Debugging Ruby.

I also do other things than Spree and writing, but they are not as interesting to this particular audience so I will leave them out.

Getting to Know Ryan

What trends are most exciting to you right now?

The range of new programming languages out there is exciting. On the frontend, there’s Angular and Ember. On the backend, languages like Go, Rust and Elixir seem to be gaining traction. Just the sheer amount of smart people working on new programming languages is exciting to me.

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

The adjustments work on the master branch is probably the thing that most people would be interested in. Rather than having adjustments be calculated and then applied to the order as a whole, the adjustments are applied to each item (a line item, a shipment or the order). I have a big write up about all this on my blog.

All in all, it allows for a more flexible adjustments system than was available in previous versions. It may also result in some speed-ups with the cart, but I have not benchmarked that to be sure of that.

I recently did some caching work on the API and Frontend components of Spree. I’ve taken the products listing for the API from doing about 11 requests per second on my test machine, to about 1,500 requests per second. Slightly faster.

In the frontend, I’ve added fragment caching to the main pages and have been experimenting with some whole page caching there too.

I am still working on the finer points of that and putting it all into an extension that should be ready by SpreeConf.

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

Seeing all the people who are within the community. It was really great last year seeing so many people there, and I can’t wait to see how many and who is there this year!

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

I’m giving two talks: one on the general ecosystem and one on the adjustments refactoring.

Regarding the ecosystem one, I hope to give people an idea of some of the useful extensions out there in the community that they can use in their stores. I will also cover how much the Spree ecosystem has grown in the past three years and finally how they can help make Spree better.

Regarding the adjustments talk: Hopefully their nightmares involving the adjustments and promotions systems in Spree go away.

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

I get my blog links from Twitter, so I’m not much help there. Technology though: the Go programming language looks and feels really nice to work with. The Elixir language feels even nicer than that, although that is probably due to its Ruby-like syntax.

As for new companies, it’s not really a company, but have you seen what the Downtown Project in Vegas are doing? They’re revitalizing Downtown Las Vegas and their plans sound really great.

Come meet Ryan 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!