The first London Spree Commerce User Group

We have just held our first London Spree Commerce User Group so I thought I’d write a brief blog to quickly summarise.

Red Badger have been working with Spree Commerce over the last 5 months on a commercial opportunity which resulted in me going over to New York for SpreeConf in February. I was literally blown away by the enthusiasm of the community. There was a genuine excitement about Spree from everyone there. On my return to London, I looked to join a Spree Meetup and realised there wasn’t one. So, decided to start one in London.

We’re genuinely excited about the platform and think it could help to change the retail landscape in the UK. So, hopefully through this User Group we can help build the community, build more open source extensions and all collaborate to make the platform better.

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The presentations

We had 4 presentations for the evening:

First up was Josh Resnik, COO of Spree Commerce who had flown in from Washington DC to help kick the user group off. He presented on 2 key themes. The first was Spree as a company. Given the acquisitions of Magento by Ebay and Hybris by SAP, a few retailers have been nervous of Spree going down the same corporate route. So Josh covered this topic in his presentation. Second was where Spree fits in the marketplace and why you should choose it as your platform.

The second presentation was by Joe Simms, CTO of Surfdome. Surfdome are currently re-platforming to Spree Storefront and Spree Hub and will be the UK’s largest implementation on the platform. Joe covered why they chose Spree, their experience to date, what they are currently working on (specifically some really complicated stuff around pricebooks) and what they would like to work on with the community to improve the platform.

Third, David and I, both founders of Red Badger, talked about a hackathon that we did recently to build a store for a target client based on Spree in just 2 days. I discussed the process we went through during the hackathon and David discussed what was needed to build the store before presenting a demo of the end product.

Finally, Peter Berkenbosch a Spree Software Engineer based in the Netherlands, did a presentation on the Spree Hub, the new Spree Hub User Interface that has recently gone live and then did a demo of the Spree Hub, building webhooks, events and flows as well as how you debug.

Summary

I think overall the first event was a great success. We had a turn out of about 40 people which is not bad for a first user group. The people that were in attendance were really enthusiastic and interested in the presentations and the buzz about the Badger office was great.

It was awesome to have commitment from Spree to help us kick this off with Josh coming in from Washington DC and Peter from the Netherlands. With support from them, we should be able to make this User Group a success.

Our objective is to build up the Spree Commerce community in London.

Next Steps

Given that we’ve just started this user group we’ll keep it quarterly for now so that we can ensure quality content. So, we’ll look to get the next one ready for early September.

If anyone has feedback or has general ideas about what we should do with the next user group, please contact ideas@red-badger.com.

I’d like to look at different possibilities, perhaps doing a hackathon to build new extensions to Spree etc…

We will also be looking for presenters so if you are working with Spree already and would be interested in doing a talk, then please do get in touch. We don’t have to stick to the 20 minute presentation format so can accommodate a number of 5 minute lightning talks as well.

For all future event news, check the meetup page here.

The stream of the event is now also live on our Youtube channel.