The State of Rails E-Commerce

Moderated by:
Sean Schofield (Rails Dog)
Michael Bryzek (Gilt Groupe), Cody Fauser (Shopify), Nathaniel Talbott (Spreedly, Inc.)
Location: Ballroom II Level: Novice
Average rating: **...
(2.55, 42 ratings)

Rails e-commerce has come a long ways in the past few years. You now
have several viable options when starting an e-commerce project using
Rails. Join this panel of e-commerce experts to discuss the present
day e-commerce landscape in Rails. You can expect a lively debate
amongst the panel since each of them advocate a completely different
approach. Should you build your own? Use an existing framework? Use
and existing service? Or maybe you should use something other than
Ruby? Audience members are asked to refrain from throwing objects at
our token Java advocate while he is speaking.

Photo of Sean Schofield

Sean Schofield

Rails Dog

Sean is the CEO of Rails Dog LLC and creator of the Spree open source e-commerce framework for Ruby on Rails. He has been actively involved in open source Rails projects for several years now. Prior to discovering Rails, Sean worked for over ten years programming in Java. He is also a member of the Apache Software Foundation and a former contributor to several Java based projects including Struts.

Photo of Michael Bryzek

Michael Bryzek

Gilt Groupe

Michael Bryzek is the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Gilt Groupe. He is intensely focused on developing user focused internet software and has a deep passion for scaling high traffic, transactional applications. Prior to Gilt Groupe, Michael founded Volunteer Solutions, an internet application service provider for the philanthropic sector acquired by United Way of America in 2001.

Michael earned his Masters degree in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He can be reached at

Photo of Cody Fauser

Cody Fauser


Cody is currently CTO of Ottawa based Shopify, the best e-commerce solution on the web. He is responsible for ensuring that Shopify is a robust, world-class platform for over 6,000 online businesses.

He is the lead author of Rails 3 in a Nutshell, and contributed to Advanced Rails Recipes. He also wrote RJS Templates for Rails and the PeepCode ActiveMerchant PDF. Cody enjoys participating in Open Source projects and is the sole maintainer of ActiveMerchant, the most popular payment processing library for Ruby.

Cody currently lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Maria and son Simón. You can check out his blog at and follow him on Twitter at

Photo of Nathaniel Talbott

Nathaniel Talbott

Spreedly, Inc.

Nathaniel Talbott co-founded Spreedly in 2007 after being involved with Ruby and Rails since 2001. Spreedly takes the pain of subscription billing and makes it as simple as a weekend project. As someone who also does consulting work via Terralien, including recently building a completely custom subscription billing system for a client, he’s well acquainted with the build vs. buy question and its ramifications.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Rafael Magana
06/15/2010 6:43pm EDT

Again, geniuses don’t know how to keep things simple. RailsConf is turning into a making-money machine without any substance. Too Boring! bla bla bla bla

Picture of Sean Schofield
Sean Schofield
06/10/2010 6:34pm EDT

Panels are tricky. I thought it went pretty well given the challenges of a panel. Audience questions were good and all the panelists were chatting with people after the panel for a good 15 minutes which is a good chance to get additional questions answered.

Thanks to everyone who came. I definitely gained a little insight in talking with these guys before and during the panel. For those wanting to learn more about Spree, maybe next year I’ll submit a talk on that.

Picture of Gabe Varela
Gabe Varela
06/10/2010 3:10pm EDT

I agree with Joseph. Would have like to heard more from Sean. Especially about his experience with PCI.

Picture of Steven Haddox
Steven Haddox
06/09/2010 9:56am EDT

I thought this presentation was actually well done and loved that quite a bit of time was left for questions. I had expected a much more product-promotion type of session and thought the speakers all did rather well at minimizing promotion of their product while focusing on why they chose to implement things the way they did.

I learned a ton about some of the required standards and compliance that I wasn’t aware of before and appreciated the strong urges to look to pre-existing solutions before trying to reinvent the wheel.

Kudos to all involved.

Picture of Joseph Jaramillo
Joseph Jaramillo
06/08/2010 10:43am EDT

Should’ve been titled, “Why You Should Use Shopify and Spreedly.”

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