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Software Engineer with Bluestem

My name is Kevan Ahlquist, Software engineer, trumpet player, drum corps enthusiast, UMN CS

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  • You helped create a new platform for Bluestem Brands. Why did you want to replace the third-party platform?

    What opportunities for improvement does writing a platform yourself present? How do you measure which platform is more successful?

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    Here's a few reasons we had:Performance: The old platform was written to make starting an eCommerce site easy, not to make it scale past $1B. Due to its architecture it pummels a central database and we were running out of ways to optimize it.Maintainability: The old platform had a lot of rough code and modifying it was getting harder and harder.Culture: We're becoming a tech-empowered product organization, not having full control over our tech cramps our style.

    A big advantage to writing our own from scratch is that we get to define our own patterns and abstractions without having to work around existing generic patterns in another piece of software.

    The biggest measure of success is pretty intangible: Does the new platform enable our organization to meet our future goals?More concrete measures usually involve features and conversion rates.

    Sorry if this seems pretty generic, I can't go too far into specifics.