Miriam Neubauer — heycater! co-founder

code.talks Commerce Special 2017 Exclusive

An interview with Miriam Neubauer — Co-Founder at heycater!

During code.talks, some members of the German e-commerce community gave their impressions of the industry, development, and the conference.

What’s your name and current role?

Miriam, Co-founder at heycater!, responsible for Product, Development and Operations

  1. Can you please explain in a few sentences, what your keynote is about and why it is relevant for developers in the e-commerce sector?

With e-commerce software having become applicable across more complex industries, including those with vertically and horizontally integrated service components like the B2B lunch catering market that we operate in, there is a need to keep technology lean and processes understandable across the whole company.

Domain-Driven Design (DDD) enforces just such a way of writing code that domain experts and and developers speak the same language — literally use the same words to describe events and processes -, thus making it easier to launch and scale complex e-commerce products, with less friction among teams and with less human resources. Together with Event Storming (ES) sessions, through DDD, developers can bring the agile workflow from a dev team-only workstyle to the organizational level. This makes worfklows more efficient through involving the developers’ input on business processes and features building them, thus saving time, and having more fun.

My talk sheds light into how we applied DDD and Event Storming at our company heycater!, where we offer a platform that makes it easy to order catering online. Unlike in traditional online shops where goods arrive as ordered, catering is a more conversation-driven product to sell, can change after it’s been ordered, and the conversations can happen on multiple endpoints. Despite the challenge of complexity in the goods we sell, the fact that we had an async remote dev team setup and junior domain experts, through DDD and ES, we managed to build with 3 happy developers more than usually with two teams.

Therefore DDD and Event Storming (ES) are relevant approaches for developers who work on e-commerce-”Plus” products to handle process complexity. DDD also enables the setup of a smooth interplay between microservices, which is also key to building complex products fast.

2. Which code.talks topics are particularly interesting for you and your work?

- Microservices: There are a lot of third party services that we use and continuously need to integrate into our own product, for example document handling or photo manipulations.

- Machine learning for personalization and request matching: Operational speed in answering fast and with the right menu recommendations to an incoming request for a catering from any request source is key in our business.

- KPIs for eCommerce startups: … because I need to check them every day :)

3. What do you think are the most relevant drivers for the success of e-commerce models?

- Intuitive search

- Personalization and usage of omni-channel marketing and presence

- Extra mile on fulfillment perfection

4. What are the main challenges for developers who work in the e-commerce industry?

- Constantly changing demands from IT, e.g. pre-conditioned by external marketplaces

- Integration of many external services and platforms

- Data-driven personalization of search requests, recommendations and marketing campaigns

- Working on Legacy-Shop-Systems without test cases

- Migration of monolithic systems towards small, purposeful microservices

5. What was the most interesting thing you’ve heard or learned at the code.talks commerce special?

Loved the insights into Project A’s data warehousing and BI infrastructure. It was particularly cool to see how Project A tracked KPIs with profit/revenue attributions for every step of the fulfillment process!

Thanks, Miriam, for taking the time out of your busy schedule and making this happen!