In early March this year, when the impact of COVID19 really dawned on us, and we realised we’d not be meeting in-person for some time to come, like so many other conferences we immediately started investigating how we could move our events online.
We’d already decided we weren’t simply going to go into survival mode–online was going to be a significant, if not the sole way we delivered our events for some time to come.
So while it was a very stressful time, it was also exciting to imagine from scratch our conferences online.
Our first step was to look at existing platforms for hosting online conferences–and we looked at plenty. But none we felt would allow us to deliver the kind of event we had in mind.
So that meant we were going to have to build our own solution.
We had a couple of advantages over most conference organisers
- We have been developing for the Web for quite a few years
- And already we’d been working on Conffab, our platform for conference videos for some time
Now to be clear, ‘we’ here means a couple of people, our main developer Mae, and me.
Let’s not dwell on how I fell and broke a rib (pro tip, don’t break a rib and got to ER during a global pandemic), and the impact that had on already constrained time and resources.
So, we really needed to focus on developing a great online conference experience, not on all the other things (build, integrate, deploy) that come along with developing for the web these days.
And expecting hundreds or more people simultaneously tuning in, we knew a solid CDN was vital. Again something we didn’t want to have to devote our time and effort to.
Now, we knew a little about Platform.sh, who’d exhibited at this very conference a few years back, and their mission “to Enable organizations to focus 100% of their time on building amazing experiences—and zero time managing infrastructure” sounded like exactly what we needed.
The last few months have been intense, but we made it this far–in no small part thanks to Platform.sh.
I could go on about
- How they support dozens of the most common languages and frameworks, from PHP to Node.js, Drupal, WordPress, Gatsby, Rails and many more out of the box
- How they take care of upgrading and security of the languages databases and frameworks you use
- how they have data centres all over the world, including here in Australia
- And how they support AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and other cloud hosting providers
but you should simply check it out for yourself, and talk to the folks from Platform.sh to learn more.
And a huge thanks Platform.sh–you really delivered.
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