September 8, 2020
You may know Strapi thanks to him, he has recorded more than thirty videos on Youtube teaching how to use Strapi and created a complete course on Udemy. Alessandro Valerani helps aspiring programmers find their first job in tech. Before deciding to share all this knowledge with you, he tells us how he used Strapi to carry out his projects.
I started using Strapi in late 2018, I think it was still in alpha. At the time I was working with a friend of mine, helping him launch a new Startup in the Cannabis E-Commerce Space splitbud.com (Sold in California, which just became legal at the time). Since Cannabis is a controlled substance most services won’t work with you. As such we had to build a lot of features from scratch.
We designed an initial version which I coded in WordPress, it took around a month. It wasn’t particularly satisfactory because of the slow loading and the slow velocity in delivering new features. I proposed we switch to using React and Strapi. At the time I had very little Strapi experience but I thought it was “a good enough” reason to at least gives a shot to shipping something with React. I already had experience in writing full-stack with Node.js and we agreed that a week would have been a worthwhile investment.
I ended up building the application in a week. This time, thanks to Create React App, the website felt snappier. It was good to click around. Once the team saw the new site, it was clear we were going to keep with the newer technologies.
In the following 3 to 6 months we went over 3 different changes in design. We re-built the checkout process multiple times. We built a way to load (and Server Side Render) products only on the first load. We added ways to filter by locations.
We added a private area to track client orders. We even built a separate Strapi microservice just to handle Stock and Tracking Shipment. Thanks to an API + Frontends focused approach, we were able to go from prototype to shipped feature in a matter of days instead of months.
I haven’t worked at Splitbud since October 2019, so I can’t take credit for what they have now. But at the time, I was the sole developer and believe that by using Strapi I saved the company over $100k in development work and was able to deliver features that as of today I still see people spend months to finish.
At the time of writing, I have over 62 public repositories at https://github.com/GalloDaSballo and have built tens of Strapi Applications. I even built my first Strapi plugin, a way to use Stripe to process payment. It’s called strapi-plugin-entreprenerd-stripe and I teach how to code it in The Complete Strapi Course.
I’d say the biggest project I shipped this year, thanks to Strapi, has been Poly.market. Polymarket is an Information Markets platform. Harnessing the power of free markets to demystify the real-world events that matter most to you. It uses Ethereum and I cannot take credit for the Web3 development as it was done by another consultant.
However, thanks to Strapi we were able to go from a Design to a completely responsive, (partly) Server Side Rendered application, that loads in a very respectable amount of time. Again I think I was able to get this done so fast because I used Strapi rather than rolling my own express server.
Strapi is a tool that is very effective. I very much enjoy that and enjoy helping others be effective in their work. That’s why I like to work with Entrepreneurs because they will take action and build something, even if it’s not perfect. And this way the ball gets rolling and things get done.
I’ve released The Complete Strapi Course after two years of working with Strapi, I tried to really build a “complete curriculum” which has been a fun challenge, the course is now 28 hours and covers most practical (and theory for the few theory students) aspects of Strapi. You can check it out here.
As a way to promote the course, I also have a YouTube channel. I kind of made a gamble with myself, I thought: “If Strapi gets big, I’ll get big with it, otherwise I’ll learn about teaching online”. The way I see it, Strapi has a chance to go through the same as WordPress: Strapi is free -> Which brings more users to use it -> Which gathers an audience for Service Providers (me) to satisfy -> Which gathers more content and more products.
I believe we are just getting started in this virtuous circle. Additionally, it’s very easy to compare any monolith application vs JS SPAs and you can immediately see the Enormous Competitive advantage that APIs + SPAs give. As such I believe the industry will shift toward it, making Strapi part of the competitive advantage.
In the short term definitely. Any new company I’ll start I’ll use Strapi to get started with. This will give me a massive advantage. Additionally, there may be a huge business opportunity related to Strapi’s Plugin Ecosystem and I’m definitely intrigued to see what happens there.
Lastly, Corporate Strapi Training is something that I do on the side which along with using Strapi daily, keeps me focusing on using Strapi to solve real-world problems. So all in all I’m very happy with where Strapi is and can’t wait to see where it will go next!
I’m currently offering a free 15 minutes Clarity Call, if you are trying to learn Strapi, or want to understand whether Strapi is a good fit for you, schedule a call here: https://calendly.com/alex-entreprenerd/15min
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