Building My Startup's Web Application using AWS + Django + jQuery + GitHub

by Bart Gottschalk | at MinneBar 14 | 10:20 – 11:05 in Pennsylvania | View Schedule

I'm co-founder of a startup which

  1. Produces and sells a relatively small quantity of a relatively high number of customizable physical products, and
  2. Has future plans to build a complementary digital product.

Soon after jumping into this idea it was clear we would need a web application to support our product's discovery, selection, customization, purchase and interactive experiences. We looked at using existing marketplaces and web-site building platforms such as Squarespace or Wix. These didn't work for us for a couple of reasons

  1. The customizable nature of our products
  2. The large number of individual skus we would be managing
  3. Our customers can create skus dynamically.

This made using “off-the-shelf” solutions unworkable, even for early prototyping and experimentation, and meant we needed to build a custom web application. Among our non-functional requirements were things like

  1. The ability to iterate quickly
  2. Security
  3. Reliability
  4. Support growth and scalability (reasonably)
  5. Support future iterative exploration of our digital product
  6. Can’t be so costly that it sinks the business.

As the only technical co-founder, it landed on me to "figure this out."

During this talk I'll describe how I landed on our solution, an open source version of our web application, and some information about our CI/CD pipeline and hosting infrastructure.


Bart Gottschalk

I've been involved in building web applications and digital products for more than 20 years. I've worn many hats, worked across a range of business and technical environments and been responsible for the full SDLC as an engineer and manager.