Borislav Subić – My Hema Story: A Challenge Worth Taking

I come from .NET world where I gained experience with enterprise solutions, microservices, IoT. When I got familiar with industries such as power grid management, product track&trace, monitoring and control of laboratory instruments, the next step was to move on to another challenge – an Ecommerce project.

How It All Started

It was 2018 when I joined Emakina.RS and became a part of the HEMA project. HEMA is a big store chain from the Netherlands which also has quite a few stores across the world. The HEMA store chain is characterised by relatively low pricing of all kinds of products, which are mostly made by HEMA and/or for the chain itself. 

That was my first Salesforce Commerce Cloud project. I was not aware of how diverse it could be. The team consisted of:

  • 3 full-stack developers
  • a business analyst
  • a project manager
  • a product owner

The team was well-organised as it utilised all modern approaches for managing long term projects such as Scrum and Continuous Delivery. 

Borislav holding a lecture

What Was the Main Challenge?

For me, understanding the SFCC platform and how it is organised was challenging. Compared to AWS solutions that I had worked on in the past this was a different kind of animal. The following month or two I was focused on learning how the SFCC solution was integrated to external systems and with a complex checkout flow.

The project itself started as a re-platforming project where the old platform implemented in .NET had to be replaced with a custom solution developed on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform.

At the time when I joined Emakina.RS, the SFCC solution went live but it was not quite finished. While I was working on HEMA I had a chance to implement many interesting features such as:

  • Loyalty program
  • Custom PoS for stores
  • Custom product filtering
  • Improving performance of background long running jobs
  • The checkout refactoring
  • etc.

My Proudest Moment

As time passed by, the checkout flow changed often. It was in the process of implementation and there were different shipment and payment methods available in every country. The refactoring was inevitable because the implementation became hard to update. 

My proudest moment was when my work on checkout flow refactoring went live without any issues – some teammates were suspicious but everything functioned perfectly. Code was restructured, removed, rewritten and it still worked.  All the data regarding the new checkout flow had been documented in Confluence. It is sufficient to say that HEMA BA was also smiling.

Since the moment when the re-platforming project started it has managed to exceed all of our expectations performance-wise. For example, Black Friday sales event in 2019 went pretty well as we didn’t have a single issue in the production environment allowing HEMA to observe various daily sales records smoothly. Ever since the HEMA site went online it has offered more than 100k products to customers all around the world and that number continues to grow.

Being familiar with this project, I am now able to do my best to help others. I realise that some colleagues who came to Emakina.RS after me, struggle with some issues and bugs from time to time. So, instead of waiting for them to ask for help, I approach them and offer them a helping hand because I recall what it feels like when you are learning the ropes of the project like HEMA.

GET ON BOARD

Emakina.RS is a software development center and a part of Emakina Group since 2018.

Emakina.RS is a team of engineering experts responsible for building, maintaining and operating applications on various platforms and frameworks. Our mission is to consistently deliver high-quality software development services to other members of Emakina Group. At the moment, our focus is on Java and PHP, as well as on Salesforce Commerce Cloud development.

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