At e3creative, were challenged to plan, design, develop and maintain a brand new eCommerce platform for Sony PlayStation Europe, with a very tight deadline.
It must be slick, secure and scalable, whilst serving customers across Europe in different languages, currencies and integrated with multiple regional warehouses.
Oh and I was to be the lead eCommerce developer within a small, dedicated team to build it. I had wanted to work with Sony PlayStation all my life.
The server architecture was pioneered in conjunction with UKFast, to provide a mix of virtual cloud and physical infrastructure to satisfy the varying security and scalability needs.
I planned out a solution, including WAFs, custom firewalls, load balanced virtual machines, network file systems, varnish caching, clustered database servers and an array of security layers and tools. These would power our PHP based, custom eCommerce, a MySQL database, Redis and more.
6 weeks from design to delivery, I lead the development team through 6 sprints of Scrum based development, hands on, leading from the front, whilst managing the rest of the developers and QA.
Quick feedback internally and from the client at every stage, to ensure we delivered in time for content and translations.
So we have a website, that’s incredibly complex for the time it took to build, has more moving parts and varying content than we planned for and now have to manage translations across multiple languages.
The actual locale switching provided no issues, but getting the content out of the system, to the translators and back in, was tricky but after a truly dedicated performance from the developers and the content team, we had a website, ready to launch for Sony PlayStation.
Black Friday & scalability
The platform goes live and the content starts to grow. New features are added, new languages imported, additional product variations included. The site starts to bog down in terms of performance.
By further optimising database tables, adding new caching layers and fine-tuning those already existing. By optimising code itself, removing unnecessary calls and tweaking the server infrastructure, the site was once again speedy and ready for Black Friday chaos.
Keeping it secure
As this is for Sony, security is even more paramount than ever. Their Global Information Security Team, alongside that of Activision, both performed regular penetration testing, providing our team with the chance to further improve the system and keep the site secure.
In 2017, we won “Best eCommerce Platform” at the Northern eCommerce Awards, Manchester.
A title we retained with FTUK, my subsequent project and hope to regain in the near future.
None of this would have been possible without a great team at e3creative, of course. Most notably, Craig Whiteside, Nick Martinez, Jek Bradley, Dan Bell and The Strategy Team, Simon Fairhurst and his brilliant designers, Chris Payne, Kyle Underwood, Jack Evans, Jac Martin and everyone else who worked on the project over the years.
Skills and technology used