When I first considered going freelance, my mind was suddenly opened to a world of technologies and possibilities, and I started to research things that it might be useful to know more about. I knew that my experience with e-commerce platforms was limited, so that was certainly an area of interest.
Shopify was one of the first platforms I looked into, albeit briefly. But then I put it on the back-burner, as I felt I needed to prioritise general freelancing preparations. Also, as it's built using Ruby on Rails, I wanted to initially concentrate on Java-based (or general) technology.
Why am I mentioning this now?
For the last four weekdays, I've been working with a Shopify development agency to help finish front-end development on three websites. I admit, this is certainly not something I expected to be doing: front-end development on a Rails-based system, using Shopify Liquid as a templating engine, and Shopify Timber as a theme framework! All things I had no specific experience with. (The agency was aware, but had confidence that I'd be able to quickly pick it up.)
It was a fantastic introduction to Shopify. I now have a reasonable grasp of the project structure and Shopify interfaces, from a front-end and management perspective. Shopify Liquid is much the same as other templating engines, and Timber has loose parallels with Bootstrap which was used on this site.
It also gave me confidence that perhaps I'm not quite as limited in my front-end skills as I thought! Working on the WebSysDev website in my own time was definitely hugely helpful, learning about more modern practices, responsive websites, and SASS, all of which came into play on this Shopify agency job.
As there may well be more work from this agency, both back-end and front-end, I've also been learning Ruby on Rails. Expect another post on that in the near future!