TL;DR: New owners Rob and Kyle introduce themselves while committing to quality improvements and addressing top community requests.
Hi everyone, this is Rob and Kyle; the new owners of CellarHQ. We’d like to take a moment of your time to introduce ourselves, but more importantly lay out a rough roadmap of what we’re looking to achieve in the near future. We’re excited to be taking over and very gracious to Cameron for cultivating a great service to grow with you.
Kyle and I are both from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, co-workers at the same technology company and share a passion for beer as well as homebrewing. We decided to pursue CellarHQ because we feel it can grow to compliment the overall alcohol-loving community including Untappd, Beer Advocate, and the /r/beertrade and /r/homebrewing subreddits.
We have a lot of big plans for CellarHQ - including iOS & Android apps and barcode scanning - but before we can get to the sexy stuff, we need to address the essentials.
Since taking over the site, we tried making some adjustments to the site, but found it too fragile. This fragility resulted in crashing the website a number of times as well as introducing unrelated bugs. After reviewing the lay of the land, we’ve found it will take less time to rebuild from the ground up.
We’re building version 2 with quality at the forefront. This is being done through multiple avenues, the foremost of which is adhering to the Twelve Factors, and maintaining automated tests. After we’re done, we’ll be in a much better position to start iterating on new feature development. Here’s what we have slated for the first release, along with keeping feature parity of the current site:
- A new REST API which will power both the website and the native mobile applications.
- An enhanced data model which will allow for features like tracking beers by brew date and receiving notifications for looming drink-by dates.
- Better support for beer trading through notifications and messages.
- Background jobs to help keep the site’s content free of duplication and errors.
All of this will be backed by automated tests which will prevent the site from being deployed if they don’t pass. And don’t worry - all of the data you have now will be ready for you on the new system.
All of this behind-the-scenes work that we’re doing now isn’t just for the sake of working. It’s laying the foundation for the future. Our goals listed here aren’t concrete, as time moves forward we’ll re-prioritize and adapt to the community’s direction and wishes:
- Native Android and iOS apps: We want to offer the ability to do everything you can on the website through your phone - and more!
- Untappd integration: Sign in with Untappd, rate beers, etc.
- Beer trading facilities; like flagging beers from your cellar you want to trade, as well as flagging beers you want to be notified about.
- Reddit integration: Get notifications of people looking to trade; use a Reddit bot that can post for you, etc.
The best way to let us know your thoughts on our roadmap is through Twitter and UserVoice. We’re regularly checking both for feedback!
We’ve got a lot of things we want to tackle, but most of all we want to create something people want to use and tell others about. Let us know what you think of our plan and how we can make it better!
Rob (@rizza) and Kyle (@kyleboon), CellarHQ (@cellarhq)