The Rock & Roll with Ember band - Stuart Guthrie

06 November 2020

The "Rock & Roll with Ember band" interview series introduces readers of the similarly titled book. They tell us about how they got acquainted with the framework, how they learned it, what they use it for, and share a few more details about the non-tech related side of their lives. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Could you introduce yourself in a few sentences?

My name is Stuart Guthrie, I am co-founder of Polonious Pty Ltd, a world-wide business that help industries with their Case Management needs.

Where do you live?

I'm an Aussie. I live by the beach in Freshwater, New South Wales.

When and how did your Ember journey begin? How did you learn about the framework?

We selected Ember.js about 4 years ago. We came from using jquery, dojo toolkit and various stand-alone, useful JavaScript components. Our experience with full frameworks in the JavaScript world was limited, as was our experience with Javascript itself. Emberjs was a fairly obvious choice for use, the competitors were Angular which was 1.0, Knockout, Marionette and few others. We selected Emberjs as it was community driven, the community was well led and had a good 'vibe', still does.

How did reading the Rock & Roll with Ember book help you? Can you recall something that you learned from it?

It gave me a good working example / path to follow. I learnt all the basics you need to 'get' Emberjs. The advanced pieces were also useful.

What Ember feature/RFC/etc. are you most excited about?

Obviously the whole Octane thing has been a well-needed breath of fresh air. Incorporation of glimmer and reactive is great.

Other than reading the book, how did you learn to “speak" Ember?

Trial by fire. We also subscribe to EmberMap which is excellent.

Is there something you’d like to see covered or explained in more detail in the book?

We have a complex, configurable rules engine that operates server-side. So we're constantly sending datasets that are beyond simple to the client-side. More coverage on some of these use-cases would have been good but I understand, there is only so much you can cover in one book if it's explained well.

Are there any (side-)projects that you’ve built in Ember? What is it (are they) about?

No. We're very busy on the product so no time. I'd love to build a sustainable shopping app. One day.

Were there any challenges or stumbling blocks while you were building your app(s)?

A large part was understanding JS. Also the build process left some pretty interesting debugging with corrupt npm packages. Many hours could have been saved if there was an explanation of various blockages, what they mean and how to work around them. The Ember.js community and StackOverflow were helpful, of course.

How much time do you have to work on that project (those projects)?

I'm probably spending around 15% of my time directly on emberjs with the rest specing, running the biz and helping the customers and team.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Currently I'm obsessing about the US election. Otherwise gaming, fitness, I'm still playing soccer, 6-a-side and also 11-a-side (albeit slowly!), helping my boys grow into good men. One day I'll get back into sailing.

If people would like to follow you (or your project), where can they do so?

We're commercial so is the global site. I'm also on LinkedIn and on Github. Please feel free to connect if you want.

Is there something else you’d like to say?

Yes, I recommend EmberConf as very useful to attend. In particular I did a course in WYSIWYG design which has become a great part of our product now. Our whole front end is now 'designable'. Makes the emberjs side less explicit, more server-side model driven. The workshop greatly helped with this. I'd also like to thank the people of the Ember community for being so inclusive and helpful. I'd love to contribute and that's possible in a year or two from now.

If you've read the book, and would like to give a similar interview, please drop me a line at

If you'd like to join the Rock & Roll with Ember band, check out the book of the same name to learn Ember (and be part of a band).

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