Preston So

Preston So

Preston So is a product architect and strategist, digital experience futurist, innovation lead, developer advocate, three-time SXSW speaker, and author of Decoupled Drupal in Practice (Apress, 2018).

Preston has been a programmer since 1999, a web developer and designer since 2001, a creative professional since 2004, a CMS architect and developer since 2007, and a manager of local and distributed teams since 2015. Named “probably the smartest person working in this industry right now” by Web Content Management author Deane Barker in 2020, he has led product, design, engineering, and innovation teams at organizations like Gatsby, Acquia, and Time Inc. Preston is also a contributor to industry media such as A List Apart and CMSWire.

A globally recognized subject matter expert on modern content management, digital experiences, conversational design, and the decentralized web, Preston is Senior Director, Product Strategy at Oracle, where he oversees developer experience, developer relations, headless CMS strategy, and open-source engineering strategy for Oracle Content and Experience (OCE). He is also Editor in Chief at Tag1 Consulting, where he directs thought leadership and hosts Tag1 Team Talks, a webinar series about emerging web technologies, and Core Confidential, the insider guide to Drupal core.

A sought-after presenter on topics such as user experience, web development, open-source innovation, and emerging technologies, Preston has spoken at An Event Apart (2020) and three times at SXSW Interactive (2017, 2017 encore, 2018). The 50+ events where Preston has spoken include keynotes on five continents and in three languages.

At Gatsby, Preston led the product and design teams for the general availability release of Gatsby Cloud, one of the most anticipated JAMstack product launches of 2019. As Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia, he launched and led the Acquia Labs innovation center, directing groundbreaking voice-driven experiences for clients like the State of Georgia and Nestlé Purina. Preston also drove Acquia’s headless CMS and decoupled Drupal strategy and authored Experience Express, a column for designers and developers about the future of digital experiences.

Previously, Preston oversaw the Entertainment Weekly website and managed its development team at Time Inc. (now Meredith), contributed to the open-source Spark initiative in the Drupal project, and operated a lauded freelance web and print design studio with a diverse clientèle across the United States. He also directed the most recent redesign in 2013 of The Harvard Crimson’s online edition, the first student-designed responsive newspaper site in the Ivy League.

Preston has given free web development classes in public libraries and in 2017 founded Decoupled Days, a conference about the future of content management systems and their architectures, now in its fourth year. He also writes on a diverse range of topics at his blog, preston.so.