The Jelastic Spotlight with Steve Good

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You may remember Steve Good as one of our very first Spotlights here on the blog. I thought it would be cool to circle back around and see how things were going for him and his projects.

In case you didn’t see the previous Spotlight (here), here is a quick bio on Steve: he is from the DFW (Dallas/ Fort Worth) Area in Texas. He is one of thecoordinators for the CFML User Group in Dallas and has been working with Jelastic since pretty much day one. He is pretty active in a number of dev groups and is doing some pretty cool stuff in the Grails community as well.

The Jelastic Spotlight with Steve Good

Hey, Steve. So we talked last back in May. How are things going for you since?

Busy as always. Since the last time we talked, I have moved the entirety of my VPS farm over to Jelastic (most of these sites I was able to consolidate into a single environment). Also, my current company, KaiNexus, is evaluating using Jelastic as our platform as we grow in the European markets.

Wow. That’s pretty cool to hear for me. Are you still working on the same projects? I remember you were working on Gamer Friendly Hotels. How’s that going?

Sadly, Gamer Friendly Hotels is on an indefinite hold due until more resources can be allocated to the project. My blog is still running strong on Jelastic and has seen more uptime than ever before.

So, I hear that you are participating in an upcoming global hackathon. What’s that about?

Grails48 is a 48 hour, worldwide, Grails hackathon. It starts this Friday, the 9th, and will finish the following Sunday. The goal is to build some amazing apps with Grails and to build a strong developer community. The team behind the hackathon have really done a great job organizing the event. Readers can check out more about it at http://grails48.com/

How did you put your team together?

Teams are all volunteer based. Any recruiting was done through Twitter, G+ and through email. The Dallas Grails community is steadily growing and getting stronger. I hope to get a number of people who are new to Grails really excited about the platform. If any of your readers are in the Dallas / Fort Worth area they are more than welcome to join my or any of the other worldwide teams.

Any new tools out there that you are using?

I recently switched from Eclipse to Sublime Text 2 to IntelliJ IDEA. It’s not anything earth shattering but it seems to help me get more done in less time and that’s always a good thing, right?
While not a tool that I actively use everyday, I did build a neat little Groovy script that integrates with Twilio to monitor app uptime and alert me via SMS when things go south. It’s one of those tools Ron Popeil would be proud of, I just set it and forget it.
How will the hackathon actually work? Like, do they have rules on what you can and can’t use?
During the hackathon we will actually be using AppFog as per the requirements. That said, there is nothing stopping us from relaunching the app afterwards on Jelastic. Obviously I’d rather be using Jelastic (emphasis my own) due to how easy it is to deploy and the apps don’t require any special plugins or code to run on Jelastic. I don’t have much experience with AppFog, but the short amount of time I did spend with the service seemed overly complicated for something that should be as simple as uploading a file and pressing a button.
Any advice for people out there trying to decide what PaaS to use? And be honest, since I am obviously biased towards Jelastic. :-)
Over the last couple of years we have seen a number of PaaS providers pop up all with their advantages and disadvantages. In my quest to find the right solution for my apps I had to ask myself several questions:
  • What is the cost?
  • What kind of changes do I need to make to my app for it to run on the platform?
  • How easy is it to deploy?
  • What kind of customer support does the company provide?
For me and my apps, Jelastic was the most well rounded in all my areas of concern. I tried other services like Heroku and Google App Engine, as well as EC2 and custom VPS solutions. Ultimately, it came down to cost of server plus the cost of my time being significantly less with Jelastic. I never had to code my app for Jelastic. Customer service from the Jelastic Team (during beta) and the Servint Team have been stellar. Lastly, deploying my app can be done with a single upload and a couple of clicks (or taps if I am using my iPad).
Thanks for your time, Steve. And we wish you all the best in the hackathon. Bring it home to Texas! Obviously, I’m also biased here… since I’m a Texan. :-)

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