Meet our iPad2 Winner, Bruce Burke

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Last month we ran our first sweeps contest and received over 30,000 entries in just 4 weeks!

Below is a screenshot of the Facebook entries:


After announcing the winner, Bruce Burke, I decided to get in touch and find out more about him and how he is using Jelastic for his projects.

Bruce_Burke_iPad2_Winner_PhotoHi Bruce, thanks for taking the time to chat. What’s your background, where are you from?

I am from Scranton, Pennsylvania located in what we refer to as NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania). Most people know the city either from being in the media for its financial problems or the television series, The Office. NEPA in itself is ranked in the top 10 in the nation in logistics so you will see a lot of distribution centers, warehouses and industrial parks in the area.

In 2008, I graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (IST) and a minor in Supply Chain. Upon graduating, I became an independent contracted programmer for a company who develops software for the formal wear rental industry. It was nice working side by side with company presidents and learning more about Windows client/server environments. The only problem was I was programming in the Delphi computer language and personally wanted more control over the projects I was working on.

Previously in college, I developed a strong interest in the Java computer language. I was even a teaching intern for a Java class for a semester. Throughout my contractor position, I taught myself more about Java and discovered the J2EE platform. With already being classified and taxed as self-employed, it only seemed fitting to start my own business beyond contracting.

Can you tell us a little more about your business start-up?

My business start-up is called Keep My Sanity LLC. It’s a little spin on what the company means to me and the type of software I plan on developing. My two Android apps are good examples. I created Blinders a result of seeing someone complain on a social network that they find it frustrating when someone starts looking through their other photos. My other app, Gamer Checklist, is a solution for video game collectors to use to manage their collection instead of using spreadsheets or printouts. I also have another project in testing called PackRun. I’ve been a runner for 15 years and I believe it will finally eliminate my elaborate training log that I’ve been using.

How did you hear about us?

Every morning I wake up and check out Twitter while my coffee is brewing. I saw on TechCrunch’s Twitter, an article about a Java platform (Jelastic) obtaining venture funding. At the time I was just exhausted from trying to make my virtual dedicated server work, so the article became a blessing in disguise.

How has Jelastic worked for you?

Jelastic has been working out really well. It’s so much easier than my previous plan with a virtual dedicated server. I can concentrate more on my projects and customize my installation rather quickly. I also like that I can ask ServInt a question and if they don’t know the answer, they’ll ask the Jelastic team for me.

You mentioned you are also using Jelastic for your blog – tell us about how you used Jelastic to create it.

It was quite seamless actually. I launched my blog before there was the quick deployment plugins that is now offered. I went to the WordPress website, downloaded the zip file, and then deployed it to a new PHP server installation. I only had to manipulate the configuration file and set up my database then I was good to go. I think the hardest part was convincing myself that I was done because it was so easy.

What do you like the most about Jelastic?

There are many things I like about Jelastic. I like the fact that all the server files are a few clicks away so I don’t have to SSH into the server but I still have that option if I need to. Since billing is very transparent and pricing is flexible, I can experiment with different server installations without worrying about paying full price each month like my old virtual dedicate server plan. I’m also a big fan of the vote for features plugin that’s on the dashboard. It helps me anticipate what’s coming up in the next update and gives me the opportunity take make suggestions.

What would you say that you like most about your work?

When I was working as an independent contractor, I was at the mercy of my clients. My work, innovation, and programming style were molded by someone else. I just didn’t feel like I could work to the best of my abilities under those conditions. However, as an entrepreneur, I am able to follow my passions, be in more control of the projects, and take advantage of the latest technologies. There are also many perks but it requires a lot of discipline to not abuse those privileges or else success won’t be in my future.

On a more personal note, I am thankful I do have the privilege to work wherever and whenever I want. Last September, I had to rush my mom to the hospital. She had to have an emergency surgery to remove a tumor and it turned out to be early stage ovarian cancer. I am very happy to say it was caught early enough; she finished chemotherapy this past March and is now cancer free.

Thank goodness for that! Do you have a favorite website?

My browser homepage is set to my three favorite websites:, and I would say Lifehacker is my favorite because there are a lot of great ideas and diy projects that I’m interested in.

Do you have advice for people out there trying to decide on what PaaS to use?

I heard of horror stories with certain PaaS’s. I would say to look at platforms that fit your needs in the areas of software supported, customer service availability, and total cost in scalability. Most people need a solution that has very little to no down time and doesn’t take you all the way to the bank when you require more resources. It also needs to have the flexibility for future development. What works now might not work down the road so you can’t be cornered into one server or software package. It also needs to be backed by great customer support because Murphy’s Law is always knocking on the door and sometimes you just don’t know if it is something that you did or an issue with the system.

I can speak for Jelastic and tell you that I never had any downtime. I’m only locked out of my dashboard for a few hours when the platform is updated but everything is still running in the background. I’ve cut my costs by 60% by moving to Jelastic. ServInt customer support is very helpful. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll go directly to Jelastic to find a solution. The usability of the platform and the support between both companies are quite impressive. Even if someone isn’t quite interested in Jelastic, I suggest they try the two week trial because it will speak for itself.

Thanks Bruce! It has been great to learn more about you, and how you are using Jelastic. Enjoy the iPad :)

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