By Reuben Katz, Founder & CEO, Geeklist
2014 has the potential to be our biggest year yet at Geeklist. We hope to expand our community from 100,000 developers to over half a million; we want to connect more developers and engineers through social collaboration; and we want to do it with technology that is lightning fast. We want to invite all Rackspace users worldwide to sign up and test it out!
Our name says it all: we’re Geeklist. We offer a social collaboration platform for developers to share their work, get recognized for their achievements, ask for input, seek help and any number of other things. (See Robert Scoble’s achievements and give him a virtual High Five!) We give developers the ability to share, connect, collaborate and find and hire talent. Our community is made up of geeks, so if our application and our site don’t perform to their standards, we’ll hear about it (politely, of course, but we’re sure to get ribbed).
Simply put: when you’re running a network of over 100,000 developers, designers and engineers – and the first social site to run full-stack Node.js plus Express.js plus MongoDB – you have to be geeky. Did we mention our brand spankin’ new Hackathon App is built entirely in Angular.js?
We recently cut our entire environment over from a trio of different hosting providers to the Rackspace Cloud. We’re using a blend of Performance Cloud Servers and Next Generation Cloud Servers and we just finished moving our MongoDB workloads over to ObjectRocket.
Being spread across three different providers was a mess. It wasn’t the optimal way to run our business. We had front-end and back-end communication delays. Our page load times were, quite frankly, abysmal for what we were doing. Overall, our performance was just plain sluggish.
We tested alternatives – several alternatives. But none could provide us the performance we needed and the geek cred we demanded; until we found Rackspace. For us, our search was less about pricing and more about quality and speed; and boy did we find it.
This year is huge for us. We’re investing heavily in the network. We’re looking to grow our user base. We’re looking to grow our revenue. We’re also looking to add new components to our site and service to be more valuable to developers. We have a free private and public hosted git repository, and we’re adding a robust projects app to empower open source project development in the cloud through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Our goal is to enable the entire tech community to collaborate better in a social environment.
At the same time, we store a lot of data; we have live chat tools and feeds that take up a lot of space. We’re running MongoDB on ObjectRocket and Redis for database services. And with our live activity stream, our community demands real-time interaction. If we’re slow, it’s a poor experience.
We also have a newly released, socially integrated Hackathon App open to everyone to host their hackathons online, add ideas, form teams and launch projects. We host our own frequent global hackathons and need a system that gives developers the ability to join in and hack online if they can’t attend in person. Our Hack4Good hackathons comprise 48 hours of tandem hacking for social good in 50-plus cities and thousands of developers live online. We need iron clad assurance that we won’t encounter any hiccups throughout the two-day event.
Moving our web app to Rackspace helps us maintain consistent and reliable speed. We’ve dramatically reduced latency – we run faster and more smoothly. We no longer experience downtime. We haven’t gone down at all since making the switch. And our developers are happy because everything just works – you always expect something to break during a migration, but in this case, nothing broke.
What we have now is a much, much faster environment. We’re running fewer cores and less memory, yet our performance has skyrocketed. Our load times are way faster (we were pushing two to three seconds on our old provider, and that’s been whittled down to small fraction of that).
Working with Rackspace, we get much more than a cloud company; we get a team of infrastructure and support specialists that ensure we’re running at peak performance. We’re empowered to be geeks while we serve geeks.
This is a guest post written and contributed by Reuben Katz, CEO and Founder of Geeklist, a Rackspace customer and the first social network for developers and the tech community.