CUSTOMER’S BUSINESS: Work for Pie is a startup striving to simplify the recruiting and job search process for tech companies and developers.
CHALLENGES: Work for Pie needs a flexible, scalable infrastructure that’s easy on their budget.
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Rackspace Cloud Files complement Rackspace Cloud Servers perfectly, conserving computing power and giving the startup unlimited room to grow.
Rackspace Cloud Files and the Akamai CDN allow Work for Pie to revolutionize recruiting for technology companies and developers.
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Work for Pie is a startup striving to simplify the recruiting and job search process for tech companies and developers. Their website features developer portfolios — updated in real time as projects progress — as well as company profiles that cover everything developers need to know about prospective employers.
With a matchmaking mentality, the company emphasizes quality over quantity and places a premium on developer-employer compatibility. “If you go to Monster,” says cofounder Brad Montgomery, “you’ll get a hundred résumés, but maybe zero hits out of those hundred. We want to give you two résumés that are both awesome fits for you.”
Work for Pie’s team may be small — consisting solely of cofounder Brad Montgomery and CEO Cliff McKinney — but the company’s potential is huge. Rackspace Cloud Servers and Cloud Files have allowed them to compete in a crowded field, maximizing power and scalability on a minimal budget.
Though Work for Pie was founded in 2011, Montgomery has been a Rackspace customer since 2009, hosting his personal work on Cloud Servers. He’s been so impressed with the service that server hosting’s been a no-brainer ever since: “Any new project, that’s where we go,” he says.
In addition to Montgomery’s history with Rackspace, affordability and scalability were major factors in Work for Pie’s decision to cloud their latest venture. “We're not completely bootstrapped, but we're running our tech stack as if we were, so affordable services are a really big deal,” says Montgomery. “We haven't yet seen really large-scale traffic, but having the option to scale up when we need it is very important.”
“I think the ‘pay for what you use’ model is a really cost-effective option for small startups,” he continues, “and the flexibility of Cloud Servers really lets us get our product built and deployed much more quickly—we can automate provisioning, configuration, and deployment in a way that's much easier than what we'd be doing if we had dedicated hardware.”
Once a startup itself, Rackspace is particularly attuned to the needs of new companies, and Work for Pie experienced the company’s commitment to growing businesses firsthand. “We went through a startup accelerator program here in Memphis called Seed Hatchery, and they were actually part of the Rackspace Startup Program,” McKinney says. “Rackspace is doing a really good job supporting startup ecosystems all over the place.”
The team began building Work for Pie on Rackspace Cloud Servers. “We have a web-based app that is written in Python and uses Django,” McKinney explains. “It’s really a very simple architecture. We use Cloud Servers to power a PostgreSQL database and application servers on top of that.” Eventually, they decided to add Rackspace Cloud Files to store and serve all of the media on their design-conscious site.
“Cloud Files lets us separate our file storage from our computing power,” he says. “This separation of concerns allows us to build and maintain a more flexible infrastructure and keep costs down while having the ability to scale up within minutes. That’s how a two-man startup can quickly build reliable services that compete with much larger companies.”
While they also considered Amazon S3, Cloud Files’ open-source availability, reliable Akamai CDN, and convenience ultimately won out. Rackspace Cloud Files’ extensive, constantly updated code libraries were a major draw. Cloud Files’ standards-based API supports Java, .NET, PHP, Ruby, and Python bindings. Montgomery says, “We're a Python shop, and having high-quality Python libraries for the Cloud Files API — both command-line tools and tools to integrate with Django — made Rackspace an easy choice.”
Montgomery was also impressed by the reputation of Cloud Files Akamai CDN. “Rackspace Cloud Files is backed by a reliable, high-quality CDN,” Montgomery says. “I'd heard nothing but good things from other customers, and files can be served over SSL.”
Finally, says Montgomery, Rackspace Cloud Files is convenient: “It's really nice to have both management tools — web-based dashboards, et cetera — and billing combined into one service.”
Rackspace Cloud Files’ and Servers’ stability mean that Work for Pie has rarely needed to make use of Fanatical Support, but Montgomery is glad to know he’ll have a helping hand whenever he needs it. “Rackspace's service has been so reliable that I've only once needed support for Work for Pie,” he says. “This was with regards to serving CDN content over SSL and was quickly resolved during a chat session.”
“It's nice to have issues resolved in minutes-to-hours instead of days-to-weeks,” he continues. “There’s a reason Rackspace advertises Fanatical Support. My experience with other companies has not been nearly as expedient or helpful.”
Will Rackspace continue to be Montgomery and Work for Pie’s go-to? Absolutely. “I’ve been so pleased with Rackspace that I have recommended these services to others,” he says. “It’s been great. I’m a happy camper.”
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