January 22, 2009

So unless you are not a gamer or have been under a rock for the last 4 years, you have heard of World of Warcraft. Wow for short. Wow is one of those online role playing games where you can puttz around if you want or you can work with others in a team effort to down huge dungeon bosses in instances. At the start of Wow the end all, be all instances were 40-man raids. Just like it sounds like 40 people would get together in a raid and try to make their way to these dungeon bosses and kill them for various prizes.

Once I reached the appropriate level and started doing these instances, it became quite clear on the general make up of these groups. It was usually two very different types of "Raiders."

The first type is the core people. These were the guys who knew what they were doing. Usually in leadership positions or at least were competent enough that you did not have to manage them. They were trusted enough to know what to do and when to do it. When something new came up, they were the ones with ideas on how to tackle it. These were the ones who carried the raid.

The second type is the fillers. Generally these people didn't pay attention, always had to be told to stay on point, and basically to do their job. They were trying to hide in the cracks to get a free ride. These were the ones whose mistakes made something simple become overly complex or outright impossible. If you could not have them in the raid, you wouldn't.

Then the first expansion to Wow came out. Basically more content was added, the level cap was raised, and a lot of cool stories were introduced. One thing that didn't go unnoticed was the group limit of the new raid instances. They were now 10-man or 25-man, no more 40-man instances. This changed the dynamic completely. As you guessed it the fillers were the first to go in any group. If you didn't pull your weight you were kicked from the group. The learning curve became steeper as these new leaner, more agile groups, plowed through game content. If you were terrible you would eventually find yourself on the outside with a bad reputation. As anyone can tell you reps have a way of following you around no matter where you go.

After seeing this I realized SoftLayer was living in the new world. The people who formed SoftLayer knew they had to be lean, agile, and quick to adapt to what is going on in front and around them. If not they would be left on the outside. Not only were we living in the new world we live the new world. This philosophy/culture reverberates though out SoftLayer. The people here just know what needs to be done. Direction is given and the ideas go flying on how to get it done. No one here hides in the cracks trying to go unnoticed. Everyone brings something to the table.

A little while ago I heard a rumor that there was another hosting company out there that does as much as we do...but has 40 times as many people to do it...Probably just a rumor.