Posts Tagged 'Geek'

May 10, 2012

The SoftLayer API and its 'Star Wars' Sibling

When I present about the SoftLayer API at conferences and meetups, I often use an image that shows how many of the different services in the API are interrelated and connected. As I started building the visual piece of my presentation, I noticed a curious "coincidence" about the layout of the visualization:

SoftLayer API Visualization

What does that look like to you?

You might need to squint your eyes and tilt your head or "look beyond the image" like it's one of those "Magic Eye" pictures, but if you're a geek like me, you can't help but notice a striking resemblance to one of the most iconic images from Star Wars:

SoftLayer API == Death Star?

The SoftLayer API looks like the Death Star.

The similarity is undeniable ... The question is whether that resemblance is coincidental or whether it tells us we can extrapolate some kind of fuller meaning as in light of the visible similarities. I can hear KHazzy now ... "Phil, While that's worth a chuckle and all, there is no way you can actually draw a relevant parallel between the SoftLayer API and The Death Star." While Alderaan may be far too remote for an effective demonstration, this task is no match for the power of the Phil-side.

Challenge Accepted.

The Death Star: A large space station constructed by the Galactic Empire equipped with a super-laser capable of destroying an entire planet.

The SoftLayer API: A robust set of services and methods which provide programmatic access to all portions of the SoftLayer Platform capable of automating any task: administrative, configuration or otherwise.

Each is the incredible result of innovation and design. The construction of the Death Star and creation of the SoftLayer API took years of hard work and a significant investment. Both are massive in scale, and they're both effective and ruthless when completing their objectives.

The most important distinction: The Death Star was made to destroy while the SoftLayer API was made to create ... The Death Star was designed to subjugate a resistance force and destroy anything in the empire's way. The SoftLayer API was designed to help customers create a unified, automated way of managing infrastructure; though in the process, admittedly that "creation" often involves subjugating redundant, compulsory tasks.

The Death Star and the SoftLayer API can both seem pretty daunting. It can be hard to find exactly what you need to solve all of your problems ... Whether that be an exhaust port or your first API call. Fear not, for I will be with you during your journey, and unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi, I'm not your only hope. There is no need for rebel spies to acquire the schematics for the API ... We publish them openly at sldn.softlayer.com, and we encourage our customers to break the API down into the pieces of functionality they need.

-Phil (@SoftLayerDevs)

March 29, 2011

The Rise of the Geek

Whether fact or fiction, in business, sports, politics or the arts, everyone loves a triumphant underdog story, and who could be more of an underdog than a bookish, socially awkward geek? You know ... the ones that were overlooked and under-appreciated (until they made their first million dollars). The history of the Internet is littered with geeks changing the way nearly every person in the developed world interacts with the people around them. In honor of these stereotypically statistical underdogs, May 25 - the premiere date of the first Star Wars film (among other geeky holidays) - has come to be known as Geek Pride Day.

With more than 80,000 active servers and 550+ employees, SoftLayer is essentially a Geek Think Tank of employees and and proving ground of sorts for customers. As I'm writing this, the faint hum of our generators and cooling systems remind me that the next Facebook or Microsoft might be getting started in the data center pod right below my desk at our Dallas Alpha HQ.

Just considering that prospect reinforced to me that the geeks have really done it! The 2.0 millennium has been marked by the rise YouSpaceTwitterWikiMyTube sites spurred on by textbook-definition nerdy underdogs ... It's right in line with Lance's theory of world domination. No longer are geeks merely the Steve Urkels of the business world.

They're successful, smart, savvy, innovative early adopters.

Let's take a moment and explore some of the more polarizing geeks of our day - Geeks who made being a geek cool:

  • Steve Jobs - 500,000 iPads sold by the end of the first week of release. Apple's market cap exceeds that of Microsoft for the first time since 1989. Open Source application development and support is a key part of its ongoing software strategy.
  • Bill Gates - Windows, Microsoft Office, Xbox and their new "To the cloud" focus.
  • Mark Zuckerberg - The Founder of Facebook:
    • More than 500 million active users
    • Entrepreneurs and developers from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform
      • Many of whom use SoftLayer as their Infrastructure host :-)
    • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • Peter Parker - Spider Man - Peter has a natural gift for the sciences and is considered by some genius. After being bit by a radioactive spider Peter develops super physical human strength and ability along with a sixth sense for danger.
  • Dwight Schrute - Top salesman for the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Winner of numerous sales awards. One-time Assistant to the Regional Manager and beet farmer extraordinaire

Alright ... I might be getting carried away lumping fictional characters into the mix, but you get my point.

As a member of the SLales department, I am forever "geeking out" over new and exciting applications, products and tools the our customers are coming up with. Although I don't believe I can truly claim my geek badge of honor yet, I aspire to reaching that rank.

-Arielle

PS: For the geeks out there, (without cheating) what year was the first Star Wars film released? Did you see it in the theater? If you weren't alive when it was released, when did you first see it?

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