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Career Oppurtunities (the ones that never knock)

This post should be treated as an historical artifact. It probably contain broken external links and it may no longer reflect my views or opinions.

One day, thought not any time soon, and probably not before they go big or the next big industry shift happens, I want to work for a web hosting company like The Engine Yard, Heroku, Linode or Media Temple; These are web hosting companies that get it1.

These companies are different from the “extremely ques­tionable” web host I once worked for (who is now admit­tedly “extremely rich” and “extremely successful"), the “old fash­ioned” web host that inter­viewed me for a system admin­is­trator job but decided that they wanted a PHP developer instead, and the “slightly less ques­tionable” web host I ran (into the ground); these companies are run by smart people who have their eyes on the future. They’re living the Gretzky ethos2.

What are they doing differ­ently? They’re lever­aging virtual machines, clus­tering, and open source software with smart devel­opers writing custom backends that glue these systems together to produce elegant, robust, dynam­i­cally scalable hosting for people that can’t be assed to do these things themselves.

Imagine, a fleet of virtual machines glued to a rules-engine, moni­toring your incoming load and outgoing response time and auto­mat­i­cally provi­sioning new nodes on the fly.

This shit is exciting to me. This shit makes me want to go back to school and get educated enough to get in on it. Maybe make some of that “some of that inner-net money” by helping build “inner-net services”.

My rampant idolatry and borderline fetishization of these companies boils down to the fact that they’re slowly chipping into the foun­dation of the old ways: fading away is the assumption that simply throwing an Apache HTTPD server up on some Linux or BSD machines, over­loading it with virtual-hosts, over-selling your capacity on the assumption that 80% of your users will only use 20% of your resources, and slapping a generic third-party commercial control panel up to gloss over the fact that your infra­structure is unre­liable and clumsy will make you some sweet, sweet “inner-net money”.

These companies and the people who work for them are demon­strating that how you’re hosting your web sites isn’t good enough for the 21st century and that’s some­thing every admin in this space needs to take notice of.

  1. It is defined as “the under­standing that the future will pass you by entirely if you’re not trying to build it yourself.” ↩︎

  2. blah blah blah, puck going to be, blah blah blah. Easily the most over-used quote in business; unfor­tu­nately it’s also often one of the most apt. ↩︎