Inside Rackspace’s Developer Zone At SXSW: Devs Talk Open Cloud

During SXSW Interactive, thousands of technologists from across the globe come to Austin to find out about the next big things on the tech horizon, share their knowledge as technology thought leaders with others, network with like-minded geeks and reserve their nocturnal hours for some of the most stellar parties on the planet. Within this subset of technologists are the developers, who are creating and building the architecture, infrastructure and software that allows you to run things on the web today.

Ideas drive developers. And whether they are building a custom web application, an ecommerce site or working on a startup that will change the world, the Rackspace Open Cloud has been built to power developers’ cutting-edge ideas with a full suite of compute, storage and networking products. And among all of the happenings at Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant (Rackspace’s SXSW headquarters) we are paying tribute to those with code running through their veins – developers – inside the Developer Zone.

Daily inside the Developer Zone, Rackspace brings participants of SXSW Interactive some of the finest technology-minded individuals in the business, talking about topics like the Cross Cloud Conundrum, The Best Ways to Bring Down Your Website, Why Open Cloud Matters, SaaS in the Open Cloud and DevOps Monitoring, just to name a few. Let’s meet some of the Rackers that are sharing their knowledge with developers this year at SXSW inside the Developer Zone:

Hart Hoover is a Cloud Strategist at Rackspace. His primary duty is working with the Rackspace DevOps Blog as a manager, maintainer and lead content creator. Hart describes himself as, “a facilitator of like-minded people who want to make OpenStack and the Rackspace Open Cloud better for everyone.” When we asked Hoover what was happening inside the Developer Zone, he had this to say: “We are here to answer your question about developing on the Rackspace Open Cloud or OpenStack in general. We have a Developer Relations Group here to talk about the SDKs that Rackspace provides to Rackspace customers or anyone who wants to run on OpenStack.”

From the Rackspace Developer Relations Group, there are several individuals who are evangelizing to developers, sharing knowledge and answering questions to get them up and running on the open cloud. Everett Toews is a Committer on jclouds, and co-author of The Open Stack Operations Guide, and says he’s “working to make OpenStack and the Rackspace Cloud easy to use for developers.”

“Today I’m going to be talking about the cross cloud conundrum,” says Toews. “What that is, is how do you actually talk to different clouds? There are a number of cloud providers out there, and they all have different standards about how you actually talk to their cloud, how you actually use it, how you actually start up resources on different clouds. It requires talking to different APIs for every single cloud. And that’s a real problem for developers when they want to run their applications across different clouds. Now, open standards, open APIs and the open cloud helps developers write their code once so they can run it on any cloud powered by OpenStack.”

Ed Leafe is a Developer Advocate with the Rackspace Developer Relations Group. He is a creator and maintainer of pyrax, the Python SDK for the open cloud and one of the original OpenStack developers. “I’m working to make Rackspace more aware of the needs of developers,” explains Leafe, who adds that developers and the cloud are integral parts of the startup movement. “There is a lot of startup energy here at SXSW. A lot of people with great ideas trying to get things started. One of the big promises of the cloud is you don’t need a lot of capital expenditure in order to get started. You can start building something on the cloud right away. And with the open cloud, you’re not locked in.”

Along with developers enlightening other developers inside the Developer Zone at Champions, Rackspace has a flurry of events planned for SXSW Interactive 2013. And if you want to find us on Twitter, be sure to keep an eye on the hash-tag #SXRackspace.

John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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