Hello dear users, today we have a great news. As you probably know, we are a ruby on rails app hosted on Heroku. It has been a year since we proudly sponsor the ParisRB meetup. Last month, we received Matt Thompson from Heroku. He introduced Helios to 100 ruby lovers. That was a great moment for the RoR community, and we are glad to offer you his interview about Ruby, cloud computing and his personal story.
You work at Heroku, one of the biggest cloud hosting platform. How did it happen? When did you start and what are you in charge of?
I joined Heroku in January 2012. Previously, I’d been working as an iOS developer at Gowalla, up until they were acquired by Facebook. I wasn’t interested in working at Facebook, so I asked myself “What is the most interesting company in tech right now? Who is kicking the most ass?”. At the time, Heroku had just launched Heroku Postgres and the Cedar Stack, and being a loyal Heroku customer myself, the answer was clear. On New Years Day, I packed up everything I owned into my Fiat and drove the 2800 km from Austin, Texas to San Francisco, California.
My title at Heroku is “Mobile Lead”, which comes with an interesting mix of roles and responsibilities. Working on open source projects like AFNetworking and Helios that help the community is about half of my job at Heroku. Mobile accounts for nearly half of all traffic on the Heroku platform, and mobile developers are one of the fastest-growing segments of Heroku’s customer base.
How many companies and developers are using Heroku ?
There are over 3 million apps on Heroku today, to which developers deploy code more than 2 million times every month. Thousands of developers from around the world from companies ranging from small teams to large corporations trust Heroku to keep their app running.
You where in France at Meetup paris RB last month. How deeply involved are you with Ruby community?
It was a great privelge to speak at Paris.rb while I was in Europe for my Spring speaking tour. Ruby was my first programming language, and I owe everything about who I am as a developer to the extensive community online and in local meetups like Austin on Rails. Because of this, I do everything I can to share my knowledge through open source, teaching, and speaking at meetups.
At this event you introduced Helios. Can you tell us more about it? What is it for and who is your targeted audience?
Helios is an open source framework for developing mobile backends. It provides all of the essential services like data synchronization over REST, as well as support for push notifications, passbook, and in-app purchase. This is great for mobile developers, as it allows them to focus on creating an insanely great experience on the client.
Can you share with us your vision about cloud computing?
Everything is connected, and will only become more connected in the future. One of the most important things to understand with the current technological landscape is that, fundamentally, mobile is no different from any other kind of app development. For example, if I were to take my phone’s home screen and remove all of the apps that require an internet connection, all I’d have left would be “Phone”, “Clock”, and “Calculator”. When we talk about web apps or iOS apps or Android apps, what we are talking about are _Cloud_ apps—apps that are constantly connected, always-on, and adaptable to many different kinds of devices. Going forward, I think we’ll see less of a distinction between “mobile” and “non-mobile”, as cloud-powered devices like Nest, Lockitron and Hue form what people are calling the “Internet of Things”.
One last question, what advice would you give to young startups and entrepreneurs?
Stay focused and inspired. Create something great that you’re excited to share with others.