I am a big fan of programming challenges, especially those that allow me to learn something new. When CloudSpokes came along a few months back, I did not know what to expect. Little did I know that as of today, I am completely infested with the "CloudSpokes" bug and make it a daily ritual to check out the site, blog, any new contests, any submission updates and much more. And that is not a complaint.... :-) In this blog post, I wanted to discuss why I "CloudSpoke" and why you should too.
One of the challenges that we as developers face is to keep ourselves updated with latest technologies. The pace at which things are moving is both a good and bad thing. Its a bad thing since it is difficult to keep learning all the stuff happening on the Development stack. Its a good thing because it presents a great opportunity to focus yourself on an important area, learn stuff fast, do some serious assignments and build your brand and make yourself known among your peers.
CloudSpokes for me is now the vehicle to do all the above. I have participated in a handful of challenges by now and have focused on what I think I know well. So since Google App Engine is an area I know well, I tend to gravitate towards those challenges. The experience has been fun. The challenges are clear in what they want you to develop and you are working against time to learn, implement and deliver it. There have been challenges where I was not much familiar with the stuff but ended up learning it, fixing the little errors or so and delivering it, no matter what the end result.
Where CloudSpokes really shines is that it gives you a great platform to be a better developer. And let me explain why? You might be a master of coding but that is not enough in a community setting. It forms just a part of the overall delivery package. How about documentation on what you have done? A video? How about commenting your code so that others can understand? I think all of us developers now have a chance to try out all these things and present our work in different ways. And once we crack the problem of communicating what we have done to others via various mediums like our code, documentation, video, etc -- the sky (sorry Cloud!) is the limit for us.
My next step with CloudSpokes is to learn about stuff that I am not familiar with. For e.g. SalesForce challenges are a plenty but I do not know much about it. And CloudFoundry, the latest PaaS play sounds exciting too. I am going to roll up my sleeves and start learning them. Here is where I have a suggestion for CloudSpokes i.e. a "CloudSpokes University" sort of a page, which links tutorials, blogs, etc where one can get started quickly. They have taken the lead with CloudFoundry and the tutorial videos and hopefully can replicate it across other platforms too.
Thanks for reading. Are you ready to CloudSpoke now?