This past Valentines Day, Appirio launched CloudSpokes, a new cloud-focused crowdsourcing community that matches companies who need cloud development work with developers.
Overall, the community was received with great interest and excitement, but as expected, many people said they wanted to see results and how things progressed. It was widely recognized that creating a marketplace where businesses can tap into skills and pay for results, while developers cultivate their talents and compete for cash and recognition, is a win-win – but marketplaces take time, resources and even some good fortune to really take off.
Although it’s only been a few short weeks, we’re happy to report this burgeoning cloud developer community has started to gain momentum and is already producing some real results. These results can be (and have been) for sponsoring companies – ISVs or enterprises – and the community at large.
One of the most important parts of CloudSpokes is to provide real world examples of how the cloud is changing development practices. For the first time in history, a developer can work on any problem in the world from anywhere – all they need is an Internet connection if they’re using a public cloud platform. To promote the power in that and to show early output of the community, we’re donating back a few of the developments from a number of CloudSpokes contests that have already been completed.
There are many places where narrow technical advances can make it even more productive to use cloud platforms for a large variety of developers and CloudSpokes has already generated a few examples:
- A Force.com component that makes it easier to build Force.com apps for Facebook, which has since been donated to the Force.com toolkit for Facebook
- A Firefox extension, “The Force.com Utility Belt” to aid developers
- An OmniAuth extension that lets Heroku connect to Force.com via Oauth, which has been donated to the Heroku tookit for Force.com
This is just the beginning. There are a lot more contests coming down the pike that will produce even more useful tools for open source initiatives that further cloud development. This includes a Force.com Geo Location Toolkit (which lets developers manage location and map information through force.com) and an iPhone app that lets administrator manage their users while on the go.
In addition to these projects, we’ll also team up with cloud providers to sponsor more contests so their own development community can build add-ons that make platforms more useful for everyone. Twilio is the first of those and is running a contest promoting developers integrating their voice or SMS API into physical devices (think robots!).
We’re seeing progress on a daily basis (more on that soon), but the team is always looking for feedback about how CloudSpokes can make you a believer in the power of crowdsourced cloud development!