Why Companies Exist

In a speech David Packard, co-founder of HP, gave to managers in 1960 he said,

"we inevitably comes to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively which they could not accomplish separately. They are able to do something worthwhile - they make a contribution to society (a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental)."

A significant number of people think of HP as a printer and computer company. Or, as a company focused on the enterprise. Something that is often lost in the conversation is that HP is considered to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley. The garage where HP was founded is a historical landmark. HP was a startup right out of a garage.

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Why OpenStack Matters

Why does OpenStack matter? When I talk with cloud app developers I regularly hear that it doesn't. The cloud conversations center on AWS, Google, Azure, or a platform as a service like Heroku or one based on Docker.

Yet, if you look at current trends you'd see something like:

OpenStack vs EC2 in Google Trends

Or, if you follow the OpenStack community you might see that the US Summit, which happens once per year, went from about 1,800 attendees a year ago to about 4,500 attendees this past May. That's quite a bit of growth year over year.

I don't consider these reasons that OpenStack matters. Rather it matters and these are signs it's worth looking a little deeper into.

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State of Application Developer Experience with OpenStack

When I first started writing applications that ran in OpenStack clouds or worked against the APIs the experience was painful. To figure out what I could do with the APIs I ended up in the source code for OpenStack or asking those who were in the source or knew the system better. If I'd been using a different, maybe more popular, cloud I could have quickly found my answer in the documentation. As a user I longed for something better.

Fast forward to today. OpenStack has come a long way in many regards. Yet, I still find myself poking around in the code and the community to figure out how some things work. Just last week I learned about two undocumented REST API calls that I would be using if I'd known about them.

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Modern PHP, Popularity, and Facebook

PHP is an incredibly popular programming language. For server side languages used on the web, PHP is the most popular language and the popularity is growing. Over the past decade PHP has added new language features, such as closures, and healthy programming practices have become far more common. Despite this, PHP has a bad rap.

Recently, Facebook has announced hack and the latest round of HHVM updates. Somewhere in the mix of Facebook announcements, far too many people are referring to Facebook as the place that's bringing about innovation and refreshing changes to PHP. I've heard this repeatedly and it can been seen in blog posts, like the latest one from Heroku announcing HHVM support.

While I find hack interesting and I'm glad to see more PHP execution environments, I see that a lot of the innovation that's happened in PHP is being overshadowed or missed. Just recently, I was asked why somone would want to use PHP. Aside from executing faster in a VM they had no idea what was going on. So, let's look at some of what you'll find in modern PHP. All of which have happened separately from any one large marketing entity.

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