Journey to the Center of the Cloud – Part 4

I am a big fan of Tina Fey.  She’s funny, smart, and ambitious. The quality I admire the most about her is how she proves her talent through her work and never ending drive. At least, this is what I believe she is like based on interviews and reading her book Bossypants.

As I struggle with the basics of coding, I think of Tina Fey and her early beginnings.  She worked the desk at a YMCA on the north side of Chicago before she made her way onto the Second City circuit.  It seems progress can feel slow some days, then an immediate need spawns action and leads to a breakthrough, whether the endeavor is a career in comedy or a coding project. That’s exactly the way it seemed when I discovered an important new cloud computing platform. Here’s my story…

The big move

My family and I are in the process of moving.

In addition to sorting piles for “pack, donate, and toss” (the kids wanted to make sure they were on the “pack” pile) is organizing information like movers, banks, change of address notifications, and other to do’s.  In my frazzled frustration, I thought, “There should be an app for that!”  Then I remembered the wise words of Tina Fey:

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

So I determined there WILL be an app for that!

Curiosity made the app

This is when my curiosity about Platform as a Service (PaaS) finally got the best of me.  Developers use PaaS to bypass basic coding.   Line of business buyers use it to help with projects while possessing only basic knowledge.

In this category of cloud computing, an intuitive interface is used and complemented with code like Java Script to customize the application.  Behind this interface, the application rests on servers in the cloud.  Knowing AT&T has a PaaS offering with the added bonus that the cloud is in the network, I figured it was worth the couple of dollars it would cost to use it and experiment.

300 seconds to go

I found there are several ways to approach application creation through the PaaS service: using a wizard, using a template, or uploading a spreadsheet.  I chose to use one of the available templates and customize it to fit my needs for moving.  After reviewing the templates that were available, I made my decision and within minutes, literally less than 300 seconds, I was creating my application and tracking expenses and tasks.  Since PaaS automatically mobilizes my app, my husband and I can both access task lists and expenses from our smartphones to keep the move progress, well, moving!

What’s next?

When I heard this season will mark the series finale for “30 Rock,” I was saddened to see it go, but also excited to see what Tina Fey does next.  What will someone with that kind of drive have planned after her current dream job comes to a close?  And now that I have created an application and made it to the center of the cloud, albeit via shortcut, do I go back to learning the basics?  Do I springboard and move forward with PaaS experiments?

How about you? Have you had an experience with PaaS that you’d like to share? Share what you’ve learned in comments.
Catherine Scaramuzzi Senior Product Marketing Manager AT&T About Catherine