Welcome to the OpenShift Developer Spotlight where we get to know the members of the OpenShift community a little better and show off their skills as developers.

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OpenShift Developer Spotlight: Chris Duell

What is your primary Development Language?


What inspired you to be a developer?

Curiosity above anything else, I was pretty late to the game when it came to having a PC at home. Dad brought one home in 97, and it’s fair to say I was obsessed with it. The more I browsed the web and followed the rabbit hole, the more intrigued I became about how it all worked, so I bought a book on HTML and it all started from there.

What programming language did you learn first?

I started off with just the basics, HTML and CSS. It wasn’t long before I got bored of static pages, and after talking online for a while with another developer on ICQ, he sent me a book on ASP.NET, so that was the first ‘real’ language I guess I used. I played about with that for a year or so, before moving on to PHP which has been the main language I’ve used since.

What tools do you use the most often for development? (Operating system, IDE, etc)

I almost exclusively use my MacBook Pro Retina these days, it’s just easier than managing multiple machines. Even when I was jumping between machines, both were running OSX.

In terms of apps, I flick between using PHP Storm and Sublime Text 2.

I’ll use PHP Storm for bigger projects, but if I’m just whipping something up or testing something out, nothing beats the speed of Sublime Text.

What is your favorite development stack? (OS/language/server/database)

Very stock standard here, though I’m trying to branch out and get stuck more into things like Node etc.

For dev purposes, I often just rely on using MAMP which provides the basics of apache / PHP / MySQL

Why did you choose OpenShift as your hosting platform?

The ability to quickly and easily setup the whole server, super easily with the UI they provide. I'm not strong with DevOps, so this made setting up the server a breeze.

What advantages does OpenShift give you that other hosting platforms don't?

The ability to get up and going so fast was a real catch. I can hold my ground when it comes to setting up things on the server, but in the early days of an app, I really don’t want to have to worry about that. OpenShift completely solved that by letting me be up and running in a matter of minutes.

What are some features you'd like to see in OpenShift?

Support for PHP5.5

Tell us more about your application currently hosted on openshift:
  • Name: Elevio
  • What does it do? Elevio is a product that allows site owners to display tips to their users where and when they are needed most. It helps to clean up your pages, support your users better, and find out which pages need more attention in order to remove roadblocks.
  • What technologies were used to create your app? PHP
  • What motivated you to create this application and what problems does it solve? Too often I see pages that are cluttered with \"help\" for the small percentage of users that need it, while others have to put up with the mess. Elevio was born out of the need to sort this out.
  • What new features do you have planned for this application and will they implement any new technologies within OpenShift? We’ve got a list of features we’d like to release on a basic roadmap here: https://trello.com/b/RKFdEBub/elev-io-roadmap.

    Currently while we have unit tests for the code, we’re not running them through any continuous integration. At some stage we’ll setup Jenkins on OpenShift and make use of that so only non breaking code ever gets deployed.

    Ideally, we’d like to be able to scale as things ramp up, which we’ll let OpenShift take care of.


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