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Interview with the author

This week we sat down with Eric D. Schabell to find out a little more about the author behind ‘OpenShift Primer’.

Eric D. Schabell

When did you start working with OpenShift?

I guess I started before it was even OpenShift. This technology was acquired by Red Hat and I got into it from almost the beginning. I was very, very excited about this technology as a helper for my developer tasks. This is the focus of the OpenShift Primer book.

For someone who hasn’t really heard of OpenShift before, can you describe it for us?

I have a talk I do around this and the slide that resonates the most with the audiences is of a woman behind her computer, grasping her monitor and shaking it violently while she grimaces and thinks, “Why am I always dorking with the stack?”
Traditional software development involves a local installation of the components needed to run your application that you are building. OpenShift and the tooling integration provided by their teams removes this from the realm of your machine. It acts like it is all local, but it is standardized and remote to your machine. You can focus on your development code and the machine is magically filled with your application as you push changes.
It feels so natural, it is the way we want to work, so why ‘dork with the stack?’
Your book is perfect for beginners, individuals who want to get started with OpenShift. What’s the main piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s just starting out in the developer world?
Wow, starting out in the world means you have so much to learn. Pay attention to what is happening around you, read, read, and read more. Keep working on your craft, as it is a craft to write software.
I feel like the OpenShift Primer can take a lot of the learning curve out of a development project for beginners and I attempt to align it to that need. You can focus on coding and not on all the extra complexity of managing your stack.
Equally, what advice would you give to a senior developer who wants to start using OpenShift? Would this book be right for him or her?
The senior developer is interested in getting started with a minimum of fuss, this is what the OpenShift Primer provides. You can jump right into code examples and example projects that you already understand. I try to take some of the pain away by removing the stack from your local machine and get you out into the Cloud.
Is there one particular language that works best with OpenShift?
Not at all, that is the best part. You can run all the supported languages. It is not about languages, it is about focusing on your application and development of that in the way you always have been working, just now you have the OpenShift stack supporting your effort and easing your pain.
On the OpenShift website, I noticed that there’s a “Vote on features” category, which feature would get your vote?
That is a funny question as I have been voting for some time, my top three right now:
I must confess, as an evangelist for this technology, they give me a few extra logins, so I have voted several times on these. 😉
How did you first get into developing / coding?
That is a very, very long story. I did  not grow up coding, I did take a course in USA high school on Apple II and IIe, using Basic. I took a long route into the real world to work and got back to study at a university in my late 20’s. This is when I first got into coding. I have done lots of languages and diverse software engineering roles over the last 15 years. I just get sucked into the problem solving and complexity of coding, still after all these years.
What individuals or companies do you admire most/heroes in the tech space?
I am a huge fan of Open Source, both the celebrities I get to work with in my day job and the companies that run in that space. I am lucky to work with the biggest actor in that space and to work with the various rock stars that are part of the examples included in OpenShift Primer.
Finally, what’s your favourite movie?
I don’t have a top one, there are too many, but I can mention a few:
– The Usual Suspects
–  Lord of the Rings
–  Star Wars
– Princesses Bride
To find out more about the author behind ‘OpenShift Primer’ head on over to his blog: or follow him on twitter: @ericschabell
To get your hands on his book head on over to Developer Press (where it is available on Amazon or iBooks) :

One comment on “Interview with the author

  1. GP
    March 1, 2013

    Reblogged this on misentopop.

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