Computer programmer at work.

Developer experience beats all

In this final instalment of our blog series about our managed servers and how they stack up against PaaS, we look at DX.

Photo of Greg Harvey
Tue, 2016-10-11 15:47By greg

So I said in my first post in this series that the developer probably isn't the most important stakeholder when you're selecting your hosting. And I stand by that, but developers are, of course, an important stakeholder. Time is money, and staff churn sucks as well, so tools that save time and allow developers to focus on the work they enjoy are still valuable. Clearly you can’t ignore the developer experience, and nor do we. In fact, there are a number of ways there we excel once again when compared to platform services.

Some companies make great show of partnering with this software or that software, to make sure this module or that package is available. We don’t limit options by exclusively partnering with this or that software company, but we make available all of the usual suspects but - most importantly of all - you can install whatever you like. So yes, we support New Relic,, AppNeta, whatever! If there’s a Linux package or a usable binary installer, you can have it. You don’t need to plead with us to “include it in the platform”. Your server is your server.

For the same reason you will have “sudo” privileges. We trust our customers to behave responsibly and if they want full access they can have it. So unlike PaaS providers, if you need another package you can install it. If you want MySQL root access, you have it. If you need a particular PHP module, you can install it. No tickets, no waiting around.

We also do Continuous Integration and auto-building of code on Git push. In fact, for a little extra money we also do building of Docker instances from pull requests, so you can have feature-specific test environments to pass to people for sign-off.

And because we configure everything for each customer, we are totally flexible. While we have preset scripts we can demonstrate to you and provide very cheaply, if you have a specific workflow in mind we can also work with you to make a set of CI scripts just for your organisation.

We’re also totally flexible on geography, because we manage servers too you can buy your own, or we can place you in the public cloud at Rackspace or AWS. It’s your choice. Obviously we prefer our private cloud, because of the hardware resilience we talked about, but we’re by no means tied to it.

Same goes for version control. You can host it anywhere, we have customers on Bitbucket, GitHub, Beanstalk and others, we also have customers who buy hosted GitLab's Community Edition from us (which is our preferred Git platform), but our CI systems do not care where your Git repository is. They will work with any Git repository, all you have to do is add our deploy key.

Finally, as Drupal developers, you know already one size does not fit all! PHP memory limit, if you look around at the platform products, is usually a hard number - you can’t bump it up. In fact, for most PaaS services you can’t change your PHP config at all. Not so with us, no need to go “Enterprise” to edit your configs. They’re all yours!

What we lack in fancy dashboards (and we're working on that) we make up in spades with developer access, service flexibility and friendly support, available 24/7/365 if you need it.


In summary

So now you know we do good DX as well, this is probably a good time for a quick recap. From a customer perspective, whether you’re an agency looking for a hosting partner for your customers or a direct buyer, for the points that matter to a website owner Code Enigma is on top, across the board, specifically:

  • if you want to host two or more websites, we are more cost-effective;

  • if speed matters, our dedicated, private, Enterprise hardware means better performance all round;

  • we have uniquely highly available hardware, we treat your Drupal sites like the “pets” they are and remove the headache of failing public cloud infrastructure by providing 100% available infrastructure;

  • our security posture is second to none in the Drupal hosting world, on many levels.

I don't even feel I’ve not looked into half of the pro-points for Code Enigma, our experienced development team, our commitment to open source, I could go on! I won’t go on any longer though. You get the point.

If you're interested in serious Linux managed hosting, on any level, just give us a call.



If you want to read the series, here are the first four posts in order:

  1. Exploring cost

  2. Amount and quality of resource

  3. Resilience of service

  4. Security of service