Want an even better job? :)

While the ATG job opportunity at TOMS is pretty sweet, Spark::red is also hiring!  I might be a bit biased but I think Spark::red is an amazing place to work.

First, the jobs:  We’re looking for sys admins, jboss admins, or technical ATG folks (architects, deployment specialists, etc…) to join our sys ops and support/deployment/load testing/performance tuning/troubleshooting teams in Boston (Chelmsford, MA) and Seattle (Redmond, WA).  You can read more about what skills we’re looking for here: Spark::red Oracle ATG Commerce Hosting Careers.  Don’t worry about the which location for which job, we’re looking to fill the roles in either city.

Why would you want to work with us?  Here’s a list:

  • Amazing team of smart, talented, driven, funny people
  • Working with a combination of Fortune 1000s, Internet Retailer 500s, emerging retailers, hip companies, international trendsetters, and Hollywood award shows!
  • Working with happy clients!  We love our clients and they love us.
  • Great salaries – we want to get and keep the best in the business
  • Great benefits
  • Flexibility, power, huge career growth potential!
  • Large scale infrastructure
  • Interesting problems to solve
  • Halo!
  • You get to work with me:)


Want a good job?

One of the first people to take me up on my Office Hours offer was a Talent Acquisition Specialist (aka recruiter).  Unlike many people with that title, Jason had read up on me, read my blog, and knew I wasn’t looking for work.  However he did want to pick my brain on a few aspects of hiring ATG experts.  I shared what I could, but I also want to go a step further.

Let’s start with the job: Senior ATG Lead Developer

Sure, you’re thinking there’s a TON of open ATG positions, and not nearly enough people to fill them, so why this one?  Here’s why:

It’s based in sunny Los Angeles (Marina Del Rey).  Great weather, great cars, great people, great surf.

I’ve had the good fortune to tour the office.  It’s one of the nicest, if not THE nicest, offices I’ve ever been to.  It has a ton of open space, slides to get down from the second floor, a barista, lots of dogs, and a great courtyard with picnic tables, cabanas, and ping pong tables.  Unlike most of the companies that talk about their great office or their game tables, at TOMS there are actually smiling happy laughing people playing ping pong.  The grassy courtyard is filled with people working on their laptops in the sun, or eating lunch outside.  I was really inspired by the office.

The company isn’t your standard retailer.  They are on a mission to give to children in need.  Read about TOMS One for One program here.  And again, it’s not just a tagline given lip service, it’s a passionate commitment that everyone I spoke with there shares.

The job gets you in at the ground floor of a new ATG implementation.  This is huge.  FIrst off you won’t be wrestling with 5 years of organically developed spaghetti code.  You get to start from a clean slate and you get to build the core functionality of the site, not just little tweaks.  I think you’ll also have a great opportunity to grow into a mentor or maybe architect role.

This is one of the better ATG positions I’ve seen around in ages.  Drop Jason an email and tell him I sent you!

Spark::red 2011 Review and 2012 Preview

2011 has been an amazing year for Spark::red ATG Oracle Commerce Hosting.

  • We’ve added several new clients (including a well known member of the Fortune 1000!)
  • We’ve added 101 new dedicated servers and over 20 cloud computing instances
  • We’ve opened an office in Boston
  • We’ve earned our PCI Level 1 MSP Certification
  • We’ve hired several employees, a large number of contractors, and even picked up an intern!
  • We’ve gone from 3 data centers in the USA to 13 data centers and 16 points-of-presence including several international facilities
  • While our competitors have raised prices, we’ve managed to keep prices the same or actually reduce them in many places.  All this while providing newer more powerful hardware across the board
  • We’ve introduced a new Oracle ATG Commerce Standard Hosting Package which provides excellent performance, stability, and security, for a very affordable package price
  • Served well over 200 TB of content
  • Partnered with JBoss/Redhat, Oracle, Akamai, Keynote, Knowledge Path, and many other industry leaders in order to provide the absolute best hosting, support, and related services
  • More more!
We’ve grown a lot in 2011 in every measurable dimension.  Clients, revenue, employees, contractors, servers, bandwidth, offices, processes, every aspect of the business has been growing nicely.
2012 is looking like it will be even bigger!  We have lots of prospective clients, two new international data centers opening in Australia and South America, international clients, new hires, a site redesign, a big sales and marketing push, new free ATG modules and open source code, and lots more!
I’m very excited about the upcoming year and what it will bring.  If you’d like to talk to us about what we can do to help you in 2012 give us a call or email us about your ATG Hosting needs!

What Oracle/ATG Could Do With Licensing

This is a follow-up to my post earlier this week: ATG Licensing – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

I feel like Oracle has really shot themselves in the foot on this. They’ve changed up how many licenses need to be sold as a minimum to small and medium customers, and they’ve done this without adequate training for their sales staff. They’ve dramatically increased the mid-market entry level costs, pricing themselves out of many deals – even with aggressive discounting. They’ve also really failed to take care of their existing customers. There’s a huge number of existing ATG customers out there, who were sold a bundle of licenses which prevents them from upgrading without spending a significant amount out of pocket. Those customers have been paying annual support fees against a broken promise of free upgrades.

The problem will get worse as future generations of processors start shipping with hex- and octo- core base configurations. In short Oracle’s licensing policy does not work with modern CPUs and ATG software pricing and infrastructure architecture.

So what could they do? I have a few solutions:

  1. Allow for software disabling of cores. This is simple. Just add an “ATG Licensing Addendum” to the contracts that allows for this. Problem solved now and in the future.
  2. Use the Oracle Standard Database licensing model based on “Sockets” not “Processors”. This is really a clean solution, has precedent in Oracle’s licensing practices, and scales well in the future.
  3. Automatically allow all MC4 bundle customers to upgrade to 6 “Processors” of Commerce and 6 “Processors” of Search on ATG 10, for free. They were sold a small but deployable bundle of Production and Staging licenses. They’ve been paying their support fees. They deserve to still be able to run a small but deployable setup of Production and Staging.
  4. Automatically upgrade any customers who have been sold ATG 10 with less than 6 “Processors” of Commerce and Search to 6+6. These customers have been sold an impossible to deploy list of licenses. Through ignorance (most likely) their ATG Sales rep sold them a lie. Make it right.

What do you think is most fair?