Here's a snippet from their manifesto:
Devio.us came about one afternoon while brainstorming
new possible projects. While other shell providers do
exist, most of them lack a clear goal, or are ran by an
inexperienced group of people. The servers are either
unstable, insecure or the hardware is just plain bad.
Realizing this sad state of of affairs, we set out to
create devio.us. While Kayla set out to design the site,
the rest of the team started working on writing all the
user administration utilities, automating tasks and
setting up the environment. Shortly thereafter, the
project was launched.
Lots of FAQ's and help on the site. Check out the forums at
Free Unix Shell Accounts - Devio.us Forums
or join in on the chat at irc.freenode.net #devious