I’ve gone back and forth on whether managers should code and my opinion is: don’t stop coding. Each week that passes where you don’t share the joy, despair, and discovery of software development is a week when you slowly forget what it means to be a software developer. Over time it means you’ll have a harder time talking to engineers because you’ll forget how they think and how they become bored.

Bored People Quit – makes my head hurt to think on it too long.

Coté Memo #043: EMC + (HP XOR Dell) == what? “Fabrics” returning, and the joys of bicycle jousting

Meta-data

Hello again, welcome to #043. Today we have 51 subscribers, so we’re +/-0. I’d love to hear what you like, dislike, your feedback, etc.: memo@cote.io. (If you’re reading this on the web, you should subscribe to get the daily email.)

See past newsletters in the archives, and, as always, see things as they come at Cote.io and @cote.

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Quick Hits

  • Mirantis wants to part ways with Red Hat and it’s easy to see why – Mirantis has several “strategic” relationships and investments (vendors that invested in them, partner with them, etc.). As they expand, you know, it can get weird.
  • Why Rackspace will fly solo: the market is evolving – nice 451 commentary from Scott Ottaway and Carl Brooks: “The selection of an internal candidate for CEO also indicates that Rackspace will focus on its strategic direction of targeting customers that value managed services tightly wrapped into public and private cloud services. It will also focus on offering cloud services across multiple platforms beyond OpenStack, including VMware and Microsoft, and emerging services like bare-metal servers and devops.”
  • Dell World speaker schedule without star keynote; panel to open show – one doesn’t want to read too much into DellWorld line-ups at all. But, hey, less big stars, which I think is fine. I usually skip the big interviews because they have nothing to do with the company, whatsoever.
    More converged cloud theory – “They prefer buying a whole lot of stuff from one vendor, and we were open to the acquisition because it is in the interests of the customers that we are serving. We had a lot of customers asking us to do managed clouds, others were asking us for hardware recommendations. These were signals to us that it would not be a bad idea to have an end-to-end solution ready.”
  • Summary of Cloud & Data Center Automation Content at Engage – I’ll be at BMC’s conference this year. Oddly enough, the first time ever. Why odd? I worked there as a programmer for 5 years, covered them for about 6 years at RedMonk (OK, I went to an analyst conference they had which was very nice). It’ll be fun! If you’ll be there, let’s get together. I know the Swan and Dolphin and the boardwalk area like the back of my hand (thanks, IBM!).
  • Mesos Founding Father/Twitter Fail Whale Slayer Hindman Joins Mesosphere – eventually, these dudes or CoreOS will be a big deal. Perhaps both of them, but probably not unless they merge which wouldn’t really make sense, I don’t think.
  • Mobile security pain overwhelms the enterprise – damn mobile phones. The thing you have to remember is that each computer is kind of different: different enough to require new management stacks. You can’t use mainframe tools to manage Unix, can’t use Unix tools to manage x86/Windows/Web, etc. New devices mean new management tools, including security. Stay safe out there!
  • Article: Q&A on Kanban in Action – I should check this out. I have a theory that if I can apply Kanban to my white-collar work, things will go better. I can never really figure out Trello for “make that presentation” or “write that report.” Worse, my co-workers and folks on my team could give a crap about Kanban. The Office toolchain is just fine for them, thank you very much…which is fine.
  • The need for internal digital evangelism – I make this point all the time: if you want to change how things are done, you need to show-up, a lot. Sorry.
  • “Fabrics” are probably coming back – “We are seeing more and more customers looking at multitenancy requirements, and the word of the day is microsegmentation – how do you segment the infrastructure from end to end so you can run your risk analytics next to your Hadoop infrastructure?” Remember when everything was a “fabric.” We had “vFabric,” Microsoft talked in terms of fabrics, etc. I always thought it was a hella-cheesy, but I get the sense we might see the metaphor com eup again.
  • Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it – nice letter from the Red Hat corporate strategy party.
  • Does Alibaba offer a ‘golden opportunity’ for U.S. small businesses? – I think what you (people who care about infrastructure-y stuff in the enterprise world) want to pay attention to here is how the hyper-scale Chinese web companies are positioned to be just like Amazon, down to AWS. As I understand it, AWS isn’t massive in RoR (“rest of world,” outside of Gringo-land on both sides of the pond), so there’s gap to fill. Everyone likes cloud, but lots of folks don’t like Yankees.
  • Heroku Rolls Out Metrics to Help Users Optimize Performance – they’re doing their own systems management. Fun!
  • BMC Software Sues ServiceNow for Patent Infringement – hey, it’s the thing Big 4 vendors do. “You kids (who used to be on our lawn and who, really, we bought the lawn from…hrm)…get off my lawn!”
  • Chinese Tourists Find a Movable Feast Best Left Behind – a large European city filled with dog poop and rude people! Sacrebleu! (See you in Paris for the OpenStack Summit!)
  • Puppet Labs hands strings to admins with updated DevOps tools – PuppetConf just wrapped and there’s some new features.

Rumors of EMC merging with HP XOR Dell

As I mentioned in Twitter, I think this would be a bonkers idea. Cats and dogs. Those companies all dislike each other. They’re so big it’s difficult to know how they’d properly integrate together. It looks like the rumors have blown over.

However, having worked in M&A for a few years, you can’t dismiss things like this too much. You have to remember how long acquisition projects are too: they rarely just pop-up over the weekend and have been churning around for 6, 12, even more months. At this scale, it’s also important to look at divestitures or “carve outs,” companies selling just part of themselves.

The bigger question would be: why? What advantage would a merger between EMC + (HP XOR Dell) get you? You could fire a bunch of shared staff (HR, finance, etc.), consolidate some campuses. Maybe get some benefits from account sharing. On the account sharing front, Dell’s “mid-market focus” would be a better match, on-paper, with EMC’s “enterprise focus.” Technology wise, it’s not like these things would suddenly work well together. You’d have duplicate storage portfolios that’d you have to consolidate – good luck with that!

Also, Dell and EMC don’t really like each other. I have no idea about HP.

So, it’s hard to see what the value would be. Why would two of those entites together perform (make more revenue, more profit) better than if they were seperate? That’s what you need to ask. Acquisitions are risky and rarely work out well, so you’re taking on a risk. The payoffs have to be both simple and big. Anything else is probably gonna fizzle.

(You have no idea how hard it’s been to not type “synergy” as this is the one context – M&A where “synergy” an appropriate word and not some B.S.)

Like I said, though, you should never dismiss M&A rumors too easily if they’re reported by credible reporters. Crazy stuff happens and there’s all sorts of cloak and daggers that goes around.

I’ll take the big iPhone, not the giant one

After much equivocating on either side, I decided on the iPhone 6, with 128 gigs of course. I tried out both in the store and the Plus seemed just fine. It seems too fragile though and I know I’ll like the size of the iPhone 6. I’m moving from a iPhone 4s, so it’ll be big enough.

And, really, after two years, I can just get a big one if I want. It seems wise to pass on a first gen big phone. We’ll see what happens.

Lucky for me, my credit card company “detected” fraud, so I’ll probably have to re-submit the order all over. Huzzah! (How ironic, given the point of Apple Pay: I don’t think taking out cards is inconvenient, it’s the fraud crap that’s annoying.)

Fun & IRL

https://twitter.com/Rokshimmer/status/514106534956388352

  • Jousting on Bicycles – the reason I like “old” stuff like this is because it has that illusion of a time when we have relaxing figured out. If someone has enough time and mental capacity to come up with and execute such a nutty scheme, it seems like they’re living a relaxing life. Meanwhile, in contrast, it seems like contemporary life is a never-ending series of death-mark projects that are waiting to explode. Where’s my 5pm commuter train back to the suburbs?

  • I’ll be traveling a lot over the next few months and I’m sure I’ll miss some days here and there. Apologies ahead of time.

Next to the food court – speaking of ambiguous instructions

Please note that using a GPS system will not give you the correct location of the Global Entry Office. Unfamiliar with the Orlando International Airport follow these instructions. As you approach Orlando International Airport stay in the lane for “Terminal B", parking is available in the “B” parking garage. Once in the terminal take the elevator or escalator to the departure level (where the ticket counters are located) this would be the 3rd level, proceed to the Center Food Court “B” side. When you see a large sign that says Lost and Found; stop. The CBP Global Entry, Enrollment Center, is located directly across from Lost and Found. There will be a door with a placard next to it that says Terminal Operations. The door is unlocked, walk through and proceed directly to the first door on your right. If you should park in Terminal Top Parking take the elevator to the third level (on the “B” side) and exit to your right, you will be facing a large sign that says Lost and Found. Directly across from Lost and Found is our CBP Global Entry, Enrollment Office (EC). The front door is unlocked please proceed directly to the EC office which will be on your right . Regular Orlando International clients When you come to the airport go to the Lost and Found office, located near the food court on the B-side, 3rd level. The CBP Global Entry Enrollment Center is located directly across from Lost and Found. There will be a door with a placard next to it that says Terminal Operations. The door is unlocked, walk through and proceed directly to the first door on your right.

From the instructions for getting to the Global Entry interview office in Orlando. Ironically, it’s next to the lost and found. That said, that’s some rich detail and I suspect I’ll find it right away.

I also like the part where they say “just walk through that door, it’s unlocked.” It’s actually comforting, like the instructions a neighbor would give you for going into their back door to get some chairs you need to borrow for a birthday party.

If you would like to copy and paste text into this document, please paste as text-only or paste into Notepad first to clear styles.

In a template for some 451 documents. It’s 2014, and this is pretty much where all the white-collar workers are. That whole “plain text and markdown” rebellion you see among tech-separatists is a weird reaction, but almost an isolationist response to the weirdness of Word.

Anything that can be learned by a normal American adult on a trip to a foreign country (of less than one year’s duration) can be learned more quickly, cheaply, and easily by visiting the San Diego Public Library.

Simon’s Travel Theorem, As read in the preface to The Halo Effect. A bit more here too, including the vital “I’m not trying to be a dick” defense.

Coté Memo #042: “Is this helping at all?” and other Linkatary

Meta-data

Hello again, welcome to #042. Today we have 51 subscribers, so we’re +/-0. Keepin’ it smooth and level for the weekend! I’d love to hear what you like, dislike, your feedback, etc.: memo@cote.io. (If you’re reading this on the web, you should subscribe to get the daily email.)

See past newsletters in the archives, and, as always, see things as they come at Cote.io and @cote.

Sponsors

Follow-up

Tech & Work World

Quick Hits

  • Rackspace To Go It Alone, Focus On Managed Cloud – hey, at this point, Rackspace is fascinating to me. How will the sort it out? As TPM pointed out, the seem to have gotten their very own Magic Quadrant. I’m not actually one of those people who thinks Gartner operates like that, but it is awfully convenient – maybe because it’s a proper way to divide up the market. As we discussed in yesterday’s SDT, I have a big open question for cloud: is it the case that people want (a.) a converged cloud (a box they just plugin, not futzing with software and such), and, (b.) “managed cloud” as the “public cloud” version of that: Cisco MetaCloud, BlueBox, Rackspace, and every other “not gonna compete head-to-head with Amazon” vendor out there who feels the need to do public cloud (equation: IT – Amazon = what?). I don’t think “the market” is big enough to know yet, to have enough requirements to drive it. The vendors have to place bets and drive thought-leaderships. Good luck storming the castle!
  • Red Hat to Wall Street: I came here to chew FeedHenry and kick some ass. And I’m all out of FeedHenry – it seems like Red Hat has been doing well of late. I’m starting to think of “Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)” as the new LAMP/J2EE-cum-JSP stack. We’ve changed the UI layer (from web to mobile) and you just need new a completely new stack of middle-ware because leaky abstractions. Think about it: if 70-80%+ of user were on mobile instead of web/desktop, you would just call MBaaS “middleware,” and the other stuff (web/LAMP/etc.) “legacy.” Private equity is on the prowl for the green screen – it’d be nifty if they started buying up old web stack companies.
  • What the winners in the application economy are doing differently – CA is doing well re-calibrating their marketing around DevOps (with some dusting of security-cum-API management). Here, they did a study that’s reminiscent of the 2014 Puppet DevOps study to try to show a connection between DevOps and “high performing business.” Looks like good raw materials for the field and keynotes at conferences that have the word “Expo” or “Congress” in them. (That’s a compliment.)
  • The more people fly, the more they prefer the aisle seat – I’m at 20,000 feet right now, brother. I’m totally that guy on this. Aisle all the time, baby: I gots to pee!
  • Life after Larry may be coming, but it’s not here yet for Oracle – it seems our 10 second analysis yesterday was a bit off. The 24 analysis hours cycle on Larry Ellison “stepping down” has been that not much is changing. OK; we’ll see.
  • Ping Identity Secures $35M Funding for Product Innovation, Global Expansion – “Series G.” The funding and corporate strategy history of Ping would be fascinating to explore. They’ve been around a long, long time (since 2002!) and seemingly keep just missing the brass rings of time. They’ve got to have rebuffed numerous acquisition offers, spent late nights trying to IPO, and done all sorts of other corporate financing gymnastics. Good luck to them this cycle! (If they get to Series O, can we call it “Series OG”?)

Fun & IRL

“Just call me ‘Captain.’ Mr. Dragon’s my father.”

Coté Memo #041: Check all the things with BatCISO, SAP now owns TripIt

Title: Coté Memo #041: Check all the things with BatCISO, SAP now owns TripIt

Meta-data

Hello again, welcome to #041. Today we have 51 subscribers, so we’re +2. Jim-dandy! I’d love to hear what you like, dislike, your feedback, etc.: memo@cote.io. (If you’re reading this on the web, you should subscribe to get the daily email.)

See past newsletters in the archives, and, as always, see things as they come at Cote.io and @cote.

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Follow-up

Tech & Work World

Quick Hits

Just in...

What’s a full stack developer?

Earlier this on the Under Development podcast week Bill and I discussed full stack developers in the context of working in a large company. There was also a fun discussion of the odd idea that “a good manager makes themselves unneeded” and what that phrase actually means.

We solve all of OpenStack’s problems

(Podcast here if you don’t like video – who does?!)

I think our Software Defined Talk podcasts keeps getting better. In this week’s recording (video only up at the moment), you can see Brandon move aggressively into the “let me tell you what I really think” zone, which is awesome.

The audio quality of Google oHangouts has been crapping out, so we’ll be figuring out other options.

Don’t forget to just subscribe to the podcast feed to get episodes downloaded automatically.

Fun & IRL

El-P and Killer Mike

I noticed there’s a new Run the Jewels album coming out, which made me go back and check if they’d added the first album in Spotify. They have!

I love that El-P sound.