We Fear Change (because we don't get any rewarded for all the risk)

Suggested playlist for this episode.

We Fear Change, a new talk

I’ve got a mostly newish talk coming up next week about people’s fear of change in organizations, on Oct 24 2023 at 11:00am Amsterdam time.

Register to Watch the Talk

It’s narrowed down, of course, for software and ops stuff. You know: all that digital transformation, cloud native stuff I’m always on and on about. It’s the last in the series I’m going with my co-workers Bryan Ross. He’s great to do these with because he’s been an actual practitioner so he bring, like, real content to the talks.

Check it out, it’ll be free to watch, of course. And if you can’t make the time, register for it anyhow and you’ll get an email when the recording is up.


  • “My favorite thing someone says to one of my friends is, ‘Why isn’t she famous?’ I love when they say that because that means they think maybe I’m good enough to be famous. To me, famous looks like a lot of work.” Toni Price

  • “too cool for the music business and too sensitive to chew their own steak.” Here.

  • “Feelings are real and life’s hard. You learn to suck it up. Expressing feelings is important. So is MANAGING them. If adulthood is ONE THING it’s that.” Ibid.

  • Cont.: I do not know how to operate the “expressing feelings” part. It is a weird, scary notion for me. I don’t understand the psychological, uh, “mechanics” of that: how “being heard” results some discharge of the toxic mind-goblins that dance around your head. And yet, everyone does it (boy, do they!), and it seems to work fine. To me, this “being heard” is complaining and, I think, my aversion to it is that I instantly react by thinking I’ve now been assigned a task that must get done - more shit for me to worry about and do, that is not even my “shit.” But I think that is wrong: you have to separate our complaining…wait, I mean…“being heard” from someone asking you for help. The problem I have there is that I’m not calibrated to know the difference. And people get really upset if you ask them “what, if anything, do you want me to do about it, or are you just complaining, I’m sorry, looking to be heard?” So, following the golden rule, I don’t “express feeling,” as I don’t want to subject people to this. But I think most people don’t suffer from the mis-calibration or ability to figure it out. Yeah?

  • Viz. I don’t like to believe this, but complaining is often just releasing pressure, nothing to be taken too seriously.

  • Don’t think of it as increasing developer producing, think of it as getting to a good baseline by removing waste.

  • “in the canvas of life, incompetence is my brush.” Here.

  • Hacking you bureaucracy.

  • Johnny Webinar.

  • “Pigeonhole.”

  • Sameboatitious.

  • “Let me, let you, let me go.”

  • Shift left without shifting burdens left.

  • Necessity is the parent of unflappablity.

  • “I like Swiss cheese, unless I’m with four or more people.” Deep cut.

  • “I used to be a programmer, but now I’m a professional. ‘Hello, World’ application developer.”

  • “The commercial internet was still in its infancy. We could judge it based only on its potential, rather than its results.” // This is the thinking I’ve been missing from my obsession with the diffusion of innovation curve. Early in the cycle, we judge the technology by the optimistic potential it has, not by the yet to be known actual value of it. Coupled with the hype cycle, you get the notion that the initial hopes and dreams (potential) is way overhyped, and resets itself to the trough of disillusionment.

  • More like the “trough of reality,” amiright?

  • New web show idea: The Webinars Family.

My Content

This slide was always very popular.
  • Software Defined Talk Podcast, Episode 437: The Let it Ride Lifestyle - This week, we discuss Amazon embracing Microsoft Office 365, offer some SBF hot takes, and review the lessons Docker learned when building an open-source business. Plus, we share thoughts on the new Apple Pencil, USB-C, and some Tim Cook fan fiction.

  • Tanzu Talk Podcast, Keep it small to make big changes, with Betty Junod - You always hear that making a series of small changes is better than BIG BANG change. How does this really play out though? Doesn't that seem a little...naive when it comes to large organizations doing the BIG and MISSION CRITICAL work? In this episode, Coté [that’s me!] talks with Betty Junod on this topic. She draws from many sources like her first hand experience as an executive and working with the DevOps and cloud native community. They also discuss making culture changes in organizations and how recent work to figure out how to determine "business value." You can also watch the video version if you prefer that king of thing.

Relative to your interests

  • Three More Things - Good suggestion here to think of video as a form of writing. Indeed, all those commentaries on “TV” are written after all, they’re just reading them on, uh, “tape.” And: “I don’t know what it means (yet?) to think by means of video editing.” And this, which explains the more important thing to ponder about AI stuff: “Generative models suggest writing doesn’t involve thinking at all, and to me that feels like existential invalidation.”

  • Running and depression: Headlines suggest exercise is just as effective as meds. It’s not. - “the evidence also seems to show that as a practical intervention, exercise has limited applicability to real people in the real world. And there’s currently no good reason to believe that it will be as effective as medication.” // Generalizing, there are a category of cures for problems that I file under “if I could do that already, I wouldn’t have a problem.” In this case, if you could manage to start and stick to exercising three times a week, your life and mental state would probably already be better. The same goes for “digital transformation” guidance: if you could just start following all the agile and DevOps practices, then you’d already be in in good shape. “If lived, you’d home already.” Or “if it’s in stock, we’ve got it.” And: “the secret to wealth is to become a millionaire in your twenties.”

  • What Should We Measure? - “Slack Time. Speed of Processes. Condition of Most-Edited Files. Escaped Defects. Net Promoters.”

  • Acquisitions - “Why can’t people just be content with their yearly revenue? Why does everything have to be bigger—and clearly, not better? If the revenue curve doesn’t go up each year, blind panic seems to help us gravitate towards that poisonous philosophy: why not try an acquisition or two to give sales a healthy boost?”

  • There’s always money in the infrastructure stand: “IDC recently published our first GenAI forecast … half of the opportunity over the next 18-24 months will be in infrastructure… IDC Forecasts Spending on GenAI Solutions Will Reach $143 Billion in 2027 with a Five-Year Compound Annual Growth Rate of 73.3%,” from Matt Eastwood.

  • VMware Explore North America 2023: Customer Spotlights - “Despite having over 75 developers, OneMagnify efficiently manages their current Tanzu Application Service environment with less than one full-time operator, thanks to comprehensive automation built into VMware Tanzu.”

  • “One of the biggest dangers with being someone who considers themselves ‘results driven’…” - “What Buckingham and Goodall discovered was evidence of the old adage, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses”. Team culture, not company culture, they argue, has the largest and lasting impact on how we do our work.” And: “One of the biggest dangers with being someone who considers themselves ‘results driven’ leader is that you can suck the intrinsic motivation out of people’s work, thus robbing them of purpose. This typically happens when leaders become obsessive about hitting targets that have been set, even when they make no sense or have become abstracted from their purpose or intended outcomes.” And this intriguing one: “The problem is that the organisation’s leadership have ambitions greater than the resources they are willing to expend on those ambitions. As the management consultant cliché goes, they have champagne tastes and mineral water budgets.”

  • Nvidia staff are still working from home - More of a round up of wfh tech company policies.

  • What non-standard items do you always travel with? - Travel gear, mostly for the work trip, but some good ones to have on hand for car trips with kids.

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Review: Depth and Reach - Check out those photo from an airplane window.

  • Would generative AI have made me a better software architect? Probably. - Yup.

  • Scanned in Whole Earth and related magazines - Nice!


Talks I’ll be giving, places I’ll be, things I’ll be doing, etc.

Oct 10th, 17th, 24th talk series: Building a Path to Production: A Guide for Managers and Leaders in Platform Engineering Nov 6th to 9th VMware Explore in Barcelona, speaking (twice!). Nov 15th DeveloperWeek Enterprise, speaking.

Discount code for KubeCon US - while I won’t be at KubeCon US this year, my work has a discount code you can use to get 20% off your tickets. The code is: KCNA23VMWEO20.


I’m off to a week’s vacation in the south of Spain. We’ll see how the newsletter’ing goes.

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