Less leadership, more technocracy

Getting good at leadership is always good, but make sure to mind the technocracy as well – someone’s actually gotta do the work! Also: plan for needing gadgets for your gadgets.


  1. Less leadership, more technocracy.
    • Go beyond high-level “why,” seeking out the “why of how.”:
      • >“I think some of my best conversations came through finding ways to respectfully ask those whys and trying to learn more about the process and why we were doing certain things, and really just diving into some of those uncomfortable situations,” said Liberty Mutual’s LeBlanc about her Pivotal Labs engagement. “But respectfully pushing back and sharing my perspectives, as well, ended up helping us learn so much more because we weren’t just taking it all in. We were really trying to understand the whole process.”
    • E.g., Seek out “patterns.”
    • Tanzu whitepapers, e.g., on ROBO, chargebacks, and TEI for business case modeling.
    • Haven’t read this one yet: Radically Collaborative Patterns for Software Makers.
    • And, of course: my two books on transformation!
  2. Now you have two problems
    • I don’t dislike my dog, I dislike the work and responsiblty that comes with her. I often confuse this.
    • Pets for your pets, work for your hobbies.
    • When the process becomes the product.
    • Be aware of this distinction in your thinking.



00:00 – The agenda.
02:14 – Less leadership, more technocracy.
20:38 – kube.academy.
21:54 – tanzu.vmware.com/developer
23:01 – Pets for your pets.
28:34 – Geting started with your transformation strategy.
30:35 – Bye, bye!


Three things for more Tanzu


Cloud Foundry on kubernetes

“In April, I took over the job. I said: ‘Listen, our community has a new North Star. It’s to go take the Cloud Foundry developer experience and get that thing re-platformed onto Kubernetes. No more delay, no more diversity of thought here. It’s time to make the move,’ ” Childers said (with a chuckle). “And here we are. It’s October, we have our ecosystem aligned, we have major project releases that are fulfilling that vision. And we’ve got a community that’s very energized around it continuing the work of progressing this integration with a bunch of cloud-native projects.”

Original source: TechCrunch

The drunk under a lamppost app modernization anti-pattern – Tanzu Talk Daily 20201021

If you’re starting your app modernization plans with the biggest, most critical app you can find, you’re probably stumbling through the drunk under the lamppost app modernization anti-pattern. Chances are, you’ll also encounter a lot of resistance and excuses to avoid changing. Also, I discuss saying “no” more as a way to think about prioritization. Bonus topic: deep-fried bread in The Netherlands.


00:00 – Agenda.
01:49 – The drunk under the lamppost anti-pattern.
15:09 – Start planning your app modernization journey.
18:07 – Saying “no.”
25:12 – “Too many salads.”
30:23 – Learn kubernetes, free!
32:07 – Gartner on IT strategy “turns.”
35:51 – Free developer education & bye, bye!


“With in-house development and acquisitions, FedEx would bolt on technologies resulting in an ‘accidental architecture,'”” Carter said. Through its renewal program, FedEx began to “build out the core services and microservices that represent the less complex, more flexible, faster-to-market capabilities that we have today.” From “How FedEx’s CIO led a decade of modernization.”

  1. Don’t get obsessed with the lamppost of pain: focusing on the difficult, critical things and concluding you can’t transform. Use a type of Disruption: work on lesser, cheaper things to creep up to the critical. Mobile apps, store finder, etc.
  2. Saying “no” as prioritization. All these execs saying no to things to focus on other customer and prospect engagement.
  3. Follow-up on strategy: check out Gartner’s “Winning in the Turns: A CIO Action Guide,” July, 2019. Good list of types of “turns” and advice on how to change the way you do strategy. In particular, as TD Ameritrade went over at s1p 2020, change “ROI” to “payoff.”



Three things for more Tanzu


Pay decisions, manager tools

This means that, in theory at least, managers should benefit from the automation of mundane tasks and the support provided by ‘technology augmentation’ even if it means significant changes to their job spec — as long as such ideas are thought-through; presented in a non-threatening way they can buy into, and finally that they are provided with appropriate levels of training to help them make the most of it.

I hadn’t had enough coffee to sort out all the survey numbers and assertions in this write-up. However:

  • As I’m fond of pointing out, most “management” and office work stuff (where the work is oriented around The Meeting where project status will be reviewed or business decisions made) has very little tools (beyond Office) or process.
  • People spend a lot of time on low-value decisions: “Another issue is that they spend inordinate amounts of time working out what amount to small pay variations.” This is a kind of, I don’t know, “local optimism.” You think that spending a lot of time on this decision will create a lot of value, but it’s actually just over a few points of improvement that don’t payoff on the time spent.

Original source: How tech will change the role of the line manager, according to Gartner

Shift right to improve corporate strategy – Tanzu Talk Daily 20201020

Corporate strategy could be improved by shifting right, moving closer to the week-to-week software cycle to get more familiar with customers and changes in the market. See more on corporate strategy in The Business Bottleneck.

Plus, I discuss bottleneck removal and thinking about policy and governance as human system, not static “laws.”



0:00 – The agenda.

02:51 – kube.academy.

4:00 – Remove bottlenecks to get better at software, always.

22:06 – Amsterdam art nouveau.

24:06 – Shift right to improve corporate strategy.

35:45 – Discovery workshops.

38:07 – Policy is made by humans.

43:33 – Bye, bye!


Three things for more Tanzu


Doing something works better than doing nothing – Tanzu Talk Daily 20201019


Doing something works better than doing nothing

When you put a new process, like agile, in place, you often realize there was very little process in the first place. Also, kubernetes at the edge, T-Mobile, and as architecture.



Programming notes


00:00 – Staycation.
01:32 – Doing something works better than doing nothing
04:36 – BMC case study
09:03 – ending zombie process
11:21 – lack of management tools
13:59 – example of a management tool
15:09 – three small things on kubernetes
28:31 – Your CTA!


Three things for more Tanzu


On-premises kubernetes, or edge, or ROBO

You will be deploying sets of microservice applications on fleets of edge locations, and so will need to think about and invest in deployment strategies for a variety of applications.

Questions you will need to answer include: How do we do canary deployments? When do the updates actually propagate to locations? Where does the container registry that holds all the applications sit? It’s even more important that the non-production development environment is as close to identical to the hundreds or thousands of edge sites to avoid bugs in production. It’s also imperative that application and operations teams work together to automate the blueprint using GitOps or a similar approach for the entire stack—to the point that a disaster recovery strategy can be backed by bootstrapping edge environments and applications from scratch in the event a site gets corrupted or damaged.

Original source: VMware Tanzu at the Edge: Solution Architecture for ROBO Topology

Everything is production, T-Mobile and kubernetes

The other thing that we do for our internal customers is we don’t evaluate things in terms of production and non-production. Everything’s production to us. All of our customers are important, whether it’s just internal developers who are trying to meet deadlines for their project, or whether it’s external customers who are interacting with the website to buy or upgrade a phone.

Original source: How Communication Helps T-Mobile Keep Its Applications Up

Case: IRS using lean design

This is a case I’ve used a lot over the years to demonstrate the value of doing user testing, and having a small batch, lean designer mindset in place.

One of the big elements of lean methodology is to determine what in your plan might be an assumption rather than a fact and then come up with a way to test those theories before fully building out a product.


While the product is still new and continues to be considered a soft launch, taxpayers have initiated over 400,000 sessions and made over $100M in payments after viewing their balance.

Original source: “Your IRS wait time is 3 hours.” Is lean possible in government?

When “multi-cloud” means “standard interface”

Kubernetes Provides a Common Interface – Another big benefit we didn’t totally expect when first using Kubernetes is the simplicity a common interface offers. Right now, CockroachCloud runs on GCP and AWS, and we have plans to expand. Kubernetes offers a consistent way of running production across clouds. And that’s powerful.

There’s a distinction here between something like “portable executable” and “common interface, API, and architecture.” I get tired of my own analogy here, but kubernetes has the potential to be like J(2)EE as leveler for One Architecture.

For example:

Reading between the lines, it seems that the advantage of using Kubernetes in flight is that it allows multiple software packages to be run on the aircraft’s mission systems (the ones used for working the onboard cameras, basically) without being dependent upon a single hardware environment – or requiring long and costly recertification of multiple software packages running on that single hardware environment.

I’m not sure it’s positioned that way, nor used that way enough to know if it’s true or good, yet.

Original source: How to Run a Software as a Service on Kubernetes

Notes Gnolling

  • Vacation is a good time to go through your note-taking apps.
  • Be careful that you don’t just cycle through things
  • …and end up back with Evernote.
  • Keeping creation dates is hard.

Domestic terrorism in the USA

In hearings last month before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau conducts about 1,000 domestic terrorism investigations a year—“well north of 1,000” this year. Most of these cases, he said, involve white supremacist groups—contradicting Trump, who has claimed that leftists like antifa commit the most crimes. But Wray also said that the most “lethal” attacks come from “anti-government, anti-authority, anarchist” extremists. “We don’t think in terms of left or right,” he said. “That’s not how we view the world.”

Original source: The Michigan Kidnapping Plot Wasn’t About Trump. It Goes Deeper Than That.

The right mindset for starting application modernization – Tanzu Talk 20201009

Marc Zottner talks with Coté about large scale application modernization. Also, they discuss the value of starting small and constraining yourself to short time lines. Also: what does the American-speaking French accent sound like?


De-risking software – Tanzu Talk Daily 20201008

IT, let alone software development has a poor track record for success in large organizations. And yet: we’ll told software is not critical for enterprise survival. We’ve got to figure out how to de-risk software, then. That’s the topic today.

Topics, mentions, etc.


Three things for more Tanzu


Microsoft’s Azure Arc, overview of the multi-cloud solution suite

“There will be some IT resources, whether they are physical hardware, VMs, Kubernetes clusters or databases, that will stay in your data center or at the edge for some time or maybe forever, if it is a data regulated thing. With Azure Arc, we give you the ability to manage both centrally under one control plane from the Azure portal. Below the control plane, you can use Arc to deliver services to your edge or your data center in a hybrid way.”

Complete with laundry list of products bundled into Arc.

Original source: Azure Arc Is a Control Plane to Orchestrate Hybrid Cloud Systems

VMware Tanzu’s competitive differentiation: integrating kubernetes into/with enterprise infrastructure

one of the biggest difficulties “enterprises face is not in simply delivering Kubernetes as an abstraction on compute, but dealing with the mechanics of integrating storage and networking capabilities,” McLuckie said.

“As we have worked with customers, this consistently emerges as one of the biggest challenges to building a functional Kubernetes based abstraction.”

“The challenges of dealing with network configuration, ingress routing and load balancing, etc. will be tackled at the infrastructure level with a fully integrated solution. Our goal is to deliver turnkey Kubernetes in a variety of configurations based on the needs of the business with minimal effort and infrastructure retooling.”

“VMware vSphere with Tanzu helps customers rapidly adopt Kubernetes by allowing them to configure enterprise-grade Kubernetes infrastructure with their existing technology, tools and skillsets.”

For example, VI admins can now turn on kubernetes in vSphere, as opposed to setting up, integrating, and managing a whole new infrastructure stack.

Original source: VMworld 2020: Can a Single Vendor Pull DevOps into One API?