Posts in: longform

Office workers get little reward for returning to the office - an idle factory is taboo

The Office Monsters Are Trying to Claw Their Way Back to 2019 I think the deal here is that “management” has streamlined their work to be efficient and do as much as possible. And they can’t stand idle workers. The office revolves around management: people do prep for meetings where management will make a decision, direct next steps…do the management things. Management doesn’t see how much waste, spinning goes on in that prep.

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Latest Getting Better at Software Prattle

I frequently give a talk on “what’s the deal with VMware and software development?” Here’s my script/storyboard for one I’m going to give next week. Sometimes I’m told “don’t make this a vendor talk,” which, as you may recall, dear reader, actually means “don’t be boring.” In this one, I was asked to talk directly to what VMware does for software developers, so you’ll see that. If you like it, you should come check out the discussion next week, be won’t be just me and I’m looking to forward to learning from my co-talker.

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We don’t talk about PaaS…but we still want it

You can start to sound too much like an out of touch old person if you start saying things like “oh, we already did that back in my day.” Once people flip your bozo bit, then most anything you say get dismissed. “PaaS” is in this category now: you can’t go around saying that the focus on and conversation about “developer experience” is, like, PaaS. If you’re working on building an integrated stack of frameworks, middleware, tools, and even developer tooling on-top of cloud/kubernetes, you can’t call this PaaS.

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How to do fun and interesting executive dinners, round tables, etc. - online and in-person

Here’s what I’ve learned in doing 30 (maybe more like 40?) executive events in person and online over the past four or so years. Over my career, I’ve done these on and off, but it’s become a core part of my job since moving to EMEA to support Pivotal and now VMware Tanzu with executives. At these events, I learn a lot about “digital transformation,” you know, how people at large organizations are changing how they build software.

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Warm Smiles - a Fictional Case Study in Digital Transformation

I’m back to working on the ongoing book(let) project, The Legacy Trap. Marc has been adding in the real meat of the project, how the methodologies VMware Tanzu Labs uses for planning and doing application modernization, like Swift. Here’s a corny example story I wrote for the introduction, linking together business needs with worrying about legacy software. Let’s look at a theoretical example of that business problem in insurance. Let’s say The Mid-Eastern Warm Smiles Insurance Company wants to grow revenue.

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Axe the intro paragraph analogy if you don't refer back to it

Often, when you’re writing about tech stuff, you’ll make a reference to some mainstream culture thing. Well, or, like, science fiction, you know, I, Robot and stuff. You might also make an analogy to cars, road systems, whatever.  Here’s one making an analogy between traffic laws and enterprise governance: Dotting the landscapeof the world’s highways and freewaysare signs declaring the speed limit. While these limits vary based on geography, population density, and from country to country, they are a shared concept in that speed controls correlate with safety.

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Inspiration for developing a style and aesthetics

“We hired you for what you know, not what you don’t know.” This was the best career advice I got early on, that I can remember at least. It worked. I did excellent work at RedMonk and thrived. In addition to a lot of consulting, the job was a lot of self-driven writing, doing all the work myself end-to-end, which I loved. I’d finally become a professional writer, if not exactly in the Great American Novel style I imaged of in my teens.

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How to Give a DevOpsDays Vendor Pitch

When you sponsor DevOpsDays, you get a 1 to 2 minute pitch. I used to give a lot of these, they’re fun if you make them fun! Here’s the advice I gave a co-worker who’s doing one soon: To say that you “should not do a pitch” is not helpful. Of course you should give a vendor pitch, you paid for this! You just need to pitch it like a person, not “stay on script.

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What is DevSecOps?

In this longer blog post, I go over how I’ve finally come to think about what DevSecOps is.A summary of what the post covers: 1. A secure software supply chain – This is a fancy way of saying “we know all the components that went into building and deploying this software and trust those components.” It also includes the actual CI/CD pipeline that you trust and that’s resistant to third parties including malicious code, as we’ve seen happen in recent years.

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Napkins, Ice, Toilets, and Passports

Allow me to indulge in some trans-Atlantic compare/contrast’ing. I was back in Texas and Chicago for a few weeks recently, so of course noticed some difference between Europe and America. It’s the tiny differences that stack up. Talking about them can be an annoying tic of expat people. But, whatever. It’s been over two years since I’ve been back, and here’s things that stand out: All the small talk - now that I understand most of the talking I overhear (unlike in the Netherlands), I’m hearing all the small talk people have.

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