Women in tech

The study does offer some strategies to beat the trends and create more-inclusive cultures. This includes setting external goals; encouraging all parents to take parental leave; and providing mentors, sponsors and employee-resource networks.

And:

Accenture and Girls Who Code also found that a disparity exists between how senior HR leaders at companies and women themselves perceive the situation. Forty-five percent of these HR respondents said it's “easy for women to thrive in tech.” For women, that percentage is 21, and it drops even lower, to 8 percent, for women of color. Fewer than half of HR leaders (38%) think that building a more inclusive culture is an effective way to retain and advance women.

Original source: Half of young women will leave their tech job by age 35, study finds

Project vs product, banking edition

Banks are on a digital transformation journey that will require them to get out of “project” mode, largely driven by IT, and transition to business-driven products that deliver customer needs through a planned and published roadmap—and then proceed on their journey to a platform orientation. In general, projects have an end date, while products have a lifecycle that continues to deliver capabilities well beyond the initial delivery. Projects typically perform only maintenance changes and don’t evolve the product’s capabilities. The product ethic is “standard issue” in software technology companies, many of which are already either operating as platforms (e.g., Google, AirBnB, Uber, etc.) or on the path to becoming one. The platform is a way to modularize products and combine them in different ways to meet customer requirements and business goals. Banks need to undertake this journey if they want to scale and benefit from powering an ecosystem that will help them generate incremental revenue with a very low capital outlay. Bottom line: To win, both banks and tech companies need a platform that powers both their products and their ecosystem.

Original source: Standing At The Crossroads: Observations on Banking and Technology

Het Gehucht – A. Defresne (1958) – BoekMeter.nl

I found a stack of old books on top of a trash bin here in Amsterdam. I got this one, and the description (translated by Google) looks awesome:

Book Week Gift 1958. A story about a hamlet that goes up in flames. There is a fun-fair and the Buoy King is challenged by a bunch of stupid farmers. A drunken student who got lost stands up for him, but his action fails. The Buoy King is running wild; the student disappears with his daughter. The pastor assumes it was the hand of God. The hamlet will never be rebuilt.

Sadly, it rained overnight, so the books are moist. Still, I’ll have to get fetch them to take pictures of good stuff.

One rando reviewer was not into it:

What a boring, meaningless book with a disturbing omniscient narrator. He looks down on the people in Het hamlet . The story drags on after the initial set of dressing. I did read the book, so that’s why the book gets two stars from me, but no, this is one of the worst book week gifts I’ve read.

See the entry in GoodReads, and a nice scan of a dry cover here.

Source: Het Gehucht – A. Defresne (1958) – BoekMeter.nl

Blame the rule for saying “no”

Steve Kamb, the founder of NerdFitness.com, told me that the best and most polite excuse is just to say you have a rule. “I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.” “I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.” “I have a rule that I don’t speak for free anymore.” “I have a rule that I am home for bath time with the kids every night.” People respect rules, and they accept that it’s not you rejecting the offer, request, demand, or opportunity, but the rule allows you no choice.

Original source: My Octopus Teacher/Pocket synth/Dreamy wallpapers

Time with kids

It isn’t that I like my job more than my kids overall—if I had to pick, the kids would win every time. But the “marginal value” of time with my kids declines fast. In part, this is because kids are exhausting. The first hour with them is amazing, the second less good, and by hour four I’m ready for a glass of wine or, even better, some time with my research.

Original source: Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool

Oracle’s strategic missteps

Success in old it was a big reason why Oracle was late to the new sort: cloud computing. Mr Ellison long dismissed it as a faddish label for existing technology. By the time he realised it was an epochal shift in it, Oracle had fallen behind. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (oci), as it calls its offering, is said to have sales of less than $2bn annually, compared with more than $40bn for Amazon Web Services (aws). The e-commerce titan’s market-leading cloud unit is valued at several times Oracle’s market capitalisation of $178bn. Cloud-based rivals of the sort that Mr Ellison once dismissed, such as Adobe and Salesforce, are worth around a quarter more than his firm.

Even in databases, Oracle’s core business, the world has moved on. For many new applications, such as customer-facing websites, its tools are too expensive and inflexible. Recent years have seen the rise of more specialised digital repositories, many of them in the cloud and based on malleable “open source” software. According to Gartner, a research firm, Oracle’s share of the database market fell from nearly 44% in 2013 to 28% last year. And it has yet to shake off a reputation for antagonising clients with things like audits to verify their use of software by workers—and hefty charges for firms that exceed licence limits. Brent Thill of Jefferies, a bank, echoes other Oracle bears when he says that the company has been stuck for years even as “we are living in the data age, the biggest tech-boom ever.”

I'm not sure you can avoid open source destroying a closed source market. Oracle does have MySQL, but can revenue from a “free” piece of software replace Oracle DB losses?

Original source: Can TikTok help Oracle stay relevant in the cloud-computing age?

Getting customer feedback makes better businesses

“The use of near- and real-time analytics to collect CX data is a rising trend among growth companies, with 43% of product managers at growth companies using analytics to collect and analyze customer perception and sentiment data. This is compared with just 22% of product managers at nongrowth companies.”

Original source: Gartner Says Growth Companies Are More Actively Collecting Customer Experience Data Than Nongrowth Companies

Depression is a reality distortion field

While I’m manic I assume that people want to hear what I have to say. I assume that people are interested in what’s happening to me, and that what I can share might help them in their own lives. When I’m depressed, it’s the opposite. I assume that nobody wants to hear from me, that nobody could possibly care enough about what I have to say for it to matter. I get down about my readership and listenership numbers — I don’t think there’s any number high enough to make me feel validated in those times. There’s no amount of affirmation that can make me feel like I’m OK.

One of the key understandings is that rational proofs, responses, "argument" that "everything will be fine, is fine," don’t stick, simply aren’t believable. Imagine if someone told you that the world was flat, that time portals were always opening just around the block but you were refusing to see them. That feeling of dismissing the stupid impossibility of those claims is what it feels like, there’s no appeal to reason.

Original source: Bipolar: feelings vs. reality

Crisis drives transformation

The rise of digital-business models predates the pandemic, reflected in how quickly organizations were able to pivot to telemedicine, online learning and remote work, according to Kristin Moyer, research vice president and distinguished analyst at technology-research firm Gartner Inc.

But in its wake, nearly 70% of corporate boards cite the impact of Covid-19 for a ramp up in spending on IT and digital capabilities, according to a Gartner analysis this month.

Gartner forecasts global IT spending to reach just under $3.7 trillion next year, up 4.3% from 2020. Within total spending, investment in cloud-based IT infrastructure is expected to surge 27.6%, to $64.3 billion in 2021, Gartner says.

The goal for companies, Ms. Moyer adds, is to enhance customer engagement and generate revenue by driving “a higher proportion of business through digital channels.”

Unfortunately, for most it’s only a crisis that drives change. Hopefully once people in the organization demonstrate to themselves that the new way of working is possible and works, they’re more into sustaining the new way of working.

Original source: Enterprise Tech Efforts Move Beyond Survival Mode

All those Q4 deals

McKay relayed an anecdote about an executive who waited until midnight on vendor’s year-end sales cycles to secure discounts. While this approach to pressuring vendors worked in many cases, it also gave the company a "nasty" reputation. If a salesperson brands a company as "difficult to work with … it can backfire on you," said McKay. Midnight deadlines should only be used in emergency scenarios.

Nice way for everyone to spend New Year’s Eve…

Original source: How to negotiate software costs as IT budgets are slashed

Modernization vs. replatforming

Charts!
Modernizers reported better outcomes across the board compared to migrators, according to IDC’s paper.
Modernizers reported better outcomes across the board compared to migrators, according to IDC’s paper.

The most popular digital transformation initiatives for IBM i shops, according to IDC’s survey.
The most popular digital transformation initiatives for IBM i shops, according to IDC’s survey.

IDC questioned all four cohorts (IBM i shops that modernized, IBM i shops that migrated, System z shops that modernized, and System z shops that migrated) about their satisfaction across a range of metrics before and after their move, including: customer experience; overall performance; security, availability, and disaster recovery capabilities; agility, microservices, and DevOps; ease of finding talent; ability to incorporate AI and IoT; and API, mobile, and Web enablement.

Across all seven metrics, the IBM i and System z shops that modernized their “legacy” systems scored higher than their IBM i and System z colleagues who chose to migrate off their systems. What’s more, organizations that modernized instead of migrated reported paying less on hardware, software, and staffing, and reported higher revenues to boot.

Making software better rather than just lifting and shifting it usually works out better.

Source: Modernization Trumps Migration for IBM i and Mainframe, IDC Says e

Anti-intellectual times

AF: How much is toxicity on this issue a function of culture wars playing out online?

JB: I think we are living in anti-intellectual times, and that this is evident across the political spectrum. The quickness of social media allows for forms of vitriol that do not exactly support thoughtful debate. We need to cherish the longer forms.

Original source: Judith Butler on the culture wars, JK Rowling and living in “anti-intellectual times”

You have to teach people to collaborate

When I analyzed sustained collaborations in a wide range of industries, I found that they were marked by common mental attitudes: widespread respect for colleagues’ contributions, openness to experimenting with others’ ideas, and sensitivity to how one’s actions may affect both colleagues’ work and the mission’s outcome. Yet these attitudes are rare. Instead, most people display the opposite mentality, distrusting others and obsessing about their own status. The task for leaders is to encourage an outward focus in everyone, challenging the tendency we all have to fixate on ourselves—what we’d like to say and achieve—instead of what we can learn from others.

Traditional corporate culture is not good fit collaboration.

Original source: Cracking the Code of Sustained Collaboration

Overview of VMware’s kubernetes distros/packagings, and integration with vSphere

“The customers will be able to get completely integrated Kubernetes, the same value proposition. IT administrators can deploy this drop-in Kubernetes infrastructure right into their environment. Most enterprises have vSphere today. You can drop it right in and you can administer Kubernetes from the same platform, the tools and even the same skill sets that they already have. But the developer or the application owner can consume the infrastructure the way they’re used to doing it, the way they want to do it, through the Kubernetes interface, [which] is an API. With vSphere with Tanzu, customers can bring their own networking, they can bring their own storage. That’s a key difference from VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu. vSphere with Tanzu will really, really open up the floodgates for application modernization initiatives and the simple reason for that is it’s by far the leading hypervisor.”

Also, screenshots of lots of the marketectures and such.

Original source: VMware Bets On Enterprises Wanting Kubernetes And Virtualization Mashup

iPad growth over its ten years, analyzing the difference between the iPad and iPhone

As a result, iPads stay in use longer, get passed on to new users and serve for many years. Their average life span is likely well over 4 years and 9 year old iPads are not uncommon. It’s therefore very likely that the vast majority of all iPads sold are still in use.

So the true measure of success is not units sold but number of active (and satisfied) users. The iPad user base is probably around 400 million (about 27% of total active Apple devices.) The degree of activity is also telling and is reflected in the million apps built specifically for the platform.

And, taking over the traditional PC space is a big task:

It has not done that so far, much to the delight of naysayers. But this is not as big a failure as it might seem.

First note that the Mac user base itself is not nearly as big (110 million +/-10%). iPad could be 4x bigger in user base. The Windows base is larger at 1.2 to 1.4 billion but that resists frontal assault as it is deeply entrenched around enterprise workflows. It’s also bereft of profit.

Original source: [The iPad at 10](http://www.asymco.com/2020/09/16/the-ipad-at-10/)