Monolithic Transformation, the webinar

I’ve got a newly recorded webinar, covering my Monolithic Transformation book:

The cliché we all recite is that technology isn’t the problem, culture is. Put another way: if the hardware and software are fine and fresh, it must be the meatware that smells. Come hear several de-funking recipes from the world’s largest companies whose meat now smells proper.

I answered a few attendee questions in the webinar, and answered the rest in a Twitter thread afterwards.

Check out the webinar!

What I’m looking forward to at SpringOne Platform

The biggest cloud native conference is coming up at the first week of August, SpringOne Platform. To plan out my time I took at look at the sessions. Here’s what I’m looking forward to and what I think you, dear readers, will find interesting as well. Doing a list like this, of course, ends up excluding some awesome sessions, so be sure to check out the talk list yourself as well.

Also, if you’re interested and haven’t registered yet, be sure to use the code pivotal-cote-300 to get $300 off.

Dealing with legacy

Almost every conversation I have with large organizations involves a discussion about dealing with legacy software. While you may not be running JFK era IT, you probably have to deal with legacy. Here’s some sessions on that topic:

Cloud Native Coding

Moving to The New, New Thing requires different ways of architecting and coding your software. Here’s some sessions that go over those new ways:

Case Studies

While cooked up demos of Pet Stores and Breweries are education, I’m most interested in hearing tales of what’s actually happened out in the world. Here are some of the case studies that look interesting:

The Usual Chuckle-heads

And, to highlight talks from my team:

(And, remember: if you want to come, you can get $300 if use the code pivotal-cote-300 when you register.)

Dealing with “disposable software” for enterprises

With consumer SaaSes and mobile apps coming and going, I’ve been thinking of the idea of “disposable software”: apps that last a year or so, but aren’t guaranteed to last longer. In the consumer space, there’s rarely been a guarantee that free software will last – that’s part of the “price” you pay for free.

This mentality is getting into business software more and more, however, and I don’t think “enterprises” are prepared for it. Part of the premium you pay for enterprise software should include the guarantee that it will have a longer life-cycle, but it’s worth asking if it does.

Also, it’s good for enterprises to be aware of vendors, particularly open source driven ones, are putting out code that might be “disposable.” The prevailing product management think nowadays encourages experimenting and trying things out: abandoning “failed” experiments and continuing successful ones. Clearly, if you’re a “normal” enterprise, you want to avoid those failed experiments and, at best, properly control and govern your use of them.

Of course, there are trade-offs:

  • With consumer, experiment-driven software, you’re always getting the newest thinking, which might turn out to be a good idea and provide your business with differentiating, “secret sauce”; or it might be a failed experiment that gets canceled
  • With “enterprise,” stable software you can generally count on it existing and being supported next year; but you’ll often be behind the curve on innovation, meaning you’ll have to layer on the “secret sauce” on your own.

It’s good to engage with both types of strategies, you just have manage the approach to hedge the risks of each.

Cloud Native Promises in the Land of Continuously Delivered Microservices – Gartner AADI 2015 Talk

I gave a talk at Gartner AADI, US going over the need for organizations to become good at software (you know, our usual thing at Pivotal) and some thinking we have about the three pillars of becoming a software defined business (software defined delivery, DevOps, and microservices) as well as the “contracts and promises” way of looking at what Pivotal Cloud Foundry does. I manage to jam it all into 30 minutes. Here’s the abstract:

If software is eating the world, software capability is the disruptor’s advantage and the disrupted’s vulnerability. Continuous Delivery, Microservices and DevOps are three labels that describe aspects of the same phenomena; the principles and practices of high performing organizations that deliver highly available software, rapidly, at scale. This presentation catalogs the capabilities that allow organizations to move quickly, reliably and economically in an end-to-end infrastructure-to-application platform; these Cloud Native advantages outlined as promises and contracts.

In addition to the slides, check out the video recording from Gartner, they’ve got them a fancy interface with the video and slides they gots!

Dell Software

I’ve been working with the team standing up the Dell Software Group since I joined Dell in August, in the role of a corporate strategy guy. Back in March, we launched the group, which is very exciting. People often ask me what areas Dell will focus on in software. In today’s financial analyst meeting presentation, you can find this slide:

Dell's software focus areas

So there you go: security, systems management, business intelligence, and applications. When I was still at RedMonk, I started to see the assemblage of a software group at last year’s industry analyst conference, so it’s been fun to see – and help! – the sausage getting made.

[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 109 – I’m gonna get bombed. Watch out for the shrapnel.

Charles, recording episode 109

In this episode, Charles and I talk about daiquiris and cigars in Munich; Miller High Life & Mickey’s when it comes to Charles’ decreased beer snobbery and my grandfather; giving away software to sell it; Charles take on Green IT: “turning out the light when you take a shit…wait…after you take shit”; and finally the recent WordPress acquisition, Gravatar.

(This episode edited by Coté.)

Oh, and happy halloween!:

Halloween Party

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[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 106 – Crumple Bags, Marketing Software, Charles’s Triumphant Return to the Editor’s Chair

In this episode, Coté and Charles talk about developer tools, esp. when it comes to when Charles will spend money on tools. Throughout, we hear some nuanced comments on the benefits of pair-programming: namely having someone there to share best practices and usage idioms with.

We also hear about Silva’s new Mac and how cute it is.

(This episode edited by Charles.)

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[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 80 – Jemima JavaScript, Cote’ and the Office, Falling/Getting Up, Gay Bands and “C.H.o.Ps”

Turkey Burger and Sweet Potatoes Fries

In this episode, we talk of JavaScript abstractions, optimizing offices, and then Gay Bands vs. Safe BandsCHoPs!

(This episode edited by Charles.)

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[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 79 – Applying dynamic languages to HTTP Client in Java, Hitler’s Monads, PGP and Email, Charles’ Day, Getting to Continuous Personal Improvement and Backlogs

For this episode, instead of a description, I opted for a long title.

That said, here is the description for this week’s show, from #drunkandretired:

cote: I’m almost done editing this week’s episode.
cote: Now. I know what you’re thinking, Mr. Chess Clock.
cote: “Coté, what are you going to do now that you finished off that last bit of that bottle of Wild Turkey?”
cote: Never fear, my friend, I am well stocked.
cote: I was a Boy Scout after all.
cote: And their motto was “WE-BLOW!”
cote: Oh, wait, it was actually: “Be pre-paired.”
cote: Which helped influence my thinking about XP.

(This episode edited by Coté.)

[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 57 – Content is King, Social Networks, High Availability, Track Backs, Virtualization, Linux Package Management, Java and Rake, Hiring Web Redesigners

In this episode we Charles and Cote’ talk about web tools, coding, hiring web redesigners, and the usuaul lot of code-monkey fun.

The Spam plugin that Cote’ mentions is Akismet. It works damn good.

(This episode edited by Cote’)

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It’s 10:35PM. Do You Know Where Your DNS Records Are? Or, HA, The Wealth of Networks, The $100 Laptop, and Generational Change

Thanks to the valiant efforts of Mr. Steve O’Grady, the RedMonk blogs will be up-ish tomorrow. I say “up-ish” because, as most you know, dear readers, switching domain names around on the internet is not a speedy science. Indeed, I’m often taken aback at how controlled and yet how chaotic the ‘net seems.

Then again, I’d be willing to be that there are teams of jack-booted thugs with hex screw-drivers and Cisco certifications ready to keep the network up. I mean, how terrible would that be if it went down?

While we wait for The Switchover, I still have this scrappy old thing. In the world of SaaS, High Availability means having two blogs.

Other Meanings for “High Availability”

I used to work at a company. Let’s call it WXYZ, Inc. One of the class clowns there made this joke one day:

High Availability? Baby, if you wanna get high…WXYZ is available!

Remarks like this were often followed by, “Waitress! Another Dewar’s!”

The Wealth of Networks

I started reading The Wealth of Networks last night. It’s nice, dense yet concise, academic talk about how content-producers controlling the means of production and distribution changes things. Information Marxism? Sure, sign me up as long as I can have a swanky Paris flat to go with it.

I’ve read a scant 20-30 pages, and there’s already a great conclusion: the physical distribution constraints of the “industrial information age” (pre-net) were the requirements driver of all that nasty, hegemony friendly IP law we created and now have.

Now, of course:

The removal of the physical constraints on effective information production has made human creativity and the economics of information itself the core structuring facts in the new networked information economy.

At least, that’s my understanding of those pages.

PC Means “Personal Computer”

As I read it, I keep thinking about the other 4-5 billion people who aren’t on the network. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mr. Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah last week while he was in town. We had some Ruby’s BBQ and then some coffee (well, he had tea) at Spider House.

Somehow we got to talking about the $10040 laptop. He had two interesting things to say (side-note: a longer post on the hangin’ out is much over-due):

  • The notion of a 1:1 mapping between a computer and user may not be universal.
  • Hey, how ’bout them cellphones?

Which was interesting, because we talked with Nokia this morning. Now there’s a mega-platform for you: cellphones. The strange thing about The Wealth of Networks thinking (my 20-30 pages understanding of it) is that the people who run and own the networks seem a few successful startups away from being PanAm and TWA to the analogous Southwests. I mean: telcos! Come on!

In America, we always wave off madness in the telco world — Korea is light years ahead of us, I hear, and they have some sort of crazy cool network in Europe — as regulation and FUD. Really, it’s probably just 50-100 well paid people who’re waiting to retire until they screw with the golden goose.

Generations


And there we have one of my new pet-theories. (Inquire within for more pet-theories.) Technological change is generational. You have to wait for one generation to hand over the reins before real change can happen. Excited about Agile Software Development? Keep your eye on the retire date of all those managers and “decision makers.” Want better cellphone networks in America? Wait for “insiders” to retire.

If good software takes 10 years, seachanges in software take 30-40. As the man said, “get used to it.”

Of course, firing people works too, but it feels so nasty. And really, wouldn’t you just be sticking it to yourself in that case?

Luby’s Upgraded to STRONG BUY <eom>

The problem for us youngin’s is that retirement is soon to retire itself as a concept. Aside from all the fretting about not being able to live out The Golden Years in an RV or finally getting to writing That Novel, the generations in the tech world need to make a pact. A sort of realpolitik:

OK, we’re all going to keep our minds flexible and updated, right? I mean, if you’re going to stay in the work force forever, you’ll voraciously take on new ideas throughout your term, not just in the first 10 years. Maybe in exchange we’ll slow down a bit and focus on creating technology that allows you to work just 40 hours a week instead of 60. And we won’t say “no” next time you suggest Luby’s…. Okey-okey, and we’ll be less — just a little — snarky if you’re letting us play in your lawn.

Of course, we should probably be lining up to thank the generation ahead of us for working to pay the bills instead of bankrupting society. So, let me be the first: Thanks! …but now can we get on with some badly needed changes in core thinking?

Disclaimer: I actually like Luby’s. One word: okra. Bonus words: tarter sauce, deviled eggs.

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[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 42 – Fast Libraries, The Zombie Exception to International Treaties, Stiring up Some Shit in Finland

At long last we return! Charles and I discuss two excellent listener comments: thanks for sending them in. Yuh!

(This episode edited by Coté)

[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 27 – Carr and Streisand

Of this episode, Charles says:

The thing is, the analogy was in our minds, but we never paint the final stroke.

Which is, you hold what Barbara Streisand believes under scrutiny and use it to discredit all arguments from the left, and that is you cannot use a single article on wikipedia and use it to discredit the entire enterprise.

As always, we’d love to hear your comments.

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[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 26 – Commodifying Enterprise Software, Standards by Monopoly


In this episode, we talk about The Paradox of Enterprise Software Innovation, how small companies can exploit their constraints to sell into the Enterprise Software market, and The Ambassador as an analog for technology monopolies.

Show-links: d&r_26.

Send us Comments!

As noted previously, we’d like to start splicing your audio comments into future episodes. If you’d like to comment, record the comment yourself, and email it to comments@drunkandretired.com. We’d prefer MP3s, but we’ll take whatever you can give us.

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