Coté's Commonplace Book #42
I've been trying to figure out micro.blog as a platform. Hosting all my stuff over there seems much nicer than at WordPress. I think I've got all my stuff setup there now, at cote.coffee. Really, it's just a duplicate of what's here - mostly links.
This week I managed to be in both London and Berlin. It worked out well for proving the reason I moved over here: much easier travel around Europe.
The experience of being a non-status flyer (so far!) is OK, but I did get a chance to fly on BA leaving London. This mean I could get into a lounge which was a nice reminder. The food and drinks in there are OK, but it's mostly just the space and calm you get. You can leave your bag at your seat as you wonder around, or go use the restroom (pardon, "toilet").
As with all things nice at the airport, it's not that it's particularly great, it's just that it's what you'd normally expect outside of the airport.
15 Sep 2018
Product management, with Jonathan Sirlin - Pivotal Conversations #113 — soundcloud.com
There's a great story in here about discovering the right software to make and hipsters in hairnets.
Why Starting With End-to-End Customer Journeys Isn't Good For The Customer
Don't doo too much work upfront:
Here’s how to make the argument to a stakeholder on your team that really wants to see that end-to-end vision: If the idea is to get value out to customers as fast as possible, does it make sense to explore every customer touch point? The time spent doing that intensive research could’ve been spent building and delivering an MVP for customers and get them excited about. Repeating this cycle gets the team to “learn by doing” and is actually a faster way to truly understand the customer’s end-to-end journey. It’s also a lot more engaging work than research and makes the team stronger.
New Common Sense Media survey finds more positives than negatives in teen use of social media
Overall, Common Sense said teens are more likely to view social media as a good thing in their emotional lives. For example, 16 percent said using social media makes them feel less depressed and 25 percent said they feel less lonely, compared to 3 percent who said social media use made them feel more depressed or lonely. The report states that even though teen social media use has skyrocketed in six years, “teens are no more likely to report having a negative reaction to social media on any of these (emotional well-being) measures today than they were in 2012.
Eventually, adults will get that each new technology actually doesn't rot The Kids brains and, really, makes their lives better.
Quest has a new look and they're regularly at DevOpsDays. Their banners say something about Toad, the DBA tool Quest is well known for. One day I should go up and get the pitch from them to see how it's evolved.
Broadcom CEO Dangles CA Technologies Bait, Investors Bite
Tan told investors during the company’s third fiscal quarter of 2018 conference call Thursday that he thinks Broadcom will be able to tap into CA Technologies’ current software customers to sell its switches, routers, and fiber optic equipment.
“Just as we have done with hypercloud players, we believe we can bring our compute offload solutions, our Tomahawk switches, Jericho routers, fiber optics, and our server storage connectivity portfolio directly to these same large enterprises that are buying CA software,” Tan told investors, according to transcripts. “Through CA we believe we have a big doorway to engage strategically with these customers and provide them direct access at very compelling economics to the same leading edge … storage and compute technologies that are used to enable the cloud service providers today.”
VMworld 2018: Pivotal Container Service and the Long Road to NoOps
[Swisscom’s] Massalt polled the audience, asking how many of them had experience with updating their Kubernetes clusters. No one, in a reasonably full ballroom, raised a hand.
“There’s a reason for this: because it’s a painful process,” he said. It’s why Swisscom had already adopted BOSH as an automated deployment tool for replacing old versions and updating the underlying platform, thus taking care of a large chunk of Day-2 operations.
Agile processes can transform companies from unexpected places: The VGZ success story
At the topic of agile, lean, DevOps, and all that “digital transformation” stuff is a renewed focus on customers and figuring out what they want to give you money for, then making the product as good as possible for them:
VGZ decided to focus its efforts on improving the customer experience. The starting point was not a traditional customer segmentation — the leadership instead decided to focus on understanding and improving customer journeys, specifically the frequency of customer interactions and the impact on the life of customers.
Very “jobs to be done.”
New Tech Spotlight: Fintech Investments Reach All-Time High In Q2 2018
In Q2 of this year, fintech startups raked in a total of $19 billion in funding, pushing the overall category to well north of $100 billion in total funding raised.
After Sondergaard, analyst firms must take stock
Analysts become dancers and performers, with all the good and bad that involves. They can internalise their projected self-confidence and capacity for accepting risk and ambiguity. Analysts can get carried away by the feeling of influence, their confidence, and the respect that clients show them. They start to believe their own performance. The generic reality of men in authority within male-dominated organisations has to be layered over that position. And, perhaps, even the role of the performer has additional complexities: when they are playing a role, the appetite for using authority can be increased.
Data center staff are aging faster than the equipment
New skills, such as overseeing and managing SLAs for off-premises workloads, are needed, but people don’t have them. Just 35 percent of survey respondents reported that they did not have any of the hiring or staffing issues identified by Uptime.
Just over half of government IT work relies on outsourcing, 10% higher than private sector average:
Gartner also found that there was a greater reliance on third-party developers in governments than other sectors, with more than half saying they used them.... This is in contrast to 41 per cent over all the six industries surveyed, which comprised financial services, government, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and education.
The y/y for the last five years would be interesting to see.
The Air Force Will Treat Computer Coding Like a Foreign Language
For example, when Defense Innovation Unit went to air operations centers in Middle East, the defense tech expert envisioned software changes that would optimize the way that airmen tracked refueling tankers. Teaming up with a commercial firm in Boston called Pivotal Labs, the new software is saving about $200,000 in fuel every month. It's usually reported at $200,000 a day. Mostly, though, lots of AI talk: > During Operation Inherent Resolve, he led 1,800 Air Component Commander analysts to create the first-ever visualization of millions of data points from sources including unmanned aerial vehicles and open-source streams. That reduced 1.5 hours of daily target development to five minutes. He also provided intelligence support to the fight against ISIS that increased deliberate (i.e. pre-planned) target development by 68 percent.
Exploring the map – Wardley Maps
Wardley’s take on riding the diffusion of understand curve:
The uncharted space is where no-one knows what is wanted which forces us to explore and experiment. Change is the norm here and any method that you use must enable and reduce the cost of change. In this part of the map, I tend to use an Agile approach that has been cut right back to the core principles, a very lightweight version of XP or SCRUM.
Of course, as a component evolves and we start to understand it more then our focus changes. Sometime during the stage of custom built we switch and start to think about creating a product. Whilst we may continue to use underlying techniques such as XP or SCRUM, our focus is now on reducing waste, improving measurements, learning and creating that first minimal viable product. We start to add artefacts to our methodology and the activity has more permanence about it as it undergoes this transition. We’ve stopped exploring the uncharted space and started concentrating on what we’ve found. Today, Lean tends to rule the waves here though back in 2005 we were struggling to find something appropriate. The component however will continue to evolve becoming more widespread and defined as it approaches the domain of industrialised volume operations. Our focus again switches but this time to mass production of good enough which means reducing deviation. At this point, Six Sigma along with formalised frameworks such as ITIL then start to rule the waves. Any significant system will have components at different stages of evolution. At any one moment in time, there is no single method that will fit all.
Concorde was pitched at the business set of the 1970s, with all of its 106 seats priced at first-class levels. With its own dedicated lounge at the airports it served, even the check-in and waiting experience was luxurious: possibly more so than the aircraft itself, which despite its leather seating had tiny windows, a low cabin ceiling and similar knee room to today’s economy class. Pop stars were frequent flyers: Concorde famously (or infamously) allowed Phil Collins to play both the London and Philadelphia sites of Live Aid on the same day in 1985.
I finished Stopping the Noise in Your Head. Predictably, there wasn't the pat, this is how it all works type-ending. The ultimate suggestion was just to tell yourself to worry less, but with some good tactics to make it happen. Basically, you force yourself to do the thing that makes you anxious, accept that bad things may happen, and then practices it over and over.
Still, the encouragement to just stop worrying and try things out is probably good. What's missing is how to recover when things go wrong. The suggestion, I guess, is to just try it again.
I like this framing from The Daily Stoic better, and it's shorter than a book:
By seeing each day and each situation as a kind of training exercise, the stakes suddenly become a lot lower."
I’m learning. My sparring partner is learning too. This is practice for both of us—that’s all. I know a bit more about him or her, and from my reaction, they’re going to learn a little bit more about me too.
Everyone's just figuring it out. (But again, it's recovering and resilience that matter.)
Meanwhile, the opposite of all that is Fear. I got this as an audio book and with a trip this week, I could make time to listen to it all. There's something entertaining about reading political books like this, but I'm starting to think they're empty calories, at least for me. I could just have easily listened to podcast coverage and summaries of the book. The ultimate points are that Trump doesn't have much of the basic skills and knowledge for his job, can't seem to learn them, and has a staff that sandbag.
The scope of the book is small, driven by what the sources talked to Woodward about. There's very little domestic coverage and most of the focus is on North Korea and trade. There's little "policy." The most interesting part is the beginning when Steve Bannon is still around. His outlandish character sticks out and you get a peak into whatever worldview is driving Trump-land.
The book is a series of mostly unconnected vignettes, which is fine. There's a North Korea narrative throughout, and at the end a long narrative on Trump's dancing around with Mueller's investigation - all told, we have to assume, through the eyes and mouth of one of his lawyers. There's a pretty good, solid analysis to this section: Trump a habitual lier, or, more vaguely, will just say whatever fits the moment.
The title of the book comes from a Trump comment about the trust nature of power and politics, but a more accurate title would be Incompetence, or simply Idiot.
In the not-non-fiction category, I'm still picking away at Sharp Objects. Here's my latest highlight: "The girl, whose face matched the pies revolving in the case behind her, didn’t seem to notice me hovering."