Coté's Commonplace Book - Issue #38
I've been in this quiet before the business-travel shit-storm for the past two weeks. Next week it slowly starts up. In the meantime, it's given me time to get back to writing on the cloud native book I've been working on it. There's links to some excerpts in progress below. Also, I made the entire WIP public if you're into that kind of thing.
“That was the problem: I was always Tech Matt.”
"As designers, we think about the why and understanding the human experience, empathizing, and observing, and being curious, and trying to understand what are those important touch-points between a person and technology."
Lone wolves rarely succeed at transforming business models and behavior at large organizations. True to the halo effect, you’ll hear about successful lone wolves often. What you don’t hear about are all the lone wolves who limped off to die alone.
In this podcast Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Michael Cote from Pivotal Labs about “programming the business” to enable support for automation and moving towards DevOps. Recorded sometime this past Spring, I believe.
Chris Donaldson on Automation - Software Defined Interviews Episode #72 — www.softwaredefinedinterviews.com How do you implement IT Automation best practices at a large company? What's the best approach to convince stakeholders that IT Automation is worth the effort? In this interview with Acxiom's Chris Donaldson we talk all about the good, the bad and ugly of IT Automation.
From nerds to suits, $200 off SpringOne Platform
Hey, we’ve got our big conference coming up in September. I draw a huge amount of my work from the customer talks at these events: they’re amazing detailed, more than I’ve ever encountered at a software vendor conference…or any conference, really. There’s videos you can see afterwards (see 2017’s and 2016’s), but being there is of course much better for all the hallway talk. Plus, it’s in Maryland, so I’m pretty sure there’ll be lots of crabs. If you end up coming, email me up and we’ll go have some.
Amazon takes aim at U.K. insurance market ‘Amazon has “all the tools to succeed” and is a bigger threat than Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which also made a play for the U.K. price-comparison industry a few years ago’ For the change or die files.
We need to talk about organizational change management “Treat them with the same respect and reverence and results will follow. Treat them as a resource that needs managing like spare parts that can be replaced, and you’ll fail.”
Istio Aims To Be The Mesh Plumbing For Containerized Microservices “The latter piece can be the tricky one when using containers to develop microservices. How do you link up all the component parts when they may be spread across a cluster of server nodes, and instances of them are continually popping up and later being retired as they are replaced by updated versions? In a service-oriented architecture (SOA), which microservices can be seen as the evolutionary heir to, this kind of task is analogous to that taken care of by an enterprise service bus (ESB). So what is needed is a kind of cloud-native version of an ESB.... This is the job that Istio, a relatively new open source project, aims to fill. It is officially described as a service mesh, because parts of it are distributed across the infrastructure alongside the containers it manages, and it sets out to meet the requirements of service discovery, load balancing, message routing, telemetry, and monitoring – and, of course, security.”
Do you need a corporate vision in government IT? “In an organisation like a local authority this is especially tough as they are such disparate entities. Think about it, in what strange universe does it make sense for a single organisation to collect taxes, deliver social care, pick up bins and operate transport? None of these and many of the other services councils deliver have much to do with each other, apart from the coincidence of local delivery... Coming up with a single vision or operating model for such an organisation is pretty tricky therefore, which makes it less likely that transformation teams are going to get one. So, without a clear destination, what should they be doing?... I think the key is to think of councils - and other similar organisations - as groups of individual businesses, rather than a single cohesive organisation.”
The tech project survival guide “you must ask yourself whether your funky way of reconciling payments to the bank or your six-step invoice validation process is really the way to operate in an age where standard processes are well understood & can be automated.” Garbage in, garbage out.
Configuring your release pipelines for safe deployments “Also, it is recommended to not deploy to all production environments in one go, exposing all the customers to the changes. A gradual rollout that exposes the changes to customers over a period, thereby implicitly validating the changes in production with a smaller set of customers at a time... As an example, for an application is deployed in 12 regions with US regions (4) having a high load, European regions (4) having a medium load and Asian regions (4) having a relatively lighter load, following would be the order of rollout.”
Why You Need To Know About Low-Code, Even If You're Not Responsible For Software Delivery “Low-code [uses] declarative techniques instead of traditional lines of programming… Common features include reusable components, drag-and-drop tools, & process modeling. Individuals or small teams can experiment, prototype, & deliver apps in days or weeks.” Plus, marketsizing: something like $4bn.
The New Affluents Time to reap: “Several traits about the new affluents distinguish them as ideal prospective customers for brands of all sectors. In particular, luxury brands looking to woo customers with a little extra in their pockets might find this group a good place to start. Gen Xers’ share of national wealth is forecast to grow from under 14% in 2015 to nearly 31% by 2030, while Millennials’ share is forecast to grow from just 4% in 2015 to 16% by 2030, according to Gartner research. Additionally, this group is likely to be raising families and becoming first-time homebuyers, making them prime targets for home and CPG brands.... Though the new affluents want to save, they are likely to be in the midst of costly life transitions related to family and are also paying off significant debt, meaning money management is definitely on their mind.”
Without a formal mandate “In almost every case there are stakeholders who are moved by quantitative data (say the percentage of phone calls that could be avoided.) There are also other stakeholders who connect with qualitative human stories. The magic really happens when you offer both types of evidence. Telling the stories, and backing them up with data points for the cost or the impact of what is happening to people, this is evidence with impact. When you make it real for everyone, you can more effectively catalyze change.” Also, a sort of case study of improving design in state government.
How Companies are Saving Millions with Pivotal Cloud Foundry "A recent Forrester study commissioned by Pivotal which analyzed the benefits PCF customers see when adopting the platform found that developers gain 50 percent more coding hours a week. How? The automation and self-service features of Pivotal Cloud Foundry decrease manual and mundane deployment tasks. Wait times for environment setup and code to be prompted to production are also significantly reduced... That 50 percent gain in coding hours led to more releases per year, speeding up release schedules from once every two months to once a week — and sometimes even daily. Forrester estimates this increase in productivity equates to more than $31 million over three years, while the reduction in DevOps time allocated to provisioning, patching and scaling across multiple clouds at almost $6 million." Also, Rackspace has a managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry service.
Google Cloud rolls out prepackaged AI services aimed at business functions “Add it up and AI cloud services may veer from the typical vertical selling approach deployed by enterprise software vendors.”
Kubernetes for the Kubernewbie - The Journey “Kubernetes was created to bring the idea of dynamic, container-centric, managed, scheduled-cluster thinking outside of Google... But what is a container and what does a containerized application mean in this context?”
Also “poached if necessity” - like is a poached egg some kind of character flaw?
“You know, Bill, he only eats poached eggs. I’m not sayin’ anything, you know,” he said as he tore off the top of his boiled egg like a Chiliean strip-mining crane,”but a fella can tell a lot about a man by how he HAS to eat his eggs, by what’s necessary.” He took a bite and whipped his mouth on his sleeve, starting to talk before his arm came down. “Take me, fur instance. I wake up, I pull up my pants and suspenders. Do I shave first? No, I don’t. Hell no. I put on a pot of boiling water.” At this point, by my reckoning, there were a tiny pile of eggs shells next to his plate, I hadn’t even noticed how he’s towed them over there and dumped them. “You gotta start early, before the shave, cause at these heights the water takes ferrver to boil. Well, I’m just sayin’: NECESSARY?”
Out and about
I'm still reading Stopping the Noise in Your Head, which hasn't gotten much attention. The narrative is now deep into the mindfulness that your mind is out of your control - well, one layer of your mind - and you therefore have to ignore it's petitions for you to freak out:
I am not in conscious control of my fears showing up, and I don’t need to be. Therefore, I’m going to accept [as noise] those thoughts and feelings when they arrive. I’m not going to fight them or try to get rid of them.
Rather than the calm, nothingness of Buddhism, though, there's more of a Western pragmatism to this tactics. Now you can actually do something more productive, helpful, and pleasant: "When you stop fighting the present moment, you can turn all of your attention to ways to influence the next moment."