Monday, September 15, 2014

Speaking tomorrow at SDJUG on OpenStack and Java

After I missed the SoCal CodeCamp which has become my yearly speaking pod I will be speaking at the SDJUG tomorrow night on OpenStack and Java. It will probably be a bit off the cuff but also fun...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CEO's invest in cliud for the sake of business model innovation

People who went to my cloud class know that I am proponent of using the cloud and always stressed that even if the cloud might cost more it offers more flexibility so it's probably worth it. Another theme of mine was that IT has to change and become a business partner (doing more than just running servers).  So a recent McK presentation shows that while CIOs are thinking to use cloud for cost reduction CEOs are aiming to use the flexibility of cloud to drive business model innovation.

(I admit wording is a bit shaky and the examples contrived but I couldn't agree more with that development)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How technology helps women get ahead

In my ongoing series on how "the cloud" affects the way we work I found today the following on Big Think (scroll to the bottom of the page):

"... as technology evolves, the ability to work at home and the ability to work anywhere, so if their client happens to be ten minutes from their home, instead of having to circle through and pick up work papers or whatever they’ve needed in the past, we’re really evolving into a paperless environment that with collaboration spaces that will make these tools a lot easier for moms."

Nancy Calderon. KPMG

Friday, July 20, 2012

Smartphone overtakes PC as primary internet device in China

Endgadget has the story. But why is this relevant?

People who were following my talks on cloud computing know that I consider the smartphone one of the drivers for cloud computing. Like the developing world skipped land lines and went straight to mobile, or like they skipped film and went straight to digital photography, they are skipping the PC and going straight to smart phone.

A smart phone can't run the PC applications we are used to but it can run cloud based stuff. This will help people in China and the rest of the developing world have access to cutting-edge enterprise software. I am curious what they will do with that and what the impact will be.

This is big news indeed.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cassandra talk at SoCal Codecamp

I always enjoy giving talks at the SoCalCodecamp in San Diego and have been doing so since it's inception. This time around I was talking about Amazon Web Services and Cassandra.

I was planning to talk about data modeling and some performance tips but after I asked "Who has done NoSQL before" and I only got half a hand showing up decided to change the topic to "What is NoSQL and how does Cassandra fit". Unfortunately only two or three attendees had data needs spanning more than one mysql instance and one always compared Cassandra to an LDAP server.

The point I was trying to make is that with the advent of Software-as-a-Service (which drives the number of users up) and Big Data (basically we can track much more info about our users than before) we end up with more data we can handle. In previous times we would have some memcached paired with a (sharded) mysql cluster but that is not "easy" to set up so Cassandra and the likes have taken it place offering some more simplicity in the setting up and scaling up.

Now if we embark on a NoSQL journey we need to be aware that there are 50+ databases which are optimized for different use cases (e.g. Couch documents) and a different survival rate. This is bleeding edge! NoSQL is maybe around for 10-15 years whereas SQL is probably approaching its 50th. So if there is no pressing need to go NoSQL play it safe --

The step from SQL to NoSQL is a big one and it took me some time to unlearn SQL habits and adapt to the NoSQL ones (which was easier for me since I was doing Hibernate for all my stuff and also heavily using Key-Value caches). To show you my path: I went to the NoSQL summer reading group and listened to Tim Anglade while I was in Seattle. Having been a user of memcached I started to explore membase. Then I took the job which required Cassandra and I read up on it. I had the commands down in no-time but it was another steep learning curve aided by some Cassandra training until I was able to model data.

What I am trying to say that this is hard and the learning curve is steep. You need to be either curious, enjoy living on the edge, or have the pain that SQL doesn't solve your problems.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Productivity 3.0

If you have been in one of my cloud talks you know that one of my predictions is Productivity 3.0. Basically through tools like elance, rent-a-coder, and ad-hoc teams build in and through coworking locations workers will work for multiple companies on a per project basis. This will lead to people managing their time more efficiently and thus becoming more productive.

This just got validated by the McKinsey Global Institute (see Slate):

"Jobs today are also becoming more "virtual" -- with broadband connections, cloud computing, and other technology, many interaction jobs can be conducted "anytime, anywhere," making it possible for employers to engage talent (full-time employees or contract workers) on an as-needed basis."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Safari Books Online

I always loved the idea of having access to the Safari library and I had recently another couple of months paired with some time to actually use it. Again despite trying to read as much as I could I only managed to read about three to four books in the last four months. I enjoyed it the most on my 24" LCD monitor followed by the laptop scree and last by my TouchPad. I was running the TouchPad on both WebOS and Android but the browser version just stinks. Make some dedicated reading app - That can't be too difficult. Another note on the TouchPad: I read the Economist (Safari doesn't have a usable offline mode) on an airplane ride and my eyes hurt after two hours.

The missing offline mode supposedly gets mitigated by earning tokens which you can use to download content (like one token per chapter) but after three months I didn't earn enough tokens to download any book which renders this feature completely useless.

The interface is borderline useless. The HTML interface is worse than the real one but I am still trying to figure out how to effectively get to the next page without using the scroll bar. A web browser does this with but that doesn't work seamlessly in Safari. As much as I like it when a book looks like a book - a screen doesn't have pages I need to turn. The chapter should just be a flow of text and NOT interrupted by footers and headers...

I actually did the math and if I would have to pay myself for books I might be better off just buying a Kindle version every month than subscribing to Safari. So as much as I like it and as much as I would want every company I work for to give me a subscription it isn't that valuable for me to get a subscription myself if the workplace doesn't offer it. In that case I would rather by the books outright...