technical debtKids, it’s 2020. That it means it way past the time to kick the can down the road. Most of us in IT have been around long enough to see us shift from a centralized CPU (mainframes) to decentralized (client/server) architectures back to a centralized approach again (cloud). That means we have encountered problems and we have ignored problems, and those ignored problems have a name. It’s called Technical Debt, and the check is coming due.

Technical Debt

We all have it, and it tends to bite us right in the ass. It causes us to make compromises and other less than stellar decisions about how to handle it. What we need to do is start addressing the debt, figure out ways to minimize the impact of the debt. Stop covering it up with more hardware, crazy monitoring schemes, and automated fixes that just treat the symptoms and ignore the problems.

Just start working on it already. You’ve known about this debt for years/decades and it’s not getting worked on. Stop ignoring and start spending some time refactoring. Your customers will thank you, your developers will thank you, and your staff will thank you.

Everyone has seen the meme that the cloud is just someone else’s computer. Or that people don’t understand the cloud. I think either has become too simplistic of an explanation. The fact of the matter is, we all have embraced the cloud in some fashion.

cloud outageThink about our Google or iCloud drives that we save documents, music, or photos to. How many of us subscribe to a music app that delivers music over the net? Streamers? Do we have TV streamers around? The cloud is taking over for sure. It’s starting to become the platform of choice in business. It’s fast to ramp additional resources, it simplifies the infrastructure, and all you need to do as the consumer is to feed it money.

No ground under the cloud

What happens to your music, documents, pictures, or SQL server if the internet is down? Or there is an outage because not only did a fiber line get cut, but the electrical grid had a massive failure? How resilient is the cloud then? What’s the cost associated with that outage and is it worth it?

Obviously the cloud is here to stay….but jumping all in may not be the best practice either. As a DBA, I always work at leaving myself an out. If code goes bad, a server crashes or some other unplanned nuisance rears its ugly head, I generally have an alternative in mind. We should be adopting that same strategy with the cloud as well. If Amazon, Azure, or someone else goes down for an extended time…..what’s the fall back plan other than just being down? In other words, do you have a parachute, and is it working?

understanding

I had a flash of brilliance this week, and that’s a rare thing for me. I came to an understanding with myself that I can’t solve all the world’s problems, most people disagree with me, and if I want to continue to discussing heated topics than I need to remain open minded because odds are, they won’t.

So back to this flash of brilliance i mentioned. You see, Trump’s first State of the Union speech was recently put upon us. Which means, all the prime time channels would be carrying the speech. Facebook and Twitter would be awash with people freaking out about he says, either for or against. This would be followed by an endless stream of news media telling you what you should take away and think about it. Then there would be representatives from both parties to “react” to the speech.

Frankly, forget it. I’m too tired. I have my own worries, my own problems to solve, and I have done enough thinking about the current state of politics in the US. The last thing I want to do is come home and be lectured at, when I have already decided on my position of the topics. Yes, that’s the nice of saying I no longer care. The horse is dead, please move on.

How can I say that?

Oh that’s simple. I left a state who had swung liberal, prior to that I lived in a state that was mostly conservative. You know what I learned? Both sides are equally at fault for the state of things. Maybe it’s an IT thing or maybe it’s not, but it seems like a majority of the people in IT are liberal. That’s great, there’s nothing wrong with that. I am not liberal. I am somewhere between conservative and independent. I prefer to look at the issue, and not the party platform. However, it seems most people in IT are liberal.

Why do I mention this? Well, when I try to interact with the IT community on Twitter or Facebook, I see a lot of Anti-Trump this and Anti-GOP that. I’ve un-followed some brilliant SQL people just because their Twitter feeds are so damn political. Seriously, I just don’t have time.

I have come to understand that when I see this posts, I feel like I need to respond. That I feel slighted for not having the beliefs or values as those I admire or believe to be community role models. I feel “triggered”.

We all come from different walks of life

Then I realize, those folks and I come from different walks of life. We view things differently, we have different values, we see things from a different perspective. This unto itself is a strength in the IT world, as it allows problems to be solved from many different angles. However, we should remind ourselves, that our public social media feeds don’t always reflect our standing the way we think it does.

Between social media, the news media, and the entertainment/sports people lecturing me on how I should live my life, I just don’t have the bandwidth to listen to the regular folk talk about their views in 240 characters or less. It’s just not entertaining or insightful.

Maybe I’m just old school, or maybe I just suck at business in general, but I don’t think it’s asking much to respect your customers. I certainly understand there decisions that need to be made to keep a company afloat, and in business. I mean you have to worry about the bottom line and the employees (hopefully the employees come first, but that is a different rant). Recently Code42, the company behind Crashplan the backup service, announced they were no longer going to offer Crashplan to regular consumers, i.e. you and me. 

Here’s a screen shot of there announcement here:

So what, why does piss you off?

It’s not my business right? I shouldn’t care how they purse revenue. Ya, you’re right, I shouldn’t. The problem is, as a 20 year career IT guy…I have recommended their service time and again. Both personally and professionally. So it sticks in my crawl so to speak, that they would just throw out an entire business model. Again, not my business or my revenue stream, but it was my recommendation and my reputation that suggested you could trust these people. They abused that implied rust. Maybe I’m the only who sees it that way and I should just get over it. On the other hand, maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world today…no one cares about anything but there bottomline, and they’ll get the most money with any means necessary.

Because after all, when you tell me your focus is solely your enterprise customers, you’re telling me you are focusing on greater revenue streams. And as an IT professional, you screwed me over at home, do you think I’m going to let you have that opportunity at my place of employment.