Values Mismatch

Article: “OMG AWS partner model is the suxx0rs and AWS is going to go bankrupt”
The Channel: We’re pretty sure their partner model sucks by design, so they don’t go bankrupt. That’s why we don’t partner with them.

Who the hell want’s to partner with AWS, anyway?

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Why yes, race to the bottom seems like a perfect description

It’s hard to argue with much of what the author says.

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Viva la Shadow IT

The Register almost gets it.  I don’t blame them, really.  You can’t change the world overnight and articles about IT engaging the business mostly reflect the IT world as it is.  It’s no surprise they fall short when it comes to the part about how things ought to be.  I do like the article because it does actually give the users some credit where due but it suffers from “IT is Important-itis”. To wit, in an expository on Infrastructure as Code:

“It’s a lovely idea, but only if you have guidelines in place to stop devs littering your infrastructure with zombie VMs and chewing their way through your storage capacity with poorly-thought-out API calls.”

Um, it’s not your storage capacity. It’s the Business’ storage, you’re just administering it, jackass.  Those littering devs are increasingly hired by the business directly.

“If you’re an Amazon Web Services house, you don’t necessarily want your developers spinning up services on the competing Microsoft Azure just because they have a preference for, or more experience with, that particular technology stack or service…”

Sure.  For example, we wouldn’t want our Marketing team to work in InDesign or Illustrator when MS Paint is so much cheaper for our shop. Some of the users prefer to have an Android phone; that makes no sense when we have so many flip phones lying around to distribute. And another thing…we just replaced all those expensive laptops with Chromebooks. The CEO’s assistant had the nerve to complain about it…can you believe that?

The sad part is that they get so much right with this gem of an article, especially early on in the setup:

Discipline in cloud-based resource procurement breaks down into three broad areas:

  • Making sure your users aren’t buying the wrong stuff

  • Making sure that you’re buying the right stuff

  • Giving people what they need in a controlled way (which may not mean giving them what they want).

As usual, it starts out great and tails off with another root cause fail.  It sounds roughly good without context but it’s a dishonest progression.  The whole point of shadow IT is that the business is finding solutions to problems IT is incapable of helping them resolve.  So by definition your users have already found the right stuff without you.  Now you get to play catch-up.  That second bullet should really be front and center because “making sure that you’re buying the right stuff” means requirements gathering and matching solutions to the actual needs.  Since we didn’t do that in the first place, the business went the shadow IT route.  Finally, isn’t “not giving them what they want” kind of the point the users were making?

The whole thing strikes me as another example of “oh no, we’re losing our historically total control over IT decisions because the users are getting smarter, how can we keep the Iron Throne” whinge.  At least there’s still some self awareness to be found:

“Discovering and understanding some of the unmet employee needs can help to reduce the risks associated with unsanctioned filesharing,” he said.

IT guys: that means talking to your users, or getting someone else more tolerant to do it, so that the IT department can understand why they are fleeing to third parties, and then give them something better.

When we can safely presume the folks in IT are incapable of having the most important conversations with the business, there’s not much hope for changing the state of affairs.  Viva la Shadow IT!


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Road Trip

Denver Comic Con is this weekend.  The younglings were unable to convince me to grow out the beard enough to cosplay as Heisenberg (the boy’s preference) or Gordon Freeman (the girl’s preference) but I can play a mean dork.

And by “mean dork” I’m talking about being a socially awkward asshole.  It comes naturally.

I like this event for a couple of reasons and have mentioned them in the past Continue reading

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4 Steps to Curing IT’s Woes

Occasionally, I write something that’s not published here first.  This is one of those times…

I have to admit, the first time I copped to putting someone from Marketing in an IT role it drew gasps from the CIOs in the audience.  Sleeping with the enemy and all that…but it did benefit from the fact that the experiment worked.


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Epic Fail: 5 Reasons Self-Service ITaaS Portals Are Failing

I’m not a fan of the listicle and I’m definitely not a fan of headlines that start with “EPIC,” “SHOCKING” or “SECRET” but sometimes it’s just the only way.  In this case, it was.  I work with Steve and we build portals, automation, orchestration and generally make ITaaS real for our customers.  So he should know why those things fail.  He was also not given a choice on the format.

And if he can overlook the listicle so can I.

At least it wasn’t…

“one weird trick to…” (trick not weird at all, unless you’re stuck with a 3rd grade science literacy) or
“Woman dumped for being too wrinkly, see her ultimate revenge!” (alimony) or
“Banks HATE this trick to pay off your mortgage” (hint, it’s called paying off your mortgage)

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The Fight for Forensics | Stephanie Schroeder

I cannot believe I am doing this, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion.  Today’s blind squirrel is HuffPo.  The nut is this post from Stephanie Schroeder regarding Forensics programs.

Some of her reasoning is a stretch but in the main: Yes, Stephanie.  Yes.

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Public Speaking for Professionals

For those of you in the July 23, 2015 workshop, I’ll update this post with the actual presentation in a few days.  For now, use this as a dumping ground thread for comments and discussion.

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A letter to the editor on CA SB 277

Not Even Wrong FireflyOne of my friends sent me this article in a local (Northern California) paper that mentions my own State Assembly representative here in Southern California.  The “Letter to the Editor” brief (TL;DR) version is above the fold.  More detail is below the fold.

In full disclosure I have not discussed my position with Ted.  He may disagree with me virulently.  Good.  Any argument he might throw my way would be worlds better than what I’ve heard so far.

The Letter, in re This article from the Press Banner:

California passed SB 277 into law this week, mandating vaccinations for children attending public schools against ten debilitating illnesses. This kind of law should not be necessary but the number of unvaccinated people is rising, threatening our herd immunity and leading to episodes like the recent multi-state measles outbreak which originated here in California and 23 separate outbreaks in 2014. Most but not all of those infected were not vaccinated. Though the efficacy is indisputable and the risks vanishingly low, articles like this one still treat the issue as though there are two equally valid arguments with competing values and priorities. There are not.

The world beyond our borders still suffers massively from preventable illnesses and California sees over 16 million international visitors every year; some of them carry these infections whether they know it or not. Mandated vaccination is a heavy-handed approach and I want to sympathize with those who opposed the bill on the basis of “personal choice.” I want to but it’s a choice that affects at least 3 people: the parent, the child and the very next person with whom they come in contact. That’s not personal. Objections on the grounds that the schedule is too aggressive are a lie. The objectors have not argued to amend the legislation but to kill it. They are advocating against vaccination.

Objection to this bill is not the “other side” positing a rational counterpoint. The “other side” is why we have lower vaccination rates and increased disease transmission risk. There are not two equal sides to this argument. There is the side with settled science and an incredible track record. The objections are disingenuous, ill-informed or both. I understand the desire to show point/counterpoint but it is misleading to place these arguments for and against vaccination on equal footing.

It is regrettable that my own State Assembly Member, Rocky Chavez, is one of those who give support to the opposition on this bill. Fortunately, it passed and I now have the opportunity to reconsider my own vote in the next election.

Continue reading

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E-mail I Should be Ashamed to Write…

…but I’m not.

The Setup:
I was traveling and had no access to my documents but could read e-mail.  SalesGuy was asking me what our bill rate was for a specific resource, which involves looking at a pricing model and finding a value in the relevant cell after entering some basic parameters like “pay grade.”  There was no way I could do it on the run, but anybody could have and SalesGuy left voice mail, e-mails and even called several of my key personnel, who then came back to me with the SAME QUESTION that should have been a simple task.

The last e-mail was the last straw… Continue reading

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