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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The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

No, seriously, we will.  If there is any doubt, I’m here with a set of PowerPoint slides a customer actually dared me to create to show them I could make a useful analogy about anything under my purview.  So they said:

Fine, then show us concepts from “IT as a Service” explained through Star Wars memes.

Game.  Fucking.  On.  Continue reading

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Fusion 2015 Full Presentation Text

Enriching the Customer Experience
“Staying Relevant in the Face of Changing Expectations”

Several apologies are due.  The first regards my tardiness.  I had intended to publish this immediately following my Fusion 2015 breakout session.  Good intentions, road to hell and all that.  Work got in the way.  I ended up with a promotion in the intervening months, so there’s that.

The second apology is due for the length.  This is one mean wall of text, but when you transcribe and copy edit 25 minutes of speechifying, length happens.  The precis is below; the full text is below the fold.

Finally- many many thanks are due to Mark Myers, one of the Practice Directors at Datalink, for sketching out the concept I eventually finished here.  He came up with the outline and some great analogies which, after a serious research project, put more books on my shelf and a lot of meat on the bones of this talk.  Without his thoughts on how to deliver this it would never have gotten done.  The man’s an analogy factory, so if he ever comes to speak, listen.  The precis below is almost word for word how he laid this out…

To stay relevant, Corporate IT services must be as easy to obtain as downloading an application and support the job at hand, from application development to basic collaboration.  In this discussion I will talk about maintaining relevance by transforming from a technology focused utility to services oriented IT. First, I examine some parallels in history, because we have been here before and there are lessons to be learned from heavy industry. Next, I explore some real world examples of how that problem has been tackled head on by my customers. Finally, I discuss some of the key questions IT needs to ask to start down the right path, right now.

Continue reading

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Fusion 2015 Interview

How long will corporate IT be relevant?

A few weeks back I spoke at Fusion 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. I had hoped to get the full text of that talk up before the interview came out. Work got in the way. Many thanks to Mark Myers for coming up with the railroad analogy. 

I take issue only with the Socrates quote. I mentioned that his most attributed quote may or may not been his words but that it was the intent behind it that mattered: stop asking questions and start listening; try to come to a deeper understanding of the problem, not just a list of bullets. 

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