Identifying Problems

Problems, like the poor, are with us always.  The trick is what to do about them.  I recently told my boss about a previous job where someone had resigned and during the exit interview, they cited a particular problem as the reason for leaving. Had I known about the problem, I would have happily addressed it but I didn’t know about it until the person was leaving the company.  The lesson is:

People can only solve the problems they know about.

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Evolution of a Script: Timing Operations

I just love PowerShell!  One of the things I love the most about it is that you can pick the level of programming you want, write a script and then evolve it to meet whatever need you have.  Sometimes you want something quick and dirty and other times you want something you’ll share with others and then other times you want something that is going to be used in production. Continue reading

On Heroes

Technology heroes are always difficult subject.  As an engineering manager, I remember the first time I participated in a “life boat” drill where you have to produce a stack rank of your engineers.  Someone explained the process saying, “The task is to figure out if you had to throw out one person from a lifeboat, who it would be?  After you figure that out, then you decide who would the next one be, etc. until you have a fully ordered list.”  I chewed on that a bit and asked, “How many people are going to be left in the lifeboat?”  When they asked me why, I replied “Because if there is only one person left in the lifeboat, it would be Mark but if there was more than one person left, Mark would be the first one I’d throw out.”  Mark was a technical hero.  Able to accomplish a great deal but at a great cost to the the organization. Continue reading

Iranian Drone Hack and Technical Debt

This week I read the story about how Iran hacked and captured one of our most sophisticated military drones. It struck me that this was an excellent example of the potentially disastrous ramifications of ignoring technical debt.  It appears that the potential to spoof GPS was known and ignored for many years.  Acknowledging and managing technical debt is an issue that separates the whiz kids from the graybeards in the tech industry.  Let me start by saying that a military boof-a-rama of this magnitude is, by necessity, going to be followed up with multiple misinformation campaigns so I doubt we’ll really know what really happened for a few decades.  Nevertheless it provides a teachable moment for us so let’s explore this topic. Continue reading

Days Till Xmas

This morning my daughter asked my wife how many days there were until Christmas. That conversation didn’t go so well.  :-)   Seriously though, this year things started super early.  The local store started selling Christmas stuff before Halloween and a couple of weeks ago our neighbors put up their Christmas lights.  I can understand why my daughter is getting whipped up into an Christmas frenzy.  That said, as my wife contemplates a big day of effort for Thanksgiving, I can understand why questions about Christmas are not welcome. Continue reading

On Rumors

I often get people asking about this or that rumor.  Invariably my response is, “I’m sure it is true but I wouldn’t worry about it”.  This blog explains that perspective and has nothing to do with any specific rumor.  I hope it will help reduce your anxiety the next time you find yourself confronted with a wave of rumors. Continue reading

Changing Datacenters, Changing IT

I just finished giving a keynote talk at the Windows Connection conference here in Las Vegas (I’m writing this while waiting to board my plane back home).  My topic is one that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about – how datacenters going to change and what that means to IT Pros.  I’m passionate about the success of IT Pros and want to give them the tools they need to succeed.  In this case, the tool that they need to succeed is perspective.  The Readers Digest of my talk is: Continue reading