Saturday, February 19, 2011

I sound like a left wing donkey (aka Democrat)

I asked myself, "Will open source technologies ever fly?" after reading this article "Google asks US Patent Office Oracle Java patents". As businesses try to make a dollar or two from innovative minds who donated their "code" to better of man kind, I wonder if my children will enjoy the benefits of open source technologies. I don't know the answer but one of way of safe guarding these open source technologies is let government agencies take over the maintenance of open source software. I realize that I sound like a left wing "donkey" (aka. Democrat) but the open source community needs to address the bigger problem. How can brilliant works of engineering like Java, Ruby on Rails, Linux, Hadoop can be safe guarded from the hoards of entrepreneurs? I don't have a problem if a company like Cloudera and RedHat who make a living on supporting open source software. I however question when businesses fight the over basic fabric of open source software. Here is one idea we can look at:
  • Apache and other open source organizations should be care takers of open source. These organization should be funded by government agencies and they should be regulated by a UN organization.
My right wing friends may ask the question, "why should the government get involved in managing open source technologies. I answer by saying do you want human safety compromised over a business indicator flashing red. Since IT is being used to track and guide flights, manage energy grids, and control access to vital information, I say the government should be responsible for managing open source technologies. Government has so much red tape that it reduces efficiencies but the red tape also safeguards the things under its control from the economic and political moods.

Frankly if things don't change then I will start working Objective C, C#, and reduce my investment as a developer on open source technologies.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reliving the Civil War via Twitter

I wonder who came up with the idea of reliving the Civil War via Twitter. As some of you may know that I am a big fan of Twitter. It is truly a disruptive information technology. A few days ago, I came across this Twitter account:
Abe was twittering things like:
  • "[Letter] U think slavery is right and ought to b extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to b restricted. That I suppose is the rub."
  • "Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices."
It looks like Washington Post is posting major civil war figures' thoughts and feelings via Tweets. Washington Post claims to derive the Tweets from historical information. This is still great. Here are the other folks who are Tweeting from 1861:
The other Twitter accounts which are associated with this effort are:
I am assuming the other famous Civil War figures will start Tweeting as well. I would like to see these folks on Twitter:
  1. Mrs. Lincoln
  2. Ulysses Grant
  3. Frederick Douglass
  4. William T. Sherman
  5. Robert E. Lee
  6. Lincoln's cabinet
  7. Lincoln's competitors in the Elections
  8. John Wilkes Booth
  9. George McClellan
  10. and others

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Places that I would like to work

As an information technologist, I often ask the question, "Where would be the ideal place for an information technologist to work at?" Here are some of the places I usually end up with (rather than bore you, the readers, with paragraphs of explanations, here are one liners):
  1. Amazon : - Can we say EC2. Love to play with it
  2. Apple : - I would love to work with their innovators. Time to build my CV called iCareer.
  3. Cisco : - Eventhough I am not a Network specialist. I like their CEO since he seems to have a vision. I could work on the SOA stack.
  4. Facebook : - They made PHP cool! They have the data and the advertisers. Ingredients for some great business apps. My JavaScript skills are pretty good.
  5. Google : - I am nervous about their CEO getting pushed out. They have some cool minds. I heard their Product Managers are worse than slave drivers. Unfortunately I don't have a Computer Science degree to apply their.
  6. IBM : - They have the technology unfortunately with my professional experience I will probably end up working with their consulting services. If I worked there, I would probably say this all the time, "Have you looked at Websphere or the Rational Toolset?"
  7. Microsoft : - They are known for building UI friendly and scalable solutions for medium sized companies. I am waiting for their "cloud" solution where every local and state governments will deploy their solution. If I worked there then I would be working on the .Cloud stack.
  8. Oracle : - They have it all. Out of all the companies, they look every intriguing. I would work for them if I didn't travel alot and get to build some enterprise level solutions.
  9. RedHat : - They are not as big as Oracle but they look promising. Their acquisitions have been quite good and they are always pushing open source. Guys, you need to get Apache Wave and build a Social Media platform.
  10. Salesforce : - Give me the cloud. Nothing like working for a guy called Benioff! Seriously though, they look good and promising.
  11. VCE : - Nothing like working for a company which is based on an agreement by three giants: Cisco, EMC and VMWare.
  12. VMWare : - Hey Rod (Johnson that is). Need a Java guy!
I didn't include:
  1. EMC : - I had a bad taste with their consultants. Documentum is overrated!
  2. SAP : - They are big and they are European. My french is rusty but would be interested in a strategic position there.
In all seriousness, they all look good however I don't want to be a consultant with them but rather be a solution architect and be involved in their strategic decision making process. Any takers?! ;-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Human-centric Architecture

I work with a colleague of mine who is a Knowledge Architect. His mission at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to enable knowledge transfer between employees. The retiring employee should be able to leave the FAA while the FAA retains their knowledge. This is also true for employees who leave the FAA for better jobs. My peer is looking at social media as an enabler for smooth knowledge transfer.

The concept sounds good but I am a skeptic. Here is why:
  • Knowledge Sharing, and Knowledge Management are not quantifiable. I noticed this at the FAA.
  • Knowledge Management is not simply enabled by Social Media. Like Knowledge Management and Enterprise Architecture, Social Media is an ambiguous domain.
  • Implementing Knowledge Management within an immature organization (with respect to repeatable processes which have appropriate controls) is almost impossible
I believe Knowledge Management is not possible within the FAA but Human-centric architecture is possible. Knowledge Management attempts to capture people's knowledge via voluntary or involuntary actions and it is (atleast what I have seen) is a qualitative exercise. Human-centric architecture basically defines your current-state architecture with respect to your workforce. We can also define the target-state architecture with respect to workforce. This is key because you can now quantitatively map how your existing resources will fit the target-state architecture. By doing this, we can create a transition plan on how your existing resources should be retrained or mentor new resources (knowledge transfer). After we do this then we can come up with a program plan on how transform your workforce. During the workforce transformation, we can identify opportunities for training, mentoring and retiring and this is more focused and we can derived KPI. I would now be interested to debate a Knowledge Architect on why my approach is fundamentally flawed. Any taker? ;)