Resilient Coders – Call for Support

I am excited to be working with Resilient Coders, a deeply impactful non-profit that is equipping young people, ages 18 to 26, with skills for careers in tech.

Resilient Coders has had great success with their Bootcamp model, graduating 21 youth from an intensive, 7-week immersive environment in 2016 in which they learned HTML, responsive CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and Git, as a way of launching a new career path. Their youth are getting hired! This is the ultimate testament to the training and experience they’ve received in the program. Boston University, The Boston Globe, The Grommet, and Colaberry have all hired Resilient Coders youth.

The model has been so successful that they want to replicate the model for Dev Ops and Automation (I am sponsoring this at CTP). The demand is there. The urgent need to hire entry level employees is there. Students are interested and CloudTP is ready to hire.

Help me support Resilient Coders in the launch of a Dev Ops Bootcamp in 2017. It costs $5,000 to put a student through Resilient Coders Bootcamp, which includes their stipend. That’s about a third the industry standard. Only $75,000 to run a Bootcamp that will prepare 15 young people from traditionally underserved communities for a career in tech. When they get jobs that pay $50,000+ we’ll have created $750,000 of economic value for these young people!

Please be a participant in this multiplier effect. Consider a donation today.

https://www.paypal.me/resilientcoders

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IoT World 2016: A conference of connectivity and confusion

At IoT World, it was a flurry of Internet of Things’ potential and platforms paired with an overwhelming sense of confusion and questions with few answers.

At the IoT World 2016 conference, there was a real sense of energy and excitement about the potential for the connected device ecosystem to change the world. Over 12,000 attendees, a packed exhibit hall and full keynote sessions highlighted the momentum that the Internet of Things is driving.

It was also confusing.

-> Read more at TechTarget 

So Much To Read, So Little Time…

Too Much to ReadRecently I was having a conversation with someone and we got on the topic of books and what we had read recently. We’ve all had this conversation many times, but it struck me that lately many people suffer from the same conundrum – too many books and not enough time. In addition to the stack of unread paperback and hardcover books on my nightstand, I also have a Kindle full of great reading.

I have read many of these books, but many others I have merely started to read before getting distracted and moving onto something else. I also have a stack of magazines (paper and digital), dozens of online publications and blogs, white papers and analyst reports, newspapers, and the daily missives of my friends on Facebook and my extended network on Twitter.

I read for many reasons – to gain knowledge, to get perspective, to escape into another world or time, to keep up with my profession, to laugh, to think, to live. I love to read, but I now wonder if my reading might be more satisfying if it were more purposeful.

What does that mean – more purposeful? What I’m thinking about is picking a small number of issues, topics or themes and focus my reading in those areas. Exploring the depth of an idea might interesting.

Today I could be accused of being a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to my literary interests. In itself that is probably not a horrible thing. My interests are broad and that probably makes it easier for me to engage in superficially interesting conversations with many different people. I say “superficially interesting” because my knowledge and perspective on many of these topics is often exhausted in a matter of minutes. If I meet someone with a deep passion for a particular interest we hold in common, my surface-level exploration won’t allow me to sustain an extended and thoughtful conversation on the matter. That’s not totally true, I guess, because that encounter becomes a great opportunity for me to learn from the other. But I would have less to contribute.

I also wonder if I should substitute writing more for reading less. It would likely be a positive development if I were to write more, create more, and otherwise get out and engage more fully with the world. It would stand to reason that my writing should follow my reading in terms of focus.  As I gain deeper knowledge and understanding of a particular topic, my writing would hopefully reflect that and be more thought-provoking as a result.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

— Albert Einstein

Now I just need to figure out where my focus should be…

theCUBE Interview at EMC World 2013

Here is a video of me discussing the current state of cloud providers and where the industry is going live inside theCUBE with Wikibon’s John Furrier and Stu Miniman from the floor of EMC World 2013 in Las Vegas.

Thank you to ServiceMesh for inviting me to speak.

(c) 2013 John Treadway / CloudBzz / TechBzz Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This post originally appeared at http://www.cloudbzz.com/. You can follow me on Twitter @CloudBzz.

Measuring the Business Value of Cloud Computing

My favorite and least favorite question I get is the same – “Can you help me build a business case and ROI for cloud computing?”

Well, yes… and no. The issue is that cloud computing has such a massive impact on how IT is delivered that many of the metrics and KPIs that are typically used at many enterprises don’t capture it.  I mean, how do you capture Agility – really?

In the past I have broken this down into 3 buckets. Yes, some people have more but these are the big three…

Agility

Agility is reducing cycle time from ideation to product (or system delivery) – incredibly difficult to measure given that it’s hard to do apples to apples when every product/project is unique. You can do this in terms of Agile methodology task points and the number of points per fixed timeframe sprint on average over time. Most IT shops do not really measure developer productivity in any way at the moment so it’s pretty hard to get the baseline let alone any changes. Agility, like developer productivity, is notoriously difficult to quantify.  I have done some work on quantifying developer downtime and productivity, but Agility is almost something you have to take on faith. It’s the real win for cloud computing, no matter how else you slice it.

Efficiency

In a highly automated cloud environment with resource lifecycle management and open self-service on-demand provisioning, the impetus for long-term hoarding of resources is eliminated. Reclamation of resources, only using what you need today because it’s like water (cheap and readily available), coupled with moving dev/test tasks to public clouds when at capacity (see Agility above) can reduce the dev/test infrastructure footprint radically (50% or more). Further, elimination of manual processes will reduce labor as an input to TCO for IT. In a smaller dev/test lab I know of, with only 600 VMs at any given time, 4 FTE onshore roles were converted to 2 FTE offshore resources.

There’s a very deep book on this topic that came out recently from Joe Weiman called Cloudonomics (www.cloudonomics.com). One of the key points is to be able to calculate the economics of a hybrid model where your base level requirements are met with a fixed infrastructure and your variable demand above the base is met with an elastic model. A key quote (paraphrase) “A utility model costs less even though it costs more.”

The book is based on this paper — http://joeweinman.com/Resources/Joe_Weinman_Inevitability_Of_Cloud.pdf

And can be summarized as…

Inline image 1
Source: Joe Weiman in “Cloudonomics”

A hybrid model is the most cost-effective – which is “obvious” on the surface but now rigorously proven (?) by the math.

P = Peak.  T = Time.  U = the utility price premium.

If you add the utility pricing model in Joe Weiman’s work to some of the other levers I listed above, you get a set of interesting metrics here. Most IT shops will focus on this to provide the ROI only. They are the ones who are missing the key point on Agility. However, I do understand the project budgeting dance and if you can’t show an ROI that the CFO will bless, you might not get the budget unless the CEO is a true believer.

Quality

What is the impact of removing human error (though initially inserting systematic error until you work it through)? Many IT shops still provision security manually in their environments, and there are errors. How do you quantify the reputation risk of allowing an improperly secured resource be used to steal PII data?  It’s millions or worse. You can quantify the labor savings (Efficiency above), but you can also show the reduction in operational risk in IT through improved audit performance and easier regulatory compliance certification. Again, this is all through automation.

IT needs to get on the bandwagon and understand the fundamental laws of nature here — for 50-80% of your work even in a regulated environment, a hybrid utility model is both acceptable (risk/regulation) and desirable (agility, economics, and quality).

Do a Study?

The only way to break all of this down financially is to do a Value Engineering study and use this to do the business case. You need to start with a process review from the outside (developer) in (IT) and the inside (IT) out (production systems). Show the elimination of all of the manual steps.  Show the reduced resource footprint and related capex by eliminating hoarding behavior. Show reduced risk and lower costs by fully automating the provisioning of security in your environment. Show the “cloudonomics” of a hybrid model to offset peak demand and cyclicality or to eliminate or defer the expense of a new data center (that last VM with a marginal cost of $100 million anybody?).

History Lesson

In 1987 the stock market crashed and many trading floors could not trade because they lacked real-time position keeping systems. Traders went out and bought Sun workstations, installed Sybase databases, and built their own.  They didn’t wait for IT to solve the problem – they did it themselves.  That’s what happens with all new technology innovation.

The same thing happened with Salesforce.com. Sales teams just started using it and IT came in afterwards to integrate and customize it. It was obviously a good solution because people were risking IT’s displeasure by using it anyway.

If you really want to know if cloud computing really has any business value, take a look at your corporate credit card expenses and find out who in your organization is already using public clouds – with or without your permission. It’s time to stop calculating possible business value and start realizing actual business value from the cloud.

(c) 2012 CloudBzz / TechBzz Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This post originally appeared at http://www.cloudbzz.com/. You can follow CloudBzz on Twitter @CloudBzz.