Listen to The Cloudcast

on Friday, October 17, 2014

If you're interested in Cloud Computing you should listen to "The Cloudcast (.net)" podcast here, or go over to The Cloudcast website and get connected to the feeds via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Facebook or RSS.

The Next 5-10 Year Journey

[Also posted on my Cloud Computing blog for TechTarget]

At least a couple times a week, colleagues or people within the industry will ask for career advice. What should I do next? Should I work for this company? Where do you think the industry is going next? What’s the next cool technology to learn? I’ve written about this a couple times before. It’s never a one answer fits-all conversation. There are always critical factors to take into consideration – What’s the opportunity? What skills do you have today? What skills are you learning? Where do you live, and does this matter? What’s the next step going to be after this one? 

Before I get into the discussion I’ve been having with myself lately, I thought I’d share a story from many years ago. I went to college to study finance and marketing. When I graduated, the jobs in technology were more interesting than cold-calling for stock brokers, so I threw away an education (or so I thought) and jumped into technology. That was scary. I didn’t know the 7-layer OSI model from the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but I studied like crazy and loved the pace of change and competition. After a couple years of doing sales and consulting, my boss came in my office on a Friday afternoon. He said that I had three choices: [1] move to Massachusetts for a corporate job (burr…cold!!), [2] be fired, or [3] as a long-shot, take a couple engineering classes and be a field engineer installing networking equipment. I had 15 minutes to decide. Sometimes life is funny and complicated. I chose option #3. That was scary. For the next 6 months I flew almost every day of every week, reading manuals on the flights and learning by fire about the technology. It was painful, but I learned how to learn. This was the greatest experience I’ve ever had and I’m grateful to have stumbled into it. It was 20 years ago and I had no planning that it was coming.

Fast forward 20 years and quite a lot have changed. I’ve been lucky to have been able to use that “ability to learn” to transition back and forth between technical, marketing and “other” jobs, across multiple technology companies. During that time, life changed and priorities changed. Learning became easier, but planning became more complicated. 20 years ago, technology transitions happened over 10-20 years. Mainframe to Mini to PC to Web. I now believe that similar transitions happen 2x as fast, taking 5-10 years. The economics and supply chains have been radically impacted by things like Open-Source Software (OSS) and Public Cloud Computing. [Tip: Download a copy of “The New Kingmakers” by Stephen O’Grady from Redmonk to get a better appreciation of that change.]

Engineers Unplugged

on Friday, March 1, 2013

Last summer, I was having lunch with my friend Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja) and we were discussing some ideas about how to better engage the Cloud Computing technology communities. As a whole, there is quite a bit of change happening in this space (technology, market dynamics, business models) and it can be difficult for people to keep up with all that's going on. I don't recall all the details of that lunch, but the central idea was that it would be interesting if we could capture the passion and insight that happens when technologists get together around a whiteboard and talk shop.

Needless to say, a few months later, Amy took her network connections and social media prowess and turned that initial idea into a very cool series of videos called "Engineers Unplugged". It's now moved into Season 2 and covers topics from Cloud Computing to Data Center design to Networking to Virtualization and everything in between. And more impressive than the technology breadth is the cast of ubergeeks that share their knowledge on the shows. I've been lucky enough to be on two episodes (below), but luckily most of the technology discussions are much more interesting than my sessions.

If you're into Cloud Computing or the changing landscape that involves Data Center technologies, I highly recommend you check out this weekly series. There's unicorns too, so it has that going for it also...

2013 Technology Predictions

on Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Since the world is ending in a few days, it's important to make predictions about things that nobody will be able to verify if they occurred or not. Since I made a few in 2011 and 2012 (and 2012+), I suspect I can't do anymore harm making a few in 2013 as well. A couple of the sites that syndicate my content have published them (here, here)

Top 10 Cloud Computing People to Follow on Twitter

on Monday, December 17, 2012

I am honored to be listed by IT Knowledge Exchange as one of the Top 10 people on Twitter to follow for Cloud Computing knowledge. I am one of the few people on the list that is primary focused on Enterprise usage of Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing Expertise and Certifications

on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This past week, I had the opportunity to do an interview with Mirek Burnejko, from IT Certification Master. We spoke about the evolution of Cloud Computing, how people are learning the new technologies, and whether or not Cloud Computing certifications are useful in today's IT environment. 

In this interview you will find:
  • How to move your knowledge of Cloud Computing to another level.
  • Are Cloud Computing certifications import?
  • How to gain expertise in the Cloud Computing world. 

Shadow IT and the Cloud - Déjà vu all over again

on Thursday, May 17, 2012

Last week I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Uhuru Software podcast, talking about how companies are adopting Cloud Computing, deployment best practices, success stories and some common mistakes.

We talked about the role of "Shadow IT" in driving new projects, the evolving trend of users bringing technology into their businesses (as opposed to being driven by IT organizations), and why people shouldn't necessarily look at cost-reduction at the #1 value proposition for Cloud Computing.