Tag Archives: TechTalks

With Open Source One needs to be Generous -OSI days Bangalore 2014

OSIdays

Attended the OSI days Bangalore. One of the places where it makes sense to host a conference where you can find a large numbers of people on any technology under the sun. Open source unifies the birds working on different tech stacks .NET , JAVA , ROR, PHP, LAMP,MEAN folks [ how mean or cheap can you get ūüôā with open source ] etc. Scripting all shades and Mobile App developers worth their app.

It was organized by EFY the magazine company primarily with other Open source vendors / sponsors with their stalls.Microsoft had a big stall along with Oracle and HP all out there hustling and trading their wares enticing developers to get hooked on their bandwagon. Microsoft had a dev camp where a set of exercises were loaded onto PCs which was open to developers to type , program the exercises and get a real world feel of how quick or easy it is to get your app moment. There were applications ranging from test programs to play around with Mongo DB, windows HTML mobile applications. Nice way to get developers to at least take a peek at your offerings.

And there were goodies like T-shirts, portable chargers and like to make it worth somebody’s time to try them.

It is not about who makes the box anymore.

HP Helium was out their doing their social marketing around the Helium Open Stack cloud. They have a strong private cloud offering with Open Stack as the standard and a lot of evangelizing around that was there to see.Tweet to get early bird prizes,quizzes,selfies randomly picked and prizes ranged from HP tablets to laptops in some cases. Over all it was a big change to see traditional companies playing the social game well , getting public attention on social media. With game changing and disruptive technologies all around HP has thrown their hat in the cloud arena with the Helium offering. As it is now ‚ÄúIt is no longer about who makes the box‚ÄĚ.The infrastructure game has changed forever with cloud adoption. Nobody wants the CAPEX with an expensive box in their premises unless it has a strong rational these days.The only way HP can push their Hardware capability into the markets is for people to go the private cloud way and then push their servers where it has a business use case. Overall a lot of action happening on the front with HP having partnered with Cloud foundry to make it happen among other key cloud initiatives Good to see large companies stepping up their game or risk being outpaced. Microsoft adopting the cloud game with Office 365 was spot on and help them stay in the game. Sure HP played their social media strategy well here and more so get developers to talk about you and the market will follow suit.

Notable misses from an Open Source conference were Redhat,Google,Python community but nevertheless it was a good representation overall. May be it is all that you can squeeze into a two day program with back to back parallel sessions.

Some random takeaways

1. Companies of all sizes and shapes are adopting open source. Some large companies now have an open source practice, Wipro had a stall there.

2. People choose the technology stack based on what they are comfortable while building products and not necessarily the best out there for a given problem. It is difficult for one to know what is good with rapid technology changes.

3. The shelf life of any product built with Open Stack is only a few months to a year. Then on they either get upgraded or move to something better.

4.Mostly backend business logic is still written in good old C,C++,Python,Java,COBOL and people do not tamper with them although new technology intrusion is always enticing.

5. GoLang preferred against Python where concurrency was an issue.Although Python measured up against GoLang with no CPU latency being there.

6. A lot of product ideas being thrown around and some folks detailed what their journey was like. Good comment was when someone said you adopted SMART technologies to get here, the response was it took us several years to get SMART. So it was never a overnight thing.

7.Stackoverflow and user forums for the Open Source technologies apart from Google GOD solved people steer clear of roadblocks and bottlenecks during their open source journey.

8. Although getting people to adopt open source is hard with no support but once the team adopts to the stack it works great and an unmatched ROI. Else your TCO is eaten away by the hardware/software vendors whom you are depended on. One mention here is a tool called sendy which costs around 60$ but once configured and setup you can send mail blasts to your email list for a lifetime with that initial cost.

9. You need to be generous to allow people to use your stuff for free and this promotes your to leverage on the collective strengths of an intelligent community whom you can bank on for updates , fixes , issues etc.

10. Leveraging  Open Source is a two way street it always works with both the parties being benefited Once you have an enhancement that serves the larger community you contribute back into the pool. Opportunity here is a two way street.

People pay for the shiny stuff large user base gets you marketing

You need to be generous to allow a large percentage of people to use and benefit from your goodies. Evernote , all the cloud storage option providers ( gmail, one drive, dropbox) all of these fall into this category. They get their revenues based on the premium few users and good ad strategy for them to allow people to use their stuff. This is more popular as the freemium model, keep a large part of it free but for the shiny wares on your stack charge a premium. You need to give to get back. It works the other way also as you can almost crowd source efforts on your development if the open source takes off. You do not have to employ the services of people by employing people to take care of enhancements , future releases, bug fixes. This is a good advertising strategy for people who do not have ad revenues. Keep your product free , get people to comment on it crib and better still have them validate it for you free and then decide which of the features of the product you want people to pay for it. Quite disruptive coming to think of it , if its well executed.

 

Open Group Conference 2014 Bangalore – Where is EA now ?

opengroup

Was at the open group conference at Bangalore and spoke on “Enterprise Architecture and Keeping your business relevant”. Was off to native and could manage to attend the second day of the conference at Phillips Innovation Campus.

Initial Talk was by Jason Uppal on how EA was used to solve problems in the heath care industry and his experience in the same with some case studies.

Some interesting perspectives on initiatives from the Open Group to take Togaf body of knowledge to colleges along with Computer Society of India and an effort to popularize it apart from being used by the industry alone.India ranks third in the list of Togaf certified candidates and increasing year on year. This was briefed by James of the Open Group.

EA and the Developing World

Far away countries such as Finland and Brunei are also adopting Togaf and there is growing list of developing countries such as Mongolia  which also is adopting Togaf for overall streaming lining of IT services. This was presented by Vish Vishwanath of CC and C solutions.He also walked through the penetration of EA in these markets and how EA can significantly be used to solve newer technology adoption issues. Developing countries will have to go through the same curve where EA can play a good role in packaging and getting your business / IT strategy right. This market is hugely untapped and really be a good case in point to explore and would most likely a candidate where future success stories would be crafted. 

Keeping Your Product/Solution Relevant

Spoke on using EA to help keeping the business relevant. Touched upon how a reference architecture helps create a north star to follow. How a large company can stay agile and make quick turn around as it is said making “Making an Elephant Dance”. Most large corporations are now focusing on learning this key skill. Gave a brief presentation with 18 list of TODO’s for a company (product/solution). Irrespective of the size of the company the ability to dance to various market and customer tunes is what helps it stay on top of the curve. The presentation details are shared here. All of the slides have 18 TODOs listed ( in no specific order ) and each category needs a deep dive into what can fit well for an organization specific context. Overall a handpicked set of initiatives that help a product or a solution to be relevant in today’s times. Even implementing a few of these¬†initiatives¬†to a¬†reasonable¬†degree of seriousness can create the hockey stick effect on your annual performance report , which is the last slide of the presentation.¬†

opengroup_2014

Commoditization of EA

That apart there was a talk on how EA is being packaged and off shored an IBM perspective by Sreekanth. This dealt with the issues of putting solution architecture work miles away from where it is being consumed and how technology has progressed in making this happen. How customer’s are now adopting this mode of delivery and look forward to having a robust process framework around this to help with getting predictable and estimates for the same. Ideally they would like to have better control on the work pieces assigned to the team off shored to and be able to estimate and bill accordingly. As a lot of things are new on this front as always it takes sometime to stabilize things on this front. Have come across SAP and other vendors opting for a packaged implementation points sort of a things which is like a work break down structure for your activity at customer location. World is indeed getting flat including off shoring innovation work ¬†till the point that you are not sure your idea is going to fly. In which case more clarity emerges and all trial and product pivoting also is getting off shored.

There was a talk by Hari from TCS on a case study of who they used Archiemate to map customer requirements and showcase value to the customer end user on use of the same. This is a neat initiative that is picking up momentum on tying together business and IT together. UML is for techies and not all business nuances can be conveyed using the same. The business folks are not UML friendly and a free format diagramming visual standard such Archiemate is useful in helping bridging the gap between the two.

Disconnect between Archiemate and Togaf : For people entirely new to these they need to be treated separately and does not pose a problem. For folks coming from the Togaf world there seems to be a missing perspective ( data ) which archiemate has across all the layers and gives primary prominence to Business , Application and Technology at least in the views. The data part of the details are implicit across the visual representation of Archiemate and quite embedded as a part of Business , Application and Technology instead of being treated separate. Quite understandable as bringing data architecture at a overview level can pose the trees get coverage instead of the forest. Anyway it is a step to bridge the divide between business and IT. Have heard about how this standard is helping many approach architecture diagrams without being overwhelmed at the outset with semantics of the new standard or other intricacies of UML which for a person from the business would be hard to scale upto. Certain regions have a good adoption of this standard and certain countries are ok with BPMN / UML or arbitary or No UML as it is referred to where every organization creates a standard that suits its needs the best with legends etc.

A weekend well spent discussing things that matter and can change lives and our part in the same.Attending conferences always keeps you relevant and of course helps one in keeping abreast of what is happening around.

How to demo stuff to people ?

How to demo stuff to people where a sense of how it works is evident and you get a sense of being taken through a journey. Tell it like a story as it is told means you are no longer the guy who is shown how the stuff works but almost get to experience what it means to own or work with that product / tech stuff or gadget. There are many  books being written on this topic such as slideology, presentation patterns and effective presentations and so on. Each of them giving you on what is needed to convey your essence to the consumer of your talk. There is a great deal of learning that Steve Jobs added to this topic and many refer to him as the epitome of someone who told a story and that too a captivating one. No one presented like Steve was the standard. Men of his caliber apart from marketing apple to the world around did in many ways up the standard for presentations and cut down on all the flab that goes with presentations. Carry with you the item that you are going to demo , build a story around it weave it together and the world is the stage for the actor/presenter.

Watched this nice presentation on regular expressions which is always an interesting topic where you can do many many wonderful things with regular expressions. It is skill which can be a great time saver and a productivity tool in software development. You learn this skill to keep your bosses and coworkers happy and most of all solve complex problems and find simple time saving solutions to perhaps writing a tool to automate tests, find the up time of a server, find CPU,memory ,RAM usages and where ever else one can lay their hands on writing scripting to ease the job at hand.

This video had everything neatly explained and is a great demo right from the way the title was named /Reg(exp){2}lained/: Demystifying Regular Expressions. The title style itself is written in a sort of regular expression way , look for the data between / / and replace it with Demystifying Regular Expression. Great presentation and a tool used in the demo written in java script is available at http://leaverou.github.com/regexplained . Tell your story and you no longer have to present it similar to love the work you do and you no longer have to work.

Hippies and Software . Geek Leaks True …At the trenches GIDS 2013

GIDS

Attended the Great Indian Developer Summit the GIDS Edge and GIDS Tutorial Sessions In Bangalore. Attending this means going to IISC which is tucked slightly away from the hum drum of mainstream traffic and noise. Nice getaway for people needing to meet, talk and discuss on things that matter from Java , Software transactional memory, Geeks , Richard Feynman and Particle Physics and economic meltdown caused by geeks gone awry, spam mail being attributed to the inventors of web technology gurus having their roots in the hippie movement. You need to be a hippie in a sense to create something new be it learning something new or escape from your confinements. Most times we are accostomed to a set pattern of thinking on software, architecture, design, language semantics and never thought how it could be if things were different. Such conferences bring out the best from domains and enable one to think different and venture into new territories. We could all assume the status of neo hippies at such venues trying to rant , rave and break free from the technological “status quo” that kept us bounded to old ways. The fact that people still code in COBOL and are willing to know what is latest on that front as well apart from lamba expressions additions in Java 8 which should not be seen as far behind functional languages such as scala, groovy shows how the old and the new co-exist along with the very latest. Java is slowing catching up with the functional languages. Nice summary at the end of a great talk from Venkat that the best way to control the future would be to create it as Peter Drecker once said.Neal took us into the realm of Physics and all things geeky and how it criss crosses our everyday life.

Met a lot of speakers worth their salt in flesh and blood having seen or heard their presentations on youtube or other having dropped by their blogs and found enlightenment when needed.

gids-1

Caught up with some friends and ex colleagues during lunch and shared stories technology and otherwise. Post lunch it was a great and live wire talk by Scott Davis on the future of video and how it can replace all our old devices of entertainment and how soon entertainment will change from being pushed from the cables to on demand where we decide what we see, how we see and how much of it we will see. Nice to know that all major vendors are going the HTML 5 way having seen too many issues with vendor proprietary standards. Scott Davis did look like a hippie with the long flowing hair or rather the guru ( of any age ) who cleared the air on video standards and the inside story of the H.264 standard which end users are not made to suffer when they watch videos and only the browser vendors having to pay for it. His presentation style made sure that the post lunch sleep bug was pushed aside and made for a captivating talk and commanded full attention.

Next was a presentation by Marty Hall on the future of Java. He summarized the Java journey and his own journey from a LISP developer to a Java developer. There was a Gosling v/s Ellison discussion on how the creator moved away to other things and the owner choosing to keep Java still open and mostly as it was , Ellison not having earned the bad boy tag from the geeks and nerds who are Java loyalists. Disheartening to know that Apache is not strongly associated with Java anymore and that they traded ways. Many great things were part of the Apache flagship and saw the light of the day thanks to the strong communities that were part of it. The underlying principle is if you want any technological innovation succeed then get the developer community involved and once you have them on your side you cannot go wrong. Besides this there are no hard and fast rules on why some fads catch up and some do not as it the case with movies. Some become block busters and some just are forgotten by the next friday.

What came out strongly was that the changing face of standards and set ways of doing things. Concurrency has itself changed on how it was being done from early Java to how it will be done in Java 8. Having to attend such conferences bring in different perspectives and helps you to rethink on issues and being introduced to the moving targets in this case technology itself. More on how software development needs to cater to agile means of development by means of continuous development and continuous integration and continuous development. All things continuous meaning whatever you pushed aside as the dirty work now having to do it almost routinely. It is eating a frog every release unless of course you relish them. This was Neal Ford on the Continuous Integration and how it is soon becoming part of all well executed projects.

Towards evening attended the GBG (Google Business Group) Google meetup on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangalore and Google doing its best to get people thinking on those lines and helping them with the mindset and the needed resources and the money by bringing the people with money and the idea guys together to create the next BIG startup  out of Bangalore.

Truly this was our own ALL STUFF NO FLUFF fair at Bangalore. And apart from learning many things new it was this word from Neal ( MEME Wrangler at Thoughtworks) that we should look for ways and means of designing software in an non COMPLECTED way and prefer straight strands always.

End of the post , on my way to other things UN COMPLECTING if there is a word like that meaning towards a straight ¬†path….