Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Clouds, SOA and Aging

Well, I haven’t quite reached the stage of yelling at kids to get off my lawn – but I might be getting close.

I attended a session at Impact titled: “Delivering Strong Services: SOA to the Cloud” – delivered by Daryl Plummer from Gartner. Was the first time that I’ve had the chance to see Daryl in person and enjoyed his presenting and the ideas he discussed.

If you attended Impact, you can log in and download the slides – look for session 3097 (or search by the title).

I don’t plan on regurgitating the entire presentation, but did want to discuss a couple of ideas that were a part of the session.

The first is the idea of scalability versus elasticity. I’ve seen this discussed in a number of places and presentations related to Cloud solutions. When I see the reference to elasticity I think in terms of being to scale up or down as needed. I.e. the solution is able to stretch to meet the needs related to the current (and changing)workload. So I find it odd to see discussions of cloud where it is mentioned that cloud provides scalability and elasticity – seems redundant to me. Have I misinterpreted the meaning of elasticity?

More specific to the session at Impact, there was a discussion on the idea of Cloud Service Brokerages that provide service intermediation or service aggregation (for example). As I listened to the presentation my thoughts wandered to the idea of an ESB and viewing these brokerages as essentially providing ESB like services to a number of customers. The would be an EESB – an extra-ESB – and following on that line of thinking starting to see myself thinking in terms of inter, intra and extra cloud based solutions and drawing parallels to how we saw focus on internet use and capabilities evolve over the years.

And hence the aging comment – seems that after you’ve spent enough years in IT you start to relate everything back to what you’ve seen previously. So here I am, in my advanced years thinking – this cloud stuff is just repeating the cycle of thinking that we experienced in inter/intra/extra-net roll-outs. Back in my day…


Future of Writing in a Digital World?

Came across “Clive Thompson on the Future of Reading in a Digital World” in the June issue of Wired and wanted to capture a few thoughts about the article.

As mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been working on a book on Patterns-Based Engineering for some time now. In discussions with the publisher regarding timelines, production efforts, etc – I’m hoping that the finished product sees the light of day before the end of the year. So I’m living in the current of producing a book – and wondering - how will this future view of reading change how the book gets released and then read?

Looking at the stories listed in the article, as well as other successes out there such as Cory Doctorow or even the open source movement, its fascinating/appealing/scary to think of putting a book out there digitally with no restrictions. So much effort and time goes into the writing – it’s a challenge to think of just opening it up and letting it go.

I’ve not looked at the system yet, but CommentPress sounds quite interesting as it allows a book to become much more interactive – allowing the readers to start conversations on the content of the book – with very fine grained starting points – right down to the paragraph level. (As an aside, it would be interesting to look at comparing this to the capabilities of Google Wave)

We’ll be having some discussions with our publisher about how digital copies will be made available and their plans for interactivity. At a minimum, we’re looking at setting up a site along with an associated wiki for the EPF practice that we are producing in association with the book. In the meantime, we’ve been talking to many people about the book and looking to incorporate as much feedback as possible.

I’d be interested in any comments/suggestions anyone has on how they’ve changed their authoring efforts based on the “future” of reading and some of the new offerings out there such as CommentPress.


Friday, June 5, 2009

RSC 2009: PBE: Principles, Practice and Patterns

Here’s the ppt that Celso and I delivered at the 2009 Rational Software Conference. The content is derived from the book we are producing which will be coming out later this year. Its a brief view into the content allowing us to share the work and gather some feedback.

NSDP02d NSDP02d Lee Ackerman Patterns-Based Engineering: Principles, Patterns and Practices presentation as delivered at the Rational Software Conference 2009.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GM, Smart Cars and Smart

Attended a session today discussing software development in a smarter planet. The presenter was discussing all of the software that now ships in cars – essentially how we now have smart cars – and speculated that perhaps this was a reason GM was in its current situation. That is, they’ve struggled in production of cars that are smart - and that’s the factor behind the bankruptcy.

I have trouble with this line of reasoning – and while I’d agree that its an issue in terms of being smart – its not just the cars themselves. Instead I see it as being an issue of smarter business processes (and manufacturing, distribution, etc) – that is being a dynamic business. As we look back over the past couple of years (18 months?) the amazing volatility and changes in terms of gas prices, consumer preferences (SUVs, gas efficient models, back to SUVs?) and overall economy/finances – these all place incredible pressures on the business.

As an automobile manufacturer:Which models should be sold? How many to produce? How to deliver the innovations that customers demand? Scale up? Scale down? How could elasticity be inserted into the production process? And how do you act on these decisions in real time and with agility?