antipaucity

fighting the lack of good ideas

dossier done

Our adoption dossier is done (excluding USCIS approval)!

Woot!

Now to wait.

next bglug meeting: topic ‘raspberry pi’; speaker jordan keyes; 1900 (7p) 20 september @collexion hackerspace

After several months, the Bluegrass Linux User Group (see also G+ page) is resuming regular meetings in conjunction With Collexion – a hackerspace in Lexington KY.

Our first (next) topic is “The Raspberry Pi“, presented by Jordan Keyes (creator of twil.tv (also on youtube: http://youtube.com/twildottv)), at 1845 (6:45p) at Collexion. We’ll plan to “start” at 1900 (7p).

Collexion is located 109 E. Loudon Ave in Lexington.

We are looking forward to a good time being had by all.

Please bring a small donation for dinner (planning to order-in pizza) – any leftover cash will be left as a “thank you” to the kind folks at Collexion for letting us use their space.

Also to note: the new regular meeting day will be the third Thursday of each month.

restful webservices

My friend Steven recently wrote about linguistics in webservices.

In it he postulates that since all “good code” should resemble speech, webservices should use linguistically-tied approaches to their APIs. In short, it’s an article on RESTful websites being used in a linguistically-understandable way.

For example:

http://searchengine.com/search/keyword1/keyword2/not:keyword3

should run your query against the search engine, so you can always tell what it is doing, and how it works.

Personally, I think this is a great idea – it goes with the concept that all URIs should be truly “permanent”, and that the web should be understandable by mere mortals.

I am perennially surprised that companies use horrid URL formats when simple ones can be done. For example, WordPress uses a .htaccess file and Apache’s mod_rewrite to make URLs look nice.

Why can’t Newegg do the same? Surely “http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100019151%2050001707&IsNodeId=1&name=Activision&SpeTabStoreType=8” is not friendly to remember, or to query outside of the site itself. And that’s only a small example – the more filters added, the worse the URL becomes.

Then consider the URLs that get created when a site uses something like FeedBurner to handle its RSS feeds – heaven help you those URLs can look ugly!

Creating a RESTful approach is not all that difficult, and every web developer should be required to do it.

rebooting the bglug

It’s been several months, but we are planning to have another Bluegrass Linux User Group meeting next month!

It looks like there’s a good space to meet near downtown, so while the exact Saturday has not been picked yet, we are looking to reboot the LUG in a few weeks.

If anyone has suggestions for topics, speakers, etc … please leave a comment. If you’re able to give the talk – please tell us that, too 🙂

the failure of the technical sales cycle in enterprise software

Specifically in the realm of data center management and automation software, but applicable to all other niches, sales people are too focused on this quarter, their commission, and getting ink on the page.

In the broader context of the software companies producing tools / products, there is a general focus of getting to the next customer – forgetting about the ones they have now – so they can use previous sales as pressure to get you to buy, too.

And there is a perennial problem with having “products” which are at best half-baked trying to be shoehorned into a role for which they were never intended, or that the customer really doesn’t need.

For example – the growing prevalence of “cloud computing”. Cloud computing – which is really utility computing, an idea 60+ years old – is a useful endeavour … for some companies in some contexts. On-demand creation of compute resources to handle busy times, testing software, etc is a wonderful idea (all of the *aaS acronyms come in here – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DBaaS … what have I missed?). However, hopping on the cloud bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it is dumb.

Not everyone needs cloud computing and services. Some/many may and should employ them, but they’re not for everyone (an unpopular statement at this particular date).

Some companies will not need the “on-demand” aspects of ‘cloud’, and therefore should not have cloud-specific tools.

For example, if you want to do long-term provisioning (greater than, say, 6 months), you are not doing “cloud”, you are doing normal provisioning. If you want this to be subscription-based (like cloud offerings usually are), use a subscriptioning tool – don’t use cloud provisioning software.

Sales is an important part of software development – without sales (of some kind), there is no way to pay for development.

But it is absolutely vital to understand a customer’s environment, needs, wants, and abilities before selling them anything! Does a mom & pop shop with 8 systems need management tools? Maybe…but probably not. How about a company with 30 servers and 100 desktops? Possibly – but “enterprise” solutions will most likely be out of their budget.

Sales folks: learn your customers, become their friend, a trusted advisor – someone they want to write large checks to.

certifications and dependencies

Last week I participated in a beta class for HP’s new Cloud Service Automation 3.0 product release (ok, so it’s a prerelease, and “product” is a strong term). 3.0 is a full rewrite from 2.x, so there is no upgrade path. Also, not everything that “appears” to be in place OOB is actually working – and there is no way to grey-out options that are unavailable.

We were told this should be addressed in a patch sometime in the next 6 months. Yay us. Oh, and did I mention I’m involved in a project to implement this currently? Woot!

After taking this class, I found out that a prerequisite for the class is some Operations Orchestration training from HP – without which HP will not certify I took the class. Right. So, I have to take those classes via HP University over the next couple weeks so that by the time the CSA 3 class is “live” next month I can be officially-verified as having taken it.

And, if I’m going to take those classes, I might as well also go for the certification from HP to add to my CV 🙂

Also by about my birthday, I will be taking the VCP week-long class and test to learn and be certified on VMware’s vCenter, vSphere, and ESXi product lines from an architectural and implementation standpoint.

These next several weeks are going to be a blast 🙂

dossier

Had a great update this afternoon – one document we were convinced was wrong for our dossier has been verified to be acceptable! Woohoo.