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 The Newsletter

 20180105 CST
 From @cote, @bwhichard, @mattray


¡Hola! Books 

According to Goodreads, last year I read 23 books. This doesn't include ones I gave up on or haven't finished, which is fair. Some notes on them:
  • American Gods was even better the second time around. Similar to The Man in the High Castle, a book I first read in my late teens (when I read all the Phillip K. Dick I could get my hands on): the original is nothing like the TV series (rather, the other way around) and is enjoyable on it's own. Also in the re-read category: The Big Sleep.
  • While Sapiens took me almost the whole year to read, it was rewarding. A bit far-fetched at time and I never enjoy a not too subtle vegan pitch.
  • Upon reflection, Hillbilly Elegy failed at what everyone but the author wanted it to: explain what the fuck's up with poor white people being racist, bigoted, and overall inept, not to mention laying out an action plan for how to help them. It's exactly what the author wanted: am educated memoir of growing up white and poor.
  • All the Light We Cannot See is a great book. I think about the characters in it frequently: "What you could be."
  • I think I read all of Warren Ellis' novels. Clearly, I liked them. Gun Machine was particularly excellent. Too bad I can never get into comics. Castlevania was fun too. 
  • Enterprise Architecture As Strategy is an older book (2006?) but is the best read on the pragmatic tactics of strategically thinking about and managing IT I've come across. I'd wager that - as with most "how to do things right" books - if large organizations just did the stuff in here they'd improve massively, or, as we say now-a-days, do some "digital transformation."
  • Programmed Inequality was extremely hard to get through (being, well, academic) but very good content.
  • The Vanity Fair Diaries is a super fun to listen to - I got the audio version and blew through it in two or four days. I started David Sedaris' newly published diaries, but didn't finish it in 2017. I can see that I'l be reading a lot more diaries. They're entertaining, mildly historically informative, but when they're about writer-types, give me some oblique buy helpful tactics in thinking about how I should be, in life, work, and - as is the life of writers - both at the same time.
There were other books, some duds or that I gave up on, and many I haven't finished that were/are good (like The Story of America). Ongoing, I'll probably move from my inscrutable Amazon wish lists to the "Want to Read" function in Goodreads. The Amazon/Kindle/Goodreads integration seems to finally be taking hold: someone realized they had that asset!

Your pal, Coté

Our Content

Things we've done since last time. Very little since holidays.
  • Kubernetes for app modernization in manufacturing, with Ben Wilcock, Pivotal Conversations #90 - Very few enterprises start with a pure green field portfolio, with the ability to create and manage applications in a cloud native mode. They often need to intermix "legacy" style application with these new ones, let alone just run the applications on their own. While at SpringOne Platform, Coté talked with Ben Wilcock about a project he'd worked that fits right in here.
Cars will be cooler - Ben Wilcock's 2018 predictions
Cars will have much better software-driven features.


Most all the stuff we thought was better than average.
  • Your Uber Car Creates Congestion. That May Cost You More To Ride. 
    “About 103,000 for-hire vehicles operate in the city, more than double the roughly 47,000 in 2013, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Of those, 68,000 are affiliated with ride-hailing app companies, including 65,000 with Uber alone, though they may also provide rides for others. In contrast, yellow taxis are capped by city law at just under 13,600.”

    On the other hand, it’s probably easier to get around, even if slower. And, you know, how are you gonna solve for the density of Manhattan, esp. if people don’t want to foot the bill for lots of mass transit?
  • Kroger is taking a direct shot at Amazon and Walmart and making checkout lanes obsolete
    “In 2018, [Kroger] is rolling out a new service to 400 stores that will enable shoppers to scan and pay for their items without checkout lanes, registers, or cashiers.”
  • Towards a bra-free Instagram experience, Lauren Hallden 
    A story of seeing too many bras in Internet ads. It’s hard to add the “don’t do dumb shit” filter to ML.
  • The economics of serverless cloud computing 
    From Owen at 451: “direct expenditure on serverless can be cheaper than on VMs, but only where the number of times the code is executed is under about 500,000 executions per month”
  • These Kubernetes developments make the platform ripe to explode in 2018 
    Matt Asay takes stock of kubernetes, with a forward looking eye.
  • Google Cloud Platform services engage corporate IT 
    Overview of 2017 stuff that enterprises might like, more on the meme of Google figuring "enterprise" out. The conversations over drinks is still that Google doesn't quite get it but is doing a good job fixing it.
  • Private cloud TCO and such, from 451 
    “private cloud can be a less expensive option for enterprises than public cloud. Forty-one percent of 150 IT decision-makers surveyed in February 2017 as part of a custom 451 Research project for VMware claimed to be operating their own private clouds at lower unit costs than public cloud.”
  • 451 JFrog update 
    "JFrog reports more than 4,000 paying customers... 451 Research estimates JFrog's annual revenue at between $70m and $90m."
  • What Successful Digital Transformations Have in Common 
    Some good little zingers, if you trust the interpretation which is a bit wild at times. I think the key take away - as always - is to actually take software/IT seriously and have a CTO function in place tracks new IT innovation and can systematically (i.e., reliably, consistently, and with a disciplined process) figure out how to improve The Business (or, more often, not!) with those innovations.

Thought Lord Check-in

No thought-lordin' this week, just this reminder that you can always try harder because someone else sure as shit is:

(I think we can all agree that the other character in that movie was a real ass-hat.)

Live Recording - Austin, January 16th, 2018

Come see our first live recording at the CloudAustin Meetup. It's January 16th, 2018 at the Austin Rackspace offices. Matt will be miles away, but we'll have Tasty Meats Paul in as a guest co-host. By then we might have t-shirts and there'll be definitely be stickers. Plus: you can ask actual questions instead of just yelling at the air!

T-Shirts now available!

You can now buy Software Defined Talk t-shirts! If you want a lady's version, apologies that it's not easy, but email me back and we'll get it figured out.

They come in three colors, $25 each. Order 'em up!

That's all for now!

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