Luke’s new blog and other loose things

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My son posted his first blog last night. which was very exciting for me. It was exciting for me to get him started (took about 5 minutes with WordPress and windows Live Writer). He posted the blog early in the evening last night, total time? figure 30 minutes. Simply amazing.

Driving to Columbus this morning I realized that I hadn’t gotten 1/2 of what I wanted to do done this weekend. I used to have 4 or 5 days a week when I was home at night and could get some of these other things done. Now I am down to 3 or 4 days and frankly I run out of time before I run out of things.

Now the question for me is can I find the time to get the things done I need to do in the time I have? Or will I need to take vacation days just to get caught up. I’ve talked about this before, there is a different mindset to traveling every day compared to being home every evening. You have to be prepared for the reality of traveling.

Of course there is another reality that involves traveling 100’s of miles away from home and no communication infrastructure but that was another time (era) and doesn’t apply to me now.

Check out Luke’s new cooking blog (link above).


Make today a better day through software development!

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The balanced architecture as an expression of the collision of art and science in software architecture.

My initial theme today is the overall concept of the collision of science and art in the profession of software architecture.

The concept is really quite simple. Software that deployed improves the lot of others. This is not a “let’s get rich” thing. Rather that software (and those who design it, build it, deploy it, test it and ultimately sell it) have a social and moral responsibility to make the world a better place.

Make the world a better place through software? It is easily achieved. Frankly there are a huge number of advances in medicine along that software provides. Drug interactions, mis-prescriptions and many others things are reduced via the use of software solutions for these problems.

The balance is not simply the solution it is the impact that solution has on the world around you.


Milestone approaching

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More than 1600 posts

more than 16,000 visits by people reading those posts.

More than 3 years of my life now. Documented, measured and posted on the web. There for all to review, dissect and evaluate. Out there to be commented, posted, reposted and shared.

An open book.

I started more than 3 years ago blogging – not very consistent at first, just the occasional poem from Sandler Boggs and the occasional customer service rant by me. I graduated (or digressed – depending on your point of view) into a series of architectural blogs.

From that blog grew two complete books that are published/being published, and yet there is more.

Not sure where the fount comes from, this seemingly limitless amount of drivel that I have to share. Like everyone I have a lot to say. Like everyone I sometimes think what I have to say isn’t heard by those around me.

Isn’t that the way everyone is? Thinking that no matter how much they have to say, not all of it is heard? At least, not heard all the time. Except perhaps for some celebrities who are so famous that if they burp it is recorded and measured for quality.

1600 + posts and an average of more than 10 views per post per day for more than 3 years. I think I am doing something that resonates with 10 people (nearly 440 comments as well from various people) but the reality is I get more spam (48,000 spam posts and counting, then I do real people comments (440 and counting). For every 100 spam comments I get a real comment.

Anyone – its another dry day at the well so I am fishing with standby bait. Time to get rolling on party prep!


Balance, the art of grace

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Yesterday I brought up the initial conversation around the balance within the solution and the balance within the architect creating the solution. Today I want to add an even broader concept equilibrium within the solution, the architect and the organization seeking the solution.

Several years ago I spent a day trying to balance an egg. Don’t ask me why (mostly on a dare) but I did. I came to realize throughout that process that the balance was between me and the egg, not the egg and the table. When I tried to create balance outside of the egg between myself and the egg I was able to balance the egg.

It wasn’t about trying hard to balance an egg, it was about achieving balance and then applying it to the egg problem. This means sadly if the organization is out of alignment or isn’t near balance the solution cannot achieve balance without a lot more effort.

The process to move from chaos to equilibrium in fact takes more money and energy than he overall value of a balanced solution at that point. The first thing is to achieve organizational balance which of course is nearly impossible. So the real goal is to move closer to balance.

Now balance isn’t moving up some IO scale of IT maturity. Dynamic organizations in the Gartner model have as many issues with unbalanced applications as basic orgs do (in fact they may have mature processes that in the end cause unbalanced application development).

It is a non-process based minimalistic view of architecture, software and solutions. A clear path that has no brambles or structures in the way. A denoted architectural process that is simple and easily applied.

more coming…


The balanced Architecture…

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The concept I want to explore next is the systems view of a balanced architecture. Or the balanced view.

As architects we talk about views and viewpoints frequently with a bent towards the academic when we do. The question I have is around the concept of a view – and if a solution is balanced is the view balanced as well?

The answer to that of course invokes my consulting answer, the reality of “it depends.” Edwin Abbot (Flatlands) talks about a word of straight lines and edges where reality curves beyond the sight of most creatures. The king is a circle as he has the most lines with the lowest subjects being a straight line. They are bound by two dimensions of vision.

We are bound by the 3 or 4 dimensions we perceive so the reality is that we may simply be moving the imbalance of our overall solution outside of our perception. However the reality of the question wholly based on our perception. If the inputs and outputs are loosely equal and the process exists clearly between the two, then in fact our solution may have balance in the perception of the architect.

Is it really balanced? We don’t know. For the purposes of my balanced architecture argument we can accept this imperfect view as balanced.

Now we just have to find an example…


The balance of a solution

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In order to move towards karma based or balanced software architectures it seems to me there are things we need to consider.

The first is what needs to be centered. The architect or the architecture? If we consider the concept of balance I suspect the easy answer is both. The reality is that we will only have one some times. For that which balanced component is more important? Can an architect who is out of alignment or balance create a balanced architecture? I suspect the answer to that is no. An unbalanced solution can become balanced through the application of balance. So the least is the architect the best is the architect and the solution both achieving balance.

A balanced solution would have easily identified requirements that are clear and concise. (good requirements are actionable, measurable and easily identified as they solve clear problems). As you slide through what-ever solution process you leverage this first step can be the first step towards balance. Finding the balance in the solution or for the solution is a critical first step.

The balance we seek is always in the solution itself not in the application of the solution. There is no architecture outside of the architecture. So within the solution is the balance we seek, that balance then is the first step.

What is the balance of a solution? That becomes the journey of the architect. To determine and find the balance within the specific solution they are “building.”


The Karma of Software Architecture

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I was listening to an interesting audible book yesterday talking about the search for inner truth and equilibrium. I started thinking about the karma of architecture. Is it possible to achieve balance with software architecture?

So that was my thinking during my walk yesterday. can you in fact achieve balance through software architecture? A input of good to the world that impacts no one, advances everyone and in the end makes the world a better place?

My initial thinking was the equality of the internet would be a good starting point for this. If you think about the internet information flows freely, but I realized that in many cases it is still limited by countries in many cases.

Then I realized that wasn’t the end state goal of the original thinking. Can you achieve a karmic balance with software architecture? Requirements that lead to solutions that in the end are balanced. A solution that provides a harmonic convergence with the universe.

Is there an essential or universal truth of software architecture?

What would the balance look like?

The Karma of Software Architecture…

more to come…


More on Information as a service

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I’ve written a few times already about the change I’ve proposed in Cloud terminology adding the service Information. The consumption of information is different than the storage and management of information and is frequently the fatal flaw in many KM systems. They are built for publication of information not consumption. With Information as a Services we begin looking not only at the UX experience the user has but also the ease of acquiring the information.

In my Syncverse series of blogs I talked quite a bit about the concept of my information on my device when I need it. You could argue that information as a service would provide the “nomenclature” but not the “structure” and that would be correct. I believe that it is in fact a separate system. Where data as a service is the structure for storing and indexing data that can be consumed, information as a service is the consumption process of that information.

They represent two different systems (storage and management vs. delivery and consumption) that should be separate. The design for reuse is very different than the design for storage and presentation.

Considering that last statement that there is a different between storage/presentation and retrieval/reuse what are they? Users often approach KM solutions with a simple concept – they have a problem they need solved. If you consider this as a critical path component (for the sake of this argument) to the use of KM systems then you find a disparity right away. Data storage is as much about security, management and recoverability as it is anything else. The simpler concept of what I am using this information for is lost – storage and management is the critical path.

More coming!!!!!



Rain and missing “da bean”

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OK I have now written 7 different blogs about rain and of course what does it do all the way to Columbus Ohio today? Freaking rains like nobodies business. So perhaps I should stop complaining about the rain (or whatever the line from “Raindrops keep falling on my head” was).

I am over the rain but this is my last rain soaked blog because every time I write one it rains for 7 more days.

My daughter is heading off to college in August. How do parents deal with that? I am finding myself sad and missing her and she is only thinking about leaving. It seems strange that soon she won’t live under my roof anymore. Without a doubt the bean is an amazing person, and I am going to miss her.



Cool applications coming in the future…

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Some applications I would love to see (and one that is already available). The first one is what tree is attached to this leaf. That application is already in the ITunes library from Columbia university and I suspect there are more of these coming.

Animal and Bird identification – scan in a picture and tell me what bird I saw. You could do this for virtually anything – computer, cellular phone, book, etc. Some of this you can do today by scanning the bar code or the coded picture. Wouldn’t it be cool however to take pictures you’ve taken and identify flora and fauna on the fly?

Help me solve a problem – there are a number of text services that answer questions for you around what something is. What about a service that answered questions like what do I do to prevent x or how do I find the right part for y. That would be a pretty cool option. I wrote about that in my Transitional Services blogs – take a picture of a part of get me a replacement.

Of course any of these applications are easily built. The problem is the amount of data related to building these types of applications. Parsing that data into smaller more consumable components is critical.

That, is a problem for another day – today is just “wouldn’t it be cool” application day.