Lot’s of things going on (not a technical blog today)…

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

I finished the Mississippi Madison (episode 1) on Linkedin – the link to that is here. I am trying to keep some unique content on each of my blogs now.

Also published this week the compilation (and some unique stuff) of my blog series on Andersen’s Law of Innovation. It is now available on the Kindle for less than a buck. There are some edits (grammar mostly) and a ton of new content in the on-line compiled version that never made it to my blog. You can find that book here for your Kindle.

On my CloudTweaks blog last week I published a new article that you can find here. There is also a blog from June about Cloud Delivery (you can find here) on CloudTweaks.

Sliding over to Safegov there are a couple new posts there as well (June and July).The July post is a whimsical look at the data center of the future. The June article was a conversation around applications and being cloud ready. You can find that one here.

Sorry for all the marketing of other blogs today but it’s the best way to keep people informed of what and where I am posting. I will be adding the Mississippi Madison episode one to my podcast library in August if you prefer the spoken version. I also added a blog about innovation to my profile on IASA and you can find that one here.

Last I will end with my last bit of marketing. There are two campaigns that are noteworthy on Indiegogo that I would like to share with you. The first one is a personal presence device – I know its been done before. But there are two distinct differences. This one is less than 500 dollars. Many of the PPD’s are more than 2000 dollars per unit. This one leverages a tablet (Android or iPad) to create the connection and act as the brains of the PPD. It is a really great idea for remote workers, sick children or adults so that you can still be in the office (or school) without making everyone else sick or worse falling behind. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/padbot-a-telepresence-robot-cool-fun-affordable-buddy-for-ipad-android-pad/x/3230074

The second and last part of today’s post is the Jibo project. A personal robot system. Interactive robotic system that has so much potential it is scary. They are 100%+ funded and where funded in less than two days. But there are some interesting stretch goals and options coming with more backers. Building on the PPD device this creates a learning robot in your house to help you do the things you need to do. Plus it is simply amazing technology. You can find the campaign here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jibo-the-world-s-first-family-robot/x/3230074 

Thanks all!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Eureka–come here Watson I need you…

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

“Its real” Mississippi said.

Her assistant pressed the coffee soaked paper between two books that were sitting on the old desk. Windows 95 explained and the Secrets of Windows 3.1. He figured those were safe to absorb the left over coffee “why are you so sure?” He asked.

“Because Dewey never lies.” She replied. Moving to the far end of the old abandoned office she examined the books carefully stacked on the shelves. A cloud of dust rose around her. “Dust” she coughed out “why does it have to be dust.” Waving her arms she gently removed a book from the shelf. “89.34acd” she read aloud.

Her assistant pulled the Windows 95 explained book off the top of the sheet and read the numbers hand written on the paper. “Nope, it says 100.89dm”

Mississippi kept looking. Long through the afternoon and well past quitting time she dug through the shelves in the old office. Somewhere on that shelving were books starting with the Dewey designation 100.x and she was going to find them. “Wow here is a keeper,” Mississippi said. “Windows for workgroups 3.11 networking guide.” She handed to book to her assistant.

He took the book and slipped it into the bag he always carried. Mississippi always found treasures on these missions and it was his job to get them safely back to base.

“Wow here is another treasure. Giant Telecoms original implementation of our network here in the office.” she smiled and handed that book to her assistant.

“really?” he asked as he used both hands to grasp the huge book “do I have to carry this back to the office? This book weighs more than me.” He said.

Mississippi was used to the whining. Her assistant didn’t much like the adventures. “Yes” she said. “Its an important artifact from the deep dark organizational closet.” She turned back for a moment to face her assistant and glare. In turning she dislodged a book from the shelves “Now see what you…” she started to say then looking down she saw them. 100.88 to 100.90. The Enterprise Architecture.

The books were covered with layers of dust. Stacked on top of them were magazines and articles cut out of magazines. Mississippi carefully removed the articles and looked at them for a second.

“Jan 11 1978” she said reading the dates. “This hasn’t been moved in awhile…”

{more to come}

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Mississippi Madison and the lost Enterprise Architecture…

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

I’ve decided that I am going to create a new character like the Cloud Whisperer. This character is an architectural archeologist seeking the lost enterprise architecture. I won’t make the first name Indiana because they named the dog Indiana. Oh and his or her last name won’t be Jones.

The journey’s of Mississippi Madison Software Architecture Archeologist.

Deep in a cave sometimes called the old Director of Infrastructure’s office located nestled next to a radiator that spit out too much cold air in the winter and too much hot air in the summer Mississippi was seeking the long rumor enterprise architecture documents. She was reading notes she had found in a document produced what seemed to be a thousand years ago but that was just because it had been sitting on the desk of a person who routinely spilled coffee all over his desk.

“Wait,” she suddenly said holding her hand up. “Don’t move.” she finished lowering her hand.

Her loyal sidekick, assistant and document scanner stopped as unstructured and looking at Madison asked “Do you have to wear the hat?”

“I don’t feel like a software architecture archeologist without the hat” Madison answered.

“Ok, but if you crack that bull whip in the office again we are both going to be in trouble.” he answered.

“Understood. I got the memo from HR. Bull whips cannot be cracked inside the building even if you are trying to snap the dust off an architecture document that hasn’t been opened in 10 years” she replied.

“So what are we looking for?” her assistant asked.

“I found this,” Madison handed over the aging coffee stained document.

“umm its still wet” her assistant answered “what is it supposed to be other than in the garbage can?”

“I found it on Harrison’s desk. It’s a note written in the long forgotten code of Dewey.” Madison answered.

“Harrison always uses the Dewey Decimal system and he always spills coffee on his desk. He is the only librarian software or books who drinks coffee and spills it on everything.” The assistant answered.

“Yes but the document you just threw away actually has the Dewey codes for the long lost enterprise architecture documents.” Madison answered.

Her assistant scrambled to open the lid of the trash can and gently pluck the coffee stained and soaked paper out. “Oh.” He said. “But Madison that document “the enterprise architecture” was only rumored. No one has ever seen that document.” he finished.

{more to come}

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow!

I am software architect look upon my work and despair…

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

I have long argued for architectural simplicity. From my difference architecture concept (only document what is new) to concepts published many years ago in my Information Lifecycle work (both still on MSDN if you search).

Now I am wondering instead about the concept of architectural archaeology. As a consultant I followed many other architects to customer’s and many customer architects and received architectural drawings denoting what was deployed. I have spoken often of the poem Ozymandias mighty works left to the desert that in the end were no more.

That is something I found frequently in software documentation. Great works that were no more but still lived on forever in the documentation that had never been updated.  I am architect look upon my works ye mighty and despair. The only despair I ever felt was realizing it was going to be a manual process. That discovery went from reading, understanding and verifying to poking, prodding and sorting through outputs of various automated information gathering tools.

Hours spent sifting through the crumbling remains of many visions shattered. It was hours, running tools to gather information about systems that hadn’t been turned off in years and no one was quite sure who built them or for that matter how they were built. Or worse some level of mythical architecture pointing to a closet in a room where a box ran the critical process for an application. Only to find that room full of mops and brooms and no server. That box having grown many legs like an architectural centipede and crawling away to another closet or worst under the desk of a cube that had once belonged to Milton. But Milton retired and no one remembers where he sat now.

So you grab your Bull Whip, Fedora and Leather Archeologists computer bag and start searching. (please no snakes). Running from cube to cube hoping no giant rock suddenly dislodged changes you around the building. I seek the golden server of Ra.

The Indiana Jones reference was a bit extreme but the concept is true and the reality is that often the complexity of documentation leads to the reality of no documentation or limited documentation resulting in a maze of solutions that don’t connect the way they were documented.

Simplicity.

I promise that call is not coming from Siren’s luring software architects to the rocks of oblivion. It’s coming instead from a simple reality. An unopened architecture is not an archeological find, it is in fact a sad reality.

KISS remains the best tool a software architect  can use. Keep it simple (Simon or Tom, or Bill, whatever your name is). If you build it they will eventually have to replace it. If they can’t find how it was built it’s a lot harder to replace.

Now where is my Fedora?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Ambiance isn’t just candles and wine…

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

Yesterday I posted about the ambiance of innovation. How there are styles and there are ambiances that clash and ones that mesh. I wonder today how much ambiance has impacted innovation over the years.

Edison and Ford both build environments where they were able to innovate successfully. I wonder if because of the nature of the ambiance they created did it stifle innovation?

The thing I have noted in the past few months is that the tools innovators have today are greater than at any point in the past. They have the ability to quickly build and model solutions that cut weeks and months off of production time.

In the 1910 time period you had to work for one of the car companies to be able to innovate mass productions. Stutz and other car companies went for the custom hand built car. That in the end cost significantly more than Henry Fords assembly line. Edison built an innovation factory in New Jersey where he was able to focus on inventing the things he envisioned.

But then what if you didn’t fit with that ambiance?

I once argued that the biggest change in the world of watches is that many of the people who have new watch ideas are leaving big companies and building watches on their own (Pebble). Or they are going to companies that don’t have a traditional watch market (Apple, Google and Samsung). The knowledge of making watches with cool and interesting features is following out into the broader market now. The same is true for a number of other technologies from PC’s to speakers.

We could say that the world’s ambiance for technology has changed. Things are examined and absorbed quickly now. That builds a broader market and more innovations occur.

Exponential innovations explode into a market, but in the end they also create a market. That market past the exponential innovation moves towards the slower linear innovation path. The cycle of innovation repeating itself.

  • Exponential creates a market.
  • Linear continues to build and sustain that market.
  • Applied innovation moves the market to the right or left.

Each of the innovation patterns results in a specific reaction to both the innovation and the market. Exponential innovation represents game changing events. At that point as a competitor in a market you have to catch up or become irreverent. Linear innovations can become mired in year over year incremental growth and in the end are heavily focused more on operational efficiency than net new innovation.

The ambiance created by both is quite different and extremely interesting to consider.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Innovation and Ambiance…

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

Ambiance.

We went to a little Italian place last night (its new). They were aiming for a family ambiance. A convivial environment filled with laughter and families sharing food.

I started thinking about the Ambiance of technology and innovation. Yes my brain works that way and sadly there isn’t much I can do about it. What is the ambiance of innovation.

Innovation can be that family convivial restaurant. A group of people with dream and vision struggling together to build the perfect mouse trap. It can also be a quiet moment when one realizes ones lunch is covered with mold and the mold is slowly killing the previous mold (penicillin!)

The ambiance is always innovator dependent. As much for what the person is comfortable with as anything. Pushing a introvert into a room field with people working, talking and sipping coffee en masse isn’t going to work. That innovator wants to work on his own in a lab in his basement. But there are innovators who desire nothing other than being in the crowd and bouncing ideas off of each other to improve what they are building.

That ambiance is so essential. Its really hard to modify the ambiance of a large company. They tend more towards the basement lab and the solitary innovator. Smaller more agile companies often stray towards the single room and whiteboard model. Done correctly you can still support the I need to work alone person in a crowded room. You simple create zones in the room. This is the quite side of the room and this is the loud side. Make sure you have whiteboards on both sides of the room.

Generating a successful ambiance will improve the probably of innovation success. It doesn’t guarantee success but it does improve the probability of success. It can also create a fun let’s save the world place to be.

In the end its is also a personal examination. You have to know what makes you happy in order to help you achieve that innovation you see. Picking the wrong ambiance for you can add years to the innovation timeline. Simply because you stop dreaming of the innovation and start worrying about work.

A wise man once told me to understand what you want to do and how you like to do it. I try to live by that.

..doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

If nobody reads the document than it doesn’t matter how brilliant your architecture is, it isn’t what is deployed.

http://docandersen.podbean.com
https://docandersen.wordpress.com
http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com
My Amazon author page!!!!
http://www.safegov.org

To expand a little on what I was talking about yesterday, the concept of a difference architecture I would like to add some points that were pointed out to me years ago.

  • If nobody reads the architecture then by default it is not an architecture
  • If it was read once, filed and NEVER updated it is by default not an architecture.

Its really quite simple in the end. In a world filled with patterns and reference architectures the time we spend building a new version of that architecture is time lost forever.

At the time of my original whitepaper there was a concept floating around that remains a viable option. The concept was a pod. Where you had a set of functionality you needed and you established and built that in a pod. Its very much like how cloud providers build and deliver IaaS. Pods. It simplifies the architecture and more importantly makes it much easier to update.

Data paths and data structures are complex to diagram in nitty gritty details. If we move towards the Pod concept and further to the reality of difference architectures some of that complexity can go away. We already have a reusable Pod concept for data flow.

When you add a CSP to the mix of data flow you add a layer of complexity but it shouldn’t add another huge layer of documentation.

It all comes back to what you are intending to convey in the architecture you are building.

There are models and methods (and methods to build models) for virtually everything. There are books on documenting software architectures.

The most telling thing in my 20 years of looking at this problem? When you ask to see someone’s enterprise architecture and they hand you a network diagram with physical sites and servers listed. The world has been driving to simplicity for years.

If nobody reads the document than it doesn’t matter how brilliant your architecture is, it isn’t what is deployed.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow