A passion for the day…

I grew up in the house of a Science Educator. My initial college degree (the masters is still a partial never finished) was in Elementary Education. I dreamed as a teenager of being a writer. I saw the scotch drinking life style of Ernest Hemingway as something I really wanted to be part of. I grew up, and coming out of college wanted to be a teacher more than anything.

Except people kept telling me I wasn’t going to be a teacher in 10 years. At first it bothered me, my father at that point had been a teacher since the year I was born, so 20, 21 years. As I neared graduation I found myself struggling.

Yes, I wasn’t a teacher for even ten years (I did make 7). Why? For the most part I don’t like the politics of education and my true passion is technology. Seeking, finding and building solution using technology. I have over the years evolved as a technologist. I was once upon a time, a technology for technology sake person. I’ve moved to a more mature belief that it is critical to solve problems with technology.

All this said I am today a technologist. I am someone that spends their day figuring out why things work the way they do, and is there a better way? The reason or today’s explanation is the way of being the home IT person in my family.

First off there is a reality. Technologists are broken into distinct categories. The first category is developers and the second category is hardware. In between the two distinct worlds is that of software/architects. I understand the development process people use. From Waterfall to Agile I have run teams that do both. From network hardware to printer queues I have run teams that installed and managed both.

As the explosion that is DevOps begins to take off, I wonder why it hasn’t always been the way. As a professional I, have always been taught to look at the full picture. Gather all the requirements before coming to a conclusion. That sort of flies in the face of DevOps, in that they talk about not requiring a planning exercise. But in the end, they rely on planning that was already done. I think DevOps should break into two pieces. The Development and Operations team, plugging into the broader Deplanes team. Where the planning team operates independently of the DevOps team.

That said that is not the reason for today’s blog. Well it is, in that it was top of mind for me this morning. More something I needed to say rather than something I should say. Today I wanted more to focus on the evolution of what is technology and the fact that we don’t enable schools to have the technologies that would make education better. I worry that schools are far behind, and far ahead. They have using Bill Gate’s model (empower teams to solve problems but don’t give them money) built amazing systems and wonderful capacity. But we need to bring up the average, not the exceptional.

I would love to see STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) take off. Add the new world reality of connection to create the CSTEAM concept I have talked about for the past three years. It ties back to my DevOps meandering. In that we encourage schools to do more with less, but we don’t enable schools without to move up to less. From Robotics to automation we need to be training students not for the jobs of today but for the automation of tomorrow.

It’s time to enable the many brilliant and exceptional teachers that are doing so much with so little to actually have a chance to deliver something of value. I did not, nor could I, devote my life to education but I have devoted my career to making life easier for teachers. I started the Society of Dead Teachers to create a place to talk about burn out and frustration. I should go back and kick start the DTS. It’s time to have focused fund raising for education. Thinking global (all children) and acting locally (giving money to you schools).

The time for change is here…


Time to enable not disable