Happy Friday, everyone.
The end of the year is often a season of reflection. This year, that reflection seems to have taken a nihilistic tinge, as a lot of people are declaring things dead. Change can feel like death, I guess, but I think it’s easy to conflate something evolving with that something going away. This week, I want to look at some of the technology deaths which, like Mark Twain’s, are greatly exaggerated.
One the one hand, I think the overall premise that private cloud is dying is probably hyperbolic. We still have mainframes, databases, and even virtualization despite literally decades of intervening hardware and software innovation. (My own personal bias is that things don’t die, they shift.) Still, Bernard Golden focuses on one area that is a huge business driver: cost. His argument is that because of inherent inefficiencies within IT departments, the difficulty of effectively determining capacity and utilization, and the technical complexity of running a private cloud, that the density of VMs where a private cloud is sustainable is high enough to be cost-prohibitive for most organizations. The “long, slow death” is the time it takes CTOs to realize the actual costs of private cloud. Honestly, I really enjoyed this article for another reason — it didn’t focus on technology. Too often, technology discussions become a Betamax v VHS v laser disc type discussion, and that’s fascinating, but it’s hard to quantify.
This is a brief (and entertaining) article, and I can make it even briefer. Your teams will work harder if you remind them we’ll all die soon, anyway! Their research is relatively young and focused on sports performance, but Psychology Today has a similar, longer article that looks at the effectiveness of different kinds of motivation: push, pull, and death. Basically, death puts success, failure, and risk into perspective and can encourage people to reach out a little more and be more at peace with their choices, because cosmically there’s not a lot to lose.
This is a fascinating history of Java. Fun fact: “Just Google ‘Java is dead’ and you get 23 million results. But it didn’t die.” It describes the resilience of Java as it’s pivoted through early server-client applications, Java EE and enterprise applications, and now into the Internet of Things. It even has a nice sidenote on one of the biggest, most famous Java applications — Minecraft. Since I work in middleware, this is interesting, anyway, but it’s also nice as a meta-look at how technology adapts and evolves as the larger technology culture changes.
This is similar to the previous article, only a bit shorter (with a nice graphic) and was written by Red Hat’s own VP of middleware. This does touch on something that wasn’t quite as clear in the other article — Java has had such a long life because of the influence of its community. It can respond to culture changes precisely because it is that culture which drives its development.