Five Links: Get Where You Are Going Edition

Happy (St Patrick’s) Friday, everyone.

This is a general “stuff” kind of post. From working with the technical debt of legacy systems (and processes) to navigating new regulations for cybersecurity, these links look at the different and daily aspects of maintaining IT infrastructure that supports your organizational strategies. Even the most glamorous of projects are really only glamorous in planning and in hindsight; the work of implementing those projects is (ahem) work.

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Five Links: Fun and Games Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

As we kick off spring break season, let’s look at something a little lighter and happier: the gaming side of technology. Consumer design can be a huge driver even for enterprise technology; the simple UX of Apple products is now influencing design and experience expectations for backend systems. From nostalgia games to astronomical artwork, there is a lot of interesting stuff going on in the world. One of my favorite lines from Graceland (seriously, Paul Simon rocks, people): “These are the days of miracles and wonder.”

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Five Links: Band of Brothers Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

Red Hat has a lot of corporate blogs (worth reading!), but a huge part of our culture as a company is collaboration and meritocracy. As in … letting our opinions be known. There’s a reason we actually made a t-shirt to commemorate our corporation-wide mailing list.

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From Pinterest

A lot of Red Hatters have personal blogs (or active LinkedIn postings) precisely because of the value that we as a group place on transparency, defending ideas, and innovation.

This week, I want to highlight some of the blogs by Red Hatters that I’ve read recently. I’m not even going to call this a “top 5,” because we have a lot of prolific and interesting writers on a million different topics. These are a random sampling of the blogs that I hit periodically.

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Five Links: Pattern Recognition Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

When I was a reporter in Livingston, Montana, I wrote a story about a massive infrastructure campaign that was just kicking off — new sewer and water lines across town, changing traffic flows and redesigning streets, new green spaces and public art. I interviewed the primary architect, and he told me that the designs were influenced by A Pattern Language, published in 1977. That book has fascinated me; from the placement of a single window to the layout of an entire central business district, it breaks down the patterns of human behavior and then analyzes design techniques that best reinforce the desired patterns for a given space. It doesn’t say what should be done; it simply uses patterns to say if you want to accomplish Goal A, use Design Technique B.

In a roundabout way, this week’s series of links look at patterns and how they influence behavior.

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Five Links: Culture Is the Way We Do Things Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

True story: I was at an OpenStack conference a couple of years ago, and on a whim, I signed up for a contest to install OpenStack in a certain configuration. I did it on a whim because I wanted the T-shirt, but I found out later that this was a huge deal — guys had been prepping their automated installs for weeks leading up to the event. I went to the organizer and tried to back out, and he got this panicked look and begged me to stay, just to show up — he had already told his manager that they had their first woman in the competition ever, and if I just showed up, no matter how badly I did, I was guaranteed the “diversity prize.” Long story short, I did terribly, but I got a T-shirt and a Venue 8 Chrome tablet.

I mention this, because I have stumbled across probably a half dozen stories on diversity in IT departments in the past couple of weeks, which seemed like an oddly-specific trend in articles. But that’s not all I’ve been seeing! I have hit a lot of really great articles on team work and productivity in general — attributes of healthy teams, setting effective priorities, and managing your talent.

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Five Links: A Little Bit of This Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve still been running through year-end retrospectives and new year predictions, and I haven’t hit on a theme yet. (The character of 2017 is still enigmatic.) As always, though, there are lots of good things on the interwebz, and this week covers the gamut — containers, big data, machine learning, and Alexa.

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Five Links: Dusting the Bookshelf Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

There really isn’t a trend to the types of articles I’ve been hitting this week; there’s been a cornucopia of different topics, from security to leadership.

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Image credit: Quotes n Thoughts

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Five Links: All My Friends Are Dead Edition

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.

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Five Links: Make Me Feel Safe Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

The last few weeks have seen a series of DDOS attacks taking out major services through vulnerabilities in IoT security, outages from human error, and data breaches from major players like Yahoo and less reputable ones as well. There are a lot of different attack vectors and different types of information that is vulnerable — and this highlights the thin line between security and risk. Security is not exactly a buzzword and it doesn’t get a lot of attention until (like insurance, a warm coat, or a full tank of gas) you really need it. That’s this week’s theme — data security and privacy.

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Five Links: The More You Know Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

There have been a couple of events lately that, at least tangentially, made me think about information and what we do with it. There have been a series of DDOS attacks on popular sites, at least one of which was driven by a blind army of smart devices. The other is the volatile and ultimately inaccurate polling leading into the US Presidential election. Both of these hint at the Wild West nature of technology — its flexibility and newness offers a lot of promise and a lot of unknown risks. So the theme for this week is — what is the quality of data and analytics and how do we do it “right.”

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