General

IT does the moonwalk: our endless search for absolutes

Tweet Scene: I was CTO at a high-traffic social networking site, circa ten years ago. It was one of those times when our site got crushed by unexpected sudden volume, due to being mentioned in an article in a prominent newspaper. My infrastructure manager walked into my office the next morning, ashen-faced. “We’re gonna get […]

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IT conferences for the CIO: microcosms of industry trends

Tweet I’m back from attending ServiceNow’s Knowledge13 conference last month in Las Vegas, and have a grab bag of random thoughts and reactions to share as a result. As usual, these thoughts reach beyond any particular vendor or product niche. For anyone not familiar with this company, ServiceNow is slowly and steadily developing a generalized […]

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Novels of IT: The Phoenix Project

Tweet Nerd alert: it’s an exciting day for me when someone releases a new “novel of IT”. I’ve made it my mission to find and review several of these (now four) over the past couple of years, and I may be one of the few people out there who has read and reviewed all of […]

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The One True Way syndrome exemplified: the overstated case against code comments

Tweet I write frequently, and not without some exasperation, about the perennial search for the “silver bullet” in IT: the holy grail, the end-all, be-all solution to preventing IT failure. The silver bullet has a very close and similarly pernicious internal twin cousin: the One True Way. That’s a technique or practice that is (usually) […]

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More timeless, still-relevant information technology jokes

Tweet One of my most visited blog posts noted that certain IT jokes tend to come up again and again. That post covered four such familiar jokes, along with what I felt were some common themes uniting them: IT hubris, narrow perspective, self-righteousness. Each of those jokes contains a “grain of truth” to it that makes […]

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Novels of IT, Part 3: Adventures of an IT Leader

Tweet My long quest for an insightful, broad, and practically applicable “novel of IT” finally met with resounding success, once I got my hands on the outstanding book that is the subject of this post: Adventures of an IT Leader, by Robert D. Austin, Richard L. Nolan, and Shannon O’Donnell. To recap: I was looking […]

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IT anti-patterns: reverse behavior lessons from Steve Jobs

Tweet I’ve written before about how I value Twitter’s ability to fine-tune one’s personal information gathering, selecting people to follow who, over time, prove to be the most useful, interesting, and stimulating. I commonly refer to the people I follow as my “personal Algonquin Round Table,” in homage to the well-known literary group of the […]

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Novels of IT, Part 2: Haunting the CEO

Tweet Last time, I introduced this series by pointing out that reading what I call “novels of IT” could serve a few very useful purposes for those of us who work in and around information technology.  In fact, I presented a number of criteria that come to mind when answering the implicit question of why […]

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