As Andy Jassy takes over the CEO role at Amazon, the question is asked, “Does it matter who takes over at AWS, the position Jassy is vacating?” The idea is that AWS is such a dominant force in public cloud, an untrained monkey could sit at the helm and AWS would continue printing billions of dollars. So who cares who replaces Jassy? Whoever the new human is, they can’t get it wrong. That might be exactly right, but for the thought exercise, I decided to go a different direction. For purposes of this opinion article, I choose to entertain the idea that Jassy’s replacement does matter, and matters a lot.
Amazon Alexa wants me to know that they celebrate International Data Privacy Day. I’m awestruck at the chutzpah of this claim. Reviews of a Samsung smart television I’m considering express frustration at the crapware loaded onto the system because it is difficult to navigate and tracks viewing habits. An app I need for my Mac immediately requests access to my Documents and Downloads folders for no obvious reason. Denying the request has no impact on the functioning of the app. Are we not living in the dystopia foretold by Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, and others?
Technology mastery will be increasingly in the hands of the very few as a dwindling number of folks are willing, or perhaps even able, to create a mental state of focused learning. The application delivery stacks are enormously more complex than they were 25 years ago. Learning them requires a huge amount of focus over long periods of time.
After recording a podcast with my friend Zig Zsiga on demystifying the role of the network engineer (https://zigbits.tech/70), I decided to record this companion series of videos. These are shorts explaining from my perspective the many roles played by a network engineer. You can watch the entire series in less than 30 minutes.
There is no way to reclaim the information that the bad guys have. They’ve got my info. They’ve very possibly got yours. Data breach record dumps aggregated from many incidents are easy to obtain if you know where to look. Therefore, the issue isn’t how to get my SSN out of the hands of the bad guys. Rather, it’s how to control the situation to prevent lines of credit being opened in my name.
Is vendor lock-in all that bad? Many argue yes. You’re tied to a vendor because you’ve used some of their proprietary technology, and so you’re (apparently) stuck with it forever, limiting your future business agility. I think that’s an incomplete argument, though.
You’re overwhelmed. You become inefficient. You juggle as many tasks as you can, trying to keep all the projects moving, but you spend more than half your time on administrative tasks around the projects. Meetings. Email. Vendor management. Status updates. You struggle to get the deep work done the project demands of your expertise.
It’s happened again. You’re in over your head, a victim of your own competency. It’s all too much. Despite this, your personality puts enormous pressure on yourself to perform, so you’re constantly anxious and short of temper. Your mind is a grim, emotional hellscape of extremes that leaves you and the others in your life exhausted.
What you’re doing is trading in quality of life for sporadic moments of acknowledgement from others. It’s a cheap trade leaving others with the benefits of your work and yourself a used-up mess. You’ve sacrificed physical and mental health and compromised interpersonal relationships…for what, exactly?
I’ve discovered a few folks having nuanced, engaging discussions that attempt to analyze the difficulties of our world honestly and thoroughly. If these sorts of conversations might be interesting to you, here’s what I’ve found so far.