DevOps is a culture; not an organization

In my company, in my organization structure, we have multiple teams to support a complex series of systems.  One of those teams is called “DevOps” team – the team that “bridges” the gap between Developers and Software delivery.  They are more the system admins of our Org.


This understanding of DevOps is in correct, and a few bold souls have said so outloud.  DevOps is not an Org or a Team. It is a culture, a way of thinking. That is where the following @DZone blog picks up:


The Difference Between DevOps and Everything Else

DevOps is a culture, and that means it’s made up of people- changing the way those people think, not just investments and tools, is a huge part of actual DevOps success.

Windows 10 S and iOS : a Shared Philosophy

Why Microsoft is heading down the right path with Windows 10S 

Windows 10 S has recently been released and the standard tests to put the new OS/Hardware through its paces has begun.

Today (Friday June 23, 2017) I read a @ZDNet Article discussing Microsofts claim 10 S is not vulnerable to today’s Ransomware attacks.  Of course they found a security firm that was able to hack it in 3 hours using a vulnerability found in Microsoft Word scripting. 

That got me curious to compare Windows 10S vs. iOS ability to fend off Ransomware.  I found some articles on Google dating back to 2015 but that has been the most recent I was able to see. 

Dissing Windows 10 S

Windows, with the largest Personal Computer install base, has garnered a large number of detractors due to its long history of:

  • poor memory management 
  • security lapses
  • general bloat (in its favor, due to its backward compatibility and universality. )
  • General animous towards Microsoft because they are just a large company with a widely used product, and certain anarchists don’t like the largesse.

But oddly, MS tries to create a product that corrects course on some of this and the people who complain about Windows traditional problems complain about the inflexibility of the new OS flavor.

There have been those articles that pan the new OS, and User polls have tended to give it the thumbs down (according to @ZDNet). There are reasons for this, but this is extremely short sighted for reasons I will unfold in this “hopefully” short blog.

The Apple, U/Li-NUX (*NIX) Security Route

When a vulnerability in *NIX world is revealed, the vendors (Apple, Canonical, Red Hat, Linux Mint Team … whoever) is quick to plug that hole through natural Unix/Linux security. The iOS eco-system is an extremely locked down environment where every app is submitted to the App Store is vetted for stability, adhering to standards, and vulnerabilities.

I have experienced this update process.  I have found this family of OS’s to be very tight.  No family virus problems since switching to Mac/iOS/Linux (that short story is at the end of this blog if you care for more reading into my thought processes.)
The constant knock against iOS is “You cannot customize it” or “do more with it.”  X-ref : 

  • YouTube tech reviewer @Sakitech comparing the iPad Pro 10.5 to the Samsung S3 Galaxy Tablet. At 7:12 time point in his presentation he makes the same “Customization” argument Android users have made for years.  This isn’t a special case. It’s an example of typical “Selling point” I’ve recently seen.
  • I’m not knocking that argument … ahem … yes I am. It’s a poor argument. People don’t buy a hardware or ecosystem because they can customize a stinking Desktop or “Do more with it.”  How many of you Android users who say that really “Do more with your Android outside running provided apps?”  {crickets}. 

I personally find a cleaner, more stable app experience in as air-tight of environment as possible provides a by-far Premium experience.  More productive and less time trouble shooting.

The Windows Security Route

Windows traditionally hasn’t  benefited from this (although they have tried) and suffer needing to run Virus Scan software to guard against viruses, malware and Ransom attacks. 

Along comes Windows 10 S and it is following the same app-store security model established by Apple. They are vetting each app for stability, adhering to standards, and vulnerabilities.  And the Windows world is trashing it.  I think this is unfair/undue criticism as MS is attempting to create a more stable/secure platform on which to do day-to-day tasks.  That is to be commended.

Microsoft is attempting to do the same with Windows 10 S. Gain more control over the Hardware *and* the software, they can make the experience more stable and less prone to compromising user’s personal data.

Fast Path Conclusion

Microsoft is starting a path that has been pioneered successfully and shown to be successful. It is easy to complain about change, and I suspect those complaining about the new OS complain even more because of Windows traditional problems. 

Maybe they are stuck in a paradigm of which they are unwilling to escape, but from the outside looking in, Microsoft is heading in the right path Windows 10 S.  If you don’t want that locked down experience, they still sell the non-Windows 10 S Surface. Go buy that.  Or an upgrade from 10 S.  Just like Apple still sells the MacBooks – quite customizable and able to “Do more with it.”

My Personal Path from Windows to Mac/*NIX

For myself, I had traditionally been an Apple detractor – dating back to System 7 of the Mac OS. 

I didn’t purchase my first Mac until 2009. 
My family (in-laws included) were suffering constant virus attacks. Actually, the invited the viruses to come on it from the front door by clicking from the browser a spoof Yellow Folder underlined by Red colored warnings “Your files are infected. Click here to remove”. Click that pop up and BAM you are infected. (I Googled for a screenshot. If I find one I will paste it here. It was obnoxious!)

After countless hours of cleaning viruses off multiple laptops I got fed up and got my wife a 2009 White MacBook (RAM and HD upgrade, still going strong.) Now 4 Macs, 3 iPads, and 4 iPhones (and a couple iPods) later this once Apple hater is the epitome of a fan-boy (hopefully not as obnoxious … albeit the iPad IS the greatest device ever invented!) 

The only copy of Windows running in my house is in a Virtual Machine atop Linux Mint – and that is to run Quicken.

Oracle Java Certification – it’s a good thing

I cannot tell you how many false starts I’ve had on my Java Certification.

  • JDK 1.4
  • JDK 6
  • now JDK 8

All that studying, and the one time I purchased the exam real life got in the way and I didn’t push it back.

One thing I will share, for the time I’ve been a Software Engineer / Team Lead – A certification would’ve been useful, but I think I am making decent money without it.

The benefit of a cert is to help you stand out among the crowd in an interview, or in a shop that reveres Java talent and growing /proving your skills.  I have found the interview scenario to be more prevalent than the appreciate management culture.  Software shops tend to treat us like warm bags of meat meant to sit in a chair and code – on time, under budget or there’s hell to pay.  #JustSaying.

For the personal satisfaction of putting that badge of honor on your Linked In profile, I am fully encouraging anyone to “Just Do it”.  It’s a good thing.

Thoughts on Passing Oracle’s Java Certifications – DZone Java

Embracing Machine Learning

Reading my inbox this morning I came across this blog on Machine Learning. It was a push to use a product BigML (author claims he went to Prod in 3 days) vs. standing up a home-grown-ish solution using Open Source tool.

I admittedly have not invested many brain cycles on Machine Learning but this was interesting read for it’s use-case application.

Article via @DZone

Embracing Machine Learning: How to Get 2 Steps Ahead of Everyone Else

The ‘iOS11 Apocalypse’? Is this really a new thing?

Reading ZDnet push content to my inbox this morning, and article screamed Get ready for the coming iOS 11 ‘appocalypse’.
I have a knee jerk reaction to this article: Really? Author @Adrian Kinsey Hughes has been around as long as I have and probably touched way more devices than I could count as every being created. He was using Apple’s Terminology in a video they released called ‘Apocalypse’. I, being a technology enthusiast and make my living in technology as a software engineer, team lead and scrum-master, will tell you this is just part of the playing field, not the end of the world.
Strictly speaking iOS (nothing about Mac, Windows PCs or the still running Linux computer I have), I was an owner (still am) of an iPad 1 64GB  (circa 2010.)  Up until this week my daughter was using it and an iPhone 4 as her devices – until I replaced my iPad Air 1 with a 10.5″ iPad Pro (yup, its fast! And I’m happy!)

Apocalypse #1

First there was an iPad 1 apocalypse.

All updates ended with iOS 5.1.1 – and it’s still there to this day.  If you wanted the latest app updates with iOS 6+ I had to invest in a new device (which I did – good strategy Apple!)  The only thing it’s good for this day is Netflix, Amazon Prime, and some Kindle reading.  Even movies purchased from iTunes cannot be watched streaming from the iTunes cloud since that is not supported in iOS 5.1.1 iTunes (I have a good investment there, and this is proving to be its own handicap / Apocalypse. The Still functioning interactive apps work for my 6 year old, but even try her patience when some constantly crash.

Apocalypse #2

The iPhone 4 is forever stuck on iOS7.

Once iOS 8 was released we started encountering “This app only works on iOS8 or above…” messages. I upgraded to an iPhone 6, now 7. But when the iPad couldnt support something we wanted to do, we went to the iPhone 4. Again, a 4..5..6 year old was patient enough to use it with its quirks, but Dad had to move on or be stuck.

Apocalypse #3

iOS11 Apocalypse

This is just another ‘Apocalypse’. Really nothing to see here, and we will work around it. This time though, Apple is kind enough to give an early warning our apps won’t work without a vendor update rather than “surprising(?)” us with a message down the road.

The iPad is such a cloud dependent device, if vendors do not change their web service / REST Resource endpoints or payloads, they can continue working indefinitely – and if you keep from updating to the latest iOS. Given the software iterations we’ve seen I am amazed Netflix and Amazon Prime still work in iOS 5.1.1. And why? They still support their apps’ backward compatability from the cloud. The version of iOS and 32 bit vs. 64 bit app doesn’t matter.
I still have a use case for my iPad 1 – binge watching House of Cards, the latest Marvel TV Show release or catching the occasional movie I want to see.
The Real Apocalypse will be when Netflix, Amazon, Kindle or similar cloud based services change their service endpoints without the ability to update their iPad iOS 5.1.1, iOS 7, or now iOS 10 clients.
In the end ask yourself – do you really plan to stay behind? Probably not. Just upgrade and get it over with. Your vendor apps will follow suit – if they don’t get there before you.