May 19, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday to Me

Filed under: adminstration,architecture,blogging — jonEbird @ 9:34 pm

A little play on blog titles going on here. Today I enter a new chapter in my career as I accept the Linux and Unix Architect role at Nationwide. I originally applied for the position back in February and I had hoped to land the position on my birthday in April, but the process was delayed for uncontrollable reasons. I like to be able work towards a work promotion as a birthday present for myself. In recognition for all the hard work just like four years ago when I congratulated myself in achieving Senior Systems Administrator.

I have been preparing for this position for the last few years and yet in some respects it feels like I don’t know what I’m entering. That might terrify some people but it is this very fact that most energizes me. The last time I felt this way I was transitioning from a purely development role into Administration. At the time, my high school friend Cory Sanders encouraged me in saying, “You’ll do fine.” I’ve received the same kind of encouragement recently and I appreciate the support. I’m energized about this opportunity because I will be learning so much. When I switched over to System Administration I spend hours studying admin books while my wife (then girlfriend) was working at Tim Horton’s. Fueled by coffee and donuts I climbed the learning curve as fast as I could.

My best description of a Architect is someone who leverages their broad technical experience in helping the business make decisions in what to pursue, where to invest and ultimately where to focus further development. I have always had a great deal of success in influencing people outside of my control but I plan to study that art in the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I am currently learning about personalties via Personality Plus. Somewhere in the middle of those books, I’ve already borrowed The New Rational Manager where I hope to gain a better systematic approach to problem resolution. I already consider my troubleshooting skills to be very good but I was impressed in how, now fellow, Architects were able to keep a room full of people technicians focused on the resolution in such a organized manor.

Beyond the academic focus, this new position is largely about building relationships. I need to devote time with teams and individuals at lunch, over coffee and in the hallways. They need to be comfortable coming to me with their problems and I need them to be receptive to directions I set for them. This will be the “easy” part of the job. As a person of a Peaceful Phlegmatic personality disposition building relationships is naturally easy.

Finally, I hope to largely increase my business acumen as the next Linux and Unix Architect. I am looking forward to having strategic conversations with our business partners such as RedHat, HP, Sun Oracle, Novell, IBM, Veritas and many more. I expect to be working closer with existing management on budgetary decisions. Frankly, I am struggling to enumerate further business categories for which I should be focusing on which underscores my ignorance in the field. I have had a subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine for nearly a year, watch business videos online from Stanford University and try to participate in local TechColumbus networking and business related activities. I will look for any further opportunities that present themselves to me and take it from there.

When I started mentoring with our previous Architect, I told him my goal was to take his job, “…but don’t worry, I want you to move on to bigger and better work first.” I need those kind of goals to keep me motivated. This next goal will be quite lofty and I have no idea how or when I might achieve it, but the next position I am setting my sights on is CTO. I have a feeling it’s going to be longer than four years from now that I’ll be able to write that blog post.

May 15, 2010

Sun’s Future under Oracle

Filed under: blogging,opinion — jonEbird @ 8:34 am

Nice insight into the transformation of Sun under Oracle’s helm. They talk about Exadata 2, the appliance which is using their newly acquired sparc hardware.

The machine costs more than $1 million, stands over 6 feet tall, is two feet wide and weighs a full ton. It is capable of storing vast quantities of data, allowing businesses to analyze information at lightening fast speeds or instantly process commercial transactions.

The part I don’t like about that statement is the fact that they’re trying to build both a data warehousing solution as well as a OLTP in the same machine. Sounds horribly inefficient. What I’ve taken from the article is that Larry seems to be a very savvy businessman but it’s interesting that they’ve failed in developing new software for a decade and their revenue increases came from acquisitions.

He plans on continuing to buy up more companies, in the hardware space, but once he’s done he’ll have to produce products and that is where I question their ability to deliver. It’s nice to see that he’s stopped the bleeding within Sun but now you’ve got a bruised and battered, over the hill player recovering from fractured ribs and a couple concussions available to you on the bench. It just seems like they’re taking Brett Favre and using him to coach rugby. I guess that could work?