The Fight for Forensics | Stephanie Schroeder

I cannot believe I am doing this, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion.  Today’s blind squirrel is HuffPo.  The nut is this post from Stephanie Schroeder regarding Forensics programs.

Some of her reasoning is a stretch but in the main: Yes, Stephanie.  Yes.

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Public Speaking for Professionals

For those of you in the July 23, 2015 workshop, I’ll update this post with the actual presentation in a few days.  For now, use this as a dumping ground thread for comments and discussion.

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A letter to the editor on CA SB 277

Not Even Wrong FireflyOne of my friends sent me this article in a local (Northern California) paper that mentions my own State Assembly representative here in Southern California.  The “Letter to the Editor” brief (TL;DR) version is above the fold.  More detail is below the fold.

In full disclosure I have not discussed my position with Ted.  He may disagree with me virulently.  Good.  Any argument he might throw my way would be worlds better than what I’ve heard so far.

The Letter, in re This article from the Press Banner:

California passed SB 277 into law this week, mandating vaccinations for children attending public schools against ten debilitating illnesses. This kind of law should not be necessary but the number of unvaccinated people is rising, threatening our herd immunity and leading to episodes like the recent multi-state measles outbreak which originated here in California and 23 separate outbreaks in 2014. Most but not all of those infected were not vaccinated. Though the efficacy is indisputable and the risks vanishingly low, articles like this one still treat the issue as though there are two equally valid arguments with competing values and priorities. There are not.

The world beyond our borders still suffers massively from preventable illnesses and California sees over 16 million international visitors every year; some of them carry these infections whether they know it or not. Mandated vaccination is a heavy-handed approach and I want to sympathize with those who opposed the bill on the basis of “personal choice.” I want to but it’s a choice that affects at least 3 people: the parent, the child and the very next person with whom they come in contact. That’s not personal. Objections on the grounds that the schedule is too aggressive are a lie. The objectors have not argued to amend the legislation but to kill it. They are advocating against vaccination.

Objection to this bill is not the “other side” positing a rational counterpoint. The “other side” is why we have lower vaccination rates and increased disease transmission risk. There are not two equal sides to this argument. There is the side with settled science and an incredible track record. The objections are disingenuous, ill-informed or both. I understand the desire to show point/counterpoint but it is misleading to place these arguments for and against vaccination on equal footing.

It is regrettable that my own State Assembly Member, Rocky Chavez, is one of those who give support to the opposition on this bill. Fortunately, it passed and I now have the opportunity to reconsider my own vote in the next election.

Continue reading

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E-mail I Should be Ashamed to Write…

…but I’m not.

The Setup:
I was traveling and had no access to my documents but could read e-mail.  SalesGuy was asking me what our bill rate was for a specific resource, which involves looking at a pricing model and finding a value in the relevant cell after entering some basic parameters like “pay grade.”  There was no way I could do it on the run, but anybody could have and SalesGuy left voice mail, e-mails and even called several of my key personnel, who then came back to me with the SAME QUESTION that should have been a simple task.

The last e-mail was the last straw… Continue reading

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The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

No, seriously, we will.  If there is any doubt, I’m here with a set of PowerPoint slides a customer actually dared me to create to show them I could make a useful analogy about anything under my purview.  So they said:

Fine, then show us concepts from “IT as a Service” explained through Star Wars memes.

Game.  Fucking.  On.  Continue reading

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Fusion 2015 Full Presentation Text

Enriching the Customer Experience
“Staying Relevant in the Face of Changing Expectations”

Several apologies are due.  The first regards my tardiness.  I had intended to publish this immediately following my Fusion 2015 breakout session.  Good intentions, road to hell and all that.  Work got in the way.  I ended up with a promotion in the intervening months, so there’s that.

The second apology is due for the length.  This is one mean wall of text, but when you transcribe and copy edit 25 minutes of speechifying, length happens.  The precis is below; the full text is below the fold.

Finally- many many thanks are due to Mark Myers, one of the Practice Directors at Datalink, for sketching out the concept I eventually finished here.  He came up with the outline and some great analogies which, after a serious research project, put more books on my shelf and a lot of meat on the bones of this talk.  Without his thoughts on how to deliver this it would never have gotten done.  The man’s an analogy factory, so if he ever comes to speak, listen.  The precis below is almost word for word how he laid this out…

To stay relevant, Corporate IT services must be as easy to obtain as downloading an application and support the job at hand, from application development to basic collaboration.  In this discussion I will talk about maintaining relevance by transforming from a technology focused utility to services oriented IT. First, I examine some parallels in history, because we have been here before and there are lessons to be learned from heavy industry. Next, I explore some real world examples of how that problem has been tackled head on by my customers. Finally, I discuss some of the key questions IT needs to ask to start down the right path, right now.

Continue reading

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Fusion 2015 Interview

A few weeks back I spoke at Fusion 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. I had hoped to get the full text of that talk up before the interview came out. Work got in the way. Many thanks to Mark Myers for coming up with the railroad analogy. 

I take issue only with the Socrates quote. I mentioned that his most attributed quote may or may not been his words but that it was the intent behind it that mattered: stop asking questions and start listening; try to come to a deeper understanding of the problem, not just a list of bullets. 

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Bespoke IT vs. Fit for Purpose

I’ve been focused on blogging over at EMC’s InFocus blog for the last year, but I want to get back to the Practical Polymath and start blogging more frequently about a wider variety of topics. First up is some thoughts on a topic I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about these days: Bespoke IT versus Fit for Purpose. We’ve spent a lot of time on bespoke IT in the industry, building new applications, silos, architectures, etc. to meet a specific need based on the skills and tools we are familiar with. We often don’t have the luxury to go out and investigate what the right tools would be and learn them in order to best apply them. If I think of this in sartorial terms, we make some outstanding, finely fit suits, but it might be in last decade’s style or colors. The suit might be of the highest quality and yet might not meet the needs of the wearer, or might stand out for all the wrong reasons in a crowd. Just because it’s bespoke doesn’t mean it’s the best way to approach the problem.

This is a long lead in to what I really want to talk about, the idea of Fit for Purpose. EMC acquired Adaptivity and I’ve been lucky enough to get to work with that great team, and learn a lot about how they think about IT, Applications and Infrastructure. They have a lot of talent on that team and I’ve learned a lot in conversations and brainstorming with them. Their Chief Scientist is Sheppard Narkier and he’s started to share many of his ideas, thoughts, and experiences on InFocus, see his post on Lessons Learned: The Quality of Design is not Fuzzy. On the surface , “Fit for Purpose” is nearly self explanatory, the idea of designing IT and Business systems based upon what they’ll be used for and how they’ll consume infrastructure. But to those not used to thinking in that paradigm, this explanation could be considered too coarse grained as a definition, let me explain a bit further. Continue reading

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Turn-Key Cloud: One Step Closer


This is a nice, unsolicited review of something Kent Christensen and I (mostly Kent) have been working on for a few months now.  I won’t say I’m unbiased but I will say I appreciate the hint of skepticism at the end.  The real meat of the article can be summed up here:

Datalink apparently realizes that just layering a cloud over private infrastructure doesn’t really move the needle and that what organizations are looking for is a full service offering that covers the totality of their needs.

This is really the only thing that matters.  Continue reading

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Nick Corcodilos – Another thread that delivers

It’s got InfoSec, bad behavior from HR, privacy rights, references to this blog and some of my snarky responses to lazy employers.  Heck, even the comments are pretty good.

What’s not to like?  Go go go…

Ask The Headhunter® | Nick Corcodilos – How employers help scammers steal your Social Security number

The only way it could get better is if he was discussing how cloud apps accelerate the process of HR acting stupidly by making research and spam mail mindlessly easy to distribute (and immediately receive bad information).  What?  He already did that and the app is called “LinkedIn?”

I knew I liked that guy for a reason.

Side note, I have in fact used that confidentiality agreement he cites in more than one circumstance and made reference to it in a couple others.  Reasonable employers react quite well to the reasonable assertion that sensitive or company confidential information (like your salary history) should be disclosed only when absolutely necessary or never.  Preferably never.  The rest?  You don’t want to work for them.

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