Job descriptions don’t matter these days

I had a good catchup with an old boss today. Chewing the fat about the state of the industry, how roles are changing (and how they aren’t). Last year he moved from a very traditional IT vendor to a hyperscale cloud provider and we ended up in a discussion around how recruitment is changing

Today he isn’t reading CV’s when trying to recruit.  Predominantly because job titles no longer reflect the jobs we do (and the associated experience we can offer an employer). AI is scouring LinkedIn on his behalf looking for relevant skills he needs.

On reflection after our catchup, I think that’s related to the changing nature of our world.  In the 80’s you could go to college to learn a skill and be relatively confident that’s the job you would have until you retire.  Today AT&T is investing a billion dollars in it’s Lifelong Learning Program in recognition that unless it continues to evolve it’s products and services to meet the rapidly changing needs of the world, it will get left behind.  And it can only do that if it has a workforce capable of continually developing and learning.

Which on the one hand is mentally challenging and somewhat unsettling because nothing you learn is fixed.  Conversely it means that we’re always learning new things and developing.  Dislike your job today? Don’t worry, you’ll be doing something completely different in a few years

cloud social watercooler

Hybrid IT vs Hybrid Cloud – a changing landscape

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a CxO peer to peer networking event, run by Gartner.  I was on stage with a leading Finance Sector CTO, who described how he is deploying new systems into Azure and he’s enjoying the flexibility that brings. However he has legacy (auto corrected himself to “traditional”) workloads that due to the nature of the application will always reside within the data centre.  He also said without prompting that if you think the cloud is cheaper then you’re in for a surprise.

That story resonated with anecdotes from other customers.  The appeal of the hyperscale public cloud is it’s flexibility and speed to market.  However with most things in life, anything you rent is always going to end up being more expensive than anything you buy.  In addition, at the inception of the public cloud paradigm there were some assumptions around only running applications when you need them and therefore not paying for unused resources.  Which is fine in a research paper, a lab or a startup with only 1,000 customers.  But start adding real people (especially non-IT folk) to that mix, and overlay existing business processes into that mix – most decent sized enterprises experience is that switching things on and off isn’t realistic for a good proportion of the applications they use.

In context, I think the landscape is maturing somewhat.  There used to be a narrative that everything is agile and due to a variety of factors (security, latency, etc.) you want the public cloud agility but those factors constrain you.  So why not use OpenStack / Docker / Stackato / Vmware to have a private cloud for the best of both worlds???  Let your applications magically float between clouds. That has been the common hybrid cloud story for the past few years.

Right now I’m hearing more people talk about not everything needing to be Netflix.  Some new workloads are public cloud native and need the agility and flexibility it provides (along with associating it to a specific P&L).  But some things just don’t need that flexibility (and specifically those things are commonly running the majority of the business’ revenue driving workloads).  In addition newer workloads such as AI where the maths is so compute intensive that dedicated on-prem GPU accelerated infrastructure is the preferred platform once things get past R&D.

Today’s story is becoming less Hybrid Cloud where apps move between different environments, and more Hybrid IT where different platforms have different benefits and those are the decision points around where to host them


Google+ isn’t Facebook, it’s something else and it’s good at it

Google+ has been much maligned recently for it’s failure to duplicate Facebook and following the departure of Vic Gundotra it’s been on a long and slow decline.  Google+ is no longer integrated as a single sign on for Google products including YouTube.  Some of the interesting functionality in Google+ such as photo management from mobile phones has now been moved to separate products.

As a social network I liked Google+.  As much as facebook offers different groups, it’s a pain to manage.  The app always posts to the last selected group instead of to the default.  On Google+ I had a friends group, nerds group, UNIX group, etc. etc. and posted different stories to each group.  On Facebook family members aren’t interested in lost of Star Wars posts, but a small group of friends are very interested.  Google+ allowed that tidy split between different social groups in a way that’s totally broken on Facebook.

Now that most people have abandoned Google+ as a social media platform, what is left.  For me I think it’s become a great platform for groups and informal forums.  Taking a look at the overview of Google Groups:


Speed matters is kind of irrelevant.  Mobile friendly is a given in 2015.  The first three points though are exactly how I use Google+ these days.  A good working example is Watchmaker for Android Wear.  This app lets people develop animated watch faces for Android Wear smartwatches.  The app itself purports to having “Featured Watches” – a new watchface every day.  The selection is a bit rubbish.  However if you follow the Google+ pages on Watchmaker there are new and cool faces posted daily.  There are developer conversations announcing new features.  Good and helpful discussions on how to implement functionality in the app.


It’s a lively and well used community.  Social media you might describe it as.  Google+ describes them as communities.  It will be interesting to see how long it is before either Groups or Google+ merges into the other.   Whilst Google+ has failed to replace Facebook as the defacto place to share the days events with people you kind of / sort of know, it has developed into something more interesting and in certain definitions more of a social platform.  In addition, one of the major benefits is a lack of minion jpegs every 3 posts – and that has to be a good thing