The extra mile

Credits: Mylene.Savard @Flickr

I always struggle with people that think that great and very unnatural things can be achieved by following old and tested rules, like if everybody could do that simply repeating a playbook. In Europe, we tend to think this way more than in other areas of the world, and ultimately I think the US are the ones that master this better than anybody else. While I write this I am thinking about business and entrepreneurship, but this is true in a lot of other human contexts.

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Lions, founders and large companies

This piece from Paul Graham is just a great read and a beautiful way to start thinking about your career and why you don’t necessarily need to work for a large company. Also, a great read for founders.

I particularly love the reference to building confidence for founders, it all starts there when you decide to build something 🙂

Looking back

2018 has been a tough one. I learned a lot, not always in the gentle way I would have loved to 🙂 It looks like 2019 will be as challenging as 2018, hopefully in new ways. I am not a huge fan of this kind of posts, but I have been thinking about what I learned in the last months.

The ability to trust my gut, to follow my will even when everyone told me I was going in the wrong direction. This way of looking at things has always been part of me, for some reason I lost that a bit in 2018, at times I felt I had to stay within the limits, for something, for someone at times.

Looking back, I can feel how much I missed that. It’s been a great lesson, 2018.

Will Artificial Intelligence impact the cloud?

A candidate asked me this question yesterday. “How do you see artificial intelligence impacting Cloud Academy?“. The short answer is that I don’t have a precise answer but I think businesses like Cloud Academy will define a new category in the enterprise business software. Let me explain why.

AI is already impacting cloud and infrastructure management, and that will grow in the next 2-5 years: most of that is already happening for AWS or Microsoft Azure within their managed services (think Amazon RDS), but I expect that to be the norm for every type of infrastructure, private or public.

But Cloud is much more than infrastructure today, cloud computing is how companies build and operate their software and services. If you are a junior developer today you will likely start building your application using something like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure or Salesforce and your application will be deployed on these ecosystems. Today, the common enterprise cloud stack is already quite complex and it goes from infrastructure to SaaS, with several layers that need to communicate to each other and need to talk to your legacy systems. Keep in mind are still living in a world where a bit more than 10% of software is SaaS, there is still a lot of legacy stuff running in private data centers ready for disruption. So what’s AI role? It will likely help companies to automate more and more in their infrastructure and we will see several titles disappear forever, think of database administrators, sysadmins and storage administrators  but ultimately enterprise companies in every industry will keep hiring more and more software engineers as the real challenge will increasingly be about creating competitive digital solutions for your own business, building on top of hundreds of frameworks and vendors that are providing resources and APIs to do it. 

In this context, companies will have to not only invest billions in developing and updating tech skills for their teams, but they will also need to have a platform that allows them to collect data, insights and understand skill trends in their IT organizations. That’s why we keep building Cloud Academy focusing on technology first, our final goal is giving enterprise companies an Operating System to manage technology skills, at scale. 

LinkedIn has a nice report on how AI is impacting the job market and which positions are getting hurt by artificial intelligence. Nice read. Stay tuned….at Cloud Academy we are close to releasing a nice set of tools to understand a bit more how the cloud computing jobs market is changing 🙂

All the difference in the world

  1. I am reading “Dear Founder“, a great collection of letters for founders by Maynard Webb, a famous investor and board member who spent years working with the best companies and founders in Silicon Valley. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago at Vertex Ventures.
  2. A friend of mine just posted this on Facebook. There is no better way to express it. I copied it here.
  3. A few weeks ago a young entrepreneur asked me “Who should I hire in my company in the early days?

All of them are connected to one crucial thing I learned the hard way. Continue reading

Multi-cloud and SaaS are eating the world

If there’s one thing that I know for sure, it’s that change, especially in IT, is the only constant.

Storm

Photo by Dylan Lee (https://www.flickr.com/photos/canon_dlee/40565384360/)

Eleven years ago, I was working in the web hosting industry. At the time, I was invited to visit a customer who owned some of the best and biggest Tier 4 data centers in Germany. These facilities were mostly operated by banks and large brands like Equinix, Global Crossing, and others, and they had thousands of racks, servers, and cables.

This customer was one of many companies who leased data center space and resold web hosting services like dedicated servers or Virtual Private Servers (VPS). These guys were particularly smart and spent a lot of time trying to automate their services so that their customers could monitor the infrastructure and take control if needed. Most of that software was written in Perl (I actually remember a big book about Perl on their desk!) and it was absolutely scrappy, a few charts, some commands to reboot servers, and so on.

I was curious. Instead of reselling hardware and space, why didn’t they focus on software? Continue reading

English

I struggled with English for several years. In middle school I studied French and in high school I hated my English teacher so much that I spent more time trying to rebel against her than studying the language. While I don’t regret rebelling against her bizarre teaching methods (I was quite good at that!)…I did regret not understanding how powerful English was earlier in my life. Continue reading