Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

In tech, filtering signal from noise is a full-time job


Go home DevOps, you're drunk

You know what doesn't help literally anyone? Another speech by some bloviating windbag about DevOps "culture" with zero practical discussions about how to actually get on with the practical side.

DevOps, DevOps, DevOps; getting operations and development to work together so that – and let's all be honest here – the business can fire most of the ops guys. That's the point of DevOps and anyone who says otherwise is lying through their teeth.

If your windbag of a DevOps presenter tries to sell you on some airy fairy and poorly defined future in which the ops guys still have jobs, close the browser window or just walk out of the room. They're shovelling shit and no matter how many hours you listen to them they won't actually come up with a solid business case for keeping more than a fraction of the ops guys around, nor will they explain where the ops guys are supposed to go to get new jobs, excepting in the most general (and ultimately useless) sense.

Peddling DevOps software to operations teams is insanity. Yes, DevOps is inevitable. Software is getting easier to use; everything has an API these days. With a little bit of machine intelligence and taking advantage of cheap and tested redundancy and resiliency technologies, it is possible to flush out gear requiring specialists, and with it all the specialists that tended to it.

That leaves you needing some generalists who set policies and define roles and the rest goes to the developers. Once DevOps techniques and technologies are adopted, the need for ops guys becomes rather a lot less.

Dear entire IT industry: the ops guys aren't idiots. We know the above. Trying to convince ops teams that DevOps is great for their careers is actually more insulting than the storage industry banging on about performance.

I realize that traditionally, operations teams have had budget and developers generally don't. I am aware that your sales teams are a bunch of old dudes who have sold to ops their entire careers. Too bad.

Yes, marketing to developers is like marketing breakfast cereal to children: you need to get them excited enough about your product that they tug on their parents' sleeves at the supermarket in order to get a sale. The solution to this isn't to lie to ops teams and hope they'll love you for it. It is to build products (and then continue investing in feature iterations) that excite developers enough that they'll pester their project managers for funds.

Fortunately, the complete inability of tech marketers to break out of habits of a lifetime means that cutting through the DevOps hysteria to find the few organizations selling tools or services that matter becomes pretty easy: you just look for the ones that aren't actively trying to bamboozle you.

Computers just don't matter

I could continue almost without end. I have a lifetime's worth of anger to be vented. The overinflated self-importance of thousands of companies and marketing wonks all pushing some feature as though it were a product is the background noise of my life.

What's important to remember is that computers don't matter. They are tools and nothing more. The software that runs on them, the hardware that comprises them ... it doesn't matter. It does the job or it doesn't. If it does the job at a price you can afford, great. That's really all you need to know and you can stop right there and get on with things.

If the computer or the software or the cloud or the service or the whatever doesn't do what you need it to do, doesn't do it easily enough, or doesn't do it for a price you can afford, then just walk away. Don't obsess over it. Don't "engage" with the vendor in an endless round of what-ifs, lies and broken promises.

We have long since reached the point where – for most of us, at least – there are lots of ways to do any computer-based task that is required. Debating which storage widget to buy or which monitoring package to invest in is a matter not of core functionality, but of edge cases and percentages of efficiency. In the grand scheme of things, it isn't worth getting worked up over.

The best IT tool any of us can have is the ability to disconnect. So spend time with your friends and your family; human or otherwise. It helps to remember what is really important in life, so that we can focus on what we actually need in our work instead of getting caught up in a whirlwind of carefully manufactured minutia. ®

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