Falling Behind or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Internet

I happen to have been born at a time when I was able to get on the Internet almost as soon as there was an Internet to get on.  I was in college in 1992, and so I remember the gradual shift from Gopher and FTP sites to browsers and web sites. I say this not to brag, but to note that I’ve witnessed a lot of changes in the web and that I understand it never sits still.

Within the past few months, though, I’ve felt behind the curve a couple times.

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Looking back at EMC

With tomorrow marking the start of our new home under the Dell Technologies umbrella, we got a lot of mileage today out of the joke, “Enjoy your last day at EMC!”

The truth behind the laughs is that the feelings are bittersweet. When Data General was bought out by EMC, there were similar feelings – had we “won” or “lost” in being acquired?  In this case, since Dell isn’t a competitor to EMC, it’s more clear cut. Fewer people feel we’ve “lost” (though some do – I don’t know what “win” they saw coming that nobody else saw).

I personally am a little sad to see EMC go, from the standpoint of a Massachusetts success story being folded into something bigger. But I’m glad to see such a clear vision for the future. I’m excited by the business leaders and their plans. People who aren’t in the industry ask me if this news makes me nervous or scared – I can honestly tell them “no.” Change is a constant fixture at EMC, and while this is change on an unprecedented level it is less nerve-racking to me personally than the dot-com crash or the 2008 recession.

The other side of this is that people who were paying attention were already nervous. I attended a session in the summer of 2015 about EMC and its place in the transforming IT landscape. The constant calls for EMC to split off VMware, or otherwise make drastic changes in response to shareholder pressure were a big part of the conversation.  Discussions with my colleagues suggested that something “big” would have to happen in the fall of 2015 if EMC was going to remain recognizable in a few years.

Something big did happen, of course, that fall. And it’s finally completing tomorrow. And out of all the “big” things that might have happened, I think this one has something good in it for the employees, customers, partners, and shareholders. I’m on board.

Tomorrow I’ll be a Dell EMC employee. I’ll pause and reflect on all that made EMC unique and amazing. And then … back to work. Because we’ve got to help make Dell EMC unique and amazing.  The battle continues!

These are exciting times.

Is this thing on?

It’s hard to believe I haven’t touched this thing in three years, but it may be time to start putting pen to paper again now that we’re about to finalize the biggest merger in IT history.  I’m sure I’ll have some thoughts on the subject, and the joining of two immense corporate cultures like this is bound to trigger some discussion-worthy topics.

 

New day, new team

Today I logged into the system and saw that the team I’ve been leading for a few weeks now is formally now reporting to me.  I didn’t write about the change for the same reason I don’t write about a lot of my day-to-day issues as an engineering manager: it’s hard to make the content interesting while still respecting the privacy of the people involved.

My responsibilities aren’t changing, not in the grand scheme of things.  I’m still leading a team which is responsible for doing a lot of the “guts” type work in the SRM Suite, which includes functionality from ProSphere, Watch4Net, and Storage Compliance Analyzer … and unless you’re a customer or a fellow ASD employee, I don’t expect that means anything to you.

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Friday links, autumn edition

The time has just about come to officially enter my favorite season of the year — autumn!  Football season, malty seasonal beers, crisp mornings, sweatshirts and campfires … the brief respite between air conditioning and heating.

Some links harvested from my RSS feeds for your in-between season consumption, even if none of them are particularly work-related….

 

Friday links, “It’s September already?” edition

Welcome to Football season, ladies and gentlemen.  Summer is quickly turning into a memory — and I’m thrilled.  While you enjoy the brief lull between lawnmowing season and leaf-raking season, enjoy some links from my RSS feeds:

Have a good weekend!

 

I … I don’t even know (Friday link)

In place of actual content, I give you this.

Friday linkdump

It’s been a busy week; I celebrated my 40th birthday with a small vacation up to Portland, Maine, and came back to the kind of “Everyone Must Change” insanity that everyone at EMC is familiar with.  But, I didn’t forget you.  Links I stumbled on via RSS this week:

Until next week….

 

Scrum training thoughts

Recently, I took the Certified Scrum Product Owner class with Angela Druckman.  Angela was an excellent teacher and brought some new perspectives to me, and everyone in the class.

My organization has been using Agile/Scrum in one way or another for several years now, and much of the class felt like a review.  But, as the class went on, I realized just how much we had modified “textbook” Scrum to fit our needs, and it gave me some interesting moments of introspection relating to what that tells me about our organization and the way we do business.  That may not be the value most people expect in taking a class, but I tend to find that the biggest wins from formal training aren’t usually in direct addition of knowledge (“I know Kung Fu“), but rather in being forced to think about things in new ways, or in the side conversations you have the luxury of having since you aren’t at your desk focusing on getting something done.

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Midweek Links

Last week I took the Scrum Certified Product Owner course, and I’ve got some ideas of content to share here from that, but in the mean time, enjoy some information I’ve stolen from my RSS feeds….

That’s all for now….