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Simon Wardley #EEA @swardley
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X : How to deal with technical debt?
Me : As a rough analogy, I will take liberties, let us start with out Tea Shop example with custom built kettles.
Me : The first thing I do is mark on where things should be ... in this case our operations people are arguing that we should use standard kettles.
I would then add metrics per unit provided (i.e. cup of tea). I will make an awful assumption that the only capital expense is the kettle (i.e. we have depreciation of the kettle) and everything else is variable - paper cups etc.
I will then follow one flow through the map, create an income statement ... in this case the custom built kettle.
For comparison, I will then follow a different flow using the standard kettle. As you can see, the use of a standard kettle makes a significant impact to income compared to the previous. This is the impact of my technical debt.
X : But what has this got to do software?
Me : Well, let us just imagine we're in a serverless world and add in functional billing. I'll use a car hire example mimicking the cup of tea world but using a custom built "car.getProfiles()"
... from this you can calculate the impact of using some standard functions. You can therefore calculate a value to refactoring code.
X : Can you really calculate capital flow in applications?
Me : We're getting there. Ask @simalexan
... this is the future of software engineering. A combination of development, architectural and finance skills. Monitoring, operating, refactoring and developing based upon capital flow. Even risk management will utilise this. The future practices are very different from today.
Now, all those function components in the car hire map have a sub component - the platform and services consumed. I didn't draw them on there but you can if you wish ...
... under those sub components are things like orchestration, containers and on ... all the way to hardware, power and data centres. In a serverless world are you really going to give two hoots going down to this low level and try to optimise the capital expense involved?
I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader (don't forget to add racks, buildings, security, aircon etc) but you'll soon discover that one faction is the future, the other is the past. Or as @forrestbrazeal put it ...
... there is a reason why I describe containers as invisible subsystems. In the future, we're going to be too busy to care about them. It'll be like the Tea Shop arguing we should spend $0.5M on our own power generator as we can get a better price ... far from the user need.
X : Why is there no cost with location.verify()?
Me : Did I say something about this being a rough analogy with me making lots of assumptions and taking liberties?
X : Yes
Me : Ok then. I'm simply pointing the way, not giving you a fully worked example.
X : Given the state of enterprises, how long will this take?
Me : For some, they'll be doing this in a few years. Others will take 15-20 years or possibly simply disappear in a puff of bankruptcy as they are both outpaced and their cost efficiency is just too low.
X : What industries will this impact?
Me : Any which have technology ... in other words, almost everyone. Even Lawyers - go talk to @mengwong on that front.
X : But containers allow for portability.
Me : We can talk about all the other connected services, operational parameters, our history with lock-in, second sourcing etc but I won't, I'll keep it simple.

Portability is a nice to have. Billing per function changes the world.
X : What do you think the future of software will be?
Me : Voice (conversational programming), maps and capital flow.
X : Then why are so many enterprises investing in containers?
Me : I mostly assume it's executives with an eye on retirement and no eyes on the landscape.
X : How do you deal with resistance to changing the function or kettle?
Me : First be aware. Marked that up for you. Now, consider the 16 different forms of inertia which you're likely to face.
X : How does this link to #jtbd
Me : Does #jtbd use maps? If not, it might find a bit of situational awareness to be useful for learning, challenge and communication. You'll have to explore yourself.
X : How does the evolution axis link to Roger's diffusion curve?
Me : The evolution axis is not a diffusion curve but it can contain many. This was a rabbit hole I went down over a decade ago. See the section on "The trouble with maps" -…
X : What was Zimki?
Me : It was a Framework as a Service. It was a code execution environment in which you built entire applications online (front and back-end) in Javascript with billing to the function, auto-magic exposing of functions as APIs etc in 2005/06 ...
It had common services i.e. storage. A CPAN like repository, templating systems, online IDE and its own functionality was all exposed as APIs. It took care of scaling etc. Think of it like a primitive Lambda will less events and services but better information of capital flow.
When AWS launched EC2 in 2006, Zimki was quickly moved onto it. There was quite a band of developers exploring it - several thousand developer accounts, competitions on best applications etc. I built a trading system online in Zimki in about 2 days ...
Tom Inssam built and released a new form of wiki, online, in 60 minutes. My old blog used to cost me about 2p a week to run etc.
X : What happened to it?
Me : Shutdown in 2007. Parent company believed the future was 3D TV and not cloud, 3d printing or mobiles phones as cameras.
X : That's daft.
Me : No, that's hindsight. Oh, and using big and expensive US strategy consultants - that's daft. That's always daft.
X : Why is open source a powerful strategic play?
Me : All open approaches can be. Let us suppose our car example above, that there are no standard functions for car.getProfiles () ... we could use an open source play to help industrialise that space.
... there are about 100 different forms of gameplay that you can use to manipulate the market, if you know what you're doing. They can be devastating against competitors if used correctly. But start with the basics first, get to know your landscape and learn doctrine.
X : Where do I find the best strategists?
Me : All over the place but if you're looking for pockets of solid skill then try World of Warcraft, Open source and the Military.
X : How about MBAs?
Me : Sure, if they're involved in World of Warcraft, Open source or the Military.
X : Do you honestly think CEOs are really going to learn to map? There's more to leadership than that.
Me : Yes ... gut feel, magic thinking and secrets of success. Personally, I prefer to start with situational awareness and then move onto communication, learning and challenge.
X : What about vision and culture?
Me : I've helped map from the UN vision to reduce global poverty to individual missions under that to the components needed. Also don't get me started on culture unless you have a map in hand.
X : Why is everything about mapping with you?
Me : I guess I just like to look before leaping, shooting a rifle, committing troops to a battlefield etc. I do find that looking at an environment before making a decision is quite useful whether driving a car or government policy.
X : Did they use mapping in #brexit.
Me : No idea. On the surface, then looking at the agreement gives me a sinking feeling that they used lots of MBAs and expensive US strategy consultants. I do hope this is all state craft.
X : What's the best example of mapping?
Me : Beyond @adrianco and all the commercial uses of maps or @liammax and others saving millions / billions in Gov or @VirtualTal writing a book (soon to be film) ... oh, the best has to be @GoAgileGov using maps to save lives.
X : How do you know if your map is right?
Me : Oh, I can guarantee you that every map is imperfect. This is actually a necessity in order to be useful. Maps simply show you a perspective of the landscape, they are not the territory itself.
X : If maps are so useful, why isn't everyone using them?
Me : Hey, it took the idea of geographical maps over two thousand years to become popular. We've only been doing this in business for 13 years. Give it another 20-30 years at least. Jeez. Don't be in such a rush.
X : How are maps related to pioneer - settler - town planner?
Me : Gosh. You need maps to implement PST effectively -… .... but for heaven's sake don't start with PST. You need to get the basics of doctrine sorted first.
X : What about bimodal?
Me : Hmmm. I did warn people back in 2014, I assume that some are now discovering the warfare / mess that bimodal should create -… ... not a sensible idea, never was. Don't mess with org changes unless you really know this stuff.
X : How do you map legacy IT?
Me : Toxic IT? The stuff that we custom build that long ago became replaced by more commodity like items?
X : It's not toxic, it performs an essential business function.
Me : It might be essential but it is killing the organisation.
... you map toxic IT, the same way as any other form of technical debt, just like the custom built kettle.
X : It's called legacy not toxic!!
Me : Whatever makes you feel better about ignoring the toxic cesspool of IT that you've allowed to build up.
X : We can't just get rid of it, we're not a startup who can build with serverless.
Me : Oh yes, annoying startups like - FICO, Pepsi, Nordstrom, Fannie Mae, Capital One etc. Give it a rest, go and hug your server, retire in a few years and let some other poor sod fix your mess.
... you do realise it took Netflix (another one of those annoying "startups") over 7 years of hard work / graft to get rid of its data centres. The difference is ... Netflix took the time to do the work, you just spent 7 years whinging about how you weren't a "startup".
X : We're more complex than Netflix
Me : Yes ... you have fewer users, less geographic reach, less of an inventory, less scale, less bandwidth, poorer uptime, docile competitors and most importantly, a much higher willingness to do nothing major whilst retirement approaches.
... for people like me "Legacy IT" is another shibboleth. Those who use it tend to belong to a faction looking for excuses not to change / not to rock the boat. Those who don't use it are getting on with stuff, making change happen. Big or small company, doesn't matter.
X : But what happens if Amazon fails?
Me : Amazon is having failures continuously from machines upwards. We don't notice. What you're asking is what happens if Amazon, one of the largest (soon to be largest) company in the world with strong revenue and profitability fails ...
... well, in the incredibly unlikely event that such a thing would happen then we'd just have to treat them like a bank and bail them out.
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