Simply Works

Simply Works

I don’t know about other people, but I do get a lot to think when the end of the year approaches: all that I’ve done, what I have not yet done, what I would like to do, and so on…
And it is a period when memories surface.

I found the two old CD-ROMs you can see in the picture. And those are memories.
missioncritical software was the company that invented a lot of stuff that became Microsoft’s products: for example ADMT and Operations Manager.

The black CD contains SeNTry, the “enterprise event manager”, what later became Operations Manager.
On the back of the CD, the company motto at the time: “software that works simply and simply works”.
So true. I might digress on this concept, but I won’t do that right now.

I have already explained in my other blog what I do for work. Well, that was a couple of years ago anyway. Several things have changed, and we are moving towards offering services that are more measurable and professional. So, since it happens that in a certain job you need to be an “expert” and “specialize” in order to be “seen” or “noticed”.
You know I don’t really believe in specialization. I have written it all over the place. But you need to make other people happy as well and let them believe what they want, so when you “specialize” they are happier. No, really, it might make a difference in your carrer πŸ™‚

In this regard, I did also mention my “meeting again” with Operations Manager.
That’s where Operations manager helped me: it let me “specialize” in systems and applications management… a field where you need to know a bit of everything anyway: infrastructure, security, logging, scripting, databases, and so on… πŸ™‚
This way, everyone wins.

Don’t misunderstand me, this does not mean I want to know everything. One cannot possibly know everything, and the more I learn the more I believe I know nothing at all, to be honest. I don’t know everything, so please don’t ask me everything – I work with mainframes πŸ™‚
While that can be a great excuse to avoid neighbours and relatives annoyances with their PCs though, on the serious side I still believe that any intelligent individual cannot be locked into doing a narrow thing and know only that one bit just because it is common thought that you have to act that way.

If I would stop where I have to stop I would be the standard “IT Pro”. I would be fine, sure, but I would get bored soon. I would not learn anything. But I don’t feel I am the standard “IT Pro”. In fact, funnily enough, on some other blogs out there I have been referenced as a “Dev” (find it on your own, look at their blogrolls :-)). But I am not a Dev either then… I don’t write code for work. I would love to, but I rarely actually do, other than some scripts. Anyway, I tend to escape the definition of the usual “expert” on something… mostly because I want to escape it. I don’t see myself represented by those generalization.

As Phil puts it, when asked “Are software developers – engineers or artists?”:

“[…] Don’t take this as a copout, but a little of both. I see it more as craftsmanship. Engineering relies on a lot of science. Much of it is demonstrably empirical and constrained by the laws of physics. Software is less constrained by physics as it is by the limits of the mind. […]”

Craftmanship. Not science.
And stop calling me an “engineer”. I am not an engineer. I was even crap in math, in school!

Anyway, what does this all mean? In practical terms, it means that in the end, wether I want it or not, I do get considered an “expert” on MOM and OpsMgr… and that I will mostly work on those products for the next year too. But that is not bad, because, as I said, working on that product means working on many more things too. Also, I can point to different audiences: those believing in “experts” and those going beyond schemes. It also means that I will have to continue teaching a couple of scripting classes (both VBScript and PowerShell) that nobody else seems to be willing to do (because they are all *expert* in something narrow), and that I will still be hacking together my other stuff (my facebook apps, my wordpress theme and plugins, my server, etc) and even continue to have strong opinions in those other fields that I find interesting and where I am not considered an *expert* πŸ˜‰

Well, I suppose I’ve been ranting enough for today…and for this year πŸ™‚
I really want to wish everybody again a great beginning of 2008!!! What are you going to be busy with, in 2008 ?

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar | Commercial Road

Last week I have been to Doha, Qatar, visiting a customer site and learning from a colleague how to deliver my first “official” MOM Health Check. I have spent most of my time working on Microsoft Operations Manager, of course, but I also did manage to walk around a bit on my late afternoons and evenings and see some stuff. So, as I usually do in these cases, I took a ton of pictures.
I found an interesting place, filled with contrasts between old and new, tradition and competition, ancient and modern.
It’s a living place that is certainly working hard to get over the oil business model and attract richness in different ways.

John Lockerbie spotted my photos on Flickrs and asked me permission to use some of the, so they have been now republished on his very interesting page about Islamic Urban design and architeture and the one about islamic society.
They both are an interesting read, and most of his site is.

Clean Energy

Energia Pulita

Energia Pulita, uploaded by Lupinanto – Antonio Pennisi on Flickr.

This last couple of days the italian news have been filled with FUD about the energy problem.
That is a real problem, for the whole world. We are even killing and going to war for petrol, regardless of how they try to brainwash us with “terror”.

But we have not been quick enough to start using the alternative, clean sources of energy. I don’t know how it goes in the rest of the world on the local news, but here in Italy in this last couple of days the politicians have been talking and thinking about the energy problem and said that they care.
A lot of Wind-powered centrals have been active for years in the Netherlands, in Germany, and in a lot of other countries.

Italy has been slow in the adoption. We have some example installation, but they won’t produce as much.
If we were smart we should really leverage the amount of sun we have all year long. Cover all of our roofs of solar panels. There should be a law where every new house MUST have a solar panel. They should let normal people have HUGE discounts and promote the possibility of being autonomous by installing solar panels at home.

Instead of doing that, our brave politicians with their interests and lobbies are pushing again towards Nuclear Power (that has been REFUSED as an option by people who votes against it in a referendum in 1987) or old-fashioned stinky carbon-burning centrals. How can you even think of calling that a “clean” energy ? Do they think we are all dumb ?

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