Polyglot Programmer Meme

"There is a 'polyglot programmer' meme going around which roughly says that future systems will be built on a statically typed library foundation (e.g. BCL in .Net) with a dynamically typed language used in a dual role to both script those static types as well as define a domain-specific language (DSL) which will be used to implement the high level app logic."

Real artists ship, dabblers create concept products

"Pretenders don't quite understand that design is born of constraints. Real-life constraints, be they tangible or cognitive: Battery-life impacts every other aspect of the iPhone design - hardware and software alike. Screen resolution affects font, icon and UI design. The thickness of a fingertip limits direct, gestural manipulation of on-screen objects. Lack of a physical keyboard and WIMP controls create an unfamiliar mental map of the device. The iPhone design is a bet that solutions to constraints like these can be seamlessly molded into a unified product that will sell. Not a concept. Not a vision. A product that sells."

From "Why Apple doesn’t do “Concept Products"

The Accelerator of the Modern Age

This article is about British mathematician Donald Davies who conceived of the idea of network "Packet Switching".

"The insight of Dr Davies and his team was to slice data, be that a chat on the phone, an e-mail or a picture, into separate pieces or packets. These are then put on the network and rely on the intelligence of nodes in the network to help them wend their way to their destination. Once there they are re-assembled into the right order."

I first read about Davies in the book "Where Wizards Stay Up Late" which tells the story of the pioneers behind the creation of Arpanet, the precursor to the internet.  It's a great read.  I highly recommend it.

Citigroup’s Pandit vows major cost cuts

"Beyond job cuts, Mr Pandit said one of his key priorities would be reducing Citi’s information technology budget, which runs into the tens of billions of dollars. Citi’s sprawling IT operation has 23,000 developers, on a par with many large technology companies, and is highly decentralized – a structure that led to duplication of functions and an increase in expenses."

Generalists that get through...


As a technologist in a rapidly changing world there is always the tension between attaining and retaining deep knowledge in a particular technology vs "not-so-deep" knowledge across a broad spectrum of technologies.
but I really liked the quote below

Specialisation is short term-success but it is long-term risk; because as soon as the ecosystem becomes destabilised, you're the first candidate to go extinct. It's the generalists that get through... (From: Sabretooth's surprising weak bite)

Dog Eat Dog - WSJ.com

Interesting article about the acceleration of competion for those that leverage technology...

"We've been studying competition in all U.S. industries, not just the high-tech ones, and we've observed a remarkable pattern: On average, the whole U.S. economy has become more "Schumpeterian" since the mid-1990s. What's more, these changes have been greatest in the industries that buy the most software and computer hardware."

Do Not Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good!

This post's title is cribbed from Celent's Latest "Report on SOA in Insurance 2007". The report is primarily the result of surveys conducted by Celent with a number of insurers and includes mid size to large carriers (premiums > $1 billion). The report is mildly interesting for someone in the midst of deploying SOA techniques/technologies in the insurance industry (namely me;) but clearly reiterates three key points:

  • The promise of a fully realized SOA enabled infrastructure is alluring and there is an incredible amount of hype around the potential.
  • Building out a fully realized SOA enabled infrastructure is hard and will take time
  • Even small steps toward SOA can pay dividends so get started now!

I Think the quote below best summarizes this:

Celent - Web Services and SOA in Insurance 2007
While the model may not be very sexy, Celent believes that for the next two years Web services/SOA in insurance will remain essentially a "Plumbing" issue - a set of technologies and practices that make it more efficient to share data and transactional capabilities between systems, both internal and external, in a reusable way that allows the value of systems investments to be leveraged repeatedly in subsequent initiatives. While this may not get the CEO's attention, it is absolutely key to the CIO's mission to do more with less.

So get started... Each company is unique in its own way and requires it's on approach but don't get caught up in analysis paralysis. Do not wait for the perfect project or tool. Starting allows you to "do" and doing allows you to learn from the experience. Learning allows you to adapt and "do" again providing opportunity to continually improve as you go. "Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good!"