Fri 21 March 2014


The Cloud isn't News, Dude

I always have to laugh at just how far behind the Microsoft crowd remains behind the curve, over and over. Perl, and later Python, replaced C and Bash for most infrastructure dudes in the Unix world in the mid 90's. Microsoft added the DynamicObject type and the "dynamic" keyword to C# to their beta relases in 2009, which didn't become the mainstream release until 2011. CPAN, the Perl package manager and public repository, went live in 1995. NuGet for the Microsoft world came online in 2010. Each of Microsoft's introductions were, of course, touted as novel innovations. They are embracing Git in their current beta development stack; Git replaced SVN for the Linux kernel in 2005.

Six years ago, in 2008, I left a job in IT Applications at a now-defunct midsize telecom manafucturer, which had morphed under my feet into a "Microsoft shop," to join Appirio, a consulting firm specializing in multi-tenant cloud application deployments. I went from managing a SharePoint environment backed by Microsoft SQL Server to moving large enterprise clients off of Exchange, Office, Groupwise, and Notes onto Google Apps. At the time, required reading for all new Appirians was Nicholas Carr's "The Big Switch."

Just today, I open up my LinkedIn Pulse newsletter, and see a headline that caught my attention, leading to an article claiming that, indeed, the switch to the cloud is inevitable. The article author is a Microsoft infrastructure dude, who has spent his career since the 1990s pushing Exchange CDs into drives and double-clicking "Setup." He admits that he hoped to skate through to retirement taking a few courses on "PowerShell" (Microsoft's laughable attempt to empower dudes like that author with command-line scripting skills), and that his having embraced virtualization ensured his job would be safe until that retirement.

His inspration for this declaration? He finally got around to reading "The Big Switch," six years late. Just more proof that anyone with both feet in the Microsoft camp lives with their head in the sand.

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