Data Science – MUST have skills?

DS-Skills-FINAL

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Internet of Things – What to expect from Google?

According to Gartner, The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. IoT, which excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones, is expected to grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 which will exceed smartphone and tablets count by that time. Gartner also predicts that there will be around $300 billion opportunity to products and service providers in this space.

Last week’s acquisition of Nest Labs (https://nest.com/), a 300 employee company by Google for $3.2 billion is just the beginning of consolidation around hardware, services and software all together. In case you are not aware of Nest’s major products, here is brief description:

Nest Thermostat: Maintaining your home temperature at right level and time is manual task so far. With Nest’s thermostat which learns the schedule, preference and program itself to meet individual’s needs. It can be also accessed and programmed with your mobile phone. If you forgot to turn off while you leave your home, it will turn the air-conditioning system automatically. This saves energy and reduces electricity bills by 20%. The Nest Learning Thermostat costs $249 only.

Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm: An intelligent home alarm system which detects smoke / CO levels and tells you what the problem is and where it is in human voice before it start alarm. In case this warning is just due to spicy food you are making in kitchen you can wave your hands below it and make it calm. You can also get notifications on your phone if the alarm goes off. It costs just $129 only.

According to Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, Nest and Google were in discussion for long time and he had meeting with Sergey Brin in 2011 and had showed him what Nest was working on then. In his blog he also mentioned that “Nest will continue to be Nest, with its own distinct brand identity. We will continue to reimagine and reinvent the unloved products that proliferate in our homes, just as we have since we started. We are simply going to get our products into the hands of people around the world – faster.” (https://nest.com/blog/2014/01/13/welcome-home/)

Based on what Nest products are and what Google has to offer overall it looks like Google has big plans to come inside your home too. Through the sensors which detects temperature, motion, light, humidity, etc and connected to the global network on internet devices, google (and others as well) is trying to connect air-conditioning, television, refrigerator, microwave ovens, etc all together and provide you intelligence home ecosystem. You will probably get to know what food is inside your refrigerator and when it is going to get expired, you will also get to know what food supplies your kids are consuming, which Television programs your kids are watching and is your home really safe when you are away from it.

Though these intelligent / connected devices capture data about and around you adjust themselves to your specific needs and patterns, they carry threat of maliciously getting hacked and attached by the hackers. Would you like your refrigerator malfunction and impact your food?  

Just 3 days back – on 16th Jan 2014, ProofPoint, Inc a leading security-as-a-service provider uncovered first IoT based cyberattack involving household smart appliances. The global attack campaign involved 750,000 malicious mails coming from more than 100,000 consumer gadgets like TVs, multi-media centers, and at least one refrigerator, etc that has been used to initiate attack.

While IoT brings in huge business opportunities to service providers and benefits to technology adopters, what comes first is bulletproof security to network, data and devices. I hope Google through its expertise in security space will be able to do it and hopefully we will not lose any privacy at our own homes.

Open Source Software Project which changed the IT world?

Which Open Source Software project changed the IT world in last decade+ ? I understand that there are many but put only ONE which you think is most appropriate. 

My wish list for Technology trends in 2014 and beyond

As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are already many predictions and point of views in the market on technology trends and adoptions in 2014. I am reading those reports and articles and agreeing / disagreeing based on my limited knowledge on such futuristic things. I being a hardcore technologist, here is a small wish list which I would like to see in reality in 2014 and beyond.

  1. Online security getting full-proof: Hope to see certain online data security products, techniques and solutions in place for 100% data security. Online presence being norm of life these days and losing personal, financial, professional information to hackers is a big risk.
  2. Public cloud adoption going up: One of the major concerns for public cloud adoption in orthodox industries is data security. Hope to see that concern fading away through strong data protection techniques and cloud providers vouching SLAs and creating reliable partners image.
  3. HTML5 Vs Native apps war getting over: Obviously people will argue that this point is irrelevant. But some standardization around technology stack for mobile apps development would help building mature applications which will really work on *ANY* OS and *ANY* form factor device with equal capabilities.    
  4. Social Media adoption going up: *TRUE* Business use cases will get implemented in public social media sites for benefit of the business and end customers. People will think for social media usage beyond branding, community and marketing purpose. Transactional applications to become widespread.
  5. Analytics become simple topic to discuss and understand: Analytics concepts and techniques to become simple to understand, explain, evaluate and adopt. Tools, techniques, algorithms and Data Science in general expected to become easy to graspJ. More Technologies and products which abstract out lower level details to become available.
  6. Big Data technologies exceeding all the expectations: Unmeasurable quantity of unstructured content being analyzed, converted in wisdom and to be used for real life problem statements. IBM Watson kind of offerings not to be considered as unique offerings anymore.
  7. SOA to be taught in schools: Service orientation to be taught in schools to build foundation of next generation programmers. People are expected to understand basics, techniques, tools at early age and start practicing as soon as they write HelloWorld {}
  8. Wearable computing to remain in its own limits: Wearable computing decided not to hamper vision, hearing, breathing, taste and other basic capabilities of human being. Things which can be done with hand/s are expected to do with hands. For people in extremely critical situation and need gadgets, expectation would be not to do any photography or video shooting in those situations.
  9. Digital World becoming reality: Universities decided to drop “Analog Computing” subject from the curriculum. 2014 onwards everything is Digital including currency, communication, collaboration, etc… People are expected to live in Digital World and maintain their relationships – professional and personal through digital gadgets and means only.
  10. Doctors found cure on Technology Stress: Few Doctors on some island have found cure for “Technology Stress”… At the moment the cost is high and will give additional stress but the cost is expected to reduce in next 5 years 🙂

 

Once again Happy New Year!!   

Managing New Year Resolutions…

Here is another New Year on our door and many of us are busy planning New Year resolutions including personal as well as professional ones. Many Technologists are busy putting their online calendars and reminders and all set to track their 2014 resolutions seriously. As you know – resolutions without commitment are castles in the air. Here are few thoughts how we can define and manage our resolutions and be committed throughout the year.

  1. Be realistic with your resolutions: Being ambitious is good thing but being realistic is better. Your resolutions and milestones must be achievable in defined time period. Resolutions without concrete milestones die out in weeks or months.
  2. Define short duration milestones: Milestones with short sprints will help keep momentum on. Measurable accomplishments will keep you motivated and inspire to achieve next one on road.
  3. Identify and follow role model: While you can be self-motivated, having some role model to follow would help you keep motivated follow your goals.
  4. Define and follow goals in a small group: Having a small group with common resolutions will help motivating each other. Also it will put some peer pressure on.
  5. Online goals tracking tools: You may want to use goals tracking tools (example http://www.joesgoals.com/) to track your progress. Though it is not a must thing, but will help find your consistency and will be able to share your goals and progress with friends.

Wish you all very Happy New Year!

What Technology community can learn from 2013?

  1. Before you deploy application into production, you need to carry out thorough performance testing. You cannot guarantee your application behavior and perform if you have not performance tested it thoroughly.
  2. There is high possibility that your social media website can make money. Facebook and Twitter already demonstrated it.
  3. BYOD is reality now. You have to accept it and instead of worrying for your corporate policies and data, make sure you fine tune those to adopt BYOD full heartedly.
  4. Online security is still a concern. Data theft and privacy breach are major aspects to look at in years to come.
  5. Big Data and Big Data based business Analytics are not just in theory anymore. In some domains availability of appropriate use cases, availability of volume of data and availability of adoption apatite are still concerns though.
  6. Innovation in mobile hardware is still in progress. Form factors, shapes, aesthetics, colors and prices based on hardware based innovation will continue to be discussed.
  7. Native applications Vs HTML 5 technology options are still aggressively being discussed in many technology forums. It will be topic for discussion in next year too.
  8. Orthodox industry verticals are still orthodox in adopting public cloud. GRC and Data security are primary considerations and they remained critical and hopefully see some light in near future.
  9. SaaS / PaaS based business models are getting better attention now and new offerings are on rise.
  10. Internet turned 30 years old this year. We can expect improved maturity with individual responsibility going forward.

10 common complaints people have on Architects

Software industry has respect and knows value of Architects being on the projects. Architects play major role in success or failure of the project and have to take major responsibility throughout the SDLC phases. Well, here is a list of common complaints team members have on Architects though. There are many expectations from Architects but other members of the team including project managers, developers, QA and testers face certain challenges working with Architects. Intention of documenting this list is to help us understand these complaints, introspect and improve upon. Obviously specific context and background cannot be overlooked but in corporate world very few people have time to dig into background and context, what gets propagated is ‘project is in danger due to Architect’. So have a look at this list, see if any of these complaints are applicable to you or your team members and proactively act on those ASAP. [Obviously I am not providing any mitigation plan as there is no silver bullet to address any of these complaints. Idea is to list them together for our introspection exercise only.]

  1. Architects act as consultants: Architect is not working as a team player. *he is just acting as a consultant providing 50 thousand feet advice which can be applicable to any technology solution. For actual work they are not available. They expect others to interpret what they are saying and implement it based on abstract level understanding. How can we implement the projects with such Architects?
  2. Architects are hands-off technology folks: Architect does not understand technology details and not able to contribute to the HLD /LLD. Architect is not able to guide developers on prototypes and not able to debug issues. *he must be hands-off technology and cannot really help in success of the project. Why we have such Architects in our projects?
  3. Architect wants details and more details and even more before they start their work: We all work in constrained environment. We are trying to get as much details as possible from client but we cannot wait till all details are in place. Why cannot Architect start working on with certain assumptions and address gaps once details are in?
  4. Architects take credit only for success and push failures to developers: Architects have to be responsible for both success and failures. *he has to lead the team and mentor them as appropriate. Last week the prototype demo was miserable but *he just put developers on the spot. Why cannot *he take responsibility and accountability?
  5. Architects are looking for quicker exits from projects: Architects have to be present throughout the major SLDC phases but every week *he is asking me when the release date is? Just by putting architecture views and high level document, does *he think the role is over? How can we deliver the project with quality and on time without Architect on board?
  6. Architects do not like get questioned: Architect think whatever *he has drawn and documented is the final word. *he does not like I asking rationale and justification on any specific decision, architecture consideration or any specific technology choice. *he just asks me to keep away from the architecture document as if I do not understand anything. Why does not *he like get questioned?
  7. Architects do not like documentation: We have Architecture and HLD/LLD as deliverable but *he is not putting any detail documentation in place. *he thinks all these details are known to everyone including client and expects developers to write few things. *he thinks that through discussions *he will be able to convey client and team on ground what needs to be done. I am confused and frustrated!
  8. Architects blame others for estimation flaws: We have been asking Architect to participate in estimation exercise, provide inputs and also carry out complexity based estimation independently to cross-validate the estimation. *he just blames others for estimation flaws. Either *he does not understand estimation techniques or does not know overall complexity of the project.
  9. Architects try to convey a bug as a feature: Developers agreed to QA that it was a bug and had to discuss with Architect due to severity of the bug. Architect did not listen to Developers and QA team and kept arguing that observation was a feature than a flaw. QA team had to simulate the observation and prove it as a bug. Still Architect kept arguing and got angry with team saying they do not understand the requirement. Developers had to patch code somehow and fix the bug. Why Architects carry ego and not accept their mistake?
  10. Architects answer questions with ‘depends on’ clause: I keep asking him simple questions and *he answers those questions with so many clauses. *he does not take any risk answering me in simple statements. With so many assumptions and clauses I am not able to understand anything *he says and not able to take any concrete decision. How can I convey being a strong team member and help me take right decision?

Have you noticed any other complaints on Architects? Can you add your observations which we can use for introspection? Thanks in advance!