The weekly round up:

  • From Sticks to Clouds – From Google UK’s e-magazine “Think” (, a brief history of computing technology from tally sticks to Google Earth Engine.
  • Grey Hairs And Red Herrings: IBM mainframe skills resurgence is a triumph of Developer Relations – Plenty of organisations have a “get rid of the mainframe” project – but it may not be the smartest move. IBM are selling System Z mainframes hand over fist, and have addressed the challenge of dwindling resources of mainframe developers head-on with graduate programs and job-matching marketplaces & seems mainframes are the new black.
  • From span of control to span of influence – The changing face of work – less “control”, more “influence”. Whether or not (or how soon) we start seeing this in our favourite cubicle farms may be open to debate, but I do believe that networks can provide better business outcomes than most hierarchies; this is what I said about it in 2008.
  • Thoughtworks on Go. Hudson to Jenkins: continuous integration market dynamics – Another story about Oracle and its poor management of acquired assets – this time some of the open-source assets from Sun, particularly the Hudson continuous integration server (used mainly for rapid deployment of software builds). In fairness, Oracle planned to do more with Hudson than Sun had, but the shift of the developer community to the “open” fork called Jenkins attests to some heavy-handed treatment by Oracle. It’s a new market, so it will be interesting to see this play out & Thoughtworks and Atlassian are watching, I’m sure.
  • Oracle: 40% Sun hardware slide. Thin end of the wedge? – Was the Sun acquisition a bridge too far for Oracle? Historically, Oracle has not done a great job of leveraging the technologies they’ve acquired – as a sales organisation they seem not to understand their products so well, but the customer list has been well-harvested.
    It seems Oracle’s lack of product understanding has hit a high point with hardware – losing market share in a growing market indicates some problem – either in understanding and selling benefits to customers, or in supporting and improving the products themselves. More than ever, Oracle bears watching &
  • The Bank of Facebook: Currency, Identity, Reputation – Facebook as bank? If we see “money” as a medium of exchange and a store of value, it seems hard to argue that Facebook Credits won’t serve as a virtual currency. Seeing identity and social reputation as “money” is no great logical leap either – see (for an explanation of “whuffie”:
    While the opportunities abound for the virtualisation of currency (and by definition, banking), there are some caveats to consider when contemplating that Facebook is currently attempting to be the defacto authority for all three elements: virtual currency, identity and reputation.