a reckoning for tech by the humans that work with it

We’re here with tech, community, and pie. TechReckoning Dispatch v5n1

Aloha! How’s it going? ¿Qué tal? Kamusta ka? क्या हाल है?

This is the TechReckoning Dispatch newsletter. Just to remind you, I talk about topics like enterprise and social technology, things of interest to people working in the technology industry, and technology’s effects on us and our society. I sometimes make jokes.

I will also catch you up with our projects at TechReckoning. This week that includes a new podcast, an upcoming event with Brian Solis talking about tech’s effects on us and our brains, and a brand spankin’ new community program that connects technology pros with each other and companies in their industry.

To sum up where we are now, enterprise and cloud tech continue to hum along, powered by the latest new shiny k-thing, free lunches and swag, and lots of PowerPoint. As we send this, the infelicitously-named KubeCon and CloudNativeCon just wound down in Barcelona. At 7,000 attendees, it’s the largest KubeCon ever and I believe it’s the largest independent cloud conference and the biggest open source conference in the world. (The swag at the conference included branded boxer shorts, a bad idea for several reasons. The sponsor is being dragged on Twitter as I write this, which seems like a very 2019 moment. Just go with socks, ok?)

On the other hand, the online social platforms — Twitter, Facebook/Instagram, and Google/YouTube — seem to be a hot mess. I told you Facebook was going to be a problem, but it turns out social media in general is bad for both our brains and our society. It’s like some kid started Uber for Arson and we all enthusiastically used our 20% off code to send over an underpaid contractor to burn down our own house.We may be currently burning down our brains and our society, but at least we’re starting to feel a little warm. Tristan Harris is one of the “Oops Did I Do That?” Elite who profited off this Decade of Surveillance Capitalism via a nice stint at Google and now is warning us from on top of his pile of money. To his credit, instead of strident op-ed essays, Tristan started the Center for Humane Technology to help you realize that every time you pick up your phone, you’re up against billions of dollars of AI dedicated to keep you scrolling.

So it’s not that we’re completely losing human agency and you walk in to YouTube and it always addicts you for the rest of your life and you never leave the screen. But everywhere you turn on the internet there’s basically a supercomputer pointing at your brain, playing chess against your mind, and it’s going to win a lot more often than not.

There’s a lot more to shovel out of this particular stable than even Hercules could finish up in day, so I plan to return to this topic. How do we get the amazing good stuff out of being connected on the internet while minimizing the bad parts? 🤔

Local Cloud is Like a Local Bank, or a Local Pie

In coming weeks, I’ll also have more links and commentary on enterprise tech. This week just a few current shower thoughts and some delicious local food recommendations for enterprise technologists.

Tech Thoughts from the Shower:

  1. We may be at peak Kubernetes, or at least peak user-visible Kubernetes. We are definitely not at peak CloudNativeCon.
  2. Private clouds and service providers seem to be less scared as they find their place in the market. I like the analogy with the financial world: yes, there are huge banks, but also lot of specialized and regional firms, smaller and yet very profitable. (Analogy credit: Michael Haag)
  3. Similarly, data management, like storage before it, seems like it will have a few providers taking big slices of the pie but also leaving lots of room for some little specialized bakers to make smaller slices. They all seem like similar pies until you take a bite.

I think that last market share metaphor mixes pie takers and pie makers, but, c’mon, it’s about pie. Let’s go with that.Given the premise that local pie-makers, in analogy to local banks and local clouds, make pie that’s more suitable for many tables than the national pie-makers, here are three recommendations to have local pie experiences the next time you have a rental car in the Bay Area:

  1. The Mushroom and Leek Pie from Pye, which you can only get in a few cafes and farmer’s markets. We had one at the Half Moon Bay’s Farmer’s Market recently — it’s eye-rollingly good.
  2. The Ollalieberry Pie from Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero. Here the pie is good, the drive down is amazing and the town is super cute. Ollalieberries are a tart blackberry-raspberry-dewberry cross that grows mostly in California and doesn’t travel well. “Olallie” is Chinook for berry, so the Olallieberry is the ATM Machine of berry names.
  3. While you’re down there, drive another 15 miles south to the Pie Ranch Farm Stand and pick up a pie to eat now and some jars of pickles, salsa, or jam. You can wrap your dirty underwear around them in your suitcase and take home. You’ll be supporting non-profit kids and farm programs.

And one more non-pie enterprise tech food recommendation If you or somebody you love is still in Barcelona for KubeCon. Kat still talks about the baby octopus over fried eggs she had at El Quim, a tapas bar in the Boqueria market on La Rambla. They might give you a glass of cava while you wait for a seat. 🥂 Salut i força al canut!

TechReckoning 🔥

We’ve got a lot of new stuff cooking!

We’re starting a new group called the TechReckoning Insiders for technologists who are active in their community. The Insiders will help you learn more deeply, meet more people in the industry, and move forward in your career. You’ll receive a regular email update and have access to private community space. We’ll send out some cool insider invitations for opportunities like briefings, events, licenses, and training. Membership is free. To get notified when we launch in June, go to TechReckoning.com and sign up!

If you work for a tech vendor and you’re going to be sponsoring conferences this Fall, you need to start building buzz and awareness now, and we can help. At some point, sending out yet another email doesn’t move the needle; however, building relationships with communities of practitioners and community influencers will blow past email open rates and ad blockers to create real connections with the real people that need your solutions. We have some packages for June that can help you be more successful at VMworld this year, and we also can craft customized programs to work with other communities. We’re also currently looking for sponsors who want to deliver high-value experiences to our new Insiders group. Just hit reply (jtroyer@techreckoning.com)  or feel free to schedule something directly on my calendar.


Real Job Talk Podcast

Our first new podcast in a while, Real Job Talk, covers jobs, careers, and what’s not said at the water cooler. Co-hosts Liz Bronson and Kat Troyer have known each other for years and laugh a lot as they drop some serious wisdom that they’ve developed over years of seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly at work.

  1. Check out the latest episode on negotiating a job offer.
  2. If you’re wondering, “Where do I go from here?,” I recommend checking out Episode 2 to think about your ideal job.
  3. Also Episode 6 on Working with Assholes might be relevant to some of you!
  4. Ask them your messiest job question via their web site. (Aren’t job questions always a little messy? I think it’s because humans are inherently a little messy)

IMC’s June Meeting with Brian Solis
The Influence Marketing Council runs a monthly meeting where we get smart folks to discuss influence, advocacy, and community in the tech industry. This month, we’re talking about being more creative, productive, and happy in this age of social media and stress. Brian Solis — analyst, author, blogger, and keynote speaker — will be joining us to talk about his new book, Lifescale. Brian is an OG influencer himself with deep insights on influencers and innovation. Afterwards we’ll have a discussion hosted by Kat and John Troyer.

Influence Marketing Council monthly meetings are normally only for members, but this month we’re opening it up to all. Head over to TechReckoning.com to get your invite.  (The IMC is not solely about influencers, not solely about marketing, and not really a council, but that’s a whole other joke.)

Just Hit Reply

It feels good to be sending this out after a long hiatus. What practice, habit, or side project have you picked up again lately after a break? What did you have to set down to make room for the new thing? Just hit reply and I’ll compile some answers for next time.

I threw a lot at you this week. To recap, here’s what you can do next:

  1. Interested in joining the TechReckoning Insiders, our new group of connected technologists? Sign up to get notified when we launch.
  2. If you’re a tech vendor and prepping for VMworld or other fall conferences, let’s talk now. Schedule a quick chat or hit reply and let’s talk.
  3. Interested in hearing Brian Solis talk about life and social media next month at our June IMC call? Reserve your spot.
  4. Check out the Real Job Talk Podcast, subscribe, and then ask Liz & Kat a question that’s been bugging you about dealing with your job or what’s next in you career.
  5. If you want to share some insights on picking up new projects or setting down things to make room, just hit reply for that too. I’d love to hear from you.
  6. Or simply do nothing. You always have that option. We all should make some space to do nothing more often. Twitter and Facebook and Instagram will be fine. Politics will be fine. Your email will be fine. They’ll all be there tomorrow, and you will be more than fine.

This is Volume 5, Number 1 of The TechReckoning Dispatch, a fine artisanal newsletter hand-crafted for your delectation. Brought to you by Mariah, who is a very good girl sleeping right beside me right now.