Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Newest Milk and Oldest Wine

In Information Technology, what we actually want is the newest milk and the oldest wine.

     It may not be the oddest phrasing, with a little explanation.

The newest milk provides the sustenance for new growth, like the things that are technologically interesting turned practical or business useful.

A particularly good analogy may be applied to software and software development.  Consider the accelerated speed of delivery provided by new platforms enabled for Agile delivery of applications over traditional methods.

The speed of change is altered fundamentally and we all want the newest software.

The oldest wine is the libation that is well known and well understood, technologically it is the stability of continuous operation with minimal interruption.

In IT, the oldest and most well understood capabilities are typically the most stable.  Consider things like network switches that have uptime on the order of years.  They perform their given tasks from the time they are installed until they are removed.

As with the oldest wine, equipment relatively free from bugs sets a precedence for the future experience and so, we want the most stability.

And then there is powdered drink mix, technologically equivalent to the half-truth, misrepresented and misunderstood.  The thing is, powered drink mix often tastes excruciatingly wonderful, comes in a variety of flavors and is absolutely packed with sugar.

The advertisers and the media amplify messaging particularly to get attention.

     As an example, we're seeing "disruption of" or "disruptive _____" being used quite a lot.

In advertising, nearly all brand identification is good.  This doesn't mean that this miraculous new thing is particularly good at changing the speed of change or inherently able to increase stability.

It is simply that some new thing is being advertised and some really talented people are paid to advertise this new thing.

So, the point of my rant, it is the job of the programmers and IT architects to explore and understand which things are like the newest milk, which are the oldest wine and which are neither AND to make sure you don't always drink the "powered drink mix" which is neither nutritious nor a libation.


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