Friday, April 03, 2009

I was interviewed yesterday by Chad, on Business intelligence, in particular the state of the market, jobs, and skills.


It got me thinking about some of the reading I been been doing recently to keep up to date. And thought I should write things down before I forget them!




I always like to keep up-to-date with market developments, in particular technology advancements.

On that front I saw a presentation recently by a CIO which quoted change and how we need to be prepared for it in IT. Now we always hear that, but he put it in the context of three Laws, Moore's Law, Metcalfs Law and Gilders Law, which actually bought it home really well.

To remind you, Moores (Co-founder at Intel) predicted in 1965 that processing power will double at least every two years.

Metcalfe's law states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n^2).
The law has often been illustrated using the example of fax machines: a single fax machine is useless, but the value of every fax machine increases with the total number of fax machines in the network, because the total number of people with whom each user may send and receive documents increases.
Two telephones can make only one connection, five can make 10 connections, and twelve can make 66 connections.


Gilders Law states that the total bandwidth of communication systems triples every twelve months. In my street they are installing 50MB cable soon, so in a year that should be 150MB!!


So, computing power will blow our minds in ten years, networks are really useful when more things get connected, and speed of information flows will be even more awesome and useful for gaming.
BUT, none of the above has directly demonstrated why Oracle and SAP became powerful, or why Oracle is preferred over SQL Server for large databases, or why Column databases are better at certain reports than rowwise databases.
Or why we don't program in BASIC anymore (although it would probably be called ADVANCED now!).

So technology improvements enable us to work from home, with access to fast databases, but why am I using TOAD on Oracle, with OBIEE on top?
More importantly, what do I need to use next year, the year after, and so on. When do I give up learning and go into management!

The Cloud Compute model is already removing the need for hardware in the office, and software on your laptop (except for a browser!). The skills for databases and reporting have been commoditised, offshored and devalued. IS this pattern true for thought leadership?

Maybe I should invent a Law of my own.

How about, The second you master a technology it is obsolete.








There is actually a whole list of 'laws'

http://www.jimpinto.com/writings/techlaws.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_eponymous_laws

http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/01mar/slides/burp-1/sld004.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metcalfe%27s_Law

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