Comic Strip Inspiration for IT

Without much fanfare:

From Think Tank (see notes)

I had read the comic when it was released. Instead of trying to remember where these panels were, decided to read it again. In these frames we have two conditions confronting each other. From the one you have one side utilizing the “latest and greatest” technological offerings available in their market. Sure they work great in theory and have many interesting attributes but they are by no means battle tested nor have at least yet a concrete track record. On the other side we see the counter argument, the established for those who are in favor of it, the legacy for those against approach. Its practitioner is well trained knows inside out its capabilities and limits, can navigate it through all the tides of its domain but after some point every moment it is used is a moment closer to irrelevance.

I am not a military expert nor I know about modern aviation but this strip perfectly captures the tension between a stable established solution be it code-base, programming stack, deployment and maintenance infrastructure and a new one as a different paradigm emerges.

Of course not everything new is certain that will survive crossing the chasm that will lead it to mainstream adoption before the developer community is sure that this particular technology or approach is here to stay.

notice “The Chasm”

There is also the recently popular as a term Lindy effect most established things will survive more than new ones; I still really enjoy writing shell scripts as wrappers, facilitators, mini utilities, stuff that got invented in the 60s or something.

But yet I cannot feel bad for tech departments that keep fighting the last war, that do not have a mechanism which will try the new “drones” (as in the strip) and silently invigorate their products and other offerings. Places that at some point are being overrun from competition and their only chance of survival is to hire expensive consultants, places that still use IBM’s DB2 in a world with lots NoSQL with the RDBMS space ruled by PostGreSQL and MyMariaSQL, wondering why people do not want to join their company and their only hope is to recruit graduates with a huge debt or poor immigrants.

But also many times the experienced pilot that has lots of dogfights can win even if the other ones have a bright new F-3211239 with electronic ninja drones. Sometimes the only thing you need is a good old shell script that can go a long way.

Notes

  1. Really check out “Think Tank” worth your time, highly entertaining and good food for thought: GoodReads
  2. Adoption curve with chasm for this article: http://www.insightsquared.com/2016/01/the-saas-startup-guide-to-crossing-the-chasm/