Friday, December 31, 2021

2021-12-31 Thursday - End-of-Year Personal Metrics for 2021

2021 Personal Metrics

  • 21 technical books reviewed 
  • 269 git commits (mostly in my personal knowledge management repositories)
  • 17,182 lines (including blanks, 162,361 words) in my private "2021 Technology Reading List" notes file (4,062 links to articles, videos, etc.) - a catch-all of what I've read/found to be interesting - and may want to be able to find/recall/reference in the future.
  • 32 sailing-related blog posts




Friday, December 24, 2021

2021-12-24 Friday - My reply to Adrian Grigoriu's analogy (EA models are like MRI scans)

Adrian Grigoriu posted the following on LinkedIn:

 Enterprise architecture looks (and is used) like an MRI scan
Architecture is about models and blueprints. In the Enterprise, the architects have to devise models that describe the enterprise. 
Enterprise Architecture looks (and is used) like an MRI scan.
On these models the people in the enterprise would visualize, analyse and solve their own issues in the enterprise context.  
The EA "model" looks like an MRI scan, an integrated set of views of the enterprise body, taken from different angles. Each view depicts a virtual section through the body of the enterprise.  
A wide variety of specialists (doctors) diagnose then, using the MRI pictures, the problems the same way business professionals analyse and solve the enterprise problems, using the EA descriptions produced by the architect.
The EA architect may be asked to assist the process but, just like the MRI specialist, the architect does not solve the problems of the enterprise but the specialist.

My reply:

Adrian Grigoriu I agree with Scott Whitmire's positions stated here, as well.

Further - due to the dynamic and constantly changing nature of the enterprise - models are usually imperfect, partial, and incomplete - in the best of times - and out-of-date most of the time.

The value of an architect spending the majority of their time primarily developing/maintaining models - eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns. For those models, too, become technical debt.

A model may be useful as an approximation - as a "tell" on the trail for architects that follow. But, in my experience - across multiple industries - and over the last four decades - no executive has ever asked for an arch model, upon which to base a decision.

Models are useful to guide the direction and intent of design - or to reason about the big picture - but they are not the primary reason for the existence of an architect's role.

Models are just one of the ways in which an architect creates value.

In a fast moving, agile enterprise - my experience has been that executives value the architects' ability to help the organization avoid dead-ends, minefields, and to make recommendations (based on experience) - from imperfect/incomplete information.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

2021-12-14 Tuesday - Why You Should Value The Experience of a Veteran

(image credit: Oregongal on


 As you look forward to 2022, and find yourself evaluating potential candidates to fill are some thoughts on why you should value the experience a #veteran brings...

Whether they have experienced combat or not - every veteran has experienced training to prepare them for executing under the most trying of combat conditions.

They have a very unique understanding of the commitment it takes to carry on - beyond exhaustion - how to make do with less - and still win, even against overwhelming odds.

They have a bone-deep understanding of the importance of these words: Duty, Leadership, Teamwork, Esprit de Corps, Attention to Detail, Preparation, Execution, Precision, Going The Extra Mile.

To be sure, there are some veterans that represent the fringe of a frayed cloth - but you will find that the major body of that cloth is whole and stout - and it will serve you well, as it served the country.

And, remember: Almost no veteran ever joined their service branch with the required experience to perform their specialty. They had to learn - and learn quickly. Uncle Sam made a bet in investing in training them. So should you.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

2021-12-07 Tuesday - 2021 Packt Christmas Sale - up to 25% Off


(image credit: 

 The 2021 Packt Christmas Sale offers 25% off for your favorite books, on Amazon. Now through Dec 19th.

Monday, December 06, 2021

2021-12-05 Sunday - Interesting Shopify Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance notes

Shopify uses a monolith architecture built with Ruby on Rails and MySQL.

  • "2021 was our biggest Black Friday Cyber Monday ever! Together with our friends at @GoogleCloud"
  •  "we achieved near-perfect uptime while averaging ~30TB/min of egress traffic across our infrastructure. That’s a massive ~43PB/day!"
  • "To keep up with the traffic over BFCM our Core MySQL fleet performed over 11 Million QPS and delivered 11 TERABYTES per second read I/O."
  • "We use @Splunk to monitor second-to-second data on how production systems are performing. Beyond engineering this is important to our support team for real-time visibility into what's happening on the platform."
  • "The storefront caching infrastructure serviced 1.8B commands. 3.18PB of data written and 15PB of data retrieved!"
  • "To keep our system responsive under heavy load this weekend we processed over 24 Billion (yes, with a B) asynchronous tasks using Resque. The ​​median queue time for those billions of jobs was 16ms."

  • "We can’t do it all alone, we have a lot of friends — over this weekend we answered 42B API calls and delivered 11.67B webhooks to support the thousands of apps in the @ShopifyDevs ecosystem."
  • "We have a strong belief in the role of flash sales in the future of commerce and our platform is built to withstand these huge floods of traffic. In one of the largest holiday shopping events, one merchant generated enough load to use over 20% of our TOTAL computing capacity."

  • "$6.3B in global sales from Shopify merchants."
  • "$3.1M/minute at peak on Friday."

Also see the related Google Cloud team's blog post:

Shopify engineers deliver on peak performance during Black Friday Cyber Monday 2021

Saturday, December 04, 2021

2021-12-04 Saturday - Preparing my rebuttal to Joe Peppard's WSJ article

Joe Peppard, PhD (Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management) recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal ("It’s Time to Get Rid of the IT Department", Nov 27, 2021).

My ideas for a response have been percolating over the last week. Today, I am just getting started working on the __outline__ for my thoughtful rebuttal - which will certainly grow well beyond my current 25 58 pages.

I look forward to publishing my response - in late January.


My 2021-12-04 LinkedIn post mentioning this effort.


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