Saturday, April 29, 2023

2023-04-29 Saturday - The A.I. Dilemma - March 9, 2023, Center for Humane Technology


This video of a talk - covers everything that I have expressed a concern about, regarding the unconstrained explosion in AI capabilities - without guardrails, governance, legal frameworks, and international agreements.

The A.I. Dilemma - March 9, 2023
Center for Humane Technology

Tristan Harris started his career as a magician. He studied persuasive technology at Stanford University, and used what he learned to build a company called Apture, which was acquired by Google. It was at Google where Tristan first sounded the alarm on the harms posed by technology that manipulates attention for profit. Since then, he's spent his career articulating the insidious effects of today’s social media platforms, and envisioning how technology can serve humanity. Today, Tristan is the executive director and co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology.

Aza Raskin was trained as a mathematician and dark matter physicist. He took 3 companies from founding to acquisition before co-founding the Center for Humane Technology with Tristan and Randima Fernando. Aza is also a co-founder of the Earth Species Project, an open-source collaborative non-profit dedicated to decoding animal communication. Aza’s father, Jef Raskin, created the Macintosh project at Apple — with the vision that humane technology should help, not harm, humans.

Additional Articles of Interest

Thursday, April 27, 2023

2023-04-27 Thursday - Architecture Assessment for a SaaS startup


[image credit: MustangJoe on]

As a favor for a friend, I'm spending time over the next two weeks to prepare an Architecture Assessment report (usually 80-240 pages) for a new startup that completed their SaaS platform development last year.

This is where the depth and breadth of my decades of experience - as a CTO, Principal Architect, Enterprise Architect, Business Architect, Cloud Architect, Data Architect, Integration Architect, Solution Architect, Security Consultant, Site Reliability Engineer, DevSecOps, Development Manager, and Software Engineer - all come into play.

I relish these types of tasks - for it exercises all of my "Army of One" skills:

  • Business Strategy, Vision, Mission analysis
  • Business Architecture (Application Portfolios, Business Capabilities & Business Process analysis)
  • NFR Analysis: Availability, Capacity, Configuration Management, Deployment, Documentation, Disaster Recovery, Scalability, Reliability, Performance, Security, ..., ... (some of the 46 key NFRs I examine during any Architecture Assessment)
  • Domain Architecture
  • Infrastructure & Cloud cost optimizations
  • Data Architecture & Database design
  • API Strategy & Integration Architecture
  • Security Architecture (Authentication, Authorization, Encryption, Supply Chain, ...)
  • Software Engineering Best Practices (Clean Code, SOLID principles, ...)
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Strategic & Tactical Roadmap Planning
  • IT recommendations for building/reinforcing Intellectual Property "moats"

After a very preliminary review of the deployment architecture information- I have some hunches on where Cloud hosting costs may be reduced.

Within just the first 20 minutes of beginning my deep dive into the codebase - I have over a dozen preliminary findings/recommendations.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

2023-04-22 Saturday - Recommended Book - The Age of AI: And Our Human Future


[image credit:]

This week I picked-up 9 books from the library for my reading stack.

I completed reading the 1st one tonight. It was the book that I thought I would enjoy the least - but I actually found it to be illuminating in some unexpected ways - balanced (mostly) - if somewhat biased to the upside - and demurring from exploring - in any depth - the actual scenarios of possibly negative consequences.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the long-term strategic, policy, and regulatory concerns that need to be addressed - as AI capabilities continue to accelerate. Even if your professional role may not have any primary or secondary involvement in shaping policy or regulations - every citizen would benefit by being better informed and aware of the very serious future consequences to themselves, their country, and the world - if actions are not planned and taken - to mitigate the very serious problems that will arise in the absence of policies, regulations, and international agreements.

"The Age of AI And Our Human Future" (2021) by Henry A. Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher 

"Three of the world’s most accomplished and deep thinkers come together to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the way it is transforming human society—and what this technology means for us all."

"An AI learned to win chess by making moves human grand masters had never conceived. Another AI discovered a new antibiotic by analyzing molecular properties human scientists did not understand. Now, AI-powered jets are defeating experienced human pilots in simulated dogfights. AI is coming online in searching, streaming, medicine, education, and many other fields and, in so doing, transforming how humans are experiencing reality."

The Age of AI, three leading thinkers have come together to consider how AI will change our relationships with knowledge, politics, and the societies in which we live. The Age of AI is an essential roadmap to our present and our future, an era unlike any that has come before."

 At 227 pages - the book is a fairly quick read.

If you are pressed for time - you may find the following pages to be a condensed CliffNotes summary of the key points:

9-10, 15, 23-24, 27, 65, 72-73, 76, 80-81, 115, 120, 139, 143, 171, 173-176, 179, 183, 186, 191-198, 207-208.

Regardless, reading chapters 1, 5, and 6...crucial. 


My post on LinkedIn


 WSJ article by the authors, on 2023-02-23


Eric Schmidt's article on 2023-03-14


FastCompany article on 2023-03-14

YouTube video: 


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Friday, April 14, 2023

2023-04-14 Friday - Daniel Roth's interview with Ginni Rometty (former CEO of IBM)

 This quote, "...I'm a mosaic of the best of everything I saw because I was this idea of, ‘Ask more questions than you answer,’...", from Daniel Roth's interview (""Run to conflict." What you can learn from Ginni Rometty, IBM's longtime CEO, about leading in tough times") with Ginni Rometty (former CEO of IBM) struck a deep chord.

As a consultant - that is what I think/hope I bring to every client engagement.

I know there are some that have had poor experiences with consultants. But, this quote crystalizes what I think you will find - in the best consultants.

Sunday, April 02, 2023

2023-04-02 Sunday - Book Review: Salesforce Platform Enterprise Architecture, 4th Edition


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Salesforce Platform Enterprise Architecture, 4th edition

by Andrew Fawcett (VP Product Management, Salesforce)

[my review on Amazon]

Full Disclosure: Rohan Dobhal (DevRel Marketing Executive, Packt Publishing) invited me to review a preview copy of the book.

 My review:

This book is not just focused on Enterprise Architecture. It covers concerns/considerations that are appropriate for both delivery teams and architecture roles - across an organization.

A well written book that should be owned by teams involved in designing and developing Salesforce Platform solutions (e.g., Managers, Developers, Solution Architects, Enterprise Architects, Security Architects, Integration Architects, Data Architects, AI & ML specialists).

Andrew Fawcett's book is well organized and well written.

At 600+ pages, the book does a good job at being holistic and comprehensive - covering the essential details to provide a well-rounded hands-on experience for the reader.

I particularly appreciated the coverage of the Salesforce DX, CLI, and the Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VSCode) IDE.

I also very much appreciated the author's efforts to include useful links to Salesforce documentation & resources - as well a references to useful 3rd party resources.

As a contrast with other Salesforce architecture focused books on the market - this book provides plenty of hands-on exercises for the reader to develop practical experience.

Some topics covered that will be of particular interests to architects...architecture considerations related to:

  • Security
  • Encryption
  • Authentication/Authorization
  • Data Security
  • Data Architecture/Storage  
  • Change Data Capture (CDC) strategies
  • Deployment
  • Platform APIs (REST, SOAP, GraphQL) - and API versioning
  • OpenAPI v3, Swagger
  • Localization
  • Flow (for business process automation)
  • Salesforce Limits
  • Execution context, and transaction management - and platform governors
  • Separation of Concerns
  • Apex Commons library - that supports patterns
  • Naming Conventions, Checklists & Guidelines
  • Contract Driven development
  • Testing (Constructor Dependency Injection, Apex Stub API, Dependency Injections, ApexMocks, UI Test Automation Model, ...)
  • Citations of Martin Fowler’s Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture woven into the narrative
  • Salesforce Functions SDK
  • Lightning architecture - and the new LWC framework (re: UIs)
  • Integration capabilities (touching on Salesforce's Mulesoft integration platform, and the new DataWeave transformation language) - as well as integrating with external services (inbound, outbound, Connected App type - leveraging OAuth, Named Credentials for outbound calls, External Objects - leveraging OData standard, extended features for integration with AWS Services)
  • Pub/Sub messaging via Platform Events feature (leveraging industry standard gRPC API)
  • Standard Platform APIs for integration
  • Apex application APIs
  • Exposing platform events
  • Asynchronous processing
  • Big data processing strategies (e.g., billions of records)
  • Batch Apex 
  • Source Control and Continuous Integration (touching on Jenkins usage - which I also recommend)
  • Touching on AI with Salesforce's Einstein capabilities

Some readers might quibble with the title - since this book is not solely (or mostly) focused on Enterprise Architecture - but I appreciated the level of hands-on examples - as it deepened my knowledge and understanding.


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