Tag Archives: what I do

Linux Performance Analysis and Tools: Brendan Gregg’s Talk at SCaLE 11x

Linux Performance Analysis and Tools from brendangregg Our friends at SCaLE invited Brendan Gregg to speak (again) this year, and he was happy to return. He developed and delivered a fantastic talk; I filmed, edited, published, wrote a blog post for Joyent, and ran a quick-n-dirty social media campaign (Twitter and HackerNews) to drive traffic to it Read More…

Our friends at SCaLE invited Brendan Gregg to speak (again) this year, and he was happy to return. He developed and delivered a fantastic talk; I filmed, edited, published, wrote a blog post for Joyent, and ran a quick-n-dirty social media campaign (Twitter and HackerNews) to drive traffic to it – that, too, is part of my job.

Get Involved! Part 1

OpenSolaris Developer Conference, Praguew June 25-27, 2008 Keynote: Jim Grisanzio: Governing OpenSolaris: Get Involved! Thursday June 26, 10:00 – 11:00 You might also like: Technical Videos The Faces of Sun Interview with Kelly Nishimura Open Storage Summit Ben Rockwood Keynote

OpenSolaris Developer Conference, Praguew June 25-27, 2008

Keynote: Jim Grisanzio: Governing OpenSolaris: Get Involved!
Thursday June 26, 10:00 – 11:00

Publish Yourself on CD-ROM

In 1993, my first (and so far only) book, Publish Yourself on CD-ROM (Random House), finally hit the shelves after over a year of work. My then-boss Fabrizio Caffarelli was listed as the first author (and got most of the royalties), and taught me much of the technical content (I did read the standards docs myself – almost Read More…

In 1993, my first (and so far only) book, Publish Yourself on CD-ROM (Random House), finally hit the shelves after over a year of work.

My then-boss Fabrizio Caffarelli was listed as the first author (and got most of the royalties), and taught me much of the technical content (I did read the standards docs myself – almost the only available reference materials before our book), while the “philosophy” parts were based on ideas that we discussed at length. I did the bulk of the actual writing.

It was one of the first books in the world to include a CD, largely so that a trial version of our Easy CD 1.0 software could be distributed with it. The whole project was a marketing tool for the software. It worked: it drew attention to the product and CD recording technology in general, and set us on the road to making Easy CD the top-selling Windows CD recording app (later named by PC World one of the 50 Best Tech Products of All Time). Fabrizio became a very rich man when he sold his company to Adaptec in 1995; he was one of the early exemplars of the “build it up to sell it” cycle so common in tech today.

Ironically, the only review we ever got was in now-defunct Byte magazine. The reviewer opined: “If the authors think that CD recording will ever become cheap and easy enough for general use, they’re crazy” – or words to that effect. I’d say we got the last laugh on that one.

The book itself didn’t sell hugely – Random House paid me more to do the layout than I ever earned from my portion of the royalties. But it was good experience in every aspect of writing and producing a book. It didn’t need copyediting by the publisher – our editor said it was the “cleanest” book he’d ever received. I even did the indexing, though I had no training in that.

Perhaps the most important skill I gained was a new one in the world at that time: producing electronic content. Keep in mind that I was doing this in 1992, long before most people had heard of the World Wide Web. As I wrote a few years ago:

I had wanted to publish the electronic version of the book in Adobe’s new PDF format (which I’d heard about in the course of my work as a journalist for Italian computer magazines), but that wasn’t quite ready at the time. I used instead the same FrameMaker software I’d used to lay out the book, along with a hypertext reader supplied by Frame – I negotiated the rights to include this on our CD, which I believe was the first publication to use it. (That company is now owned by Adobe).

Designing the electronic version of the book was also a formative experience: I became adept at hypertext long before I saw the Web.

The book mentioned our CompuServe address and that we’d be glad to hear from readers. Hear from them we did, because the disc didn’t work! Something had gone wrong in manufacturing, and no one at Random House had thought to test the disc before binding it up with the book.

That was my first experience with online customer service. I was just sick over the whole situation, but Random House quickly had a working disc duplicated, and arranged shipping so that anyone who contacted them could get a replacement quickly. Once this fix was in place and easily obtainable, I was pleasantly surprised at how forgiving our readers were. In a way it was a bonus, because the mistake spurred people to get in touch with us who otherwise would never have bothered.

So, inadvertently, the book also led to me to be a pioneer in another field: online customer service and communications – what we’d now call social media. And all of this experience continues to serve me well long after the book is out of print and even the technology it teaches is nearly superfluous. There’s a life lesson in that; I’m sure you can work it out for yourself!

NB: Don’t ask me to explain that cover image – we didn’t like it, either.

Whole Lotta Videos

Countries Beginning with I: The Trailer This is not all the videos I’ve made to date (for both work and fun), but … it’s 531 of them, some as old as 10 years (recovered from various sources). From one of my YouTube accounts, in reverse chronological order of posting. Running Without a ZFS Root Pool Read More…

Countries Beginning with I: The Trailer

This is not all the videos I’ve made to date (for both work and fun), but … it’s 531 of them, some as old as 10 years (recovered from various sources). From one of my YouTube accounts, in reverse chronological order of posting.

Running Without a ZFS Root Pool watch
ZFS Performance Analysis and Tools watch
DTracing the Cloud watch
Making the Impossible Possible: Disposable Staging Environments At Scale watch
ZFS Day Panel: The State of ZFS on… watch
ZFS State of the Union watch
The illumos Home Data Center watch
DevOps Demystified – An introduction to the ideas that are driving DevOps watch
Why 4K? watch
Enhanced OS Virtualization for the Cloud watch
What in Hell Am I Doing Here? watch
Building a Business on illumos watch
Darwin’s Storage watch
Hybrid Storage Pools: Using Disk and Flash with ZFS watch
SmartOS Operations — Ben Rockwood at illumos Day watch
Pair of Pelicans, Golden Gate watch
ZFS Day: Justin Gibbs and Will Andrews, Brian Behlendorf watch
illumos Day: Chris Nelson, Bayard Bell, Robert Mustacchi watch
ZFS Day: Architecting ZFS Solutions watch
illumos Day: Brendan Gregg & Jerry Jelinek watch
Running Without a ZFS Root Pool watch
illumos Day: illumos Innovations That Will Never be in Oracle Solaris watch
ZFS Day: George Wilson watch
ZFS Day: Making the Impossible Possible: Disposable Staging Environments At Scale watch
ZFS State of the Union – Matt Ahrens watch
illumos State watch
FISL Clips watch
Parents’ Banquet 2 watch
Parents’ Banquet 1 watch
DTrace in the Non-Global Zone watch
Adding Per-Thread Caching to libumem (footnote) watch
SmartOS: An SA Primer watch
Adding Per-Thread Caching to libumem watch
SmartOS ZFS Architecture watch
Introduction to Git watch
Performance Analysis: The USE Method watch
Using Video to Communicate Technology watch
Corporate Open Source Anti-Patterns: Doing It Wrong watch
The Open Storage Revolution watch
10 03 multicore karlsson2 watch
10 03 multicore karlsson watch
Networking in the Cloud: Crossbow’s Revolutionary Impact in a Virtualize World watch
08HPC Using Sun Studio in HPC and Education watch
08HPC Austin xVM Pai watch
08HPC Austin Bojanic watch
Open Storage Analysts’ Round Table watch
Open Storage Analysts’ Round Table p2 watch
Max Bruning Presents on SmartOS at NOSIG watch
How to Tie a Turban watch
Sitar and Tabla Recital watch
sitar watch
Diagnosing Live Systems with DTrace watch
Probing Database Applications with DTrace 2 watch
Observing Your App and Everything Else it Runs on Using DTrace 2 watch
Using DTrace for GNOME Performance Analysis watch
Probing Database Applications with DTrace 1 watch
Observing Your App and Everything Else it Runs on Using DTrace watch
DTrace BoF at LISA10 watch
How to Build Better Applications with DTrace 2 watch
How to Build Better Applications with DTrace watch
ZFS Internal Structures watch
Kernel Conference Australia: Panel Discussion on ZFS 2 watch
Kernel Conference Australia: Panel Discussion on ZFS 1 watch
ZFS, Cache and Flash watch
Nexenta, Open Storage, and Commercial Open Source watch
Open Storage & ZFS in a Linux World 2 watch
Open Storage & ZFS in a Linux World 1 watch
ZFS Workshop at LISA 2008 Part 6 watch
ZFS Workshop at LISA 2008 Part 5 watch
ZFS Workshop at LISA 2008 Part 4 watch
ZFS Workshop at LISA 2008 Part 3 watch
ZFS Workshop at LISA 2008 Part 2 watch
ZFS Workshop at LISA 2008 Part 1 watch
Becoming a ZFS Ninja Part 2 watch
Becoming a ZFS Ninja Part 1 watch
Little Shop Of Performance Horrors Part 2 watch
Little Shop Of Performance Horrors Part 3 watch
Little Shop Of Performance Horrors Part 1 watch
Solaris History: Crystal Springs and Telegraph Hill Conference Rooms watch
Solaris History: Muir Woods Conference Room watch
Beatbox Extravaganza watch
Too Straight Polka watch
Rock the Boat watch
Solaris Device Drivers watch
Solaris Device Drivers Part 2 watch
Porting USB HID Device Drivers Between Linux and OpenSolaris watch
illumos: Forking is Healthy watch
ZFS: The Last Word in File Systems Part 3 watch
ZFS: The Last Word in File Systems Part 2 watch
ZFS: The Last Word in File Systems Part 1 watch
Music in the Lizard Lounge watch
Jim Moore, Darwin Scholar watch
Herd of Goats, Mullingar Hill, Landour, Mussoorie watch
Preschool Disco at Malcesine watch
Preschool Trip to Malcesine: The House watch
Rossella on the Bus to Malcesine watch
ASI Out 2 watch
The Road Up to Mussoorie watch
Project Bandaloop watch
School Band, Ferry Building Plaza, San Francisco watch
Clownfish watch
Fluttering Flowers watch
SVLUG Comparative Operating Systems Discussion 2 watch
illumos Hardware Support watch
Virtualization and the Future of illumos watch
illumos Technologies for Embedded Systems watch
Packaging in illumos watch
SVLUG Comparative Operating Systems Discussion – Hour 1 watch
Why You Need ZFS watch
Woodstock School watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 12 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 11 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 10 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 9 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 8 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 7 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 6 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 5 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 4 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 3 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 2 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 1 watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – F watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – E watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – D watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – C watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – B watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – A watch
CIL Gara Sociale 1999 – 0 watch
illumos Key Technologies watch
Brendan Gregg on the DTrace Book watch
Brendan Gregg on the DTrace Book 2 watch
San Francisco Parrots watch
dtrace.conf 2008 6:21pm watch
dtrace.conf 2008 5:09pm – Distributed DTrace watch
dtrace.conf 2008 4:44pm – PostgreSQL Provider watch
dtrace.conf 2008 4:24pm – PostgreSQL: Looking Under the Hood with Solaris watch
dtrace.conf 2008 12:40pm – VMWare VProbes watch
dtrace.conf 2008 3:43pm – HotSpot Runtime & Java watch
dtrace.conf 2008 11:17am – Demos watch
dtrace.conf 2008 10:42am – Setting the Agenda watch
dtrace.conf 2008 7:25pm – Apple Port of DTrace watch
dtrace.conf 2008 2:52pm – Erlang watch
drace.conf 2008 2:12pm – War Stories watch
dtrace.conf 2008 1:58 pm – Jarod Jenson watch
dtrace.conf 2008 1:03pm – Zones & DTrace watch
dtrace.conf 12 – Barriers to DTrace Adoption watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – DTrace on FreeBSD watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – ZFS Provider watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – DTrace and Erlang watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – DTrace on Linux watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – DTrace in node.js watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – More Visualizations watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – Visualizations, Enabling Toolchain for Seamless USDT watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – Visualizations watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – Clang Parser for DTrace watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – Control Flow & Language Enhancements watch
dtrace.conf 2012- Dynamic Translators watch
dtrace.conf 2012- User-Level CTF watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – Setting the Agenda watch
dtrace.conf 2012 – DTrace State of the Union watch
A Carousel of DTrace watch
Converting Virtual Appliance Packages for Fun and Profit watch
Developing for illumos – 5 watch
Developing for illumos – 4 watch
Developing for illumos – 3 watch
Developing for illumos – 2 watch
Developing for illumos – 1 watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 12:48pm watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 2:22pm, Benoit Chaffanjon, Sun Benchmarks watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 2:07pm – DTracing a Solaris build. watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 3:13pm, Instrumenting Adobe AIR watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 3:01pm, Erlang (continued) watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 11:54am watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 11:44am, DTrace for hardware watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 11:29am, NFSv3 and iSCSI providers watch
dtrace.conf 2008 – 9:41am, Opening watch
Experiences Starting an Open Source Operating System 4 watch
Experiences Starting an Open Source Operating System 3 watch
Experiences Starting an Open Source Operating System 2 watch
Experiences Starting an Open Source Operating System watch
Performance Analysis: new tools and concepts from the cloud 4 watch
Performance Analysis: new tools and concepts from the cloud 3 watch
Performance Analysis: new tools and concepts from the cloud 2 watch
Performance Analysis: new tools and concepts from the cloud watch
Using SmartOS as a Hypervisor – 4 watch
Using SmartOS as a Hypervisor – 5 watch
Using SmartOS as a Hypervisor – 3 watch
Using SmartOS as a Hypervisor – 2 watch
Using SmartOS as a Hypervisor – 1 watch
SmartOS Diskless Boot watch
ZFS Feature Flags – Part 3 watch
ZFS Feature Flags – Part 1 watch
ZFS Feature Flags – Part 2 watch
ZFS Backwards Compatibility Testing with ztest watch
ZFS Code Comments watch
The Future of LibZFS – Part 3 watch
The Future of LibZFS, Part 2 watch
The Future of LibZFS Part 1 watch
Testing ZFS in illumos watch
Solaris History: DTrace and ZBall watch
SFGMC Christmas Concert watch
In and Around the Woodstock School Quad watch
Katrina: What Happened in the Hospitals watch
Solaris History: The Marker Game watch
Katrina Tour: Effects on the Middle Class watch
Katrina Tour: Don’t Bring Your Kids Here watch
Katrina Tour: Corruption watch
Katrina Tour: The Effects on Communities watch
Katrina Tour: Xes watch
Katrina Tour: Celia’s Story – the Aftermath watch
Katrina Tour: The New Projects watch
Katrina Tour: 9th Ward watch
Cat Tricks watch
San Francisco Tram watch
The Great Glass Elevator watch
Bay Bridge into San Francisco watch
Bourbon Street watch
Bourbon Street watch
Morning at Fairy Glen watch
Jackson Square watch
Scenes from an Indian Train watch
Jackson Square watch
The Road from Oakville watch
Coco Robicheaux, Dave and Tom watch
New Orleans Street Performance watch
Tricky Britches watch
New Orleans Parade watch
New Orleans Street Performers watch
Cheeky Crows watch
Peter Buckingham on COMSTAR watch
Magician Scott Tokar for Sun Microsystems at SuperComputing 2008 watch
Business Continuity with Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition watch
Interview with Kelly Nishimura OpenSolaris Program Manager watch
Interview with Max Alt of Intel watch
Trailer Grid as Enabling Technology for Climate Research watch
Contributing to DTrace watch
QFS Shared File Services for Scale and Cache Coherency watch
How QFS Wins the Battle Against Global Warming watch
OpenSolaris Security watch
OpenSSO – A Jack Adams conversation with Pat Patterson watch
Jack Adams Interviews George Wilson on ZFS watch
Nick Solter on High Availability – a Jack Adams Interview watch
Brendan Gregg on DTrace Part 4 watch
Using DTrace to Analyze Your Webstack watch
Interview with Evan Powell of Nexenta watch
Jack Adams and Nnenna Nwakanma of FOSSFA watch
Jack Adams Goes Walkabout at OSCON 2009 watch
ZFS The Next Word Part 3 watch
Open Storage Summit Party, Sept 2008 watch
The Making of “Shouting in the Datacenter” watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics watch
Interview with Paddy Shrinivasan of Zmanda watch
Brendan Gregg on DTrace watch
Brendan Gregg on DTrace Part 2 watch
Solaris Security Summit Introduction watch
Brendan Gregg on DTrace Part 3 watch
ZFS The Next Word Part 5 watch
ZFS The Next Word Part 2 watch
ZFS in the Trenches Part 1 watch
ZFS in the Trenches Part 2 watch
Entrevistas no FISL10 Ronaldo Prass e o GeJUn watch
Stephen Tyree and Alex Barclay of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research watch
ZFS in the Trenches Part 3 watch
FISLRenato mov watch
FISLmedeiros mov watch
ZFS in the Trenches Part 4 watch
ZFS in the Trenches Part 6 watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 1 watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 5 watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 6 watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 3 watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 8 watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 9 watch
ZFS Discovery Day Introduction by Graham Scattergood watch
Visualizing DTrace Sun Storage 7000 Analytics Part 7 watch
Sun Microsystems Carolers watch
Sun Microsystems Carolers Part 2 watch
ZFS Crypto watch
Optimizing and Managing Simulation Runs with Intel Flash and Oracle and MSC Software watch
Talking Open Storage with Mark Niedzielski, Infrastructure Manager at OurStage com watch
Talking About COMSTAR at SNW watch
COMSTAR Tutorial Convert a Sun Server into a Fibre Channel Storage Array watch
Snow Falling on Sun’s Broomfield Campus watch
The New and Improved Filebench watch
Introducing Swathi watch
Introducing Pramod, Sambit, and Venkateswarlu watch
Introducing KNR watch
Introducing Thorsten Freauf watch
Introducing Sreekanth “the serious version” watch
Introducing Harish watch
Introducing Nandan watch
Introducing Ashutosh Tripathi watch
Introducing Madhur watch
Introducing Siva watch
Solaris Cluster 3 2 1 09 RAC in Zones and Quorum Monitoring watch
Protecting Oracle Applications with Built In Solaris Security Features watch
Oracle E Business Suite on Sun Blades watch
Getting Optimum Sound from a Consumer Camcorder watch
Getting Started with Solaris 2 Where is Everything? watch
Getting Started with Solaris 1 About Solaris watch
Getting Started with Solaris 7 Device Names and File Systems watch
Getting Started with Solaris 3 Users watch
Getting Started with Solaris 4 Managing Software watch
Getting Started with Solaris 5 System Services watch
Getting Started with Solaris 6 Networking watch
Back from Alwar watch
OpenSolaris Security Security and Solaris Containers watch
OpenSolaris Security The Cryptographic Framework watch
Oracle Solaris Studio 12 2 Release watch
Oracle Solaris ZFS Pool Recovery watch
Introducing Oracle Solaris Cluster 3 3 watch
Oracle Solaris Triple Parity RAID Z watch
Oracle Solaris ZFS Log Devices watch
What’s in the DTrace Book? watch
Oracle ZFS System Duty Cycle Scheduling Class watch
Oracle Solaris ZFS Pool Split watch
Solaris 10 Security Essentials watch
Introduction to the DTrace Book watch
View from the Hill Fort, Kesroli watch
Parrots at Humayun’s Tomb watch
Late-Night Prayers in Dubai Airport watch
Road Construction on the Way to Dehra Dun Airport watch
Diwali Diya watch
Diwali Market in Alwar watch
Scooter Taxi Ride to Alwar watch
Birdsong and Bougainvillea watch
Evening at Kesroli Hill Fort watch
Morning at Kesroli Hill Fort watch
The Road to Hanson Field watch
Twilight at Humayun’s Tomb watch
Lights at Midlands watch
Al Straughan’s Funeral watch
Aspall’s Cider watch
What I Said at Rosie’s Funeral watch
Flying Sculpture at Fort Mason watch
Computing History with Bryan Cantrill Part 2 watch
Computing History with Bryan Cantrill Part 1 watch
California Street Cable Car, San Francisco watch
La Bottega del Maiale: A Salumeria in Lecco watch
Cable Car Up the Resegone watch
Rossella and Hamish: A Love Story watch
Woodstock 150th Celebration: Campfire watch
Jump Up watch
Java Jive watch
Meet Me on the Mountain watch
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning watch
I’ll Be on My Way watch
Illumos Meetup 6 watch
Illumos Meetup 5 watch
Illumos Meetup 4 watch
Illumos Meetup 3 watch
Illumos Meetup 2 watch
Illumos Meetup 1 watch
Smiling Cat watch
kayak watch
Jaipur Transportation watch
centrale052405 watch
English Words in Devnagiri (Hindi) Script watch
elephant watch
documentary Lg watch
delhinight watch
delhistn watch
birdflew watch
sagrada watch
Rosie’s Funeral: Jazz Recessional watch
Rosie’s Funeral: Pprocessional watch
At Rosie’s Graveside watch
Hummingbirds in Montezuma, New Mexico watch
Woodstock School Jazz Band watch
The Mail Coach Arrives in Bellagio watch
Woodstock School Senior Awards 2008 watch
Woodstock School Awards 2008: Chris Cooke watch
Wiring the TVBLOB Media Center watch
Woodstock School 2008 Writing Awards watch
Countries Beginning with I: The Trailer watch
Italian Food in Video: RistoExpo, Erba watch
Woodstock School Scholastic Achievement Awards 2008 watch
On the Road in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas watch
Woodstock School Drama Awards 2008 watch
Woodstock School Community Service & Journalism Awards 2008 watch
Woodstock School Graduation 2008: Invocation and Salutation watch
Woodstock School Graduation 2008: Processional watch
Falconry Over Lake Como watch
The Hundred Years’ War watch
Anchal Lochan on Santoor watch
Rebekah Blank on Trombone watch
Windy Sunday on Lake Como watch
Milan, Christmas 2008 watch
postfuneral watch
Thrilled in Boulder watch
Woodstock School Graduation 2008: Closing and Recessional watch
Woodstock School Cassinath & Music Awards 2008 watch
flymut watch
deirdrenode666 watch
Woodstock School Centennial Shield & Citizenship Awards 2008 watch
Woodstock School Graduation 2008: Commencement Speech: Jagdish Sagar watch
Woodstock School Arts Evening watch
TOSinvoc watch
TOS32 iPhone watch
TOSdance2 watch
TOS21 iPhone watch
TOS31 iPhone watch
TOS12 iPhone watch
TOS11 iPhone watch
SFGMC – The Awakening watch
SFGMC – The Wizard of Oz watch
SFGMC – Angels watch
SFGMC – Musical Risotto watch
A Travelling Show of Italian Classic I Promessi Sposi watch
A Close Shave watch
Cicale watch
Chelsea Bluegrass watch
cesrobots watch
cathat watch
a sua immagine watch
Beautiful Baby watch
At the Beach watch
barcelona watch
brclimber watch
Woodstock School Graduation 2008: Valediction by Boris Popov watch
bluedevils watch
I Bersaglieri watch
beedi watch
Car in Lake Como watch
Hot Chestnuts! Two Romans Explain How watch
Eulogy for Rosie watch
Gonpo and the Rockers watch
goodfriday watch
JantrMantr watch
Roasted Green Chiles at the Las Vegas Flea Market watch
Open University MBA Graduation watch
Parc Guell watch
International Marching Show Bands watch
Koel, Delhi watch
Landour Snow watch
Leaving St Barth’s watch
Mantova watch
Mehndi watch
Monkey Tales watch
Monsoon Rain watch
moved watch
Moving Out watch
NCY Snow watch
Our Lady of Drosophila watch
Baby Owls watch
Eri Piccola Cosi’ watch
Tortoise watch
Tibetan Prayer Wheels watch
transu watch
train watch
train1104 watch
train 05 07 18 watch
Wind-Up Soul: Reminiscences About Growing Up at Woodstock watch
Melting Glaciers in the Swiss Alps watch
Gaudi’s Casa Battlo watch
AndSheWaslow watch
Landour Wedding Procession watch
Rainy Night watch
I Love a Rainy Night – More Tests with the Canon 7D watch
Canon 7D Test watch
The Faces of Sun watch
Solaris 10 Security Essentials watch
What’s in the DTrace Book? watch
Introduction to the DTrace Book watch
kyle watch
10 09 08 Cluster33d watch
ZFS Triple Parity RAID-Z watch
10 08 George poolrecovery4800c watch
10 08 George sysduty4800c watch
10 08 George ZPoolsplit4800c watch
10 08 George logdevices4800c watch
Mike Shapiro & Steve O’Grady watch
International Marching Show Bands – Italy watch
Teaching Girls About Science watch
Snow in New York City watch
Blue Angels Over San Francisco – Embarcadero watch
Blue Angels Over San Francisco watch
beedi watch
Moving Out watch
SFGMC at the Pride Parade watch
Jazz at the San Francisco Farmer’s Market watch
Rutter’s Magnificat VII: Gloria patri watch
Rutter’s Magnificat VI: Esurientes watch
Rutter’s Magnificat V: Fecit potentiam watch
Rutter’s Magnificat IV: Et misericordia watch
Rutter’s Magnificat II: Of a rose, a lovely rose watch
Rutter’s Magnificat III: Quia fecit mihi magna watch
Rutter’s Magnificat: I. Magnificat anima mea watch
Thou Our Refuge watch
SFGMC: “Material Madrigirl” watch
SFGMC: “Mickey” watch
SFGMC: Viva la Vida watch
SFGMC: Venus watch
SFGMC “Single Ladies” watch
Ethan Pope Interprets the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus watch
Mehndi watch
Bagpiper at Denver International Airport watch
Jambezi watch
Water Feature in a Park in Brisbane, Australia watch
Brisbane Birdsong watch
Little Shop of Performance Horrors – Trailer watch
Worldwide Woodstock Day watch
Videoblogging Tips: Dressing for the Camera watch
Videoblogging Tips: Filming Engineers watch
Videoblogging Tips: Camera Motion watch
Videoblogging Tips: Getting Good Sound at a Conference watch
Italian Christmas Carols watch
Indian Hand Block Printing watch
Learning About Indian Culture watch
The Great Turtle Escape watch
Receding Snow Line in the Swiss/Italian Alps watch
Las Vegas Lights watch
Varenna, Lake Como, Italy watch
Learn the Indian National Anthem: Jana Gana Mana watch
Elephant Ride, Amber Fort. Jaipur watch
Amber Fort, Jaipur watch
Amo Tutte le Signore watch
Tibetan Prayer Wheels watch
weaving watch
samodeevening watch
Tenzing’s Monkey Tales watch
mantova watch
A Windy Sunday on Lake Como watch
Queensland University Duck Pond watch
Oystercatchers on the Beach at Opotiki watch
O Teatro Mágico watch
Hurry Up! watch
President Lula of Brazil Meets OpenSolaris watch
Why I’m Volunteering for Obama watch
Popular: Barack and Hillary watch
Music at Woodstock School watch

Developers Rule, OK?

I warmly recommend a new book by RedMonk co-founder Stephen O’Grady called The New Kingmakers, “about how developers took over the world”. If you’re a non-tech person who wants to understand what I do in my professional life, this will help. I’m not a software developer (nor even play one on television), but a lot of my job Read More…

I warmly recommend a new book by RedMonk co-founder Stephen O’Grady called The New Kingmakers, “about how developers took over the world”. If you’re a non-tech person who wants to understand what I do in my professional life, this will help. I’m not a software developer (nor even play one on television), but a lot of my job is about helping devs communicate about their work, and helping them work as a community to reach shared goals. If you work in tech, O’Grady’s view has profound implications for how you organize and manage your company, treat your tech employees, and market your products to technical people.

O’Grady posits that: “Developers are the most important constituency in technology. They have the power to make or break businesses, whether by their preferences, their passions, or their own products.”

The company that I work for, Joyent, is both a creator and a beneficiary of this new world order. We help supply the tools that enable developers to take over the world: open source software, which we make, and hardware, which we operate so efficiently that we can afford to rent it to other developers for very, very little – aka cloud computing. As O’Grady says, “With the creation of the cloud market, developers had, for the first time in history, access to both no-cost software and infrastructure affordable for even an individual.”

This means that a skilled software engineer with an idea (and maybe a few smart friends) and very little cash can launch a business to see what the world thinks of that idea, and – who knows? – may eventually build it into a world-spanning company. Twitter, for example, in its early days was hosted on Joyent.

O’Grady gives a quick history of “How did we get here?” – helpful for those who do not live and breathe tech every day – then supports his case with The Evidence.

In a subsection titled “What would a developer’s world look like?”, one answer he gives is that: “…open source [software] would grow and proliferate. Whether it’s because they enjoy the collaboration, abhor unnecessary duplication of effort, because they’re building a resume of code, because they find it easy to obtain, or because it costs them nothing, developers prefer open source over proprietary commercial alternatives in the majority of cases.”

Perhaps for brevity’s sake, he left out some reasons that the devs I know want to open source their work, such as:

  • They believe deeply in open source principles.
  • They are artists, and open source code is their gallery show, where their peers can see, admire and use their work – this goes well beyond resumé building.
  • Recognition is also a form of compensation. Like all of us, coders bask in the admiration of their peers, especially those peers who are skilled enough to truly understand the quality of their work. Having their best work locked away behind a proprietary wall makes this impossible, obviously.
  • Very pragmatically, they want their own best tools to be available for their own later use. As Bryan Cantrill has said about his “baby”, DTrace: “it was developed out of pain”, to solve problems that he (and many others) face every day in dealing with huge, complex systems. He would not want to work in a world without DTrace.

O’Grady’s recommendations for succeeding in this new world range from “Get to them early” to “talk with developers, not at them” – all good advice, including solid recommendations on how to market to developers (hint: traditional marketing tools fail completely, beer works).

You can get a copy of the book on Kindle. 50 pages.

photo caption: To do my job well, it helps me to be around devs all the time, which isn’t hard since I report to Joyent’s CTO, and sit among the engineers at our SF office – the spot of red in the photo above is my jacket on the back of my chair. SVP of Engineering Bryan Cantrill is the one with his feet on his desk, right foreground. (This was taken in the first few days in that office – Bryan’s desk has never since been that clean.)

The title of this piece, as so often happens with my writing, is a pun that may need explaining (and therefore may not be funny to anyone but me – oh, well).