James Governor's Monkchips

The world caught up and the future happened. What now? My talk at SpringOne 2017

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So I had 10 minutes to talk about The Future in the Thursday morning keynote at Spring One 2017. On the same bill as Eric Brewer… no pressure then. Funnily enough in many ways it’s harder to prepare a 10 minute talk than one that lasts 30. “I made this one longer only because I have not had the leisure to make it shorter”. 

I made one set of slides, threw it out. Made another, started again. Tried one more time. Finally I pinged Anne Currie to ask her about a great photographer that provides images she uses in her decks- he’s called J D Hancock and he’s awesome. Well worth a look if you want a different perspective on the world informing your presentations. The deck has no words on it, so if you want bullet points you’re out of luck.

But the flow went something like this. I jumped off with William Gibson:

“The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

So about that. The thing I found kind of amazing about SpringOne was a kind of “our work here is done” feeling. What even is the point of RedMonk if enterprise customers are all on board with “we need to better serve developers, give them the tools they want, get out of their way, and bring them closer to the business?” The Pivotal installed base is like that. It is unique. I first noted this in August 2016. Today the change is even more marked. Comcast now has an Open Source office. Orange is contributing. Both of these companies are now egging each other on to move faster, to open source more code, to work more effectively together and strengthen the ecosystem. In Matt Curry’s talk we had a tech leader at an insurance company – All State – talking about the value of empathy in tech and operations management. The future is here. It’s happened. All the stuff we’ve been talking about has come to pass. Garmin is building hundreds of new microservices a year… with PL/SQL trained developers.

So what does the future look like? Kind of awesome. Scary and awesome at the same time. We used to AB test code. Now Facebook is AB testing us. It’s making us feel things we otherwise wouldn’t. The internet of outrage is alive and well on Twitter. And now cameras can see us. They can read our emotions. Voice is a new primary user interface. But the robots, like C-3PO, are cranky. Google and Amazon are selling cameras with onboard machine learning to developers.

So what do the programming models look like for this new headless world, with fat clients, but no screen-based UI? Event-based, and serverless for one thing, built for listening, and acting only when triggered. AWS Lambda has shown us the way forward when Image Recognition is the new Hello World. This week Pivotal launched a new serverless framework called Riff, adjusting to these new realities. It was notable to see a new project launched that runs on Kubernetes, with the demos in Node.js. No Spring or Cloud Foundry in sight.

So event-based apps, with pervasive machine learning. That’s what the new platforms need to support. But what about us? Just what will we do with all the new power? Will will be immoral and or amoral. Will we think of our customers as outrage monkeys to prod with notifications, or will be responsible. We can’t just keep empathy for our IT ops. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Developers and IT needs to think and act more ethically than ever before. Code is morality in 2017. It’s your job, my job, everyone’s job to think of the moral implications of the work we do. That’s the future, and it’s already here.

Please find the slides and the video below



full disclosure: Pivotal paid T&E, and is a client.


One comment

  1. […] RedMonk’s James Governor revisits his SpringOne Platform 2017 keynote […]

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