Archive | March 30, 2005

The IT generalist makes a comeback

Tom Yager’s weekly column in InfoWorld: Application development starts out: “The IT generalist makes a comeback. I’ve been seeing the title “IT generalist” coming back into use. It’s a welcome sight. I recall the generalist from the days when minicomputers and mainframes were being traded for less costly Unix microcomputers. Back then, the generalist was the one who had a functional understanding of the entire technical operation and many of the processes that depended on it. If you had a generalist, by any title, you may have him or her to thank for easing the transition from legacy to modernity.”

I think IT generalist is a lot less presumptuous than “Architect” particularly the capitalized ones. General Knowledge has often taken a back seat to Specialization, usually resulting in a loss of Perspective. Speaking with an experienced UNIX admin last night, and he wondered how we got into this situation where people are slapping together systems that are held together with baling wire and shoestrings; his thesis was that there was a lack of “system perspective.” I spoke with another friend just back from the US Pycon conference; a long-time Windows developer, he was amazed to see people sitting around with Powerbooks and Linux laptops and Windows laptops and all working together — he’d had no idea. He’d been sheltered in the Redmond Reality Distortion Field. C’mon out, folks, the air is great out here!

Mission: Interoperable. Competition breeds Innovation. Monopolies breed stagnation. Working Well with Others is Good.

Paul Graham: Return of the Mac

In “Return of the Mac,” Paul Graham writes: “All the best hackers I know are gradually switching to Macs.”

At the LinuxWorld show in Boston last month, Apple had a small understated booth, with a couple of company reps out front, and a plain table with a Mac Mini, an XServe and an XServe RAID up and running. They were low-key and glad to answer questions. I spoke with one of them and said “The Mac is my favorite unix workstation,” and he replied “I’m glad someone knows why we are here.”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.