English, Experience

Hybrid way of work

I just got back from lunch”. That phrase has a whole new meaning these days. No business conversations over lunch with my co-workers. No customer meetings in restaurants and no canteen with fresh salads or vegan dishes.

I get to lunch with my family EVERY DAY! And breakfast, and diner, and coffee, and home schooling, and…. And trampoline jumping amongst a whole lot of other activities. Great for family time.

We’re all trying to keep all the balls in the air these days and I now know how hard parenting is. My spouse is home a lot, but we clearly need to handle this together. For me, my work has shifted from typically longer face to face meetings to more, briefer, phone and virtual meetings. Instead of one to one customer meetings we do more bootcamps and webinars where we have multiple partners and customers in one session.

Also, I noticed that the time slots to get work done are a lot smaller due to “home front interruptions”. Instead of working a stretch for an hour or more, my time is now sliced into smaller bits of ± 15 minutes before I need to pull someone from the loo or make lemonade.

This resulted in a new way of work, and planning tasks into smaller bits. Bits I can handle in the expected time I have to work in one uninterrupted go. Those tasks need to be easy to start up, short lived and results should be well managed to accumulate to a bigger picture in the end. If I need 5 out of 15 minutes to get back into the history of a task it might not be worth that slot. I keep a to-do list as an orchestrator with clearly defined desired outcomes that I can work from and quickly pick up a task.

Our new reality makes us change the way we work. Just like cloud, containers and microservices are changing our application landscape.

Matthijs van den Berg

Cloud Native and Classic Applications Together

In the current shift of IT we see the landscape moving. For some time now, we are seeing a shift from the on-premises datacenters into centralized datacenters and cloud. Perhaps a bit like we are now moving our work to a virtual office. Do we really care where productivity is coming from?

But we also found that this move required applications to change. Big monolithic applications are not built to fit a cloud architecture. Not distributed, scalable or serverless. Not in orchestrated containers with a desired state, shutting down to prevent cost when not needed or increasing in numbers when demand is rising.  Just like work was not build for full-time work from home and being interrupted so many times a day. Applications that are built for the cloud benefit the most from this distributed and build to fail architecture. Many “classic” applications might not be an optimal fit as they are built with different starting points in mind.

We see customers moving those to the cloud and moving them back again after realizing the applications need to be rearchitected. Only to find that currently the benefits are not worth the increase in cost and complexity. The on-premise world is moving forward too, being driven by innovation and pressured to bring cost and complexity down. An ideal model might be found in a hybrid cloud model, where we can cherry pick the right environment for any application based on performance, ease of management, scalability, cost and many other factors. Factors that for sure will change overtime due to a change in applications and cloud landscapes.

My “cloud way” of working

I needed to change my way of working, and for some part I have not been too successful doing so. Try writing a blogpost or program a piece of code with kids running in your office demanding to watch Paw Patrol. This becomes evening work. But for the other part, the new way of work allows me to be more productive and have improved reach as I am forced into Zoom, Teams and Slack meetings.

Currently, this is my “cloud way” of working. While I really would like to have the uninterrupted time and more social interaction of the “on-premises” way of working again, there are many things of my new way of working that will stick. I will for sure have a “hybrid way of work” once corona slowly moves away.

Because this is the way ;-).

A changed home office with lights, camera and teleprompter (self made) for webinars, enough screens to view all online events and social media (and NetFlix 😉 ). Some Sonos for the music and a soldering iron for those IOT and domotica projects.
As you can see I’m still waiting for the cleaning service to find my desk.