Daily Tech Digest - August 30, 2021

4 signs your company has an innovation-minded culture

It’s important that your organization communicates its values clearly and executes tactics consistently. If your organization values a culture of innovation, communicate that importance while putting your plan into action. This commitment might require you to divert some resources from production at times, but it’s an incredibly worthwhile investment. A workforce that feels valued will help you enjoy the impacts of innovation down the road. Career paths don’t happen in a straight line—by empowering people with tools, training, and resources, they’ll excel in their unique development journey and support a culture of innovation. To invest in our people, we created Zotec University, a learning development platform offering hundreds of custom learning journeys to help participants hone their skills. We also offer a performance development platform that places team members in control of their own career experiences. Creating a culture of innovation takes careful planning, purposeful decision-making, intentionality, and consistent communication. 

What is a chief technology officer? The exec who sets tech strategy

“As companies push to effectively drive technology transformation, we believe there is a very strong push to find technology leaders [who] bring experience and capabilities from hands-on leadership and stewardship of such activities,” Stephenson says. The CTO role naturally requires a strong knowledge of various technologies, and “real technology acumen, especially in the architecture, software, and technology strategy areas to address legacy technology challenges,” Stephenson says. Knowing how technology works is crucial, but it’s also important to be able to explain the business value of a particular technology to C-level colleagues who might not be technically inclined. It’s also vital to be able to see how technology fits with strategic business goals. “Technology vision coupled with strategic thinking beyond technology” is important, says Ozgur Aksakai, president of the Global CTO Forum, an independent, global organization for technology professionals. “There are a lot of technology trends that do not live up to their promises,” Aksakai says. 

Reasons to Opt for a Multicloud Strategy

It is like giving all the critical keys to one person. Do you know the dependency and expectations this creates? Huge. What if you carefully select the best of the best services from different cloud providers? It looks like a feasible solution, and this is how a multicloud strategy works. A multicloud strategy empowers and upgrades a company’s IT systems, performance, cloud deployment, cloud cost optimization and more. The multicloud approach presents a lot of options for the enterprise. For example, some services are more cost-effective from one provider at scale versus those from others. Multicloud avoids vendor lock-in by not depending on only one cloud provider, but by helping companies select the best breed of cloud services from different providers for application workloads. The multicloud pattern provides system redundancy that reduces the hazards of downtimes, if they occur. The multicloud strategy will help companies raise their security bar by selecting the best breed DevSecOps solutions. An organization that implements a multicloud strategy can raise the bar on security, disaster recovery capabilities and increased uptime.

How Blockchain Startups Transform Banking and Payments Industry

Payments industry today has been deeply impacted by the rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The legacy system is built upon the inheritance of technologies dating to the advent of credit cards and interbank settlement developed in the mid-1900s for use in centralized, established financial institutions with both institutional as well as retail clients in the era when the post-war fiat money system was the only option for private financial representation. Upon the advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, it gradually became increasingly clear that the legacy system, while revolutionary in its early days, still is quite inefficient and is designed from the perspective of an institutional client. This leads to relatively limited access to financial services by the majority of the retail market segment. Especially retail clients in developing nations have been hit particularly hard with higher fees, longer processing times for transactions, more invasive and ineffective KYC/AML processes and limited access to technology and thus limited access to all types of financial services.

Cerebras Upgrades Trillion-Transistor Chip to Train ‘Brain-Scale’ AI

A major challenge for large neural networks is shuttling around all the data involved in their calculations. Most chips have a limited amount of memory on-chip, and every time data has to be shuffled in and out it creates a bottleneck, which limits the practical size of networks. The WSE-2 already has an enormous 40 gigabytes of on-chip memory, which means it can hold even the largest of today’s networks. But the company has also built an external unit called MemoryX that provides up to 2.4 Petabytes of high-performance memory, which is so tightly integrated it behaves as if it were on-chip. Cerebras has also revamped its approach to that data it shuffles around. Previously the guts of the neural network would be stored on the chip, and only the training data would be fed in. Now, though, the weights of the connections between the network’s neurons are kept in the MemoryX unit and streamed in during training. By combining these two innovations, the company says, they can train networks two orders of magnitude larger than anything that exists today. 

No-Code Automated Testing: Best Practices and Tools

No-code automated tests are usually at a system or application level, which makes creating a test suite more daunting. It is important not to become fixated on getting 100% test coverage from the get-go. 100% coverage is a great goal, but it can seem so far away when starting out. Instead, we should focus on getting a handful of test cases created and really understanding how the tools we select work. Becoming an expert in our tools is much more beneficial than creating dozens of tests in an unfamiliar tool. It can be tempting to focus on every use case all at once, but it is important to prioritize which use cases to target first. The reality of development and testing is that we may not be able to test every single use case. ... It can be tempting to exercise every nook and cranny of an application, but it is important to start with only the actions the user will take. For example, when testing a login form, it is important to test the fields visible to the user and the login button, since that is what the user will likely interact with in most cases. Testing the edge cases is important, but we should always start with the happy-path before moving onto edge cases.

9 Automated Testing Practices To Avoid Tutorial (Escape Pitfalls)

Most people spend way more time reading source code than writing it, so making your code as easy to read as possible is an excellent decision. It'll never read like Hemingway, but that doesn't mean it can't be readable to anyone but you. Yoni Goldberg considers this the Golden Rule for testing: one must instantly understand the test's intent. You will love yourself (and your team members will pat you on the back) for making your tests readable. When you read those same tests a year down the road, you won't be thinking, “What was I doing?” or “What was this test even for?” If you don't understand what a test is for, you obviously can't use it. And if you can't use a test, what value does it have to you or your team? ... If your new test relies on a successful previous test, you're asking for trouble. If the previous test failed or corrupted the data, any subsequent tests will likely fail or provide incorrect results. Isolating your tests will give you more consistent results, and accurate and consistent results will make your tests worthwhile.

Facilitate collaborative breakthrough with these moves

Vertical facilitation is common and seductive because it offers straightforward and familiar answers to these five questions. In this approach, both the participants and the facilitator typically give confident, superior, controlling answers to the five questions (i.e., they identify one way to reach their goals). In horizontal facilitation, by contrast, participants typically give defiant, defensive, autonomous answers, and the facilitator supports this autonomy. The vertical and horizontal approaches answer the five collaboration questions in opposite ways. In transformative facilitation, the facilitator helps the participants alternate between the two approaches. ... Often, when collaborating, each of the participants and the facilitator starts off with a confident vertical perspective: “I have the right answer.” Each person thinks, “If only the others would agree with me, then the group would be able to move forward together more quickly and easily.” But when members of the group take this position too far or hold it for too long and start to get stuck in rigid certainty, the facilitator needs to help them explore other points of view, a collaboration move I call inquiring. 

Private 5G: Tips on how to implement it, from enterprises that already have

The first rule is your private 5G is a user of your IP network, not an extension of it. Every location you expect to host private 5G cells and every site you expect will have some 5G features hosted will need to be on your corporate VPN, supported by the switches and routers you'd typically use. Since all three private-5G enterprises were using their 5G networks largely for IoT that was focused on some large facilities, that didn’t present a problem for them. It seems likely that most future private 5G adoption will fit the same model, so this rule should be easy to follow overall. The second rule is that 5G control-plane functions will be hosted on servers. 5G RAN and O-RAN control-plane elements should be hosted close to your 5G cells, and 5G core features at points where it's convenient to concentrate private 5G traffic. Try to use the same kind of server technology, the same middleware, and the same software source for all of this, and be sure you get high-availability features. Rule three is that 5G user-plane functions associated with the RAN should be hosted on servers, located with the 5G RAN control-plane features. 

5 DevSecOps open source projects to know

Properly securing a software supply chain involves more than simply doing a point-in-time scan as part of a DevSecOps CI/CD pipeline. With the help of a working partnership that includes Google, the Linux Foundation, Red Hat, and Purdue University, sigstore brings together a set of tools developers, software maintainers, package managers, and security experts can benefit from. It handles the digital signing, verification, and logs data for transparent auditing, making it safer to distribute and use any signed software. The goal is to provide a free and transparent chain of custody tracing service for everyone. This sigstore service will run as a non-profit, public good service to provide software signing. Cosign, which released its 1.0 version in July 2021, signs and verifies artifacts stored in Open Container Initiative (OCI) registries. It also includes underlying specifications for storing and discovering signatures. Fulcio is a Root Certificate Authority (CA) for code-signing certificates. It issues certificates based on an Open ID Connect (OIDC) email address.The certificates that Fulcio issues to clients in order for them to sign an artifact are short-lived. 

Quote for the day:

"Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in." -- Seth Godin

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