Daily Tech Digest - September 11, 2022

Technical Debt In Machine Learning System – A Model Driven Perspective

The biggest System Technical Debt with Machine Learning models is Explainability. With gaining popularity and its successful application in many domains, Machine Learning (ML) also faced increased skepticism and criticism. In particular, people question whether their decisions are well-grounded and can be relied on. As it is hard to comprehensively understand their inner workings after being trained, many ML systems — especially deep neural networks — are essentially considered black boxes. This makes it hard to understand and explain the behavior of a model. However, explanations are essential to trust that the predictions made by models are correct. This is particularly important when ML systems are deployed in decision support systems in sensitive areas impacting job opportunities or even prison sentences. Explanations also help to correctly predict a model’s behavior, which is necessary to avoid silly mistakes and identify possible biases. Furthermore, they help to gain a well-grounded understanding of a model, which is essential for further improvement and to address its shortcomings.

Monoliths to Microservices: 8 Technical Debt Metrics to Know

Technical debt is a major impediment to innovation and development velocity for many enterprises. Where is it? How do we tackle it? Can we calculate it in a way that helps us prioritize application modernization efforts? Without a data-driven approach, you may find your team falling into the 79% of organizations whose application modernization initiatives end in failure. In other articles, we’ve discussed the challenges of identifying, calculating and managing technical debt. ... How can you tell if the technical debt in your monolithic application is actually hurting your business? One of the most important metrics that determines investment decisions behind application modernization initiatives is “How much does it cost to keep around? The cost of innovation metric (Image 1) shows a breakdown that makes sense to executive decision-makers. How much, for each dollar spent, goes to simply maintaining the application, and how much goes toward innovating new features and functionality?

Major shift detected in smart home technology deployment

One of the key trends revealed was that home tech users’ growing appetite for internet of things (IoT) and smart home technologies shows no sign of slowing down. The study found that on a global basis, the average number of connected devices per home stood at 17.1 at the end of June 2022, up 10% compared with the same period a year previously. Europe showed the biggest change, with the average number of connected devices per Plume household increasing by 13% to 17.4. Plume-powered homes in the US were found to have the highest penetration of connected devices to date, with an average of 20.2 per home. With up to 10% more devices in Plume-powered households, there was an upward trend (11%) in data consumption across the Plume Cloud. However, the biggest decrease in data consumption was seen in fitness bikes, down by 23%, which likely reflects a change in consumer behaviour, with people returning to the office and exercising outdoors or at the gym as they adjust to the post-pandemic world of hybrid working.

Edge device onboarding: What architects need to consider

Your solution must also take device security into account. As part of every deployment, you will probably need to include sensitive data, such as passwords, certificates, tokens, or keys. How do you plan to distribute them? If you decide to inject those items into the images or templates, you create risk, since someone could access the image and extract that sensitive information. It's better to have the device download them at installation time using a secure channel. This means the edge device has to download these secrets from your central server. But how will you set up that secure channel? You could use encrypted communications or a virtual private network (VPN) tunnel, but that's not enough. How can you be sure that the device is what it says it is and not a possible attacker trying to steal information or gain access to your network? You have another concern: authentication and authorization. Authentication is even more important, especially for companies that use third-party providers to create the device images or add other value to the supply chain.

Governing Microservices in an Enterprise Architecture

Microservice development works best in a domain-driven architecture, which models the applications based on the organization’s real-world challenges. A domain-driven architecture assesses the enterprise infrastructure in light of business requirements and how to fulfill them. Most organizations already have a domain-driven design strategy in place that maps the architecture to business capabilities. Bounded Context is a strategy that is part of domain-driven design. Autonomous teams responsible for microservices are formed around areas of responsibility such as inventory management, product discovery, order management, and online transactions, i.e., bounded context. The domain expertise resides within the team, so the enterprise architect’s responsibility is to guide development to align with strategic goals, balancing immediate needs and future business objectives. When governing microservices as part of the enterprise, applying the C4 model for software architecture—context, containers, components and code—makes sense. 

The clash of organizational transformation and linear thinking

The task of organizational transformation in a complex world can be likened to that of herding cats. An extremely linear thinker, faced with 20 cats on the left side of a room and wanting to move them to the right, might pick up one cat, move it to the right, and repeat. Of course, that cat is unlikely to stay on the right side of the room, and our linear thinker is unlikely to outlast 20 cats. But it is possible to set conditions that will cause most, if not all, of the cats to end up on the right, like tilting the floor. ... Defining a clear purpose for an organizational transformation calls upon one of the most basic tasks of leadership: to show people the way forward, and to show why the new world they are being asked to build is superior to the old. The transformation must express the possibility of a new order and must be anchored in what would be considered breakthrough results. Without this clear purpose, the effort required to successfully transform the organization will not seem worthy of commitment on the part of those required to put it into action.

Why Today's Businesses Need To Focus On Digital Trust And Safety

Consumers are paying for the cybersecurity mistakes made by corporations. Ransomware continues to affect consumers, businesses, critical infrastructure and government entities, costing them millions of dollars. In 2021, more than 22 billion personal records were exposed in data breaches, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating credit card fraud and phishing attacks. All of this has left consumers more worried than ever about the privacy of their sensitive data. ... Websites and mobile apps rely on third parties to provide rich features like shopping carts, online payment, advertising, AI-based chat and customer support. But third-party code is rarely monitored for safety as today’s security tools lack the necessary insight. The result is enterprise digital assets are manipulated into channels that enable credit card skimming attacks, malicious advertising (malvertising), targeted ransomware delivery and worse. As this activity continues to rise, consumers feel increasingly less safe using their favorite platforms.

5 Steps to Successfully Reinvent Your Organization

Don't wait for something catastrophic to occur before you start trying to reinvent your business. Oftentimes, you will start to notice small, clear signals. Recognizing these warning signs early can mean the difference between a smooth reinvention process and one that's painful or difficult. What signals should you look out for? Take the job market, for example. We know that employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers. Microsoft found that as many as 41% of workers have plans to quit in the near future. The reasons, according to a Pew Research Center survey, are low pay (63%), lack of advancement opportunities (63%) and feeling disrespected at work (57%). Although salary increases might not be in the budget this year, you can stave off issues by reinventing your organization's culture or approach to advancement. ... Use your entire team's input and advice when trying to identify opportunities for experimentation. Arrive at a decision, execute, learn, and move on. If you fail, pivot quickly. Using agile methods when reinventing creates an environment where experimentation is safe and there is tolerance for failure. 

The Applications Of Data Science And The Need For DevOps

The importance of DevOps cannot be overstated. DevOps are experts who help developers, data scientists, and IT professionals collaborate on projects. Project managers, or their chain of command, oversee the work of developers. They constantly seek to acquire all product characteristics as quickly as possible. Regarding the IT professionals, they ensure that all networks, firewalls, and servers are operating correctly. For data scientists, this entails changing every model variable and structure. You might be wondering why DevOps is important in this industry. The solution is fairly straightforward. They serve as a liaison between developers and IT. DevOps has many key features, some of which are testing, packaging, integration, and deployment. They also deal with cybersecurity, in addition. ... Programming errors are the leading cause of the team’s failure. DevOps encourages regular code versions due to the constrained development cycle. This makes finding the flawed codes relatively straightforward. With this, the team may use their time better by employing robust programming concepts to reduce the likelihood of implementation failure.

How to Test Low Code Applications

In a low code platform, you build an application by means of a user interface. For instance, building screens by dragging and dropping items and building logic using process-like flows. This sounds simple but it can be very complex and error-prone. We’ve seen four generations of low code applications. First, there were small, simple, stand-alone applications. Then we have small apps on top of SAP, Oracle Fusion or Microsoft Dynamics. The third generation were business-critical but still small apps to offer extra functionality besides the ERP system. With these apps, you don’t have a workaround. Now we’re building big, complex, business-critical core systems that should be reliable, secure and compliant. The level of testing increases with every generation and in the fourth generation, we see that testing is only slightly different from testing high code applications. ... Testing is important if you want to limit the risks when you go into production. Especially when the application is critical for the users you should test it in a professional way, or when the application is technically seen as complex. 

Quote for the day:

"Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems." -- Brian Tracy

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