Daily Tech Digest - October 27, 2022

Network observability: What it means to vendors and to you

Network observability represents an evolution of network monitoring. Network observability solutions should dive deeper into networks, collecting a more diverse and voluminous set of data to give network teams total end-to-end visibility into operations. Those solutions should broaden their scope, looking not just at network performance, but end-user experience, business impacts, and security. Finally, network observability should focus less on tinkering with how it presents data, which ultimately forces network engineers to glean insights themselves and doing too much of the heavy lifting in their heads. Instead, network observability should emphasize actionable insights derived in a variety of ways, including AI and machine learning and low-code scripted automation. The former relies on algorithms to make tools more intelligent. Many vendors are driving toward actionable insights with AIOps, and our research shows that NetOps pros see tremendous potential with these algorithms. 

Resume makeover: Transforming a career post-mortem into a C-suite future

One trap IT leaders often fall into when seeking a new job is viewing their resume as a historical document of their career. The reality is that your resume should paint a clear picture of your career’s future, detailing your past work experience as a roadmap that leads inevitably to your next leadership gig. But striking that balance between detailing the past and mapping toward the future can be challenging, especially while keeping your resume to-the-point. ... As a general rule, a professional resume should be a concise 1-2 pages when applying for corporate roles. Recruiters read through thousands of resumes, so they’re more likely to lose focus or abandon your resume altogether if they can’t get a sense of your qualifications within the first few minutes. ... Including executive summaries and a side bar with your education, skills, and credentials is a great way to remove redundancies from your work experience, allowing you to focus on specific accomplishments at each role, while consolidating your evergreen skills, expertise, and knowledge into short and simple lists.

How to attract more women into software development

Regardless of gender, it boils down to competence and confidence, said Archana. “Building your competence is extremely important, and with that competence comes confidence. Keep learning, build your competence, be confident about yourself, and don’t be worried about too many setbacks,” she added. “When you are a subject matter expert, the agenda is almost invisible at the table because people are listening to you for your expert opinions, for your knowledge in the area. And you want respect from that.” While more could be done to encourage gender diversity, Manjunatha called for women to upskill often. “Keep yourself updated,” added Manjunatha. “Technology is constantly evolving. What got you here is not going to get you there tomorrow, so always keep yourself updated. The growth mindset and that ability to want to keep learning that’s very, very important if you’re in this space. While upskill, e-learning or retraining can be achieved without going through a certification course, Kwong noted that certification is a means to benchmark one’s competency and skillsets.

Australia seeks stiffer penalty for data breaches

Following the update, companies found to have committed the breaches will be fined AU$50 million, or three times the value of any benefit it obtained through the misuse of information, or 30% of the company's adjusted turnover in the relevant period, whichever is greater. The Bill also will afford the Australian Information Commissioner "greater power" to resolve privacy breaches as well as strengthen the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, which will provide the Commissioner with full knowledge of information that compromised in a breach so it can assess the risks of harm to affected individuals. In addition, the Commissioner as and Australian Communications and Media Authority will be better empowered to share information in the event of a data breach. Dreyfus said: "When Australians are asked to hand over their personal data they have a right to expect it will be protected. Unfortunately, significant privacy breaches in recent weeks have shown existing safeguards are inadequate. 

Does Your Database Really Need to Move to the Cloud?

When it comes to global-scale, multicloud and hybrid use cases, it’s important to consider how you ensure data remains consistent across regions while ensuring applications are running as quickly as possible, Powers added. Redis Enterprise offers Active-Active Geo Distribution, to allow local speed read and writes while ensuring consistent data is replicated across regions, with less than a millisecond of latency. So, even if the long-term goal is full application modernization, Powers said, “There are places where you can still use Oracle or MySQL, and patch us alongside, to fix it in the interim, while you’re making these transitions.” In these cases, he argued, “The modernization is around speed, it’s around scale, it’s around total cost of ownership.” So, the question of how to modernize your database becomes far more nuanced than whether you can afford the time and money to embark on a complete refactoring and re-platforming project.

What challenges are hardest to avoid when managing data in the cloud?

Data is moving to the cloud because it is an excellent place to store, manage, and analyze data. The cloud breaks down information silos that exist in on-premises computing, making it much easier to share data internally and with business partners and customers. However, when you put all your data in one place, you also must implement safeguards that govern the use of the data — most importantly data access control. This has proven to be a challenge for technology vendors and for the organizations that are managing their data in the cloud. The underlying problem is caused by SQL. The industry-standard database query language is a core element of the Modern Data Stack, which is the ecosystem of technologies that enable us to manage data in the cloud. But while SQL is great for business analytics, it cannot support the complex, graph-oriented relationships required for data governance. 

From zero to 10 million lines of Kotlin

Going into this migration, we had two options: We could make it possible to write new code at Meta using Kotlin but leave most of the existing code in Java; We could attempt to convert almost all our in-house code into Kotlin. The advantage of the first option is clear — it’s much less work. But there are two notable disadvantages to this approach. First, enabling interoperability between Kotlin and Java code introduces the use of platform types in Kotlin. Platform types give rise to runtime null pointer dereferences that result in crashes instead of the static safety offered by pure Kotlin code. In some complicated cases, Kotlin’s null check elision can let nulls through and create surprising null pointer exceptions later. This could happen if, for example, Kotlin code calls a Kotlin interface implemented by a Java interface. Other issues include Java’s inability to tag type parameters as nullable (until recently), and Kotlin’s overloading rules taking nullability into account, while Java’s overloading rules do not.

Using Remote Agile Governance to Create the Culture Organisations Need

Agility is not a best practice, but a mindset for uncovering good and better practices. This requires an emergent, context specific good practice of governance. Remote:AF and Esther Derby have spent the last year working to generate a process for just this approach to governance. More and more, organisations are realising that if they truly want to change their culture, they must change their governance. Agility started with the scrum software team, spread through the IT department in the form of DevOps, and through the rest of the organisation in Business Agility - but governance has, until now, been a holdout from this evolution. As long as it remains so, it has the potential to have an out-sized impact, holding the business back from true agility. ... Firstly, let’s define what we mean by governance in the context of this article. Governance is not (just) forums, meetings, and reports. It is all the ways an organisation makes decisions to enact strategy.

Digital transformation: 4 questions to help drive momentum

Enterprises often get locked in a cycle, fixing various aspects of customer experience (CX), operational efficiency, business model innovation, etc. For example, the most commonly cited business driver for digital transformation is customer experience. But while implementing it – through mobility, front-end workflows, and chatbots, for instance – organizations realize that operational efficiency is equally important, if not more so. So they fix the backend, only to realize that they’re missing the bus on the business model. And the cycle continues, making it difficult for enterprises to scale beyond CX use cases in marketing and customer service. ... Addressing technical debt and legacy technologies is a difficult challenge. A well-defined architectural blueprint early on can enable a holistic digital transformation in the long term. It can help identify the best use cases while balancing quick wins with foundational elements. However, if you are in the middle of your journey, it’s essential to tackle the problem of technical debt to move forward.

Why Passkeys Are Better Than Passwords

With passkeys, passwords are simply no longer a threat vector. Passwords account for north of 80% of all security breaches. Passkeys mitigate this threat down to almost nothing. You can’t reuse your passkeys. You don’t have to remember them. They are generated and stored for you, so you don’t have to worry about creating and storing them yourself. You can’t be lured into giving them up because they are unique to a specific website and thus can’t be shared with a phishing website. Sensitive data associated with each passkey never leaves your device. The information is stored on your phone on a special chip (a Trusted Platform Module) that even the NSA might not be able to crack. If you register with a website using a passwordless solution like Passage, that site gets nothing but a public key, which is useless for cracking open your account. While Apple lets you share your account with others via AirDrop, you couldn’t even share the actual private key with a phishing site if you wanted to.

Quote for the day:

"One of the sad truths about leadership is that, the higher up the ladder you travel, the less you know." -- Margaret Heffernan

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