Daily Tech Digest - April 17, 2023

The Power Of Silence: 10 Reasons Silent People Are Successful

Being silent often goes hand-in-hand with improved observation. When you’re not focused on expressing your thoughts, you have the more mental bandwidth to take in your surroundings. This heightened awareness allows you to understand people and situations better. Many successful individuals credit their observation skills as contributing to their achievements. By carefully observing their environment, they can identify opportunities and threats others might overlook. A quiet mind leads to better focus and concentration. When you’re silent, it’s easier to direct your attention to the task, free from distractions or competing thoughts. This improved focus can enhance your decision-making abilities and boost your overall productivity. ... Silence can be a powerful tool for emotional regulation. Silent individuals often excel at managing their emotions, avoiding impulsive actions, and maintaining composure in challenging situations. Staying calm under pressure can lead to better decision-making and increased resilience. 

7 cybersecurity mindsets that undermine practitioners and how to avoid them

Security is often seen as a standalone function or additional product that is bolted onto the real infrastructure or as a discrete thing to be finalized and delivered. This is a long-standing view in software development, something similar to the way we once thought about quality: as a distinct, separate component of things. “Quality is not an act, it’s a habit,” according to an elegant paraphrase of Aristotle. Just like quality, security is not a finished product but rather an ongoing discipline. When we see security as a practice, to be continually refined and honed, it frees up the energy to engage it as such. We grow healthier by exercising regularly and monitoring our diet daily; such is security. If we want to get good at guitar or a martial art, we must keep coming back to it and refining it, but there is always more to develop — just as in security. Instead of bemoaning this fact, we can lean into it and use it to fuel our efforts. It’s actually a blessing to work in a field that always has room for growth and can fully engage our capabilities. 

A distributed database load-balancing architecture with ShardingSphere

The key point of ShardingSphere-Proxy cluster load balancing is that the database protocol itself is designed to be stateful (connection authentication status, transaction status, Prepared Statement, and so on). If the load balancing on top of the ShardingSphere-Proxy cannot understand the database protocol, your only option is to select a four-tier load balancing proxy ShardingSphere-Proxy cluster. In this case, a specific proxy instance maintains the state of the database connection between the client and ShardingSphere-Proxy. Because the proxy instance maintains the connection state, four-tier load balancing can only achieve connection-level load balancing. Multiple requests for the same database connection cannot be polled to multiple proxy instances. Request-level load balancing is not possible. ... Theoretically, there is no functional difference between a client connecting directly to a single ShardingSphere-Proxy or a ShardingSphere-Proxy cluster through a load-balancing portal. However, there are some differences in the technical implementation and configuration of the different load balancers.

How Synthetic Data Can Help Train AI and Maintain Privacy

Common use cases for synthetic data include software engineering when new features are built but no production data is available, says Jim Scheibmeir, senior director analyst with Gartner. For instance, if software is tested for an autonomous vehicle, and it needs new information about the weather or obstructions in the road, he says. Different scenarios can be generated to test that autonomous algorithm to prepare it. Data scientists who are trying to create new algorithms, Scheibmeir says, or need to prove out new hypotheses might struggle to get their hands on production data. That limited availability might have to do with restricted access, compliance, or regulation, making synthetic data attractive. The rise of generative AI might also play a role in synthetic data generation. “Certainly, ChatGPT is going to reinvigorate our imagination of what generative can do for us,” Scheibmeir says. “Gartner urges organizations to look at proper test data management, including synthetic data generation, for a few different reasons.” 

What business executives don’t understand about IT

When the CEO doesn’t think IT is important enough to get top-level attention, that message filters down to the rest of the corporation. IT is not viewed to be as important as Sales, Finance, Manufacturing, Operations, or Marketing — dangerous in a highly competitive environment where efficient or innovative systems can spell the difference between the corporation’s success or failure. ... Systems development is another important area executives need to understand. The systems IT develops will not be used by IT; rather, they will become integral to the requesting department. It is important, therefore, that management understand the processes involved in proposing the system, estimating the cost, determining the ROI, producing the deliverables, changing the specifications and time frames, and measuring the system effectiveness. After all, the completed system may impact sales projections, departmental costs, and individual incentives, to name a few. Management must also assure that the people in the user organization are given the time and recognition to do the work required to develop the precise specifications of the system. 

Tech companies including Adobe are taking a new look at a big industry debt issue

Despite the drag of technical debt that the data suggests, some industry executives say it gets a bad reputation. “If you’re tech-debt-free, you’re not innovating,” said Frans Xavier, CTO of low-code/no-code security automation platform Swimlane. In this sense, technical debt is a signal of iteration. In fact, in a recent report from consumer electronics company TE Connectivity, 55% of the engineers surveyed said it’s iteration — not total transformation — that represents innovation at its core. Adobe head of strategic development for creative cloud partnerships Chris Duffey is looking to reshape technical debt. “I would offer to reframe technical debt as the value of insight gathering throughout the innovation creation process,” Duffey said. The “fail fast” dogma that propels much of the technology industry (when not taken literally) references experimentation, insight gathering, and optimization, he added. This can be hard to see when you look solely at the data, in part because it’s difficult to quantify the process of innovation. 

Moving beyond DEI: Fostering belongingness in the workplace

Measuring belongingness is different than simply measuring diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are behaviours, meaning they can be mostly measured through policy and procedures. On the other hand, belongingness is an emotional response that covers an array of factors such as an individual’s trust, comfortability, and openness towards the company. Therefore, belongingness happens when the employee is ‘valued’, and value here means not only are they acknowledged and appreciated for their work, but they also understand how their work contributes to the company’s vision, mission, key priorities, and growth. It also means that ‘they matter’ – being part of the teams, on ‘top of mind’ for leading and driving the initiatives, being ‘trusted’ and ‘cared for’, and that is the ultimate cement that joins them to the culture of the company. Belongingness is in these little things that define “moments that matter” – let's explain that in greater detail with questions that come to an employee’s mind when they experience an organization.

Enhance data governance with distributed data stewardship

Data stewards are a central point of contact. They enforce accountability of the data lifecycle, and oversee data governance and visibility. In many instances, data stewardship is a centralized business or IT function. These settings require enterprise data governance or expertise in data management and governance execution. Distributed data stewardship is a model or framework that allows teams closest to the data to manage access and permissions. Data management is decentralized and resides within the business unit. ... The core component of a distributed data stewardship program is similar to a data stewardship one. The success of such a model depends on how well a decentralized IT, governance and distributed access management model works. Because a distributed data stewardship model delegates data management responsibilities throughout the enterprise, the fundamental difference between a data stewardship model and a distributed data stewardship model is in shifting an organization toward decentralizing data access. This requires time, effort, cadence and key stakeholders who agree and adhere to such a framework.

Cognitive flexibility: the science of how to be successful in business and at work

Cognitive flexibility aids learning under uncertainty and to negotiating complex situations. This is not merely about changing your decisions. Higher cognitive flexibility involves rapidly realising when a strategy is failing and changing strategies. The importance of cognitive flexibility was first discovered in clinical patients. The function engages areas of the brain involved with decision making, including the prefrontal cortex and striatal circuitry. When this circuitry becomes dysfunctional due to neurological diseases or psychiatric disorders, it can cause rigidity of thought and a failure to adapt. Cognitive flexibility is required in many real-world situations. The category of workers that requires the highest level of adaptability is arguably entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need to show flexibility not only in terms of idea generation, but also for resource allocation and social exchanges. Indeed, our previous research has shown that entrepreneurs, compared with high-level managers, have increased cognitive flexibility. This ultimately helps them to solve problems and make risky decisions successfully.

IT leadership: Mission-driven IT and finding your "why"

People talk about IT strategy or tech strategy or product strategy; they talk about deliverables, roadmaps, all of that stuff. To me, it all starts with the mission, and our mission is to transform lives by unlocking better evidence. And really what that means day to day is helping facilitate and support and enable the clinical trial process, which we know in recent years especially has—the importance of which is really second to none. It’s accelerated during the pandemic, naturally, as we look for treatments and preventatives for Covid. But now, what it’s done is it’s poured gas on the fire in a whole bunch of other areas, too. So the industry is working faster than ever, and I like to think we’re doing life-changing work. I believe we are. And the technology that we build at Clario and the expertise that we bring helps support the companies that are running clinical trials, the sponsors, the people who are running trials day to day, the sponsor—or the trial teams, as well as the sites. You know, the folks, the nurses, the clinicians, the physicians who are all part of this process and helping facilitate this.

Quote for the day:

"Increasingly, management_s role is not to organize work, but to direct passion and purpose." -- Greg Satell

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