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A lot of attention lately has been given to the cloud skills “gap”—an apparent shortfall of workers with the skills and expertise required to build cloud-native applications. But that’s news to many of the young, certified engineers looking for a job in their field in a historically tight job market. In reality, there is not a skills gap so much as a misunderstanding of how to build a team with the right foundational skills.
For 20 years, the model in IT has been to build layers of abstraction, one on top of the other. We evolved from super servers to commodity servers, then virtual machines to containers, and now all the way to “Serverless” infrastructure. Until very recently, each layer was intended to supersede the others, freeing you from needing to think about the layers underneath. But, that freedom was often limiting. Sometimes, abstraction masks the best solution.
The emerging theme out of AWS re:Invent this year was undoubtedly maturity. The benefits of cloud-native design are considerable, and the risks are easier to manage than ever with a wide range of feature-filled open source projects, AWS services and third-party vendors. By far, the biggest remaining risk to cloud adoption is merely understanding how to navigate the complex landscape, selecting the correct combination of projects, services and vendors to complement each other, speed your adoption process, save cost and improve security. This is exactly why we remain focused on understanding both the cloud and its supporting ecosystem.
This issue highlights the role of open source in modern software development, reflects on the history of open source, and explores some of the side effects and challenges of building software on top of an open source ecosystem. As you’ll see, open source software has been around — even pervasive — for more than 20 years. What’s different now is not how important major open source projects are to us, but how we’ve shifted from building on top of open source projects to building with open source projects.
The cloud is not new. While AWS gets much of the credit for kickstarting the cloud “revolution”, companies like SalesForce have been delivering mission-critical hosted software for nearly 20 years. We also have been delivering our own cloud services, giving our clients unique capability without the then-big investments required to operate effectively within a so-called hyperscale cloud provider like AWS.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are frequently used as interchangeable terms, particularly by marketing departments trying to decide which term is more profitable for them. But, just as not all rectangles are squares, we need to understand that not all AI is machine learning.
The right to privacy has been a universal value shared through much of the world for generations, particularly in America. People rebelled in the 1970s when they learned the government was intercepting our phone calls. In the 1990s, growing awareness of what medical providers were doing with our most personal data generated similar outrage that led to sweeping legislation that made it clear each of us owns our own medical history.
The best phish attempts will not only look legit in your inbox and browser but make what they said would happen actually happen. Attackers want your bank account login. What better way than to give you the exact page you use every day to log into your bank account and then actually log you into your bank account as a result.
Researchers have discovered bugs in speculative execution that allow attackers to bypass nearly all security without detection, because they are bugs by design — features, really. Fixing the bugs slows performance by as much as 30 percent; requires a complex sequence of patching hardware, operating systems and applications; and stresses IT teams to their breaking point. It is the nightmare we in the IT profession have feared since shortly after we decided a career in IT was a good idea and shortly before we realized it wasn’t a good idea at all.
Bitcoin is a global payment network, a commodity, the first successful cryptocurrency and, depending on whom you ask, real currency suitable for daily use. Despite its volatility, uncertain future and status as a platform for criminals to exchange — and extort — money, millions of people depend on it daily and believe in its future.