By chance I stumbled upon excellent post on “Cargo Cult System Administration”. I remember this cargo cult story which was mentioned in the fascinating book “The God Delusion” which one of my friends recommended to me quite a while ago. Apart from provoking title (for Russian translation it sounds more like “God as Illusion”) this book touches on interesting things starting from famous Russel’s teapot, to this cargo cult example. Unfortunately I have not managed to read this book yet and it is still on my reading list, but it definitely worth giving it a read I believe.
But post I mentioned in the very beginning draws unexpected parallel between cargo cult and systems administration/support. This one definitely must read if you working in this field – very important stuff.
It won’t be a revelation to anybody that IT field / industry facing a sea change these days and we will see a lot of things and the way whole IT industry works transformed in coming decade (as with any changes, even the biggest and inevitable, implementation and proliferation still takes some time in real world).
In face of changes some people complaining, some trying to understand new rules and spot the opportunities. I prefer later option as there is no use in complaining but direct and obvious benefits in understanding of new rules/changes and spotting how to leverage them.
So I think there are 2 very interesting books which I consider as essential if you somehow involved in IT business and your interest goes beyond IT operations to IT strategy and you do care about understanding of a bigger picture. I guess passionate IT laymen find these books enjoyable too…
So books I’m talking about are:
1. Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech (Kindle edition available) – I discovered this book through getAbstarct service (which by itself represents an example of changes in progress, though not directly in IT but rather in a way we consume information & trying to cope with information overload). This book gives you an idea how & why IT consumers change their ways and how IT shops can possible address these changes.
2. Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology (Kindle edition available) – This was probably discovered through Amazon recommendations service, though I’m not sure, but anyway it is a real must read. This book is a bit broader in scope than the first one and it clearly shows the enormous extent of changes: we are actually on the verge of entering into the new technological ecosystem where amounts and density of interconnected processors on the planet Earth changes everything – from the opportunities and applications which were unthinkable before to the way we design new things (cars, home appliances etc.)
So I strongly recommend these books as they not only clarify current trends but may help you to come up with new ideas or at least reconsider your old approaches which are about to become obsolete.