"Where's My IT Strategy Letter?"
Many of you have asked why there hasn't been a new issue of
The IT Strategy Letter for the past four weeks. While
it's nice to be missed, I am sorry I haven't been able to
write much recently. Most of this past month has been dedicated
to IT Conversations
and that pattern is likely to continue for another month or
so. I'll be publishing more regularly soon, but at the moment
I'm working 75-hour weeks trying to get IT Conversations ready
for growth into a viable business.
In 2000 I left the steady-paycheck world to become a consultant,
write two books, travel, and generally take a break. The books have
done well, but they don't pay the bills and consulting, like everything
else, isn't a real career unless you work at business development
on an ongoing basis. Instead I spent most of my time meeting new
people, learning and writing.
Nine months ago, I realized the interviews I'd conducted as research
for Loosely Coupled would themselves be valuable to anyone
interested in web services. I had interviewed people like Eric
Thomas Manes and John
McDowall, all of whom knew much more about web services than
I ever will. As an author I was merely a conduit and a packager
of these gurus' ideas, and although the book is highly regarded,
no doubt something was lost in the translation. Wouldn't it be better
to find a way for readers to hear directly from these experts and
in their own voices? And so was born IT Conversations.
IT Conversations has been a one-person labor of love. I've conducted
the interviews, processed and edited the audio, written the code,
handled the sysadmin tasks and designed the site (sorry about that!).
I've even edited the transcripts (which is why they take so long
to get online) although an outside service does the transcribing.
The site has been warmly received and the reviews
beyond my expectations. I'm having fun. Before my 28 years as
a tech executive I was a sound engineer in the film business. My
wife says IT Conversations combines my two previous lives.
IT Conversations is a success in every way except as a commercial
venture, and that's where I'm going next. Once I complete the site
redesign and enhance the code to support personalization, ads, tracking
and some cool new features, I'll be pitching it to sponsors and
advertisers. I toyed with the idea of instead charging for the content
either through subscriptions or on a micropayment
model, but my sense is that it's more valuable to the IT community
if I can keep the content free and available under a Creative
Commons license. I don't need to make a fortune, but IT Conversations
will have to be cashflow positive if I'm to continue to spend all
my time on it.
So that's the story -- probably much more than you wanted to know.
It will come as no surprise, therefore, that most of this IT Strategy
Letter is devoted to the last month's content on IT Conversations.
If you haven't already listened
in or stopped by to read a transcript or two, I hope you will.
There's some pretty good stuff there.
McConnell: Software Engineering. For 12 years the
author of Rapid
Development, the Software
Project Survival Guide, and the best-selling Code
Complete has been one of the most influential voices in
software-development methodology and the profession of software
engineering. In this interview, he explains the important
distinction between software engineers and computer scientists.
(Did you know the former are paid on average $10,000 more
Steve has given IT managers a variety of software-development
lifeycycle models including one he calls "evolutionary prototyping"
which is at the heart of eXtreme Programming, and you'll be
interested to hear what he thinks of XP. We also discussed
why software seems to be so much less reliable than the hardware
on which it runs, and got a preview of the second edition
of Code Complete, due out in June 2004.
the interview or read
Democracy Teach-In. What a remarkable event! Joe Trippi,
former campaign manager for Howard Dean, was the keynote speaker
at this extraordinary one-day conference produced by O'Reilly &
Associates, and IT Conversations has the audio and transcripts of
Check out the complete
list of the entire day's presentations.
Technology Conference 2004. But Digital Democracty was just
the opening act. The rest of the week was filled with the main event.
Hear and read these terrific keynote presentations from this popular
O'Reilly & Associates conference.
Web Services Transactions. XML Journal has published an
excerpt from my latest book. It's free and printable!
Posted Friday, February 27, 2004 10:39:06
RSS for RFPs. Phil Windley reports on Utah's Division of
Purchasing's RSS feed for current solicitations. Brilliant! There's
an entire small industry around publishing construction-bid opportunities
that will disappear, but this is a terrific application of the technology.
Posted Monday, March 01, 2004 9:15:48
EV1Servers Pays License Fee to SCO. EV1Servers CEO Robert
Marsh says he realizes his company might be "vilified" for signing
a licensing agreement with The SCO Group, becoming the first publicly
identified company to have paid SCO to settle its disputed legal
claims involving Linux. But Marsh said the company acted to protect
its customers, some of whom were expressing concern about the SCO
Posted Monday, March 01, 2004 6:34:14
Coupled--Now Available as a PDF (at a 63% Discount)
As an alternative to the hardcopy edition, you can now download
my latest book in PDF format at a substantial discount using PayPal
or BitPass. From the time you
purchase the eBook version, you have 7 days during which you can
download the content up to 10 times. The PDF files can be printed,
but the text cannot be copied or modified.
Amazon.com Review of the Week:
book provides an excellent explanation of why companies should
be looking at Web services. It approaches the topic with an
honest and straightforward description of the problem space
Web services are targeted to address and the characteristics/short
comings of those technologies as they exist today and as they
are expected to evolve. Perfect for IT decision makers who
are evaluating how/where Web services fit in their corporate
--James Snell, IBM, author Programming
Web Services with SOAP
more Amazon.com reviews.)
and Contact Info
The IT Strategy Letter is published weekly by RDS
Strategies LLC. Much -- but not all -- of the content is published
earlier in Doug Kaye's