Word-A-Day Challenge 2016

2 Posts authored by: jamesd85

Day 15: Change

Posted by jamesd85 Dec 15, 2016

As people working in the IT industry, embracing change will likely be the best way for us to continue surviving and thriving in our environment.


How much change have we witnessed just in technology the last seventeen years? Do you remember when everyone was freaking out about Y2K on the eve of the year 2000? How far has the world of technology come since then? Though I was only 15 at the time, I can clearly remember so many massive technological breakthroughs there have been since… and they weren’t all coming from Steve Jobs, but various people.


The Internet of things today may be seen as a status quo now, but there is always a catalyst that brings us to a new mode of life, one that soon becomes an accepted standard. But how did we get here? You’ve got it… by accepting change (and most of the time, we don’t have a choice)!


If you were born in the 90s or before, you’ll likely remember when people simply communicated via a house phone, AIM chats, and what today would seem like rudimentary and antiquated forms of communication and information sharing. Nowadays, my 11-year old nephew in Spain knows how to do graphic design and has multiple accounts on various websites where he learns new things by the minute, and my other nephews and nieces have been using tablets since the age of 6 or earlier. And on the other end of the spectrum of age, my eighty year-old uncles and aunts in Spain and the U.S. (both sides of my family), are writing me messages on my Facebook wall to congratulate me on having recently established a wedding date and wedding location with my fiancée.


This specific process of change detailed above, and the technology revolution, which started way before the year 2000, is now becoming the standard. And at some point, we’ve all had to learn to accept this technology revolution, and grow with it.


You may be thinking to yourself, “Well it’s easy to accept this type of change if you’re one of those people who feels ‘naked’ when they accidentally leave their iPhone at home”. Well, on a personal note, I’m not one of those people that you find outside on a sunny day staring at their iPhone, smartphone, tablet or whatever. When I leave my home or the office, I enjoy being a silent observer that absorbs all that is going on around me, without a device. In fact, my Mom is driving me crazy on a monthly basis for the past year or two because I don’t want to download WhatsApp – I’m averse to this change! Trust me, I’m more for changing how people use technology then to continue the current state of obsession with technology. But no matter what, the constant here is that change benefits us all in the long-run in different ways, and we all adjust accordingly.


But what is it that brings about such revolutionary change? In a word: us. Because without change, we cease to evolve, we cease to progress. And yet, at times, change can be a way to retrogress, because as history has taught us, not all change is good. But even when change proves to be something that isn’t beneficial, it occurs only to be the catalyst for better change in the future.


Therefore, fellow IT pundits, aficionados, and business people alike, let’s embrace the changes in our industry that are yet to come in 2017, and let’s work together to make inevitable change positive.


I hope you all have a happy holiday season, and a Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing your interpretation of “change” below.


Day 9: Observe

Posted by jamesd85 Dec 12, 2016

The ability to observe is the power to absorb. Human beings, more so than the rest of the animal kingdom, are born with a unique capability to observe, imitate, learn and acquire new abilities, along with the octopus… seriously, those critters evolve and adjust to their environment at a freakish rate (I saw the documentary on National Geographic, but I’ve digressed from our topic of discussion). This learning process starts with the power to observe, the power to focus on something and see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, and feel it in great detail. 


You take a network, for instance. The tools we use to monitor a network offer us insights (senses, if you will) into what is going on with the bandwidth, what potential issues lie ahead, how we can avoid those issues, and even allows us to analyze dynamic network paths in order to avoid bottlenecks. Is it magic? Absolutely not, because the power to observe is the basic building block of the “superpowers” we have when monitoring a network. And even the people who are in possession of these monitoring superpowers, must constantly use their power to observe in order to make use of the awesome things they can do for a network’s performance with these aforementioned network monitoring superpowers.


In order to appreciate the power to observe on a deeper level, let’s try a quick exercise: What are you observing now? Take a moment to observe something in vivid detail right now (try not to pick a person, they might think you’re being creepy).


Did you do it?


Okay, what was something you immediately noticed about that object, animal, person or thing? Can you remember it in exact detail? Can you remember how it made you feel? Did you learn something by observing it? Could you think of ways in which you could use what you learned from observing it?


Imagine if you could say “yes” with all certainty to the above questions (and if you did, maybe pick something more complex, just for fun!). Can you imagine using this ability to its full potential with everyone and everything every minute of every day?


Our ability to observe is not just an ability to learn, but an ability to empathize, an ability to understand, an ability to interpret, an ability to improve, and so much more. Taking a moment every day to observe your environment is the same as acquiring a new understanding about something, no matter how big or small it is. And in the end, when we think about the world of IT, and especially network monitoring, the power to observe is key to all of our functions. 


During the holidays, what will you observe? How will it change your perception about something, and even more importantly, yourself?


It’s typical during this time of year for us to be thankful for the people and “things” we have in our lives. But are we sufficiently thankful or appreciative of our ability to observe them?


Absorb. Learn. Interpret. Innovate.


I look forward to seeing your interpretation of the word “Observe” below. Thanks for reading.

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