How do you know all this shit?

How do you know all this shit?

Sometimes I get asked how do you know all this shit? Especially after fixing an issue. Well partially because I read and experiment a lot. Partially experience. That’s it. It doesn’t come to me in visions, dreams or by a 25Gbps fibre up-link to the big brain in the cloud.

It takes time and effort. That’s it. Time is priceless and we all have 24 hours in a day. Effort is something we chip into the equation. That has a cost and as a result a price. And as with everything there is a limit to what one can do. So where I spend my time is a balance between need, interest, ROI, fun factor and avoiding BS.

What’s also important to know is that I know far less than I would like to. I mean that. I have met so many people that are smarter, quicker, better and more entrepreneurial than me that … it would be demotivating. But it isn’t, I just enjoy the insights & education it brings me. On top of that it’s a welcome change form modern landscape office chatter and helps maintain / restore some sort of faith in mankind I guess. It’s also fun.

Fix my problems already!

That’s fine, you say, but “why can’t you fix all our problems then huh”? That’s easy. I don’t know enough to fix ALL your problems.  I also probably don’t want to fix them as you don’t or won’t pay me enough to fix them. And even if you did, I might not have time for it or you might be beyond saving. A lot of  your issues are being created by a lack of context, insight & understanding. I call that wishful management. Basically it means that you’re digging yourself into a hole faster than we can get you out. It’s not even a question of skills, resources or money, it’s just hopeless. A bit like Enterprise IT at times.

You’re being negative

“Geez such negativity”. No it’s not. Its recognizing the world is not perfect. That not all issues with technical solutions are technology induced. It’s about realizing that things can and will go wrong.

So part of my endeavors is making sure I know what to do when the shit hits the fan. To be able to do so you need to understand the technology used, build it, break it, recover it. The what & how depends on the solution at hand (cattle versus holey cows). Failure is not an option you chose “not to select”. Failure is  guaranteed. By the time I fail for real I try to be prepared by repeated failure in the lab.

I spend time in the lab for hands on testing.  I also spend time at my desk, on the road, in my comfy chair reading, scribbling down notes, writing & drawing concepts & ideas. Nothing else. And during walks I tend to process all my impressions. It’s something that helps me, so I make room for that.  I highly recommend that you figure out what works for you. A favorite of mine is to grab a coffee and sit down. Without my e-mail open, with my phone muted, without a calendar nagging me or the pseudo crisis of the moment stealing my time.

That in combination with actually working with the technology is what brings the understanding, the insight, the context. My core team members and network buddies can always get a hold of me in that reserved time and I will answer their call. Why? Because I know they won’t abuse it and have a serious need, not some self inflicted crisis which look bad but poses little danger.

5 thoughts on “How do you know all this shit?

  1. Truth. Without the hunger for knowledge and the willingness to put in the time and effort you’re just spinning your wheels.

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