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Video DevOps: Threat or Menace? (Video) 65

The title above is a joke. Mostly. We've heard so much about DevOps -- good, bad, and indifferent -- from so many people who contradict each other, that we turned to Alan Zeichick, one of the world's most experienced IT analysts, to tell us what DevOps is and isn't, how it can help get work done (and done right), how it can hinder progress, and how to make sure DevOps is a help, not a hindrance, if you or your employers decide to implement DevOps yourselves at some point.

Video How Will IT Workers' Roles Change in the Next Five Years? (Video) 138

We asked Sarah Lahav this question. She's founder and CEO of service management and help desk software company SysAid, and a staunch supporter of Sysadmin Appreciation Day, so keeping an eye on the future of IT is essential for her company, her clients, and the friends she's made in her years as an IT person and -- later -- IT service company executive. As she says in the interview, "[Some] people say that the IT person will not exist because everything will go to the cloud. And the other half claims that people from the IT [department] will have new skills. It wouldn’t be the same IT person as we know him now, there will be focus more on firewalls than on fixing computers and stuff like that." Is she right? Is she wrong? Or will changes in IT people's roles be so different from company to company that there is no one right answer?

Video Learn About The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools Program (Video #2) 11

Quoting our intro from yesterday's 'Part One' video: 'The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program (TEALS to its friends), started with one volunteer, a Berkeley CS grad named Kevin Wang who taught high school for a while, then went to Microsoft for a much higher salary than he got from teaching. But before long, he was getting up early and teaching a first period computer science class at a Seattle-area high school that was (sort of) on his way to work.'

TEALS is now in 130 high schools and has 475 volunteers in multiple states but still has a long way to go (and needs to recruit many more volunteers) because, Kevin says, fewer than 1% of American high school students are exposed to computer science, even though "Computer science is now fundamental in these kids' lives." He doesn't expect everyone who takes a TEALS class to become a computer person any more than chemistry teachers expect all their students to become chemists. You might say that learning a little about how computers and networks work is like knowing how to change a car tire and cook a simple meal: skills that make life easier even for people who don't want to become mechanics or cooks.

Video What's the Future of Corporate IT and ITSM? (Video) 50

Our headline is the title of a survey SysAid did at Fusion, a "gathering of seasoned IT directors, service management implementers, and business analysts" that took place in early November. As Sysaid's marketing VP, Sophie Danby was the person who designed and implemented the survey, which consisted of only three questions: 1) Where do you see the corporate IT department in five years’ time? 2) With the consumerization of IT continuing to drive employee expectations of corporate IT, how will this potentially disrupt the way companies deliver IT? 3) What IT process or activity is the most important in creating superior user experiences to boost user/customer satisfaction? || You can obviously follow the first link above and see the survey's results. But in the video, Sophie adds some insights beyond the numerical survey results into near-future IT changes and what they mean for people currently working in the field.

Video Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video) 92

Ben Blair is CTO of MarkITx, a company that brokers used commercial IT gear. This gives him an excellent overview of the marketplace -- not just what companies are willing to buy used, but also what they want to sell as they buy new (or newer) equipment. Ben's main talking point in this interview is that hardware has become so commoditized that in a world where most enterprise software can be virtualized to run across multiple servers, it no longer matters if you have the latest hardware technology; that two older servers can often do the job of one new one -- and for less money, too. So, he says, you should make sure you buy new hardware only when necessary, not just because of the "Ooh... shiny!" factor" (Alternate Video Link)

Video Working with Real-Time Analytics as a Service (Video) 15

This is wide-ranging interview with Dev Patel and Poulomi Damany of BitYota, an Analytics as a Service startup that works specifically with MongoDB. Open Source? Not yet. But hopefully soon, they say. And why should an IT person or programmer care about marketing-oriented analytics? Because the more you know about functions in your company besides IT (such as finance, investor relations, and -- yes -- marketing), the more valuable you are as an employee. Dev also mentions the two main things he looks for when recruiting for BitYota: "One is intellect, and the other is attitude." He points out that this is not true merely of BitYota, but of any strong startup. This is all good information for any job-seeker hoping to land a spot with a startup -- and for anyone who is happy with where he or she works but hopes to earn promotions and raises, too.

Video Outsourced Manufacturing Plant Maintenance Creates IT Opportunities (Video) 67

American manufacturing plants are no longer necessarily dank, dirty places where large men without shirts sweat until they drop. Rather, most plants today are full of computer-driven machinery that takes strong skills to install and maintain. And since many manufacturers, especially small ones, can't afford to have high level IT and repair people on staff, their maintenance work is often outsourced. Obviously, this doesn't mean outsourcing to a company in China or India (that's offshoring), but to one right here in the USA. Today's interviewee, Chris LeBeau, is director of information technologies for Advanced Technology Services, which is one of many companies that have sprung up to help factories operate efficiently in a highly computerized world. Most of their techs have wrench-turning skills, but more and more, they also have strong IT skills and walk around carrying tablet computers. So what you have here is a whole set of IT-related careers for people who enjoy working with computers but would rather stay physical and move around than spend all day in front of a monitor at a desk. Chris's comments about why IT-based factory maintenance is more usful here than in China are interesting, too -- and may offer a clue as to why some types of industry are bringing their manufacturing operations back to the U.S. from low-wage countries in order to increase efficiency.
Linux Business

Video Building a Small IT Consulting Business Based on Linux (Video) Screenshot-sm 138

When you call your business Penguin Computer & Telephone Solutions, it's obvious that Linux is your favorite operating system. Company owner Frank Sflanga, Jr. happily works on Windows, Mac and whatever else you want or have around, but he is a Linux person at heart; in fact, he's a founder and leading member of The Southwest Florida GNU/Linux Users Group. But the point of this interview, which some will want to label an ad (although it's not), is to show how Frank started his one-man consulting business and made it successful so that other Slashdot readers can follow in his footsteps and become self-employed -- if they are so inclined. You might want to note that most of Frank's clients were not familiar with Linux when he first started working with them, and most are not particularly interested in software licensing matters as long as Frank keeps their stuff working. You might also want to note that Ft. Myers, FL, where Frank is located, is not exactly famous as a hotbed of leading-edge technology, which means that even if you live someplace similar, where business owners ask "What's a Linux?" you might be able to make a decent living running a Linux-based IT consulting business.

Video Small Company Wants to Make Encryption Key Management Into a Commodity (Video) Screenshot-sm 63

StrongAuth helps protect data with strong encryption, so that even if a company's network infrastructure is breached, its critical data -- including customers' credit card numbers, for example -- is still safe. Their software is open source, and their objective is to "become like the Toyota Camry of encryption key management," says StrongAuth CTO Arshad Noor. "Everybody should be able to afford it." These are big words from a company that only has 12 employees, all in Silicon Valley, but it's a company that not only has a strong reputation among its small and medium-sized business clients, but is starting to get acceptance from Fortune 500 behemoths, too. In this video interview (and in the transcript), Arshad not only talks about data security, but about how his company makes money while developing and relying purely on open source software. And did somebody ask about Linux? Yes, their software is all based on Linux. CentOS, to be exact.

Video G2 Crowd Wants to Crowdsource Enterprise Software Reviews (Video) 26

All reviews are opinions. In theory, they are based on a reviewer's careful test of the product. But what about enterprise software? How can a reviewer do a real-world test of a CRM program designed to run on dozens or hundreds of workstations and to be used by dozens or hundreds of people? The idea behind G2 Crowd is crowdsourcing. Not just any old crowd, but people who use or administer enterprise software as part of their jobs. In other words, experts -- who get rewards if they supply detailed reviews. Logins require a LinkedIn identity in order to prevent bogus reviews. Will G2 Crowd work? It's still in beta, and this Slashdot interview is one of the first times it has been shown to the public, in part because our interviewee, co-founder Matt Gorniak, is a long-time Slashdot reader. So what do you think? Is this a good idea? Is their business model viable? Matt sounds nervous in this interview not only because he's not a PR pro, but also because he's anxiously waiting to see what you (yes, you) think of G2 Crowd, a business he and the rest of the company's management team hope is not only viable but really takes off.

Video A Chat With USENIX Community Manager Rikki Endsley (Video) Screenshot-sm 40

Rikki Endsley has been Community Manager for USENIX since September, 2011. She also edits their magazine, ;login:, writes for publications ranging from Linux.com to Network World, and is a long-distance runner to boot. But this interview concentrates on USENIX, a worthy organization that does a great job of helping its members (and the entire Unix/Linux community) stay up to date technically and, with its job board, keep USENIX members employed. Toward the end of the conversation, Rikki mentions some of the intangible but valuable benefits people get when they attend USENIX events. (Remember: If you don't have time to watch the video, can't see the video or just don't like video, you can click on the "Show/Hide Transcript" link and read a text version of the video.)

Video How to Become an IT Expert Companies Seek Out and Pay Well (Video) 207

This video is an interview with Matt Heusser, who makes a good living as an independent IT consultant. He says many other people who are currently pounding out code or performing other routine computer-oriented tasks can become independent, too. He's not selling a course or anything here, just passing on some advice to fellow Slashdot readers. He's written up some of this advice in a series of four articles: Getting People to Throw Money At You; How to become IT Talent; That Last Step to Become ‘Talent’ In IT; and The Schwan’s Solution. He also gave a speech last November titled Building your reputation through creative disobedience. (The link is to a 50 minute video of that speech.) Anyway, we figure quite a few Slashdot readers are at least as smart as Matt and may want to take some career steps similar to the ones he has taken. In today's video, he gives you some ideas about how to stop being an IT worker and how to become IT talent instead.

Video The Top Five IT Budget Busters and How To Avoid Them (Video) 1

Today's interview victim, Jerry Irvine, is CIO of Chicago-area IT consultancy Prescient Solutions and is also a member of the National Cybersecurity Task Force. He concentrates on security but is a broad-spectrum IT expert who is entitled to put all these initials after his name: CISM, CISSP, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, CCDA, CCDP, CNE, CBCP, CASP, CIPP/IT. He's also a really nice guy. In this video he talks about common ways IT departments blow their budgets and how not to have these problems where you work. (Hint: If you're an IT manager or CIO who has trouble getting your bosses to come across with an adequate IT budget, you might want to share this video with them.)

Video Splashtop's Cliff Miller Talks About Their New Linux App (Video) 96

Yes, you can now have full remote access to your home computer or a server at work that's running Ubuntu Linux. Really any Linux distro, although only Ubuntu is formally supported by Splashtop. What? You say you already control your home and work Linux computers from your Android tablet with VNC? That there's a whole bunch of Android VNC apps out there already? And plenty for iOS, too? You're right. But Cliff says Splashtop is better than the others. It can play video at a full 30 frames per second, and has low enough latency (depending on your connection) that you can play video games remotely in between taking care of that list of server issues your boss emailed to you. Or perhaps, in between work tasks, you take a dip in the ocean, because you're working from the beach, not from a stuffy office. It seems that work and living locations get a little more remote from each other every year, and Splashtop is helping to make that happen. This video interview is, itself, an example of how our world has gotten flatter; Cliff was in China and I was in Florida. The connection wasn't perfect, but the fact that we could have this conversation at all is a wonder. Please note, too, that while Cliff Miller is now Chief Marketing Officer for Splashtop, he was also the founder and first CEO of TurboLinux, so he is not new to Linux. And Splashtop is the company that supplied the "instant on" Linux OS a lot of computer manufacturers bundled with their Windows computers for a few years. Now, of course, they're focusing on the remote desktop, and seem to be making a go of it despite heavy competition in that market niche.

The trouble with a lot of self-made men is that they worship their creator.