I spend a lot of my time thinking about “the enterprise.” An enterprise level infrastructure. Enterprise level operations. An enterprise network with reliability and durability. Servers that will fail-over to each other and systems that will survive power outages and redundant network connections. Enterprise level thinking, where we plan, strategize, implement, evaluate, and then start over.
What about making myself more enterprise? Not how I work – hopefully I’m already operating at some level that at least someone will consider in the ballpark of moderately well-performing (qualified enough for you??). But what about…how I am as a person?
Could I improve my memory by using a hybrid storage structure combining flash and traditional drives? Keep 99% of the data in my head the same way I’ve always done, with the same mnemonic tricks and whatnot. Take the 1% that I’m constantly accessing and have it handy using other methods – even pen and paper for the 10 most important random things of the day (or the moment. or meeting. or…). Maybe I could augment that with a big cache – a buffer space where data coming in that needs to go to either the “slow” old storage method or the new, faster space can be sorted out. I can keep the overall flow of information in and out steady if this buffer is big enough. I won’t slow down while I try to organize.
Not sure how I build a cache for my brain, though….
We had to do an update to our ERP last week. We usually would have waited until the summer but there was an incompatibility with another product and we could have either waited until right before registration or just get it over with now. We opted for the latter. We had to really crank the hours and get a lot of testing done in not a lot of time, and we felt like our hand had been forced by the vendor. This is a key system that we have to keep running. And it’s the inter-connectivity – the whole point of a centralized system is to connect everything to it – that made us jump through 10 hoops because just 2 of them were causing problems.
But we were able to build some goodwill in the process. We kept key people informed, I stayed focused on communication with the community, and I even made sure to have a little party with the whole department and recognize several successful projects, including this one.
I think I can learn a couple of things from this. Having everything connected can mean doing a lot of things to accommodate one change, but it also means you can get some really amazing stuff done when it’s all humming along. When everything – and everyone – is on the same page, a connected system, or family, or circle of friends, or whatever can be pretty cool.
Also, sometimes things that are out of our hands, that are forced upon us, can be good things unto themselves. And if they are not, there is always the opportunity to make it a good situation. Someone once said something about lemons and lemonade.
I’ve been spending a lot of time analyzing our power situation in our server room. Do we have the right things plugged into the right number of circuits of the right size(s)? Do we have enough battery backup units? Do we have the right ones? If we expand next year, should I get a unit ready for that expansion?
Power, energy, etc. I spend all that time figuring out if servers are powered on correctly – and can power off correctly in the event of an outage – yet I spend so little time thinking about sleep and my energy levels. This may seem like an obvious topic (more sleep gives me more energy!) but it’s about the depth of the thought process.
I have obstructive sleep apnea and, honestly, have not woken up in the morning feeling refreshed since the mid 90’s. When was the last time I actually analyzed my sleep and regeneration patterns? I got to bed, I put on a CPAP mask, and I sleep. But there is more to it than that. Do I have the right pillow(s)? That will support me even when I’m wearing the mask? I actually just switched to a special pillow for CPAP masks and it’s been a huge difference. Why did it take me 15 years to figure that one out?
Can I use deduplification? There are a lot of separate, discrete bits of information in my head that have a lot of shared components. All the memories I have from that one home in Edgewater, NJ – the home, it’s layout, it’s relationship to other houses, etc – that’s all the same. It’s the specific events that are different. So could I somehow separate the commonalities and push them somewhere off to the side, and remember just the differences? Would this make me more efficient?
Well, I can’t really dedupe my brain and the information contained therein but I can spend more time focusing on the differences in situations, products, ideas, etc. Let’s say it’s a work item – if I’m looking at solutions for recording classes and delivering them online, there are going to be lots of similarities between the various options. It’s the differences that matter. That’s an easy one but this works in life, too.
How many times do I go to the beach? Well, not that often but each time they are relatively similar experiences. But how many times do I go with my son? He has only one first time to the beach. Only one second time, for that matter. And only one big gasp at an incoming wave. Those are some key differences. Dedupe isn’t going to do anything on that, and that’s a good thing.