Sunday Quote – Sherry Turkle

Overwhelmed by the pace that technology makes possible, we think about how new, more efficient technologies might help dig us out. But new devices encourage ever-greater volume and velocity. In this escalation of demands, one of the things that comes to feel safe is using technology to connect to people at a distance, or more precisely, to a lot of people from a distance. But even a lot of people from a distance can turn out to be not enough people at all (…) Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed. We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. (…) Our networked life allows us to hide from each other even as we are tethered to each other.

Sherry Turkle is Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technologies at MIT. This blog has already discusses about her rather fascinating TED talk. The quote above is taken from her book Alone Together – Why we expect more from technology and less from each other.

This books shares many stories to make his point, the one from the quote above. It is not very comfortable read but it is a critical one. Especially when you have teenagers at home addicted to their Facebook profile which somehow makes them lose sight of reality. I am quite surprised as many online friends avoid the conversation altogether.

While I was reading this book, I managed to incidentally see Her the beautiful movie by Spike Jonze telling the love story between a melancholic guy and an electronic device (OK : with Scarlett Johansson voice). The movie has vividly resonated with the main themes of the book. A strongly recommend one to watch.

Transformation Lean de l’Architecture IT chez Soundcloud

Il s’agit probablement d’un des articles les plus importants qu’il m’ait été donné de lire sur l’architecture IT. Après plus de 25 ans dans l’industrie des Systèmes d’Information, j’ai une vision malheureusement assez peu flatteuse de l’architecture pour une raison très simple : no disrespect mais je ne parviens que très rarement à voir, depuis la perspective du client, la valeur qu’elle apporte.

Il s’agit d’un élément essentiel dans le Lean et cette vision est complètement intégrée dans ce retour d’expérience de Phil Calçado à Soundcloud : How We Ended up with Micro-Services at Soundcloud. Plus que le buzzword technique des micro-services (par lequel j’ai découvert cette belle histoire via un billet des toujours impeccables Octo Technology), ce qui est fascinant ici c’est qu’il s’agit d’une transformation Lean de l’architecture d’un acteur majeur du Web.

Un challenge business, de la rigueur intellectuelle au raz du métal, la pensée lean en action, une vision d’un authentique système d’apprentissage au delà du simpliste et démagogique (“embauchez les bonnes personnes et foutez leur la paix”) et enfin un écho d’une vie passée : un article admirable en 5 points … Continue reading “Transformation Lean de l’Architecture IT chez Soundcloud”

Ce que signifie la transformation digitale : le passage à l’économie de l’apprentissage


Ce billet est la conclusion de la série Ce que signifie la transformation digitale. Les autres sont disponibles en ligne :

  1. Définition et enjeux
  2. les points cardinaux (1/2) : relation client, produits et services, processus, outils
  3. les points cardinaux (2/2) : leadership, culture, équipe et management
  4. les projets
  5. l’ingénierie

Cette synthèse avance que la transformation digitale marque la bascule de l’économie de la connaissance à celle de l’apprentissage permanent. Et voici pourquoi …

Continue reading “Ce que signifie la transformation digitale : le passage à l’économie de l’apprentissage”

Ce que signifie la transformation digitale – 5ème partie

Ce nouvel épisode de la série consacrée à la transformation digitale s’intéresse à la culture de l’ingénierie, et, plus particulièrement, comme on peut s’en douter, à celle de l’ingénierie numérique.

La vidéo ci-dessus, est probablement une de celles apportant l’éclairage le plus précis sur la nouvelle culture de l’ingénierie numérique. John Allspaw a travaillé pour Friendster, a dirigé l’équipe IT de Flickr de 2005 à 2010 (9 personnes pour passer de 2 à 5 milliards de photos en ligne sur ce site communautaire) et est aujourd’hui SVP Infrastructure & Operations chez le site de vente en ligne

Pionnier de l’approche DevOps et de la Continuous Delivery, Allspaw décrit parfaitement dans cette vidéo les principes d’ingénierie à l’oeuvre chez ces entreprises phares du numérique. Le 1er billet de la série sur la transformation digitale avance comme hypothèse que LE logiciel de ces entreprises est la mantra exprimée par Eric Ries dans Lean Startup : Build, Measure, Learn ; cette présentation de Allspaw en est une parfaite incarnation.

Une culture de l’ingénierie très souvent à l’opposée de celles constatées dans nos DSIs qui sont pourtant elles aussi, soumises aux enjeux de cette transformation …

Continue reading “Ce que signifie la transformation digitale – 5ème partie”

My Digital Story : How online communities helped me survive professionally after 9/11

Everyone has got a digital story, a story about how digital has somehow transformed her. Here’s mine. I’ve partially told it once or twice on this blog but never completely, so here it is in full. How about yours ? I’d love to read it. Continue reading “My Digital Story : How online communities helped me survive professionally after 9/11”

What playing in a rock band taught me about working in creative collaborative environments

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Just like football, I love music and I always will. I have been lucky enough to listen to it ever since I was born as both my parents are music fans. I love most styles of music (chamber classical music, jazz, folk, cuban, afro-beat, electro) but the one that resonates the most with me is indie-rock. A huge fan of Jimmy Page as a kid and then Johnny Marr as a teenager, I am fascinated by electric guitars and I started playing when I was twelve, more than 30 years ago. From 15 onwards, apart from the 10 years I have spent abroad (London and then Zürich), I have always been playing in a band.

Being part or leading software development teams for more than 15 years, I have noticed many common traits with the musical activity. Even if for some weird reasons, I may have not sold as many CDs as Radiohead or REM, I still believe there is some value in sharing what I have learnt through these hours of work and all the analogies we can draw with creative work in a collaborative environment.

A post in 8 measures, we are talking about rock’n’roll here …

Continue reading “What playing in a rock band taught me about working in creative collaborative environments”

The Lean Scale-up


Startups have been all the craze for the last 15 years or so and the two bubbles : 1.0 (dot com’s) and 2.0 (social apps). One could argue that their most impressive achievement is succeeding in making technology entrepreneurship sexy and successful entrepreneurs as glamorous as rock stars, despite the swimming pools flip-flap.

There have been many blog posts about what a startup is and what is not but I’ve always thought there were something missing. Until I read this essay by Paul Graham, co-founder of startup incubator Y Combinator. The name of this essay does not hold so much suspense : Startup = Growth. The guy behind the success of dozens of startups including Airbnb explains why. At this point, I can only recommend you to read this essay and come back, as this is probably the most insightful 15mns read you can have about start-up. (Go ahead, take your time, I’ll be waiting here).

First takeaway :

For a company to grow really big, it must (a) make something lots of people want, and (b) reach and serve all those people.

My perspective is that startups have put great focus on (a), the external part of the challenge, mostly thanks to Eric Ries formalization of Lean Startup. However, I believe that these small companies sometimes are left wanting on (b), i.e internal processes and management. As a result, even young companies succeeding in finding their audience and target customer sometimes struggle to deliver and to achieve promised results and growth.

This is where the Lean Scale-up gets in … Continue reading “The Lean Scale-up”