Recent Blog Posts

IT Leadership – How Do I Get There and How Do I Move Up?

As I look back at my career (no it’s not over ), I think on the important lessons I have learned. When I first started in IT, my first two promotions happened without any real involvement by me. I worked hard, did my job and my manager promoted me. I remember thinking this was great, but it was really my boss who was responsible for me being promoted.

 

All of a sudden, I noted that others who worked just as hard, were also getting promoted around me. As a result I wasn’t moving up as quickly as before, comparatively speaking. I began to spend time trying to understand why this was happening. I hadn’t changed anything in what I was doing — I was still working hard, arriving on time and working well with others. So it took me a while to figure it all out.


I saw that these newly promoted individuals were taking an active role in their careers by seeking out new opportunities and new ways to demonstrate their skills to a wider audience. They were taking on projects that others didn’t want and delivering results.

 

I was not doing that.


Truthfully, the thought had never even occurred to me. To reach out and ask for work that was not inherently mine wasn’t something that I intuitively pursued.


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From this realization, I started to look for these opportunities. I viewed it as a way for me to expand my knowledge and demonstrate the work I knew I could perform. Taking the time to meet with others, I focused on how I could help my surrounding colleagues and managers, and just as important, how they could help me. In this way, I connected with people that provided me with mentorship and guidance throughout my career.

 

The hard lesson that I ultimately learned was that my career was my own responsibility. I had to take an active role by seizing opportunities. It wouldn’t be in my interest to wait around and play the selection game. I couldn’t expect for things to just happen.

 

For me, this change came about when I took the initiative to take on the projects that no one else wanted — the assignments that came with no fanfare. However, these menial tasks were still key to actual delivery, albeit their success was not easy to measure. In such cases, failure was definitely an option. But while I thought that failure would mean early termination from the company, the truth was that it was only through failure that I was able to learn so much so quickly. As long as corporate policies were followed and we learned something during the process, our “failures” on a project would never be the cause of getting fired.     

 

As I’ve worked over the years, I have come to a profound discovery regarding career promotion. When you start to climb the ladder, your boss is the one that promotes you. But as you reach the middle rungs of the corporate hierarchy, it’s actually your peers that promote you. And as you get closer to the upper reaches of executive level leadership, it is the peers in your specific industry or executives outside your current path that are the ones that move you up the ladder.

 

More often than not, this happens much sooner if you get directly involved rather than simply being in the right place at the right time. 

 

Good luck with the climb and connect with me on Twitter to let me know what you’ve learned along the way.

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Humanity Is the Heart of the IT Revolution

The CIO of today can no longer focus on just technology.

 

Our world is shaping itself more and more around tech every single day. The enterprise has been feeling the tug of consumerization, the strain of mobility, the continuous development of the Internet of Things for years now, and CIOs are tackling problems greater than ever before. Users are demanding more convenience in spite of the rise of corresponding threats, as is the rest of the C-suite. So while an IT decision maker was once well-versed in technology and removed from the business, that’s no longer the case.

 

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Since tech is now a tremendous business driver, IT is more about the human needs shaping tech-oriented business decisions. Enterprises hiring new CIOs are looking for resume experience that reflects soft skills and business acumen. Leaders bearing a cross-disciplinary background are of greater value to both business and customer, and IT decision makers are starting to take notice.

 

Communication Breakdown

 

Erika Van Noort, director of consulting at Softchoice, recently told CIO.com, “Our theory is that within leadership roles, folks have to understand the entire business so they can better serve customers — both external and the internal customers, users, that IT supports. Our external clients are facing skills shortages not with technology and certifications, but with business skills and seeing the larger business strategy.”

 

As the innovation engine continues to toss new disruptors into the enterprise, a CIO has to be able to make a business case for the changes happening. Social, mobile, analytics, and cloud will continue to mold and shape the way tech fuses with business, and an IT decision maker is tasked with catering to the customer while still satisfying the business.  So it’s necessary to learn how to communicate with and understand the needs of each business unit that relies on tech.

 

Listen to and Learn From Your Users

 

Here at Intel, we’ve designed The Way We Work program, which aims to provide workstations better catered to the needs of employees. Our reasoning was to acknowledge that we, as humans, work better when in a happy environment. Unhappy work conditions can often give way to counter productivity. Improvements have ranged from digital whiteboards in meeting rooms to communal workspaces to wireless video conferencing equipment. And one day, digital voice transcription and location-based sensors that allow users to find coworkers. Although it was a costly initial investment, the return seen through greater employee productivity has been undeniable.

 

The ideal is to let your users guide your strategy. IT is all about customer service, and our customers have changed. So put on your listening ears, strap on your CEO hat, and be ready to learn.

 

To continue this conversation, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter.

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A Revitalized Argonne Returns to Compete at SC14 Competition

Mike Bernhardt is the Community Evangelist for Intel’s Technical Computing Group

 

Argonne National Laboratory’s rich legacy of pursuing fundamental and applied science, and engineering has led the lab to develop a world-class computational center that supports more than 800 active users and over 120 active projects from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

Last year Associate Laboratory Director Rick Stevens led the Argonne Argonauts in the inaugural Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge (PUCC). This year he has passed the reins on to Kalyan “Kumar” Kumaran, manager of Performance Engineering and Data Analytics in the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ACLF).

We managed to get a few moments of Kumar’s time in the midst of a hectic schedule and DOE audits to answer a few question about the 2014 Argonne team which he has christened “Linear Scalers” in hope that the new name will give them better luck than last year when they were eliminated in the first round of competition.

 

The Argonne Linear Scalers include (L to R) Vitali Morozov, Performance Engineering, ALCF; Kumar Kumaran; Kevin Harms, Performance Engineering, ALCF, and Tim Williams – Computational Scientist, ALCF. Not pictured is Hal Finkel, Computational Scientist, ALCF

 

Q. Rick Stevens was the team captain of last year’s team from Argonne called the Argonauts. He’s recruited you to fill that role this year. What did he tell you about the competition to convince you to take the lead?

A. Not much. Other than that he enjoyed the experience and Argonne should definitely take part this year. Also the Argonauts were not too lucky, so we changed the name and will return as the new and revitalized Linear Scalers.

 

Q. How do you think this competition will help others to understand the value of modernizing their code?

A. Developers will quickly notice how their portable code can be made Intel specific, but will run 1,000 times faster!

Q. How will your team prepare for this year’s challenge?

A. Pre-competition stretching, and coffee. We will start memorizing sections from James Reinders’ books.

Q. SC14 is using the theme “HPC Matters” for the conference. Can you explain why “HPC Matters” to you?

A. HPC matters because no single modern technology has had such an impact on such a wide range of research activities. The U.S. Department of Energy has a long history of building user facilities in support of science, but computing moved front and center a decade ago with the creation of the Leadership Computing Facility (LCF). The science being done in LCF centers is changing the world– producing better airplanes, accelerating discoveries of disease-fighting drugs, and designing better materials for everything from computer chips to new ways to store energy. All these advancements come from better simulation science, better codes, and better and faster HPC systems.

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The Quiet Transformation of Internal Communications

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If you are a communications professional, a project manager or an org leader – you’ve probably already found out by now that your social collaboration platform is changing the way you work at a very fundamental level. In addition to being a ‘communicator’ – you are now a blogger, a curator, a viral marketer, a librarian ,etc. Your responsibilities and the skills required to be successful look vastly different than they did a few years ago.

 

Three key shifts explain the transformation in internal corporate communications:

 

1. From ‘Communication’ to ‘Conversations’


Traditional communication tools enabled you to inform your audience about a change, but didn’t offer much to engage them in a discussion. If you use newsletters or web-mailers, you need to closely manage your mailing list.  Currently there are no means to determine if an email or virtual message has been filtered, deleted, or even worse, unsent to specific people. Click-through statistics might give you a rough idea on the effectiveness of a content – but there is very little feedback on how the audience actually responded to a message.

 

Your social platforms can offer a fresh new way to bridge this engagement gap. Something as mundane as an org announcement can evoke feedback (likes, shares, congratulatory messages!)

 

2. From ‘Communicator’ to ‘Curator’

 

If you manage communications for an organizational unit, you need to stay on top of the trending discussions and blogs written by employees. It is key to remember that not all content on the community site needs to be written by professional communicators or org leaders. You will find noteworthy content emerge from across the organization – and your job is to curate, and bubble up the best.

 

Tap into what employees are saying: in their blogs, in discussions and in smaller teams. Highlight the right conversations that add value to the discussion and give them visibility on your community page. Promote diversity of opinion and support your organization’s efforts in ensuring that all voices are heard.

 

3. From ‘Newsletters’ (publisher’s push) to ‘Newsfeeds’ (consumer’s pull)

 

This is by far the biggest change that you need to deal with and embrace when you adopt the enterprise social network for business communication.

 

When the newsletter was the tool of choice, you, as a communicator, were empowered to ‘push’ content to recipients that you had personally identified and chosen. In social communication, the paradigm shifts. The consumer now decides what content to follow and when to view it.

 

If your organization chooses to make your social platform the primary communication vehicle, you need to use traditional channels (web mailers, website etc) to invite org members to ‘follow’ your community. Monitor the count of followers, and reinforce the ‘get in or get left out’ message with the primary target audience. Eliminate willful ignorance. Deliberately ignoring the subscribe button is no excuse to plead ignorance about the information.

 

Once you hit the enrollment numbers, you will start seeing the benefits of the ‘pull’ model. You will get very “real” feedback on readership, ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and of course, ‘comments’. Your content could ‘go viral’ when primary readers share with their extended network. Over time, you will get a much better pulse on content consumption patterns than you might not have had with past tools.

 

I feel it is a particularly exciting time to be an internal business communicator. The cornerstones of communication strategy include: content, audience and channel. The social communication channel can bring about connectivity and engagement via human interactions like never before. All the best.

 

To continue the conversation, would love to hear your insights in the comment below.

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How to Conduct 264 Years of Research in 18 Hours

 

In the above video, Cycle Computing CEO Jason Stowe talks about the strong disconnect that exists between research and clinical analysis. He says the current challenge in bio IT is to analyze data, make sense of it, and do actionable science against it.

 

He shares an example of a 156,000-core workload run in eight regions of the globe that produced 2.3 million hours of computational chemistry research (264 years’ worth) in just 18 hours. He says this capability will transform both access patterns and the kinds of research that pharmaceutical, life sciences, and healthcare companies are able to tackle when it comes to analyzing genomes.

 

Watch the clip and let us know what you think. What questions about research and clinical analysis do you have?

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Mashable Duality Puts Creative Minds to the Test Using Intel-powered Tablets

Intel-powered tablets provide the performance and features that help create and manage amazing content and experiences. Intel and Mashable teamed up to give Intel-based tablets to two pairs of creative technologists as part of a series called “Duality,” to see … Read more >

The post Mashable Duality Puts Creative Minds to the Test Using Intel-powered Tablets appeared first on Technology@Intel.

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Fostering a Culture Of (Device) Compatibility

Mobility and device freedom are becoming huge value adds for businesses that seek to offer more flexibility to their employees. As the movement gains traction, it’s creating numerous challenges for enterprise IT leaders. Security and maintenance are primary concerns for most BYOD strategies, but there are other aspects that, if left unaddressed, could nullify the intended productivity benefits.

 

One of the biggest enemies of productivity and a streamlined workflow is content decay. Content decay may occur when opening a document (such as a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint file) on a device running a different operating system than it was created on. For example, in recent tests performed by Prowess Consulting, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets opened on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 using a third-party productivity software platform resulted in lost data, and secure documents were unlocked.

 

The video below illustrates additional ways in which content decay can derail productivity and expose sensitive information.

 

 

 

Developing a Zero Tolerance Policy For Content Decay

 

Content decay is a real concern for businesses, and the effects are compounded by the size of your workforce. The good news is that it’s largely avoidable. By developing a zero tolerance content decay policy, you can mitigate lost productivity and increase the security of your locked files. The best way to combat content decay is through device compatibility. By providing your employees devices that are designed to work together natively, you can ensure better business outcomes. In the Prowess study, the two devices that experienced no content decay when opening Microsoft Office documents were the Intel-powered HP ElitePad 1000 G2 and HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2. These two devices offer the power and flexibility companies need in their mobility strategies, and also run Microsoft Windows natively.

 

For more information on how you can avoid content decay at your company, check out the full Prowess Consulting white paper. To join the conversation on Twitter, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter

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Finding your new Intel SSD for PCIe (think NVMe, not SCSI)

Sometimes we see customers on Linux wondering where their new NVMe capable SSD is on the Linux filesystem. It’s not in the standard place on the Linux filesystem in ‘/dev/sd*’ like all those scsi devices of the past 20+ years. So how come, where is it? For all of you new to the latest shipping Intel SSD’s for PCIe, they run on the NVMe storage controller protocol, and not the scsi protocol. That’s actually a big deal because that means efficiency and a protocol appropriate for “non-volatile memories” (NVM). Our newest P3700 and related drives will use the same, industry standard, and open source NVMe kernel driver. This driver drives I/O to the device and is part of the block driver subsystem of the linux kernel.


So maybe it is time to refresh on some not too familiar or oft-used linux administrative commands to see a bit more. The simple part is to look in “/dev/nvme*”. The devices will be numbered and the actual block device will have an n1 on the end, to support NVMe namespaces. So if you have one PCIe card or front-loading 2.5″ drive, you’ll have /dev/nvme0n1 as a block device to format, partition and use.


These important Data Center Linux distributions:

Red Hat 6.5/7.0

SUSE 11 SP2

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS


…all have in box nvme storage drivers, so you should be set if you are at these levels or newer.


Below are some basic Linux instructions and snapshots to give you a bit more depth. This is Red Hat/CentOS 6.5 distro relevant data below.


#1

Are the drives in my system scan the pci and block devices:

[root@fm21vorc10 ~]$ lspci | grep 0953

04:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Intel Corporation Device 0953 (rev 01)

05:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Intel Corporation Device 0953 (rev 01)

48:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Intel Corporation Device 0953 (rev 01)

49:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Intel Corporation Device 0953 (rev 01)

 

[root@fm21vorc07 ~]# lsblk

NAME        MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT

sda 8:0    0  372G  0 disk

─sda1 8:1    0    10G  0 part /boot

─sda2 8:2    0  128G  0 part [SWAP]

└─sda3        8:3 0  234G  0 part /

nvme0n1    259:0    0 372.6G  0 disk

└─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0 372.6G  0 part

#2

Is the nvme driver built into my kernel:

[root@fm21vorc10 ~]$ modinfo nvme

filename: /lib/modules/3.15.0-rc4/kernel/drivers/block/nvme.ko

version:        0.9

license:        GPL

author:        Matthew Wilcox <willy@linux.intel.com>

srcversion:    4563536D4432693E6630AE3

alias: pci:v*d*sv*sd*bc01sc08i02*

depends:

intree:        Y

vermagic:      3.15.0-rc4 SMP mod_unload modversions

parm: io_timeout:timeout in seconds for I/O (byte)

parm: nvme_major:int

parm: use_threaded_interrupts:int

 

#3

Is my driver actually loaded into the kernel

[root@fm21vorc10 ~]$ lsmod | grep nvm

nvme 54197  0

 

#4

Are my nvme block devices present:

[root@fm21vorc10 ~]$ ll /dev/nvme*n1

brw-rw—- 1 root disk 259, 0 Oct  8 21:05 /dev/nvme0n1

brw-rw—- 1 root disk 259, 1 Sep 25 17:08 /dev/nvme1n1

brw-rw—- 1 root disk 259, 2 Sep 25 17:08 /dev/nvme2n1

brw-rw—- 1 root disk 259, 3 Sep 25 17:08 /dev/nvme3n1

 

#5

Run a quick test to see if you have a GB/s class SSD to have fun with.

[root@fm21vorc07 ~]# hdparm -tT –direct /dev/nvme0n1

 

/dev/nvme0n1:

Timing O_DIRECT cached reads:  3736 MB in  2.00 seconds = 1869.12 MB/sec

Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 5542 MB in  3.00 seconds = 1847.30 MB/sec


Remember to consolidate and create parallelism as much as possible in your workloads.These drives will amaze you.


Have fun!


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How IT killed the auto insurance market

Automobiles are becoming smart.  And the more that IT is implemented into vehicles, the more car insurance companies will need to worry.  


Recently, reports and studies of “driverless vehicles” have sparked public interest while encouraging the development and integration of smart technology in vehicles.  Today, we have cars and trucks that are not only able to drive themselves, but they can now talk to one another.

Hello Megatron!

crash.jpgWhile this technology becomes more and more prevalent in the public market, there will be a major increase in self-driving cars.  As a result, many of the everyday driving risks will disappear. Let’s imagine for a second… Speed limits will no longer be broken. Traffic jams will no longer occur. Road rage will not exist. Drowsy drivers can now take naps as their vehicles take them safely to their destination.  Having lunch in the car, which was once limited to a cheeseburger in one hand and a soda between the legs, can now consist of a good bowl of soup with the use of a spoon – clearly a two-handed operation.

Want to use your cell phone by dialing or texting?  Go ahead.  Applying makeup? No problem.  Teenage drivers? A ok. 

 

With an actual driver no longer being required, age restrictions for licenses will not be necessary.  In fact, licenses themselves will no longer be necessary.  In essence, the car becomes a device much like a smartphone or tablet. 

The best news of all: no more auto insurance needed.  With the elimination of human error, bodily injuries and accidents – what will we need to be covered for? Simply put, auto insurance companies will no longer be in business.

What does that mean for us?  No more commercials featuring Geckos, Flo or Cavemen.


Well that’s just better news.  One can only dream right?

 

Doc

 

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