The Shift from Monolithic to Microservices: What It Means for CTOs.

Here is an excerpt of a blog I have written for Sumo Logic, posted on CloudTweaks. To read the whole thing, visit CloudTweaks here.

Wanted: A New Approach for CTOs in Managing Microservices

The shift in application development strategies is moving from monolithic design to isolated and resilient components known as microservices. As a result, applications that were designed with platform entanglements such as database and messaging layers have become more complex and costly to operate and maintain. This provides new challenges to CTOs, who must stay aware of the most dynamic, cost-efficient, and secure methods of managing their company’s data, while navigating the inexorable slide toward a microservices economy.

The very thing that makes microservices a more practical application development practice – compartmentalization – leads to an incomplete management perspective. “There is now a more urgent need for end-to-end management – something that has never truly existed. We need to break down the silos between organizations and departments, and we need to move from reactive to proactive. This would be the nirvana of modern applications management,” says Morgenthal.

This puts the role of the CTO in a new, indispensable light, as someone who must take complete end-to-end ownership of an application’s life cycle, encourage communication, and understanding across all teams and timelines involved, and be capable of knowing the entire process.


Labor Day – Bitcoin and Ethereum drop, China bans ICOs

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled What’s Behind The Labor Day Bitcoin, Ethereum Price Fall? is now online. Here is an excerpt:

The PBoC statement slammed the brakes on a large number of ongoing ICO projects in China, causing widespread consternation among investors who urged their clients and colleagues to sell quickly. This contributed substantially to the ongoing drop in Bitcoin and Ethereum Prices. The joint statement also said that “Individuals and organizations that have completed ICO fundraisings should make arrangements to return funds.”

The ruling does not prevent Chinese investors from participating in offshore ICOs, however.

To add further panic and confusion, the statement intimated that cryptocurrencies themselves may become illegal, since they are “not issued by the monetary authorities… do not have legal status equivalent to money, and can not [sic] and should not be circulated as a currency in the market use.”  Others have interpreted this statement as not pointing to a complete ban, but a great deal of uncertainty remains.

To read more, please click here.


I See A Black Moon Rising: Crypto Tokens and the Future of Investment

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled I See a Black Moon Rising is now online. Here is an excerpt:

When companies launch their ICO, they issue crypto tokens in exchange for investment cash. The tokens are built on top of the blockchain platform, and their owners can trade them as they wish.

Sergey Vasin, Chief Investment Officer of Blackmoon points out, “Tokenized funds are more cost-efficient thanks to lower infrastructure and setup costs…This economy is transmitted to investors in the form of higher net return. For the cherry on top, fund tokens are also immediately tradable.”

This new economy gives rise to two major opportunities. First, the token-based investment process should be more transparent and auditable due to its blockchain roots. Secondly, this improved “open book” approach offers the potential to expand the market beyond cryptocurrencies and incorporate fiat currency into the portfolio.

To read more, please click here.

Bitcoin And The Future Of Futures

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled Bitcoin And The Future Of Futures is now online. Here is an excerpt:

Some retailers around the world already accept Bitcoin, but they do so on a spot market basis, exchanging the bitcoins for their own currency within seconds of acceptance. Some might say that demotes the status of Bitcoin to a mere novelty version of money, since it cannot stand on its own. Others will say the transaction is on par with any other foreign currencies that retailers might accept at the day’s exchange rate.

Volatility is the problem that leads to the question, “Why can’t Bitcoin be purchased on a futures market like oil?” Oil also has an issue with volatility, as can be seen every time a major refinery catches fire, or an oil producing nation decides to turn the taps off. But with oil and other commodities, futures are based on a delivery of tangible product, like an actual barrel of oil or bushel of wheat. With Bitcoin, there are no actual coins, there is simply the value of those coins, agreed upon by its users and miners, and based on faith paired with scarcity.

To read more, please click here.

WannaCry, Mixers, And Bitcoin Wallets

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled WannaCry, Mixers, And Bitcoin Wallets is now online. Here is an excerpt:

Amid the furor of the August 1 Bitcoin Fork, another interesting thing happened. The individual(s) behind the WannaCry ransomware attack started to empty their bitcoin wallets. The $140,000 worth of bitcoin they originally collected gained about 20% more in value during the split, and it was around that time that the virtual money started to move.

The activity was detected by Keith Collins of Quartz, who used a bot to watch for movement in the accounts. The bot observed the initial withdrawal of $70,000, which was then followed by additional amounts from other bitcoin wallets until all the money was gone.

To read more visit ValueWalk here.

A Lesson In Free Market Economics From Bitcoin Cash

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled A Lesson In Free Market Economics From Bitcoin Cash is now online. Here is an excerpt:

The hours leading up to August 1 were frustrating for Bitcoin holders who discovered, possibly for the first time, that the mining process is indeed very labor intensive and not at all suited for a massive wave of simultaneous transactions. Account holders were told to expect wait times of 6 to 12 hours for confirmations of their transactions. Ironically, this is one of the very problems that caused the Fork in the first place – the capacity for blockchain miners to process transactions more quickly and in greater number. The resulting disagreement over procedure led to the split.

Similarly, online wallets that host Bitcoin and which now host Bitcoin Cash are advising their clients to be patient. Breadwallet, for example, has confirmed to its account holders that their BCC exists, but they will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on it and trade it. According to an official statement posted to their blog, once the access happens, they will require users to wait for 20 confirmations, rather than the normal, acceptable six. This will result in wait times of up to five days or more before funds would be available to trade.

To read more visit ValueWalk here.

Bitcoin And Ethereum Price Surge: Reality Is On Its Way

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled A Bitcoin And Ethereum Price Surge: Reality Is On Its Way is now online. Here is an excerpt:

Predicting the movements of markets and the valuations of any stock or currency has always been a hazardous pursuit, however in addition to the confidence expressed by Mr. Moas towards the progress of these individual currencies, two other significant facts emerge from his statements.

The first is that cryptocurrencies have moved to the point of no return, “the genie is out of the bottle,’ as he puts it. This represents a significant leap in credibility for cryptocurrencies in general, given that they have been observed as curiosities and side issues by the mainstream media to date. By moving into territory held by traditional precious metals and stocks, cryptocurrencies build a credibility that is instrumental in finally establishing consistent stability.

To read more visit ValueWalk here.

The August 1 Bitcoin Split

Today is August 1, 2017. This day will have its place in blockchain history as the day of the great fork, in which Bitcoin was split into two parallel streams as the battle to perfect the platform continues. I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk and I posted my commentary entitled Why You Should Toast The Bitcoin Split With A Coke Classic there today. Here is an excerpt:

Look at Coca Cola’s New Coke, Coke II, and Coke Classic debacle of 1985, a twisted saga of a marketing and financial move gone terribly wrong, when Coke sought to revitalize its century-old formula in an attempt to appeal to the growing youth market, or simply to save manufacturing costs. Regardless of its true intentions, the move was seen as the day Coke lost the cola wars, and to celebrate, Pepsi gave all its employees the day off….What is good about the bitcoin split? Primarily, it puts even greater pressure on the Bitcoin community to address crucial issues around scalability, processing speed, and viability as a currency. The unprecedented growth of Bitcoin usage has pushed the limits of its transactional capacities to the point that traders and customers have become exasperated over long approval times and excessive service fees, to a point that traditional banking technologies like credit and debit cards look better by comparison.

To read more, please visit ValueWalk here.

A Twisted Tale: BTC-e, AlphaBay and Crypto-Crime

I write for the finance and investment website ValueWalk. My post entitled A Twisted Tale: BTC-e, AlphaBay and Crypto-Crime is now online. Here is an excerpt:

Mr. Vinnik, 38, is a central figure in the virtual currency exchange BTC-e, listed as one of the oldest running Bitcoin exchanges in the market. The arrest, carried out in Greece, was in response to a U.S. warrant in relation to his alleged running of a money laundering scheme that had converted $4 billion in illicit cash into virtual currency in what can be best described as an alleged huge Bitcoin money laundering attempt. He will now be extradited to the U.S.

BTC-e had been reporting “technical problems” in recent days, and its Twitter feed had reflected ongoing risks and “unplanned maintenance” in English and Russian throughout July.

The presence of money launderers, hackers and thieves is not new to any area of internet-related business, but Mr. Vinnik’s arrest might also shine a light on one of Bitcoin’s most infamous chapters: the collapse of Mount Gox.

To read more visit ValueWalk here.

How to Say No to Your Boss

The “No” answer starts long before the question is asked.

My approach to time management, and consequently being able to say “no” to your boss is based on two skills: psychology – specifically the psychology of influence – and project management – the art of planning and managing work.

To say no to your boss, you must take the proactive step, long before, of managing up: setting up a time once per week, for a huddle, in which you can inform your boss as to your workload and timelines, including personal/family commitments. Using a visual tool like a Gantt chart will help as well. Although a manager seems to have the right to ask people to take on extra work, physical visual proof of busy-ness is a powerful tool of influence. It gives you leverage.

The second benefit to regular huddles is the development of a relationship. You can build greater trust with your manager once s/he starts to know you better. Trust and relationship also go far in the negotiation process.

Third, be prepared to offer an alternative. Your Gantt chart/calendar and your positive relationship should go far in terms of offering a time other than the weekend to take care of the pressing task. Often, managers themselves have poor time management skills and think everything must get finished right away.  If you can offer a spot of time next Tuesday afternoon, that might be sufficient.

Fourth, if this type of thing happens often, it’s time to plan for it in advance. I call this crisis management. A request to do extra work over the weekend is a crisis. If this is a regular occurrence, then it should be scheduled into your calendar – as in, 2 hours per week are reserved for the boss’s next crisis. If you know it’s going to happen, then schedule for it now.

Finally, ask yourself why these last-minute requests are happening at all. Again, this goes back to poor planning on the part of the boss. Use that same huddle to help project plan his/her priorities so that the urgency doesn’t have to happen at all.