IT Through the Looking Glass

Sometimes I look for inspiration in what may seem — at first glance — to be odd places.  For example, I think the Lewis Carroll “Alice in Wonderland” books offer sage advice for the IT industry.  I mean, how many times have you watched a salesman grin as he spoke and then expected him to simply disappear the way the Cheshire Cat does?

Which Way Should We Go?

But perhaps that is a bad metaphor.  The Cheshire Cat was actually a pretty smart cookie (no disrespect to salespeople intended)!   Recall the passage where Alice comes to a fork-in-the-road and first meets the Cheshire Cat up in a tree.  She asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”  And the cat responds, “That depends a good deal on where you want to go.”  Alice, in typical end-user fashion replies “It doesn’t much matter where.”  Causing the cat to utter words that we should all take to heart — “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go!”

Of course, you could follow Yogi Berra’s advice.  He said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”  But, then where would that leave you.  The bottom line is that planning and understanding are both required and go hand in hand with one another.

If you have no plan for where you want to go, then at best you will just be going around in circles; at worst, you’ll be going backward!  Planning and keeping abreast of the latest technology is imperative in the rapidly changing world of information technology (IT).  As Alice might put it, IT just keep getting curiouser and curiouser.

It Means What I Mean!

But a true understanding of the IT industry, which is required to accurately and successfully plan, can be difficult to achieve because, invariably we will stumble across Humpty Dumptys.

Humpty Dumpty

You remember Humpty, don’t you?  He’s that egg who sits on the wall and spouts off about everything under the sun, sometimes without the requisite knowledge to back up his statements.

Humpty Dumpty is famous for saying “When I use a term, it means whatever I choose it to mean — nothing more, and nothing less.”  There are too many Humpty Dumptys out there.  Perhaps they have good intentions, but we all know what road is paved with those, don’t we?

There are too many people in the IT world laboring under false impressions and definitions. Whenever a new trend or technology begins to gain traction, then you can bet that almost every vendor will claim that their product should be a part of the trend. Even if the trend is completely new and the product in question was created 30 years ago!

Of course, products can be adapted and trends can change. So what is the point of this little blog post? I guess it would be to keep up with trends, don’t believe everything you read, always be learning and create your plans based on sound research.

Does anybody out there disagree with that?



I'm a strategist, researcher, and consultant with nearly three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development.
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