When ever I hear the term “cloud native” I think about my kids. It may sounds a bit strange as many of you will think about “apps” probably first when “cloud native” is dropped. Cloud native to me is not about an application, but about a problem which has been solved and a solution which is offered in a specific way. A week or so ago someone made a comment on twitter around how “Generation X” will adopt cloud faster than the current generation of IT admins…
Some even say that “Generation X” is more tech savvy, just look at how a 3 year old handles an iPad, they are growing up with technology. To be blunt… that has nothing to do with the technical skills of the 3 year old kid, but is more about the intuitive user interface that took years to develop. It comes natural to them as that is what they are exposed to from day 1. They see there mom or dad swiping a screen daily, mimicking them doesn’t require deep technical understanding of how an iPad works, they move their finger from right to left… but I digress.
My kids don’t know what a video tape is and even a CD to play music is so 2008, which for them is a lifetime, my kids are cloud native inhabitants. They use Netflix to watch TV, they use Spotify to listen to music, they use Facebook to communicate with friends, they use Youtube / Gmail and many other services running somewhere in the cloud. They are native inhabitants of the cloud. They won’t adopt cloud technology faster, for them it is a natural choice as it is what they are exposed to day in day out.
But do you think your kids being introduced to technology at such an early age will lead to it sparking their interest and understanding more of the fundamentals for later life in IT?
Duncan Epping says
I am not sure Alan it will. I agree with @DWP in the comment below that most of them don’t have a clue what goes on. Just an example: when I got interested in playing games I had to learn a bunch of stuff just to run a game, and in many cases I spent hours hacking away to get it running… On an iPad today you click and go…
You can spark interest maybe be showing them how to program their own tiny things through code.org etc, but majority of them will have no interest really
First, the cloud doesn’t exist. It isn’t a thing you can possess, touch, or interact with.
What cloud is is a concept or expectation or promise to self manage hosted resources. If anything, cloud is a service management term.
As for technology, each generation is based upon the currently available interfaces of their time. We used to barter, we used to write checks, we use electronic cards, and are projecting virtual wallets. Each generation engaged with what was put before them.
Did the public increase in understanding of finance, equity, forecasting? No. They had a different tool with different capability.
Ask half these generational people what happens when they type google.com and hit enter in their browser. Most will not talk about IPs, DNS, routing, server side analysis, etc. “I get a web page.”
This is a legacy arrogance argument that should be put to rest.
Duncan Epping says
I agree that cloud isn’t a thing that is why I said: “Cloud native to me is not about an application, but about a problem which has been solved and a solution which is offered in a specific way”. I believe the emphasize here should be on “offered in a specific way”
I think that indeed the current generation may even have less technical skills than our generation. It is made extremely easy for them to consume things. Whether that is watching a movie or playing a game. When I wanted to play a game I needed to have some level of understanding of the OS (MS-Dos / MSX / C64) to even be able to run it. I had to debug / fiddle to get stuff running. Today you click indeed.
“They use Netflix to watch TV, they use Spotify to listen to music, they use Facebook to communicate with friends, they use Youtube / Gmail and many other services running somewhere in the cloud.”
This is why people are confused what the cloud is. Not long ago those were called SaaS, and in aggregate that term holds more meaning than lumping them into the term “cloud”. I believe only 2 of the 5 services you named are actually served from what technical people call a cloud. You might as well replace the word cloud with Internet. That would be more accurate, just not as hyped.
As much as I dislike Oracle, Larry had it right, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FacYAI6DY0 and even jumped on the exact bandwagon and made money on it. But back on Earth where the technical people work, if would be nice if we could just stick to one definition and go with it.
Duncan Epping says
I would assume that a PaaS solution runs on something which is typically referred to as a cloud, maybe “in the cloud” should have been “in a cloud”. Cloud is a fairly broad term, and I wasn’t aiming to be the purist here… but I do understand what you mean, but that wasn’t the point of the article 🙂
David Pasek says
Just small generation X/Y/Z definition correction … Generation X was born between 1960 and 1980. Generation Y between 1980 and 2000. Generation Z after 2000 …
For further details look at http://www.talentedheads.com/2013/04/09/generation-confused/
Duncan, I guess you are Generation X and your kids are Generation Z, am I right? 🙂
Now the real comment to the topic …
Absolutely agree with DWP comment. These generation differences are normal in whole human history. Think about your parents and grand parents behavior … Electricity, Phone, Radio, TV, Video.
Think about your grand parents or grand grand parents … electricity was quite new innovative thing for them.
We were grew up at the beginning of the Internet. So it was big innovation for us.
But electricity was always common utility (commodity) for us, right?
Now, Internet is old commodity for our kids. And SaaS, PaaS cloud is the technology where they grew up.
We built our custom interfaces for Atari, BBS, modems, web/mail servers etc.
Back in 80’s and early 90’s we have to do programming (assembler, basic, pascal, C) because there was no software.
Our kids don’t need to install mail server because they can get mail boxes from E-mail cloud provider and it is created in several seconds …
They don’t need to install LAMP stack because they can get PaaS environment and start to build the real application they need just next minute.
They don’t need to know assembler and C because they can develop interesting things in scripting languages (Ruby, Python, Groovy, etc.).
All these commodity technologies saves our kids time which can be invested into new (next generation) innovations with added value.
That’s the evolution which moves humans forward for ages.
The term Cloud is very abused term but for me it is generally a service I want to consume and it is provided by someone else for me and I have to pay it. No service is free of charge. Even when it looks like.
The real philosophical question is … do I really need all these services? Is it worth to me? Our parents moved from agriculture to industrial age. We moved from industrial to information age. Information is the thing what all these Google, Facebook, etc. cloud providers are interested in. This is how we pay for “free” cloud services.
Does our kids know about this hidden payment?
Just my $0.02.