How to Fail at Almost Everything… (Book Review #0002)

One of the first pictures that shows up when you google “failure”. (photo credit: http://cfocounsel.asia/avoiding-business-failure/)

It’s been a long time since I posted a book review. A couple months ago I finished reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. It was a pretty easy read and it helped identify patterns I noticed with people I admire. In Scott Adams case, he went through plenty of hardships but continued to push through. Here’s a shortlist of his hardships:

  • failed ventures in restaurants and food
  • vocal incapacity
  • not being able to draw well

Key takeaway from the book: create a system for yourself. There’s no magic pill to get yourself successful however creating a system helps elevate your luck in getting there. A clear example is if you want to be healthy, it’s disheartening to think how far away you are from that goal but if you lay out your workout clothes and plan your meals, there’s a higher chance you can build a habit that can lead to getting to your goals.

If you’re interested in looking into the mind of a quirky cartoonist and see how he went from getting a job in an office to creating one of the most well known pop culture icons that represented a generation of programmers, I highly recommend reading the book. It’s always interesting to read what was going through someone’s head when he/she is met with a challenge.

Do you have any book recommendations? I’d love to hear them, especially since the new year is coming soon. Feel free to holler @ me so we can talk story.

Legacy Systems & Cyber Security Month

Remember when computers took up rooms and we had fresh afros?

I recall an episode of Dilbert where he & his crew had to figure out how to modify computer code in preparation for Y2K. What made the adventure entertaining was that (highlight for spoiler) they found out Wally, a current colleague, did the original programming on the mainframe. However, he had no recollection of setting it up.

Cases like that usually involve Legacy Systems, enterprise solutions that have been dated but paved the way for current technology. Nowadays, software & hardware are updated so frequently that it is a great challenge to align business processes with technology use. One organization I was working at was dependent on a version of SQL Server that wasn’t even supported by Microsoft anymore. That’s a high security risk.

The point I’m making is that without preparation, a company can leave itself vulnerable and would be forced to throw all its resources on a last minute effort to resolve a problem (reference Equifax). In the case of Dilbert & his crew, they were racing against the computer clocks that will set to ’00’ when it turns midnight on the year 2000.

Like any good business plan, placing strategic exits can help when it comes to investing in software & hardware. Planning for lifespans for the investments assist in realistic budgets and can be accounted for financially. You’re also preparing yourself & the company for any security vulnerabilities & have more leverage to manage risk.

Since it is Cyber Security Month, all month long the State of Hawaii and other local organizations are holding workshops throughout the islands. If you are interested, check out the following link: http://dod.hawaii.gov/cyber/events/cyber-safety/

Have any Legacy Software challenges you want to share? Let’s talk story, holler @ me.