Contact Us
Blog

Owning the full-stack: A homesteading analogy on software, innovation, and freedom

Have you ever met a homesteader who owns a mansion? Me either. My neighbor, Bill (80), is a homesteader who tries to be as self sufficient as possible. From what I can see, it’s an immensely rewarding and humble existence. Life-satisfaction oozes out of his every pore and, eventually, even enduring the hardships must have become rewarding to him.

He was wearing an interesting smile when he told me that for 20 years the only inputs to the property were paper goods (read as: toilet paper) and that they don’t have any source of heat other than wood, which he cuts off his own property. Homesteading is immensely hard and it’s not for everyone. Homesteaders don’t have the time to live a life of luxury because homesteading means you have to own all the problems of life. The problems of food and shelter, and producing enough value to trade for things you can’t produce yourself. I think this is similar to how a full stack developer has to own the problems of the whole stack.

Read More »

Epiphanies on Abstraction, Modularity, and Being Combinatorial

Six months ago I didn't understand the concept of abstraction. Now it comes up almost daily. It’s foundational to my thinking on everything from software to entrepreneurship. I can’t believe how simple it seems. When I finally grokked abstraction, it felt like my first taste of basic economics. Given a new framework, something that had always been there, intuited but blurry, came into focus.

Read More »

Making Service-Oriented Architecture Serve Data Applications

Bloor Group CEO Eric Kavanagh chatted with David King, CEO and founder of Exaptive recently. Their discussion looked at the ways in which service-oriented architecture (SOA) has and has not fulfilled it's promise, especially as it applies to working with data. Take a listen or read the transcript. 

Eric Kavanagh:  Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome back once again to Inside Analysis. My name is Eric Kavanagh. I’ll be your host for today’s conversation with David King. He is founder and chief executive officer of a very cool company called Exaptive. David, welcome to the show.

Dave King: Thanks for having me.

Eric: Sure thing. First of all, I’d like to just throw out a couple quick thoughts to frame the discussion here. I’m familiar with what you are doing at Exaptive, and I think it’s absolutely fascinating. In this world of enterprise software, we have these huge organizations, these very large companies, IBM, SAP, Oracle and SAS, and they’re just obviously prodigious companies building enterprise software. There’s a lot of great stuff that’s come out of that. No doubt about it, but of course, there are some pretty significant constraints. One is cost. A lot of that stuff is pretty expensive, but there are other  walls that have been built up. Some are virtual, some are metaphorical, and they make the whole process of really digging into data and analyzing data somewhat cumbersome I think.

Read More »

How a Data Scientist Built a Web-Based Data Application

I’m an algorithms guy. I love exploring data sets, building cool models, and finding interesting patterns that are hidden in that data. Once I have a model, then of course I want a great interactive, visual way to communicate it to anyone that will listen. When it comes to interactive visuals there is nothing better than JavaScript’s D3. It’s smooth and beautiful.

But like I said, I’m an algorithms guy. Those machine learning models I’ve tuned are in Python and R. And I don’t want to spend all my time trying to glue them together with web code that I don't understand very well and I’m not terribly interested in.

Read More »

The Data Scientific Method

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses." With more scientists today than ever, the scientific method is alive and well, and generating more data than ever. This explosion of data has brought about the field of data science and an associated plethora of analytics tools. Controversially, some have claimed, such as in this Wired magazine article, that data science is so powerful that it has made the scientific method obsolete. Google's founding philosophy is that “we don't know why this page is better than that one. If the statistics of incoming links say it is, that's good enough.” The implication is that with enough data, people will no longer need to know why something happens, it just does, and that’s good enough. Is it, really?

Read More »

We work on Technology. Then it works on us.

I think I was 10 years old when my dad brought home our first microwave oven. It was an imposing black box that weighed a ton and had scary warning labels that mentioned radiation. The only time I had ever heard mention of radiation before was in regard to the atom bomb. We felt like we were supposed to run for cover whenever we turned it on, but, like everyone else I knew who had one, we did just the opposite. We huddled around it. We brought our noses right up to the translucent window, and watched, mesmerized in wonder, as the food inside got zapped by mysterious, limitless, invisible energy. When the timer beeped, and the door opened to reveal a steaming bowl of soup that had been cold only a minute ago, it seemed like a miracle. I remember those early days with the microwave vividly – experimenting with eggs, and chocolate syrup, and the off-limits gold-rimmed fine china that would send off an awe-inspiring barrage of orange sparks after just 15 seconds. Just 15 seconds! 15! I think that was the most important thing of all about the microwave oven – not what it did to my food, but what it did to my sense of time.

Read More »

Subscribe to Email Updates

Privacy Policy
309 NW 13th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73103 | 888.514.8982