I wanted my first blog post to be of some significance. After 12 years of personal blogging, and working on WinFrame as my first Citrix project I put special pressure on this particular post. In the end I couldn’t find a topic that really had the technical merit to weigh in as my first blog post. I guess I wanted the post to be a ground breaking as Citrix has been life changing for me. So, rather than technical I will start this blog with an emotional disclosure.
I am biased because working with Citrix products has given me great opportunities, helped me support my family and made hard choices easier through flexibility. So there is the first one… Bias. In the title of this post I mention four topics. Bias is the first.
I wanted to talk about bias because it is a powerful force in our daily work as technologists. In star trek Spock weighs options and precisely calculates the optimum solution. While Scott is still logic based he still works the engineering solution with emotion. The ship is still a “she” as in “I’m givin’ it all she’s got!”. The technologist is still emotional and still has personal connection to the technology. He has worked on the ship and invested enough of himself that the minimal separation between engineer and system are almost non existent. Technology represents as much as a personal extension of self as a child or spouse is an extension of self. Bias is powerful motivating force that should at least be acknowledged. In my case 13 years ago I was an SMS admin. Getting blamed for everything that happened during a package “push”. Work with that product paid the bills and when birthdays and Christmas approached. I turned to a job moonlighting at a laptop manufacturer’s helpdesk. Luckily for me my first WinFrame and MetaFrame contracts were so time consuming that I left that art time job and worked with Citrix products full time. For me, my bias in regards to Citrix starts there. Citrix represents reclaiming lost nights and weekends, Citrix represents time with my daughters, weekends at the zoo and parks. A true bias toward Citrix on my part.
Which brings us to topic number two: bicycles. That Christmas after my first WinFrame migration, Kendra and Kirsten woke up to their first bicycles. Even though they are not directly connected I have an emotional connection with Citrix because of how I felt that year and how I remember feeling during that part of my life. MetaFrame represented something special to me. MetaFrame represented time at home, providing for my family and a special milestone in my daughters’ childhood.
O.K. but why crackers? When I was growing up, my mom would take an afternoon break with tea and crackers. Sometimes she would tell the story of how U.S. troops liberated the Drancy internment camp in France. Why this story? My mother was taken from her school in France when she was a young girl and put into the camp during World War II. She survived that camp long enough to be liberated by U.S. troops. After living in those conditions, she could barely tolerate the filed rations that a soldier tried to give her. Going from the worst of conditions, to the kindness of a soldier giving her the crackers from his C-rations she ate those rations. When she ate those crackers I remember watching her as her mind transported her back to that day of liberation. She always talked about the incredible taste of those crackers. How she could not get enough of them and that she ate them until she was sick. I don’t know if you have ever tasted a military ration, or if you have ever talked to someone who has, but universally they are never described as “The best thing I ever tasted.” My mom did describe those crackers that way.
On full disclosure:
The fourth in the list, full disclosure. I guess in a way, most of the disclosure has already happened. My personal bias, my blurred division between work and the places my family has been, have all changed the way I view things. I try to constantly take a step back and ask “Why am I doing this?, Why is this technology better?, Why is it the right fit?” After 12 years of application virtualization there is a part of me that says that every situation is a job for XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer and NetScaler. But I do ask myself for the real reasons, and true justification.
The best of times is like this week at VMworld. I am put to the test so many times each day.
I truly believe what I say inside or outside the booth. There are lots of things out there. Lots of choices. Our job at Citrix is to make something that makes your job easier. Or allows you to do your job better. Or allows your users to achieve something that they couldn’t before. When someone gives us the chance to do that, then we are doing our job right.
I hope each day that I can make that happen. That I can help people work easier or better. I hope that I can properly communicate the disconnected mobility and direct hardware access of XenClient, the tweets from space of XenDesktop, application delivery of XenApp, and network uplift of NetScaler. To do it with the real reasons and the real technical merit they provide.
My mom taught me that situations can change the intensity of feelings. That emotion is a part of who we are, what we do and how we think. I hope that I don’t do it because of family, and bicycles. I hope that I do it for all the right technical reasons and not because it is my cracker.
My promise to you is that when you talk to me, or read this blog, that I will make sure that I give you the best of the technical reasons to make your best decision. Regardless of the product, the vendor, or my personal bias.
Thanks for your time, and thanks for hanging out with me here.