Minding the Machine

Most computer systems aren’t much good if they are not provisioned, maintained, or applied effectively to perform a task or set of objectives.
For the most part this can all get very complicated or simplified depending on how everything is coordinated from data in to data out. A lot of human intervention still prevails as the norm in such a way that human error often becomes the weak link in the chain. The opportunity for human error must be minimized in many different operational applications. Simplified – it’s not too unreasonable to think a human could impact a system in such a way as to render it unstable or unreliable.
It is true that bad applications can be built on poorly structured code, but usually that code was written by an individual or individuals that could impart one’s ineptness onto the final instruction set. It is also true that data transport into and out of a system – via a network supported connection – often built upon human designed networks that data loss from external and internal factors could be mitigated, but often aren’t can diminish a good computer system’s reliability.
Data latency and packet loss give the impression that a system is not working correctly. System resource burdens that impact instruction completion can give the impression that a network constraint is at fault for reliability or that the network is creating the “possible” negative performance.
Aside from weather, security issues, and unavoidable power loss issues which are equipment and/or component stability related, backup and redundancy mitigation or lack thereof are other areas where human error comes into play.
Error checking, security, network health monitoring, and system implementation require thoughtful planning and execution from effective management systems which ultimately (for now) rely on individuals with proven skill sets.
One of these skill sets is leadership.
I disagree with the premise that effective leadership is a subset of time management alone. Leadership is a multifaceted mechanism that can either produce positive results or allow negative outcomes. Team leadership is another loosely used acronym that often borders on empty promises and hollow abstract references such as “High Level view” , a totally useless approach to understanding the nuts and bolts of complex operation or system. Great for a “macro” approach, useless for detailed understanding of critical inter-workings of anything much more complicated than sharpening a number 2 pencil. It’s a popular buzz word phrase, but I usually Interpret such noise as either a lack of interest, or a lack of understanding about whatever subject is bantered about in context to any immediate topic in need of serious review. Yes BS only wastes time and resources.
Great computer systems need great support teams, who require great leaders, who require vision, courage, and the ability to support such values in their team members and stakeholders.
Communication among all team members is critical to distilling any resolutions that might not develop in an information vacuum. It is true that there will always be the rare individuals who can do it all, but why not combine efforts to always look for alternative views which often lead to improvement.
I myself prefer to work alone when practical, but that isn’t always practical or productive. I know that I can fix some things, but not all things.

At some point it may become common for computers to design and build other systems without the plausible limitation of human intervention. There would be no need for support groups or managed leaderships based on rank or assigned importance. All decisions reduced to algorithms and soft coded deductive parameters. In the meantime we still need bright hardworking people to oil the levers, adjust the springs, and care for the error free operation of many computer systems currently deployed into service for a wide variety of operations. Computers are a wonderful resource and a powerful tool, but so is the human mind – and the human heart.
Together the future can be an amazing journey.

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