Hunkering down

Wow, 2020 got weird really quick. Like many of you, I’ve been in lockdown with my family over the past month, due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully we are safe and sound, and my country (New Zealand) has managed this in an orderly and sensible manner. Next week NZ will be downgrading from level 4 full lockdown to the slightly less onerous level 3.

Things have changed in my career lately too. At the end of March, I started a new job at tech media site The New Stack. It was founded in 2014 by my old ReadWriteWeb colleague, Alex Williams, and he has built it into a thriving business. I’ve joined as Senior Editor and I’m very much enjoying the work and team.

The New Stack is focused on “cloud native” and at-scale internet technologies, topics that I’ve quickly become fascinated by. Here’s how I described it on Twitter today:

I’ll be writing weekly articles for The New Stack and the first one went up today: The 2020s Will Be Defined by Scale-Out Data. The opening gives you a sense of the topics I’ll be exploring over the coming months:

If the 2000s was when networking evolved on the internet (I called this the read/write era, others named it ‘Web 2.0’), and the 2010s was all about the compute layer, then the 2020s will see a revolution in the data layer.

Here’s some further context, from the post:

The 2010s saw the maturation of several major internet platforms: social, mobile and cloud. From an infrastructure perspective, cloud was by far the most important. All the big players now have substantial cloud computing infrastructures — Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. With the emergence of containers in the middle of the decade (which The New Stack founder Alex Williams was among the first to cover), a more efficient and scalable way of managing applications on the cloud was discovered.

The next revolution was the open source container orchestration platform Kubernetes, which enabled even more “scale-out” of the compute platform. […]

I’m excited to dig into these topics in my upcoming articles on The New Stack. Follow me on Twitter for notifications.

A quick note about my previous online media project, my Substack newsletter Cybercultural. I’ve put that on pause, due to my new job and a busy family life. Indeed, that’s partly why I titled this post ‘Hunkering Down’. A time of pandemic and social unease causes one to reassess what’s important and what to focus on. For me, that’s my family. We have a teenager, a toddler, and a new baby on the way (hopefully after lockdown eases). I also highly value working with a team of people I respect, not to mention earning an income – neither of which Cybercultural provided. Thankfully The New Stack job came up; and given what is now happening in the media ecosystem due to the pandemic, I feel fortunate.

I’ve also had to press pause on the nonfiction book I’d been working on this year. I am 30,000 words in, so I’d made good progress. I’m hoping to find some time to peck away at the book later this year (yeah right).

Finally, this month saw the 17th anniversary of the founding of ReadWriteWeb. I did a quick evening tweet to commemorate this, not expecting anyone to notice.

I was pleasantly surprised at the heart-warming comments and likes that this tweet got, including from a founder of Siri. Restored my faith in social media…just a little 🙂

Those are my updates and now I’ll continue hunkering down with my family. I’ll also be on the interwebs of course, writing about at-scale technologies and doing lots of Zoom video calls.

Image credit: Pixabay