Back in the early 1990s, Don Parente, Director of Product Management, AT&T Hosting & Cloud Services, was having a conversation with a “die-hard CD guy” about the concept of MP3s. Parente tried to sell him on the flexibility of music files versus carrying around CDs. These days, Parente has similar conversations with people about Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud computing services. “There’s still a lot of education that needs to be done,” notes Parente. “Even with people in a position to get the most out of cloud.”
Parente has an engineering background and began his AT&T career as a design architect. In business school, he learned to “put the customer first,” he says. “Before, I put the technology first.” Having worked at AT&T since 1997, he’s impressed by the company’s history of innovation, and looks forward to blogging about PaaS as it applies to the enterprise: how it can reduce costs, increase time to market and innovate new services by leveraging an “instant-on” resource.
When asked what his favorite out-dated technology is, Parente answers, “My cast iron frying pan.” He likes to cook, and lists his top culinary feats as braising meats and pancakes. Parente likens a fully stocked kitchen to PaaS. “I like cooking, but I don’t like shopping or cleaning,” he explains. PaaS, he says, isn’t unlike walking into a fully stocked kitchen, putting together a dish with ingredients that are already there and ready to use, and then “walking away” with a finished meal: No clean up, no restocking, no turning appliances off. Just use what you need, cook what you want and go.
While he intends to blog about cloud computing and how “we’re on the cusp of forever changing” IT, Parente admits he might break form and “blog my pancake recipe.”
On a recent visit to my parent’s house to work on my son’s pinewood derby car I came across this beauty. It is a 30+ year old flashlight that apparently had a broken switch that my dad decided to repair with a new external toggle switch. My dad is so handy that he, as the old expression goes, “can fix his own teeth.” But at what point do you stop repairing and start replacing? In the case of my dad’s flashlight the answer is...