The world we’ll all create, even if we do it by accident

There was a time when dynamic websites were interesting.

That time, for me, was when I was hardcoding hundreds of HTML pages at a time before a friend introduced me to CSS, then to Javascript, and then to PHP. That same friend introduced me to .NET when the idea that was Dwolla needed something more powerful.

It’s amazing the rabbit hole technology takes us down and the doors it can simultaneously open.

I was in my early 20s when I started to understand dynamic content and in my early 30s I can’t help but feel as though I’m beginning to understand dynamic infrastructures and automation.

I remember my introduction to PHP well because it felt like an epiphany… I felt like I had just gotten years of my life back. Until then, I had understood and made peace with the fact that I would update whatever I made for the web piece by piece.

My first introduction to open source was OSCommerce and it quite literally liberated me to the tune of a few million dollars. Leveraging something that didn’t require me to build a page at a time changed my life.

There is now a time when dynamically scaling websites and infrastructures are interesting.

  • What pages were manually generated became dynamically generated. Basic HTML —> Everything else.
  • What was manual became dynamically (and quite intelligent) deployments. FTP —> Everything else.
  • What was manual has become dynamically generated autoscaling infrastructures. Adding RAM —> Everything else.
  • What is manual will become a dynamically generated tasks based on need. What you do today —> What you will configure.

Technology has a way of eating it’s way up the value chain until it finds the things we, as humans, touch.

I don’t mind that anymore than I mind rain. It’s just a variable that exists as a part of the environment in which we live.

These small steps in automation have replaced us touching files… Our configuration of specific servers… Our hands-on approach to managing our data-centers… And it will inevitably replace a lot more….

I’ve found some opportunities in considering a few key things:

  1. Invest time, energy, and money in infrastructures that will be automatically optimized.
  2. Be the first to automate in complex environments and ecosystems.
  3. Anything that is not automation should be used as an exercise to understand more intimately what will be automated.
  4. Fight the last 1% of automation the most.

I don’t know that I’ll ever see artificial intelligence that generates software based on a idea that I come up and I’m not banking on that. I do think that there is a important nuance in appreciating that automation will develop in the next logical place where automation is not.

The next logical place isn’t always the most expensive. The next logical place is always a function of time.

One thing feels quite certain. We’ve created a world in which automation will take over where it’s economically requested to do so… Which is everywhere we can figure out how to do so with the resources in front of us.