Kurt is the founder and CEO of Semantical, LLC, a consulting company focusing on enterprise data hubs, metadata management, semantics, and NoSQL systems. He has developed large scale information and data governance strategies for Fortune 500 companies in the health care/insurance sector, media and entertainment, publishing, financial services and logistics arenas, as well as for government agencies in the defense and insurance sector (including the Affordable Care Act). Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
Frederick Taylor has a lot to answer for. The father of "efficiency management", Taylor made a name for himself in the early twentieth century by consulting with companies, offering his services to improve a new metric that he had devised called "productivity". He would go onto factory floors with stopwatches and clipboards and would record exactly how long it took a given laborer to accomplish a given task. He would then take the best of these measurements and declare that this was where his factory workers should be producing at, proceeding to remove all "unnecessary" breaks or downtime for those workers.
Programmers love a fight. Ask a roomful of programmers the question "EMACS or VI", leave the room for coffee, come back half an hour later and there will be blood on the floor. For data storage buffs, the same question, at least lately, comes down to SQL vs. NoSQL. Each has its defenders, its book of holy writ, its benchmarks and success stories ... and each has its dark secrets and stunning failures as well.
As a consultant, I go through periods where the work is just not there. This is not a case of being unemployed, rather, it is rather the default mode of existence for independent contractors who have to simultaneously do the technical work and nonetheless sell their skills.
I was, once upon a time, a huge proponent of agile. I thought the manifesto made a lot of sense, and it fit with my observation that a small group of skilled, dedicated programmers, working closely with the client, can almost always produce software more efficiently than a large consulting firm. Yet, over time, I've also seen Agile applied at companies with dozens or hundreds of programmers, and if anything the results were worse than that hokey old religion of Waterfall.
The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, the European Union's most recent efforts to combat the rise of both "fake news" and identity theft, has come from obscurity to becoming one of the biggest issues that anyone involved in data management has faced in years. The ideas behind it are relatively simple - by unifying a set of requirements on data management, the EU hopes to staunch the abuse of data about people that's collected for one purpose then sold for something very different.