Personal Comments on the “End” of Microscaling

On the Microscaling and Microbadger projects we loved the community of dev, ops and devops folk involved in containers and orchestration.

The project and all of our conference speaking has also opened our eyes to what a significant role we in tech play in the world.

What happens in data centres actually matters in real life!

  • IT will consume ~12% of global electricity this year with data centres using 1/5th of that. Even if all of that were renewable (it’s not by a long way) our growth rates outstrip the growth in renewable energy availability.
  • Data security has huge geopolitical implications as illustrated in the recent US elections.
  • Tech automation, Big Data and ML will change our whole culture for the better or worse (probably both).

As a group, and a relatively small one, we have a major impact on the world. I don’t think we always realise it, but what we do as individuals in technology is extremely important. Are we focused enough on the ends as well as on the means?

It’s important that we optimize our skills and be the best developers we can, but I’d argue that’s not ambitious enough.

As a scarce resource, we have more power than we think. Tech employers spend a lot of time and money on staff retention and hiring, that means we could ask for things at work or in the recruitment process and have a reasonable chance of getting them — or at least getting heard. What kind of things? Maybe green things like renewable targets for prod infrastructure, educational things like taking on apprentices or speaking at local schools. Perhaps equality targets or ethics boards. There are loads of ways tech companies could help improve the world if we put our minds to it and it’s kind of our duty.

The barriers to technological creation have dropped and creation will happen. We can’t stop that and we don’t want to, but we can and should consider that every new transformative technology has upsides and downsides. It is our responsibility to plan for both.

We’re none of us perfect here and I’m as guilty as everyone else! But I do promise to try to do better!

SciFi author interested in tech, engineering, science, art, SF, economics, psychology, startups. Chaotic evil.