Flying.  Systems from Above.

By Stein Erik Sørhaug. 

Perhaps no action in my life has affected my perspective on systems more than flying in a small plane as a kid.  Up in our Beechcraft Sundowner and our Piper Cherokee before that, a few hundred feet up, a thousand feet up, three thousand, and on.

Kristiane Ekrheim
January 10, 2019

By Stein Erik Sørhaug. 

Perhaps no action in my life has affected my perspective on systems more than flying in a small plane as a kid.  Up in our Beechcraft Sundowner and our Piper Cherokee before that, a few hundred feet up, a thousand feet up, three thousand, and on.

The world below you changes.What seemed big and infinite but isolated somehow shrinks below. Objects once disconnected begin to appear in a bigger system.  Shapes change, roads snake in. Centers and nexuses of human activity map out. Neighborhoods sprawl, connecting, growing, becoming subparts of more. Clusters of stores, industry, retail, offices, and entertainment intertwine. Farms and sports fields glow green and amber. Railways and roads connect with machines and vehicles marching along as ants to the colony.  Building. Powering. Shipping. Selling. Perspective changes and the systems and infrastructure of our world spread out below.


Nature like our human constructs flows with its own systematic patterns. A meandering river feeding a lake, a delta to a gulf. Glaciers and mountain snow to waterfalls and river valleys and fjords below.  It springs forth with a seeming magical sacred symmetry of geometric progression. The undying fractal infinite to explore. A lazy hill rolled green with trees. Rocky outcroppings peak. Hills spill down into valleys.  Rivers meander through. It follows in logic that the world we construct follows the patterns of the natural world we see.


Back on the ground the change in perspective stays with you.  You see the connective tissue all around. The people engaged in the same patterns as above, down below.  Their functions. Their roles. Their actions guided by the subconscious programming of their beliefs, their religions, their values, emotions, heritage, and knowledge.   The programming of their lives.


Software like any other human design follows the same patterns and principles. Designed from the same fundamental beliefs and structures. From nature to cities, from our human code.  Software done right becomes a natural mesh of frameworks, APIs, infrastructure, reusable pieces built to scale.   It moves like nature. Like the cities we build. Functions and processes executing tasks independently are then orchestrated symphonically in a cadence of industrial rhythm.


In a former life somewhere up the road selling enterprise web frameworks it was said to me that software development in Europe is an Architect´s Game.  Perhaps it’s a Norwegian thing too, to think in terms of infrastructure, but certainly not uniquely so. Building software on shared infrastructure. Building on what already is. Growing the ecosystem.  Consolidating common functionality. Common equipment. Making more without reinventing. Sharing.


This is our approach at Vimond, leveraging the architectures of scale through commodity infrastructure and software as effectively as we can.  Making use of efficiencies through services and technologies like AWS Lambda, AWS Kinesis, Dynamo DB, AWS S3, Elastic search and others. Tying 3rd party systems like encoders from Amazon Elemental or Microsoft, DRM, and authentication services for identify management like Auth0 into the core we build upon it all.


The philosophy is to build on what is.  Use technology that is commoditized. Leverage integrated infrastructures.  Achieve cost effective scale. Free up our creative work to focus on building our products on top of other technologies.  Repeat, reuse, be sustainable with less.


Through our well documented APIs and user documentation, what we can expose of our software, we share to find new uses for others to solve with us. To create workflows beyond our own designs. To become parts of something else, maybe bigger, or just different than we imagined.  To feed a broader ecosystem with our core. To create and be part of more. To move beyond where we are.

 

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