When we started Emerging Technology Advisors (ETA), we had little idea where the adventures that lay ahead would take us. That said, we were very confident that people in the industry, whether in an enterprise or a small business, needed help with picking the right most technologies for their tasks. So we started a consultancy around the core premise of helping people avoid the pangs, troubles, and missteps commonly associated with adopting emerging technologies, advising groups to basically avoid our own mistakes and battle scars. From that very simple concept, we have worked on some of the most absolutely amazing projects for some of the largest organizations all while continuing to push the envelope of what could be done with technology. Where most smaller companies centralize around a single technology, we diversified in technology, ideas, and people and it has made all the difference in the world.

Today, we announced that ETA is becoming a part of Cloudreach. At its core, this deal will combine Cloudreach’s leadership in enterprise cloud adoption with ETA’s expertise in digital transformation and corporate innovation. For the team at ETA, this is also a wonderful opportunity to advance our corporate culture and love of technology.

ETA has always grown conservatively. The co-founders all have families and know what it means to rely on a job in order to put food on the table, pay the electricity bill, etc. So we made it a priority to never hire someone unless we were 150% certain that we had the growth and momentum to support them. Additionally, we’ve continued to invest in our culture, making sure that we carve out time for our team to do great things outside of their core responsibilities. Balancing the items above, in conjunction with continuing to provide world-class service to our clients (and paying the bills), is a delicate dance. In short, we’ve been operating in a capital-constrained manner as most startups and small businesses do.

Docker Secrets Management is a tool within Docker Swarm Mode that allows for management of application secrets including passwords, API keys, certificates, and more, from within Docker Swarm. These secrets are mounted into a container using a TMPFS mount to /run/secrets. Docker Secrets handles replication and high availability of secrets by securely replicating data across Swarm Managers. Docker Swarm leverages its built-in PKI infrastructure and the secure substrate to do much of the heavy security lifting for teams. While this often piques the interest of operations and security teams, it goes against storing configuration in environment variables outlined in the 12 Factor App mantra.

Every year, Ellucian hosts Ellucian Live eLive, where over 10,000 partners, vendors, and customers from thousands of Universities come together to learn about Ellucian solutions, discuss industry trends and insights, and see what the future of Education Technology holds. For the past three years, ETA has partnered with the Ellucian Applied Research group to create an Innovation Lab to help attendees experience firsthand the future of education. This year, the ETA and Ellucian teams pushed the envelope and put on the most innovative showcase yet. By featuring Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and APIs, attendees were able to see how the role of technology in education is increasing at an exponential rate.

Just after I brought up my slide deck, the room exploded with squeals of laughter from Girl Scout Troop 45. I know my audience (elementary school girls), so it was no coincidence that the first slide of my talk was two internet-famous memes of cats typing furiously on computer keyboards. It worked brilliantly, but I was prepared for anything. If cat memes alone didn’t convey how much fun coding can be, I was fully prepared with a bag of robots for “show-and-tell.”

In a traditional IT environment, teams create lengthy deployment guides based on environment variables or configuration files. Often these deployments guides are out of date or require the release manager to pull the latest configuration from a SharePoint site or Excel file. I can’t tell you home many times I have been on deployment conference calls trying to debug issues only to find out that an environment or configuration variable was improperly set. These types of situations have become standard practice in all too many IT environments.

Containers are one of the hottest topics in the IT community. While containers are not a new concept in IT, they have become significantly easier to incorporate into development ecosystems with the evolution of tools like Docker. Docker is a way to package, build, and run all the components needed to deliver an application. Companies of all sizes are adopting containers to increase their velocity of delivery, security, and maintainability.

One of the hardest problems in any Docker cluster deployment (Swarm, Kubernetes, etc.) is unlocking storage for the host and exposing it to the entire cluster. For example, if you are running PostgreSQL on a node within a cluster and that node fails, or the PostgreSQL container gets rescheduled on another node you will want your data to persist. In a traditional environment, this data that was on the host will be lost. However, by using an external service we can seamlessly remount that disk to another host and continue running the service.

At Emerging Technology Advisors (ETA), we help organizations identify and apply the right modern technologies to address the specific mission need. In recent months, we have seen tremendous benefit from providing a container-based fabric that allows for rapid technological experimentation and enablement within enterprises of various scale. In some organizations, this is known as a DevOps transformation, others refer to it as embracing Shadow IT, and others still refer to it as “re-inspiring the workforce”. Regardless of the name, there is one clear sentiment – the enterprise needs to embrace modern tools and processes in order to move faster, which in turn allows them to outpace the competition, regardless of market share or industry position.

In July 2016, the 3rd annual International NodeBots Day event was held in Norfolk, VA. An estimated 140 people – including children, parents, educators, technologists, makers, tinkerers, and artists – showed up at Old Dominion University’s Constant Hall ready to learn to build and program their first NodeBot. This was my third year organizing this event with the JavaScript development user group that I co-founded, Norfolk.js.

What is the best thing that your software company can do? I believe the best thing any company can do is establish a collaborative culture. Collaboration is very important within software development. Having a culture that increases that, makes it easier to promote innovation and increase morale.

NodeBots Day is world wide event where people learn how to control the physical world with JavaScript. It is designed to break down some of the assumed barriers that traditional web developers may have when it comes to programming hardware devices. Through activities like SumoBots, attendees can go from zero experience to a fully controllable robot in as little as an hour.

ETA Joins Cloudreach

We are pleased to announce our merger with Cloudreach to launch their Technology Strategy and Application Transformation Practice.

You'll be redirected to the Cloudreach site in 15 seconds