The Beef Behind the Buzzwords

What’s the Beef with Tech Buzzwords?

Microsoft’s Kent Kingery joins Jeff DeVerter to takedown some of the most notorious tech buzzwords of recent years.

Buzzwords get a bad rap in tech but it’s important to remember that they often became popular because they describe a useful or important concept. But, convenience and utility can all too easily slip a useful word into overuse, misuse and misunderstanding.

In this episode of Cloud Talk, Rackspace Technology Chief Technology Evangelist Jeff DeVerter and Microsoft Partner Technology Strategist Kent Kingery get into some of the buzzwords that bug them the most. The two technologists tear down the hype and misunderstanding around DevOps, distributed cloud, the edge, serverless and plenty more, to bring their original meanings – and purposes – back to the surface. Along the way we learn that even apparently well-established and understood concepts such as cloud can still fall victim to buzzword confusion, even after a decade and more of common usage.

“The problem with buzzwords is they have devolved to a certain degree into terms that are slapped on the outside of a product,” explains Kent. With concepts, which buzzwords most commonly try to capture, that’s almost never correct or practical. This makes it difficult for enterprise technology leaders to make a call on whether and how new technologies should feature in their strategies.

For that reason, says Jeff, it’s important that technologists, marketers and analysts take care when explaining new concepts. “We have to be cautious that we're thinking through exactly what it is we're saying and using our words with purpose,” he says. “Because all of these words and many others were created for a reason. They have definition, they are usable intelligently in a sentence.”

Listen in to hear Jeff and Kent’s no-holds barred breakdown of some of the most notorious tech buzzwords of recent years, including:

  • DevOps. “That drives me nuts,” says Jeff. “I've heard too many times people use DevOps for, ‘what's that person doing? Oh, he's DevOps-ing.’ Or ‘oh, we're going to go buy some DevOps.’”
  • Hyperautomation. “It's got some shades of Skynet, but think of the opportunities around it,” says Kent.
  • Distributed cloud. “There are huge benefits to distributed cloud,” says Jeff “But let's just make sure when we speak of it, we're speaking of it correctly.”
  • Edge. “At first listen it's kind buzzy,” says Kent. “But the more you think about it, it really is the ability for us to take the computing potential that we have in a centralized world, and flesh out the pieces that need to be closer to the data.”
  • Blockchain. “A solution looking for a problem,” says Kent.

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About the Authors

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Rackspace Technology Staff - Solve

The Solve team is made up of a curator team, an editorial team and various technology experts as contributors. The curator team: Srini Koushik, CTO, Rackspace Technology Jeff DeVerter, Chief Technology Evangelist, Rackspace Technology The editorial team:  Gracie LePere, Program Manager Royce Stewart, Chief Designer  Simon Andolina, Design Tim Mann, Design Abi Watson, Design Debbie Talley, Production Manager  Chris Barlow, Editor  Tim Hennessey Jr., Writer Stuart Wade, Writer Karen Taylor, Writer Meagan Fleming, Social Media Specialist Daniel Gibson, Project Manager

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