10 things you need to worry about in 2017


Each year, , I’ve supplied you with “areas of concern”—that is, stuff that might not go well for you or our comrades in the coming 12 months. I’m happy to oblige once again this year with 10 items that may go bump in the night.

Hadoop distributions

Big data, analytics, and machine learning are alive and well, and they’ll eventually transform business in most of the ways they’ve promised. But the big, fat .

This isn’t to say everyone involved is in trouble, but we’re looking at more of an à la carte situation, or at least a buffet, where you don’t have to swallow the whole elephant. Burned by projects that never completed or met their promise in previous years, companies will be more reluctant to bite off the whole dish and instead look at what they’re trying to do and actually need at the infrastructure level. Technology companies that can adapt to this reality will make even more money.

Hadoop vendors

Three major Hadoop vendors along with big “do everything companies” (especially the Big Blue one) are in this game. We already saw Pivotal essentially exit. It’s hard to see the market continue to support three Hadoop vendors. See the above item to figure out who I’m betting on.

. (Or will there be ?)

and an impending AT&T-Time Warner merger, our overpriced connections to the internet are unlikely to get cheaper—and speed increases will probably be less frequent.

Your math skills

Thanks to , it will be harder to command a six-figure developer salary without a mathematical background. As companies figure out what machine learning is and what it can do, before paying a premium for talent, they’ll start to require that developers understand probability, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and all that junk. For garden-variety programming, they’ll continue to accelerate their plan to buy talent in “low-cost countries.”

Now let’s crank it to 11: As you may have heard, we’ve elected a narcissistic agent of the white supremacist (now rebranded “alt-right”) movement who doesn’t even know how to use a computer, and we’ve put him in charge of the nukes. This is going to be a disaster for everyone, of course, but for  if we all survive. But hey, next week I’ll try looking on the bright side.