The March educational HackFormers meetings was successfully held on March 16, 2012 at the Microsoft Technology Center from 11:30 – 1:00 p.m. It began with a round of introductions and some hot pizza for lunch, following which Mano ‘dash4rk’ Paul, gave an overview of the HackFormers organization by introducing its mission (which is to Teach Security, Teach Christ; Teach Security In Christ) and its mode of operation. Finally Mano suggested that people could get involved in the organization’s core mission, by praying for and participating by giving their time, tithes (sponsorships) and talents.
Vern Williams then made an announcement of the need for help (time and donations) to assist with the Bastrop Fires via the Austin Disaster Relief Network (http://www.adrntx.org/) .
Then James Wickett presented the topic that was planned for that day, which was “Adversity: Good for software, good for the soul.” The main premise of James’ talk was that adversity is ultimately good for software as it makes it stronger and as a result: rugged. He then presented how this applied to Christian life as well and finally there was an active session of interaction where many shared on how past adverse situations in their lives have shaped them to be the instruments of God in the present.
A quick write up of the presentation is given below (for the benefit of those who missed the meeting).
James started by introducing the topic and himself.
James started the first part of the presentation which is to Teach Security. He stated that adversity requires rugged solutions and introduced Adversity Actors as those who regardless of intent (malicious/neutral/no intent) or scope cause real or perceived negative actions and events that prohibit normal function and operation. Then James spoke about Ruggedization Theory and gave examples of how adversity fueled innovation such as the pens that can write upside-down in space (NASA), military hard drives and ATMs in Europe. Similarly, hacker attacks (such as the LulzSec) attacks have required the network to get a lot stronger, and stated that software needs to face adversity head on. In other words software needs to be rugged to succeed.
James then gave several examples of the way software is built today and what rugged software would be synonymous to, drawing analogies from bridges, automobiles and buildings.
He then introduced the Rugged Software Manifesto, establishing the fact that our software (code) will be attacked and that developing rugged solutions (rugged DevOps) is a necessity in today’s computing environment.
Solutions need to be rugged by design and DevOps by culture.
James then concluded the first part of his presentation (which was to Teach Security) by talking about his current book project and solicited reviewers and contributors. If you are interested you can contact him via Twitter @wickett.
James then moved on to the second part of the presentation, which is to Teach Christ.
Using numerous real-world analogies and proverbs such as “if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger” or “No pain, no gain”, he moved on to share how pain is the most common objection to the faith, even questioning the existence of God, and discussed the different variations on how scholars have attempted to address these objections by denying the existence of evil to freewill of mankind and future hope, the latter two supported from the Bible.
He then went on to share two verses on the subject of adversity and its causal nature of benefiting the soul.
Finally, James shared on the third part of the presentation, that ultimate security is found only in Christ by sharing from his personal life as to how adversity in his personal life ranging from health conditions to the suicide of his brother in 2007, had caused him great pain and grief, much harder and bigger than what he thought he could bear. He wondered if anything good could come out of these adverse situations in his life and it wasnt until he realized the following three things that he found peace, a peace that passeth all understanding. First, that his future hope is not here but in heaven. He shared a few more verses from the Bible from 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7, stating that we look to the day when Jesus comes as King of kings and Lord of lords, revealed from heaven and until then, we keep enduring adversity and building character and above all keep the faith and hope in Christ Jesus asserting that Heaven is place of restoration. Secondly, he realized and recognized that the world that we live in is a broken and dying place, with fleeting moments of joy. Finally and most importantly, he avered and affirmed that Hope in anything or anyone else other than Jesus Christ is no hope at all.
The meeting then opened up for discussion and people shared of various adverse situations in their lives, ranging from singleness (loneliness), death of a father or child, broken homes, etc. and found solace in the fact that in an through all of these situations, God is in control and everything works together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
James concluded the meeting with prayer.