The end of the year is always a busy time, with a mix of holiday get-togethers, shopping, and charitable activities competing with the need to finish all that real work before you head out on vacation. Somehow, though, this episode of New Relic’s Modern Software Podcast manages to cover all of that stuff in a single half-hour show!

First up, my co-host Tori Wieldt and I are joined by New Relic Senior VP of Marketing Jay Fry and VP of Customer Analytics Todd Etchieson for an analysis of the latest modern software trends, from the amazing number of people now online “almost constantly” [starts at 12:29] to a deep dive into Gartner’s concept of bimodal IT [2:24] (more on this below the podcast player).

Then, New Relic CIO Yvonne Wassenaar and Joette Breor, Director of Business Operations & Special Projects, welcome Kevin Conroy, Chief Product Officer at GlobalGiving, to discuss the New Relic Nonprofit Program and the special tech needs of nonprofit organizations. Kevin said that New Relic has helped GlobalGiving encourage more participation in areas such as Kenya that have lots of great NGOs but often slow and spotty online service. Stay tuned for their informed suggestions on great places to donate this holiday season [22:51]. (For insights into more organizations leveraging the New Relic Nonprofit program, see How Technology Helps Three Nonprofits Make the World a Better Place [Video].)

New Relic was the host of the attached forum presented in the embedded podcast. However, the content and views expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of New Relic. By hosting the podcast, New Relic does not necessarily adopt, guarantee, approve or endorse the information, views or products referenced therein.

As Jay explained in his post earlier this month (see Two Ways Forward? Gartner Data Center Conference Ponders How ‘Bimodal IT’ Can Help Digital Business), bimodal IT is an important, evolving theme for Gartner. Basically, the idea is that enterprises need two different IT approaches, one that is stable and predictable and another that’s fast and exploratory. The Modern Software Podcast was a great forum for the team to address the power of this concept and the many questions it raises.

yvonne wassenaar and joette breor

From left to right: Fredric Paul, Yvonne Wassenaar, and Joette Breor

Tori, for example, thought of bimodal IT as a way to help conservative companies safely move to the cloud and agile development. They still have to keep the trains running, she said, but they can’t afford to ignore the need to deliver better digital experiences. Todd, meanwhile, noted that many individuals and teams need to use both modes, just at different times and in different situations. And Jay pointed out that not everyone possesses the skill set to excel at both modes, making it difficult to do both at the same time with the same team. But what really amazed me was Jay’s notion that two teams might not be enough. He said some enterprises might need a third group to look at those first two teams in order to search for patterns that could be useful to the whole company.

And if you need to recover from that idea, check out the podcast crew’s suggestions for the best tech gifts to give and get this year.

The New Relic Modern Software Podcast … because life’s too short for bad software.

Don’t Miss The New Stack @ Scale

Finally, if you enjoyed The Modern Software Podcast, be sure to also listen to The New Stack @ Scale, produced by The New Stack and sponsored by New Relic. Co-hosted by The New Stack founder and Editor in Chief Alex Williams and myself, The New Stack @ Scale podcast is intended to address developing and managing dynamic services and systems in the new world of scaled-out architectures. You can listen to the latest episode here.


Note: The intro music for the Modern Software Podcast is courtesy of Audionautix.'

Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite,, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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