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“I Look Like An Engineer” SF Campaign

Have you been following the wildfire spread of #ILookLikeAnEngineer? A campaign starting in San Francisco to raise awareness about tech diversity and the faces of women in tech.

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Good article on 11 Startup Skills You Won’t Learn in School

Article in Inc. by Young Entrepreneur Council  @YEC

 

LiveRamp + Acxiom !

Acxiom announced it is acquiring LiveRamp for $310 million: Acxiom Press Release

See a video of Acxiom CEO, Scott Howe, and LiveRamp CEO, Auren Hoffman, talking about the combination: LiveRamp Blog Post

 

New Grads: “Want a Job? Get an Internship First!”

Interesting short podcast from American Pulic Media – Marketplace on Education.
http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/education/want-job-get-internship-first#.UTvCX_ebaBo.email

This story emphasizes the heightened Importance of internships in today’s job market to bridge the gap between your college degree and your first job. Hiring managers are far more likely to consider new grads with experience working with others, collaborating on a team, and solving real problems. Experiential learning is weighed more heavily by some than grades and college name. Hiring managers are increasingly finding that even those exiting a good school with a “practical” degree struggle without the real-life test-drive of teaming, communication, and collaboration.

Employers claim that colleges are doing a fair to poor job today of preparing successful employees. I have to wonder of some of this disappointment is exacerbated by our societal shift toward texting as a primary form of communication. SO much critical work is still best shared and communicated by phone and in person, in my experience.

Employers’ advice: Work on interviewing skills and study up on the organization and industry you are applying to. A degree alone with good grades from a good school should be accompanied by an internship to show your “practical” side. Solid writing and communication skills, adaptability, teaming, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities are the gold standard.

As a recruiter, I know that internships also frequently turn into job opportunities after graduation, and will start your career networking and reference connections.

If you are a college student majoring in computer science, math, or information systems interested in an internship, do contact me for an opportunity in San Francisco / Bay Area!

Working With a Team

I’ve made a new move, trading in much of my home office time for a shiny glass desk at Montgomery and Market that’s a-buzz with energy.  I’m pretty good from a home office at staying in contact with people via social media, phone, email chat, Skype, and good ol’ networking event attendance; but there’s something to be said about the synergies fostered by working in a room with your colleagues, teaming up to quickly put a special talent in place with a good team, and taking time together to sharpen your head-hunting and client personalization skills.  And to be honest, I love rising up out of the train tunnels in the morning into the skyscraper landscape with all it’s accompanying hustle, bustle, color, sound, and excitement.  Make that a double shot mocha on my way to the elevator!

So what’s in it for YOU?  My Clients will be getting even more specialized attention and quicker candidate search response.  Candidates – I have more positions opening for you daily/weekly than ever before.  Right now, I have Java, iOS, Android, and PHP jobs coming out of my ears, so let me know what you are looking for and send me an updated resume for starters.  And when you are in my part of town – let me know if you have time to meet!

Talent Makes the Company

Talent is a critical component of any business in any economy.  Is your company working hard to attract and keep the best talent?  Your company’s HR leader needs to be focused on this because it’s PEOPLE that make the difference.

If your company has turnover, WHERE is it (which teams, which managers) and WHERE do they go?  To your direct competitor(s)?  Somewhere else?

Companies that cut costs in a recession, rather than “heads”, fare better in the long run.  This is not a knee-jerk reaction:  It is a less tactical and more strategic approach.  Cutting people breaks trust with all employees, while keeping employees through the tough times fosters loyalty.

When you are considering a new company to work with, look past the base salary and also consider what kind of culture, career growth opportunities, and creative benefits they provide.  Some HR departments allow spouses to call in to handle benefits management.  Some companies have mentoring and leadership training programs, and encourage changing teams, changing offices, and promoting internally to stay challenged in your career. Career path planning and employee retention programs can tell you a great deal about how invested the company is in its employees’ job satisfaction, and its valuation of the people who make the company successful.

PHP vs. Ruby

Below is a great answer to my PHP vs. Ruby question from Geo.  Just had to share!

I asked:

Are PHP and Ruby developers ever the same animal?
Most of my clients are developing massive scale eCommerce or communication networks and only want PHP.
Where does Ruby come in – for lighter weight, rapid web development?
Does a PHP developer have deeper – or just different – coding ability?

Geo answered:

Val,

There are actually 3 points here.

  • Ruby
  • Rails
  • PHP

The issue that happens with rails is that most people introduced to Ruby have been introduced via Rails.
Rails is a framework that utilizes Ruby as language of implementation.

Now Ruby vs PHP. Not that one is better than the other, but PHP has a much more extensive library of extensions and modules, and it’s object oriented model has been implemented over time. Ruby on the other hand has been designed from the ground up as an object oriented language, and definitely has a very modern well thought out syntax. Ruby’s community and as well as libraries are growing, but it is no where near the number of PHP’s. As a language Ruby is slower than PHP, but this is a bottleneck that can be worked around. The real issue is with Rails and its tightly coupled architecture.

Rails, like I said is a framework – a contract on how an applications architecture’s base will be implemented. 9 times out of 10 Rubiest think framework first ( Rails ) vs Language first; THEY WERE INTRODUCED TO RUBY VIA RAILS. 9.9 times out of 10 perl,php, and python people think language first. The success of Rails has brought about an implementation of it MVC structure to perl, php, and python which has enabled perl,php, and python use to ADOPT BEST PRACTICES via Frameworks like symfony,zend,cakephp, django, joomla framework ( not the cms ). Now because Rails is such a “turn keyish” type of framework, issues start to occur when sites start to grow, and what happens is that because so much was done for you at the framework level, meaning “Oh, look in Rails you don’t have to worry about X, it is handled automatically”, that when issues start to occur you are not familiar thoroughly with the architecture ( internals of RAILS) that is becomes extra work to handle high loads. Some, bottle necks in Rails are, ( RAILS FANBOYS, notice how I said SOME):

  • Application startup and bootstrapping
  • Active record and database implementation layer
  • Caching without having the application bootstrap

These issues are also in CakePHP which is the closest implementation of Rails in PHP, they even copied the mistakes! Symfony, Zend, and Joomla Framework are much more loosely coupled, with Zend coming out as the loosest. To deal with very high traffic, TWITTER had to start scrapping away RAILS in certain parts and start developing with scala and even c++. Many Rails fanboys started crying when this happened.

In all, there are very competent Ruby programmers out there that aren’t tied to Rails, but nowhere near the amount of PHP.

Geo