Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Data Driven Approach to Hiring Talent - OTI

When we consider a data driven approach to hiring talent we extend far beyond knowledge and skill sets that traditional recruiting has accomplished. The new data driven approach is looking at identifiable and measurable psychological characteristics that can be assessed. Click here to view data.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Developing your Presentation – Contributing

As you know, developing your presentation is not just about improving your resume, it’s also about improving how you come across to others. It’s about showing a pattern that can improve your chances of getting hired. This pattern shows a glimpse about your passions and underlying drive. It’s a confidence that is visible in how you carry yourself. Positively contributing to others could have a significant influence in your presentation.

Whether you get involved in GitHub, Stack Overflow, or Meetups, it’s important that you get involved and contribute to the ongoing education of others who share a similar passion for technology. Although this altruistic behavior has more benefits then I can outline, I will offer a couple of illustrations. For example, contributing to others is rewarding. It builds your self-esteem in a way that only you can realize. This will affect your presentation when speaking with recruiters and hiring managers. You will convey an unspoken sense of purpose that will resonate with others. It’s a kind of synergy that emanates from within.

As another example, when you contribute to the education of others you yourself are gaining knowledge. You are honing your skill sets by refining the process of how you convey your message of understanding technology. When you spend time contributing to others you might stumble initially as you struggle with personalities, but you will find ways to manage these opportunities. This will improve your ability to work with individuals, teams, and organizational cultures. When it comes time to share your knowledge in an interview, you will find that the process is much the same as when you’re helping others learn.

Understand that not every recruiter or hiring manager will get how amazing you are or the important role that you will play when you get hired. It’s an unfortunate part of life that not everyone will get you. However, it’s important that you get you. It's also important that you keep contributing. So get out there, make connections, build relations, develop understandings, and create opportunity.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Diamonds, Guns, and a Database

This true life experience was one of my most exhilarating adventures. It was life threatening, it reminded me of a scene from Romancing the Stone (movie) and it was far more educational than any book I could ever imagine. I know this week I planned to write about how to contribute to others who share the same technology passion, and I plan to get to that very soon, but I hope you will forgive me as I take a short path down memory lane.

Around 2005 +/- a good friend of mine, we will call him Josh for this story, asked me if I was available to take on a new database project. It would involve assembling a team of architects, developers and alike and I would be managing several teams both in the private and public sectors. Josh didn’t give me too much detail at first. He simply wanted to know if I was open to taking on the task. Josh knew exactly how to sell me on something. How could I say no to a challenge of the unknown and an opportunity to create something from scratch?

My first task was to win the account. So Josh introduced me to his employer Jake. Jake was a tall, slender and wealthy go-between guy who traveled to Africa, Venezuela and other parts of the globe every week. Jake sat down with me and explained the plan to build a database that would house large data sets of information that pertained to the tracking and shipping of diamonds. I wasn’t entirely familiar with the business of the diamond trade industry, but to me it really didn’t matter what data they wanted to store, I just wanted the project! So Jake asked me to design a very basic layout of how the database could be developed along with the ability to access the database from anywhere in the world. It also needed to connect and communicate with various other sources (i.e. government, bio-metrics, and tracking systems). He dropped a stack of money on my desk and asked me to have the design ready by the end of the week.

After I completed the design I presented it to Jake. He in turn took the design to his inventors. A day later, Josh returned with the good news. I got the project! But there was a catch. I needed to take a plane to Venezuela with Josh so that I could see first-hand where and how diamonds originate. Two plane tickets and a day later we arrived in Venezuela. We took several small planes that would take us in and out of small villages until we finally arrived at our destination (a place on some map that I could never seem to remember). In any event, we arrived in a small village. The people were very nice. The food was amazing! We stayed for several days living in steel cargo holds that locked from the inside with a large metal bar. There was no running water in this village so our shower was a bucket of water that was poured on us from a group of hired help.

Meeting with a diamond trader is very different than meeting with your local baker. The diamond trader arrived by helicopter and was escorted by several armed men whose guns reminded me of a scene from the movie Rambo. Minutes after the diamond trader’s arrival Josh and I were escorted to his office. Josh sat with him and discussed details about the availability of diamonds. Seeing that I knew nothing about gems I just nodded my head when we said hello and again when we said good-bye.

When we returned back to the U.S. I began to reflect on the reality of danger that I was in. I clearly was oblivious to the actual events that took place to make that meeting come together. Thankfully I made it back in one piece. I brought back more than just an understanding of the project needs, I brought back a wisdom and business life skill that would be difficult to teach to others. Unfortunately, when we returned the project took a turn that stopped all the parts from moving forward. The permits and licenses required to give the project a green light needed more political leverage than the investors could muster. 

When you get an opportunity to take on an unknown project, do you jump at the opportunity or do you weigh the costs involved?

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Developing your Presentation – Getting Involved

Last week I introduced a process designed to help you improve your presentation. To briefly summarize; “it’s important that we, as individuals assess, evaluate, and improve our skill sets…we must stretch our minds and challenge ourselves…this process keeps us moving forward, it keeps us energized and gives us purpose; referred to as knowledge, skill sets, abilities, and other factors, I will refer to as your ‘presentation’…what others perceive”.

The goal of your presentation is to show a pattern of life behavior. This pattern will improve your opportunity for landing the career of your dreams. This week our topic of discussion is ‘Getting Involved’. For many of us getting involved has a different meaning. For the purpose of this discussion we will define getting involved as putting forth an ongoing effort that will contribute to the benefit of others.

One of the biggest impacts in my life wasn’t something that affected me directly, it was something that affected others directly. A few years ago I was introduced to the founder of The Space Station museum. We shared a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), space exploration, and statistics. As our friendship developed, he invited me to see a project that he was developing; The Space Station museum. I was immediately able to see the connection and identify in what ways I could contribute to the museums mission and vision. I have been a volunteer and board member ever since.

Getting involved gets you out into your community. It helps projects develop in areas that might not ever develop. More importantly, it has a positive impact to those that use the service or program. In the case of The Space Station museum, its purpose is to support the education of K-12, college, elderly, and the community at large. It also attracts tourism and builds community connections. The impact of The Space Station museum goes beyond measure. For example, I personally met and provided a tour of the artifacts in the museum to several groups from local schools. I could see the light in children’s eyes as they filled up with amazement and inspiration. I could almost see them imagining what it would be like to walk in space or on the moon. The possibility that one of those children could be inspired to develop the next technology and improve our lives in ways that we never imagined is fantastic!

When you decide to take action and get involved, do it with something that you love and enjoy. For example, if you’re passionate about developing, maintaining and reinventing websites then I recommend that you get involved by asking a local technology teacher if you could be their assistant. The key here is to volunteer. Do not accept any payment for your time as it would defeat the purpose of getting involved. Instead, offer to work two hours every Tuesday, and watch how your support begins to benefit others in ways that you might not ever realize.

The next step is to incorporate your volunteer work into your resume. By including your volunteer efforts in your resume you will convey a message to potential employers that you’re not only passionate about developing websites, but you’re equally passionate about getting involved with your community. This sends a message to recruiters and hiring managers that you care about others and that you enjoy what you do so much that you’re willing to donate your time. This act of selflessness is part of your presentation.

Next week we will discuss how to contribute to others who share the same passion.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.