Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What you do is Important

Do you remember the story about the carpenter from the book Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen? To summarize; there was a carpenter who dedicated his life to building homes. He loved being a carpenter. Every home that he built he poured his heart and soul into his work. He would select the best wood for each home and ensure that every board and every wall was assembled perfectly. When he decided to retire his employer accepted his resignation on the condition that the carpenter build at least one more home. The carpenter reluctantly agreed. The carpenter purchased the wood, but instead of carefully selecting the best wood he just took whatever was available. Then, when he was building the home he took short cuts and assembled everything quickly just so he could finish the home and get started on his retirement. When he finished the home his employer thanked the carpenter for all of the years he dedicated to building homes and his employer handed him a set of keys and said, the last home you built is a gift from me to you.

This story reminds me of how important it is to do the best we can everyday of our lives. Whether we are repairing a fence, upgrading software, or educating others, the work that we do impacts the lives of others. The quality of work also impacts how we view ourselves. Our work is important no matter how small or how large the project. When we make mistakes, it’s important that we acknowledge those mistakes, address them, and move forward. It’s important that we don’t cut corners just to finish quickly. We need to ensure the best possible product or service that we can produce.

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


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Is Technology Evolving faster than we can adapt?

When I was eight years old my father expected me to know the name of all the tools, how to build a house, and how to cook a meal. His level of skill as a craftsman was so advanced that he expected all four of his sons to inherently know everything he knew. In reality it took my oldest brother the better part of his life to gain our dad’s approval. Ultimately approval came for only brief moments followed only by another expectation from an unknown origin.

However, my dad knew nothing about computers or the evolving technology that was unfolding around him. He relied on others, like my brothers and me, to show him how to program a cell phone address book. To our dad a desktop computer was just a smaller television screen that didn’t make much sense other than to watch movies in the office.

So what will it be like for me when my daughter’s generation gets older? Will technology evolve so much that the term “computers” will be just as outdated as VHS? A couple of years back my daughter’s teachers had smart boards installed in the classrooms. I remember thinking that it was just a projector with the ability to recognize hand gestures the same way a computer understands mouse movements. Then they installed 3D printers in the science room and an entirely new dynamic began to emerge. My daughter, 12 years old at the time, was learning how to use software that would empower her to imagine something, draw it out, and print it. Her and her friends could imagine almost any idea, use a computer to develop the idea, and print the idea into reality all in the same day. Instant gratification for new products was taken to an entirely new level. So what’s next? What’s beyond software upgrades, smartphones, and computers? Will the Internet be reinvented or just improved? Will technology evolve to such a degree that in a few years I will be asking my daughter to help me understand how to use it?

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

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Technical Recruiting is Adapting

Technical recruiting changes as often as software is updated. It is revised and reinvented to keep in line with technological advancements. It use to be a simple process getting hired at a tech company. All that was needed was a desire to learn. However, in meeting the needs of clients and changing requirements delivering technology at a more rapid pace requires more than just a desire to learn, it requires an understanding of technology and a personality that is driven to succeed. As a result, resumes are sourced for technology keywords to identify candidates with the right technology skill sets, then there’s phone interviews and technical video interviews designed to confirm those skill sets, and then there’s online assessments and in-person interviews to assess team fit, but the process doesn’t stop there. After a candidate has been identified there’s the on-boarding process which includes reference checks, background checks, and finally a formal offer with a contract period to ensure that they deliver quality work before receiving a permanent offer.

As we look toward the future we will see an increase in recruiters applying psychological assessments aimed at quantifying specific skill sets known to influence team performance, team behavior, and product output. Organizational leaders are constantly seeking ways in which they can hire talent that will keep them in the driver’s seat as technology continues to advance. Even in the turn of 2016 we are already seeing a rise in a data driven approach to hiring talent. It’s all a part of an evolving human capital management (HCM) system. However, even with all of the technological advances and tools used to support technical recruiting, such as an applicant tracking system (ATS), it’s important that technology leaders are improving their psychological skills sets in addition to improving, learning, and engaging technologies.

As the technical recruiting process advances to quantify and identify correlations between candidates and performance expectations, the ability to hire based on cause and effect could become the most significant component in identifying candidates that are statistically expected to deliver the best outcomes for a given project. Technology teams who produce recognizable work will likely become the basis for measure and their level of performance could become the expectation that will be calculated and sought after in other teams.

The evolution of technical recruiting could lead to greater opportunity for everyone involved as it enables leaders to identify training opportunities that could hone psychological skills as well as technical skills. Combined these could be applied to help develop teams in areas never before considered. The data could define and lead the way to greater innovation and a happy and healthier work environment where everyone hired to a team plays a role greater than their knowledge alone; a psychological role that influences team success.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Back to the 1980's

Do you remember the first time cell phones were introduced? What about personal computers? For me it was in the 1980’s. My dad just installed one of the first mobile phones released by Motorola and my mom brought home a work computer when she was working for the State of California. I remember my dad telling me “don’t use this phone, it cost $5 per minute to make a call!” However, the computer was a different story. When my mom brought it home it was like putting together a science project. The computer came with one of those 50 pound bubble monitors, a wired keyboard and a large square metal tower to store the data. There was no mouse and Windows didn’t exist. The cursor was just a blinking box with an excel spreadsheet look to it. The tab button, shift tab, enter and space bar were used to move the cursor from one line to the next or back.

I remember watching my mom working late on the computer after getting home from her normal work day. In the 1980’s working overtime was more required then an opportunity to earn extra cash. It was before safety belts became required and riding in the back of a pickup truck was still legal. Anyway, I digress. My mom was helping her department implement a state mandated transfer from paper information to a computer database. I don’t think anyone really understood how the information was going to be used. It was more of storing data so that boxes of paper could be removed from a warehouse. It was essentially a better filing system.

My mom spent hours doing data entry. I remember she was always extremely exhausted and she had to work weekends to get the job done by the deadline. However, from my point of view I didn’t understand why she was so tired. The computer was amazing! There were times that I asked if I could help her enter the data. She would let me find the letters on the keyboard and enter in line by line. It wasn’t long before I was typing 20 then 40 words per minute. She walked me through how to read reports that were printed on two color lined paper that had holes on both sides and folded nicely into a storage box. The holes on both sides of the paper, back in those days, were used to feed the paper through a printer. My mom continued to show me how to find fields on the computer screen and then type the data into each of the blank fields that matched what was on paper. It was exciting for me to be able to help at such a young age. I was giving my mom a break from work and learning how to use a computer at the same time.

When you’re thinking of something innovative to create keep in mind the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Also, your innovation could be the starting point for someone else to launch their new idea. It could stir up imagination and even greater opportunities could develop. So whatever you create, design and deliver do it with passion and know that somewhere down the line you could inspire others to dream the next technological evolution.

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