Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Everything you need to know about Technology

If you ever wonder why we innovate, develop and improve technology, just look at my daughter's smile as she's enjoying a Popsicle made with state of the art refrigeration. It's all about the end user.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Winter during Summer

Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall are often used as a metaphor to refer to the seasons of change as they relate to life. Initially, when I first heard of this idea of applying the seasons to life plans my perspective was more of what I actually do during the winter. I would get stuck on the fascination of winter, never going beyond my personal experiences. For example, I enjoy the winter in terms of skiing down the slopes or building an igloo with my daughter. During the winter I relax with a cup of hot chocolate and mini-marshmallows or a bowl of popcorn while watching a Star Wars trilogy. My ability to apply the metaphor in terms of how it relates to preparing for life and what’s to come never went beyond my actual life experiences until I had children. Once I understood the metaphor it was a life changing moment.

In terms of software development the winter could be a time when Murphy pays a visit (Murphy’s law: “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”). For example, when my colleague and I were improving the response time for end users to retrieve customer information from a SQL database we kept running into a script error in dev. At first it was a simple syntax fix where the wrong character was being used, but when the syntax was no longer the issue it was discovered that the real issue was far worse. Years back we hard coded several pages in order to quick fix something that was crashing our system. After we fixed the issue we had to get back to what we were originally working on at the time and we put off making a more practical, permanent fix to the temporary hard code solution. So as time moved forward we forgot about the hard code. When the problem resurfaced we spent weeks going through the lines of code to properly address the issues. Most of our time was spent recalling the original problem. This event occurred at a time when we were launching new products, increasing sales, and enjoying the fruits of the year. It was our summer that was interrupted by a brief winter. Just like the winter season when plants stop growing and things freeze over our development stopped progressing and we were feeling the pressure from clients and our sales team to get the next release published.

It’s never a question of whether or not seasons will change, it’s a question of when. Making a plan, allowing time for Murphy and being at the ready to address unexpected changes in the seasons of life will help you meet these opportunities and character building days. Sometimes winters can be long, but it helps to understand that just like the changing of seasons it will pass and make way for spring.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Best Resume Ever Written

When I was growing up I was taught that there’s always room for improvement. For example, when I was in high school there was a teacher who believed that giving students 100% on an assignment was not a good policy. It was his position that the moment he acknowledged that something was 100% he was admitting that it can no longer be improved upon and by default he was limiting his students. I had an employer who shared a similar opinion. She would never give a perfect quarterly review. It was her belief that there’s always opportunity for doing things better. However, she also believed that by giving an employee a perfect score it would either suggest that she overlooked something which could be scrutinized by others or that all past wrong doings by the employee was excused, which ultimately gave the employee a point of argument if they were ever reprimanded (i.e. a get out of jail free card).

As much as I can appreciate the perspectives that each of these individuals offered, I feel that it’s important to acknowledge when something is completed to expectations. It’s important that we have a measure by which we can assess whether or not something is achieved or needs improvement. While it’s true that there’s always opportunity to improve upon something it’s equally important that when someone achieves a level of exceptional work (i.e. meets expectations) it should be celebrated! The same holds true for resumes and the candidates that meet minimum qualifications.

It’s important to have measures in place that will be used to assess a resume against a job description. As you can imagine my team and I receive hundreds of resumes every day. We add them to our applicant tracking system (ATS) and we evaluate the content of each resume against multiple job descriptions. Even as the months and years pass we continue to evaluate resumes in our database against new job requisitions. It’s an ongoing process. In fact, just last month we identified and submitted a candidate for consideration to a developer opportunity. Their resume was in our system for nearly two years! After a resume is parsed into our ATS we assess the information for accuracy against the original document. Then, we source each resume by checking to see if it meets a minimum number of the requirements deemed acceptable for the next step; an interview. The minimum number of requirements deemed acceptable can vary depending on the difficulty of a project and the needs of a project. Often a candidate might be missing one or two of the requirements, but if they have experience in another skill set that is similar to what we are looking to acquire then we would still consider the candidate.

The best resume ever written is one that includes;

· first and last name

· contact phone number

· valid email address

· detailed summary of years of experience

· education

· honest details about where work was performed

· technology skills applied on each project

The best resume ever written is the one created with honesty. If you’re an excellent technology guru who needs help writing a resume I suggest reaching out to almost any recruiter in the tech industry and ask if they would be willing to assess your resume. Most of us are happy to assist in any way that we can.

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