Category Archives: Ideas and Sorts

What does your resume really say about you

For this entry, and it has been a while, and I really want to get some sanity in my life so I can do this more regular, I have to discuss the merits of what I look for in hiring someone, and what a resume really does say. Now I will be the first to admit, I am not a career adviser, and I am not a resume expert, and I am not a recruiter looking to siphon out people to different companies. I run my own team, and need to find specific talent for this team so that we can build some of the best apps around for the clients we have. So in this effort, I am needing to hire some good programmers and system administrators at times, and at other times, I am needing to get business analysts and other business side process staffing. The thing that drives me mad so often is the initial contact, or the initial viewing of the resume. If you want to build a great resume, go to a place like The Ladders and pay the money to get professional help in building it. This diatribe will not help you do this. What this may help you understand, is what I look for, and possibly what others look for.

Looking for a job anymore is like posting on a social network. Only, this would be a lot more focused. Think of this in terms of light. Regular social media is like a flashlight blaring out light all around and sometimes it crosses other light paths. Job hunting is like a laser, focused and distinct, aiming for a specific end goal, which may make turns, reflections and bounce off others, but it still remains focused. So when I am hiring for a technical position, I have very specific things I am looking for. Those are (in no particular order):

  • Is this candidate teachable
  • Does this candidate have the experience I am needing
  • Does this candidate know what they are talking about
  • Can this candidate carry themselves properly
  • What training and schooling does this candidate have
  • What projects has this candidate been a part of

So what does your resume say about you?

When we look for candidates, we put out a posting, and then look around at job boards we subscribe to. I also post it out to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+. I try to be proactive as well as reactive. And many times I see resumes on job boards that just make me wonder what are the candidates thinking. When I go resume harvesting, I know this candidate may not be interested in my job posting. It may be they put the resume out there, just to be ready, which is fine. So based on the above list, I will go thru some of the things I encounter, both good and bad.


This may be the one I put the most weight on. I once had no knowledge, and had to learn. Everyone has been there. I cringe when I see resumes that are over-boastful, arrogant or down right cocky. It is perfectly fine to be confident in your work, and explain your history. When it comes off as arrogance, or over-boasting, I immediately start thinking about whether this person is teachable, based on what I am reading. For example, I recently saw a resume that was something like this in the cover letter section:

I do great work, and want a remote job, so recruiters do not bother to call me about any jobs in other states. Dull work is not for me. Imagination and creativity sets the programmer apart. Personality and skill, I have those both. Can your programmer get jobs done quickly and securely? I can, this is what I do. Great communication is something I pride myself on. I’ve worked remote and I have never had a problem. I can personally guarantee you wouldn’t regret hiring me.

While this candidate is busy patting themselves on the back, and bragging about how great he thinks he is, what about the employers? He claims he wants to work remote, but is not interested in out of state jobs. If the job is remote, why does it matter if it is out of state? This led me to not consider this candidate seriously. In fact, I passed him by as soon as I read that. Had this candidate shown less bragging, I would have gone further.

A great way to convey the same message, and appear teachable, is to discuss the challenges of the remote work you have done, how you have learned and grown in previous positions, and why you feel that you are better. Instead of telling people you can code securely, why not explain in a few words what you had to learn, and how you keep those skills up. And never personally guarantee an employer would not regret hiring you, because how are you guaranteeing that anyway? Are you going to repay all the salary plus benefits to that employer should you not fit in before they break even?

Experience Needed

When you respond to an open position, please show that you have the experience we need. This can bite people in the backside from different angles. One is trying to say you have more experience than what you really have, and the other is showing you have experience but are way beyond what we need, over-qualified. The first one is really funny to see. I had a resume that said they had nine years experience, and they were 23 years old. They were responding to an opening I had for a senior programmer. Nine years sounds pretty senior, however, the age is what calls into question the experience. If they have nine years experience, what were they doing at age 14, 15, 16, 17 that would make me see that they had real experience? I would have been better off to see five years of experience, because that is a little more understandable and capable. So do not try to pad your experience years. I do go back in your history and analyze.

The other end is the over experience, or over-qualified. I see resumes applying for positions for a Sr PHP Developer, and on the current or most recent employer it shows Sr Architect/President. Or the job title is something like CIO, or IS Director. This candidate may really want to just be a senior programmer, but I have to think about my needs with experience. I need someone senior, but not someone to run the show. Or it could be this candidate worked at a small company where the CIO title was just that, a title and maybe had a team of 2 people, including the candidate, and the company size was a total of 4 people. Do not oversell your title if that is not what you really did, and if you want to go to a position that is perceived lower than your current position.

Know What You Claim

I come across resumes on occasion where they claim many things, they put things on the resume that will get them past HR screeners. While this may work well, it eventually comes to me. And I do not care for buzz words. I care about substance. What are you putting on your resume that you did not really do? One resume I had claimed the candidate did a lot of PHP security and testing. However, in the work experience, the candidate did not list anything about security projects, or testing. It could be an oversight. However, if the claim is that you are doing a lot of security projects, then I expect to see at least one in your history.

Another resume I saw made the claim about test driven development. I immediately had a bad feeling that the candidate was not going to be able to show this. However, to my surprise, they had a resume that showed test-driven development projects, and it was written in a way that made me see that the candidate knew what he was talking about. This makes such a great impression on me. If one makes a claim on the resume, and then backs it up, I am very willing to bring them in for an interview.

Carry Yourself Properly

A lot of debate has gone on in the web about whether or not a person should be found online when doing screenings. I read an article once that said they would never hire a PHP candidate if that candidate could never be found on the web doing a simple Google search. They wanted to see contributions to projects, articles, etc. While this is a pleasant bonus if I find this, I do not care about that part. I work a ton, so does my team. They have lives outside of work, and I do not expect them to be contributing to frameworks, platforms, etc if they do not want to. What I do care about is what I can find about you on the web. This world has become so inter-dependent on the internet, that now almost anything you do can be found, especially if you are not careful.

When looking at resumes, I find ones I really like, then go on a scavenger hunt. I check LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google groups, everything. It is amazing how many people do not think about things before they post it. When I find something, I am seeing what happens, how does this candidate carry them-self outside of work. It may sound creepy, and it may sound over-zealous, but it is important in this day and age, for a company to know they are hiring the right person. I do not care if I see pictures of the candidate at a party with alcohol, skydiving, kids events, etc. Those are not bad. This is life. What worries me is when all I see are pictures of the candidate passed out drunk, puking over everything, multiple pictures of the candidate fighting others, etc. One designer we were setting up for an interview sent over a resume with a Facebook URL. I looked at it. All it had were pictures of the candidate over-partying, drunk, stumbling around women trying to “grope” them. All the posts were similar, about going out drinking/partying, where was the next big event, who he sex with, etc. I called and canceled the interview. He may have been a brilliant designer, but based on what I saw, I was not sure I could have that dynamic in my team.

It is not bad to share. But share what you feel would be a good representation of you. Remember, you are trying to convince a company they should pay you money for work you will do. You are not trying to get a prize for the Darwin Award. You are looking for a job, not a social club.

Training and Schooling

I always look for training and schooling. I do not expect a four year degree always. Especially in PHP, so few colleges teach it. I went to college too, I know the nonsense they teach. I also know the nonsense you learn in class. Usually the classes are taught by professors or adjunct faculty that may not be in the technology world anymore. And technology moves fast. Already the New iPad is here, and before you know it, it will be outdated. So I do not always care to see a college or degree, but what I do care to see is an actual path of training and schooling you have done. Where did you learn? What did you learn? If you have no college, but an extensive career, show me how you cut your teeth, and how the projects increased. I had one resume for a Sr Admin position where the college experience was only a community college, and the experience started at Sr Unix Admin. No junior, or regular experience, just immediately at the Sr level. I know they did not go to community college and get a SR job right out the door. And I am sure they had more experience, but I could not see it. I could not see how they were taught, or where, or what they did. Always show a path of training of schooling, even if it is not at a traditional college.

And if you do have college experience and/or a four year degree, what did you study? What did you do while at college? Did you have a project that you really enjoyed, and helped you grow? This is more important for those coming right out of college with little experience. College projects are always in a controlled environment, so they are viewed differently. But I am looking for what you studied and what you learned. And if you get an interview, I just may ask you about that too. Which leads us into the next area.


This is the crux of your experience. This is what will separate the resumes. And these projects do not need to be intensive items like an online banking portal, they can be simple ones. I reviewed a resume that listed a local area sports league where the candidate worked on a project to get a portal up so the parents of the kids could post pictures, teams had their own areas, schedules, announcements, etc. It was not anything major, and basically consisted of a few pages. But this project description on the resume explained about the security features instituted, the need for the proper UI experience, the DB interaction, the framework, the business rules and requirements. It showed me that this candidate not only was a part of the project, but that he had a sense of ownership to the project.

The project descriptions I would personally stay away from mentioning:
– you were part of a team; that should be a given, if you are building an app for a company, no matter what the size is, you would have had to interact with someone besides yourself
– the project was interesting; this should go without saying, yet I see this so often
– you were responsible for some part of it; I know you are assigned a specific part, but you forget to mention what that was usually, and again, I see this so often that someone was responsible for the “X” of the project, and never goes into any detail
– dealing with issues that come up; I have yet to encounter a project that runs exactly like it was projected, tell me how you overcame conflicts, not that you dealt with them

Make sure you also go into numbers, achievements, and success stories. How did your work help the overall organization (if you know), what successes did you have. If we get to the point of an interview, I will ask more detailed questions about this project. It is on you to help get me to the point where I am excited to hear about the project.


Above all else, what I look for is common sense and critical thinking. I look for people who want to grow and learn and expand their career. Some of the jobs we do are tedious and sometimes boring and dull. I am looking for people who are smart enough to realize that and make these more interesting for everyone. If you want something specific, make sure you tailor your resume for that. Be yourself and be honest. Be confident, but not cocky. Be realistic, but visionary. Do this, and the resume may just pass you to the next stage.

Take your SOPA and stick it up your PIPA

Today is blackout Wednesday. Many sites are blocking content, or blocking entire sites altogether. Places like Wikipedia and WordPress and Reddit are all blacked out today. Others like Google are blacking out logos but still providing the services. (BTW, those sites are really not completely blacked out, from what I have seen, it is just the main page). Which leads to the arguments of what exactly is SOPA and PIPA, and why do they exist, and how will that affect the individual.

First off, lets get into what to get each bill sorted.

SOPA, H.R.3261.IH: H.R.3261 — Stop Online Piracy Act (Introduced in House – IH)
According to the bill and the definition, it is to stop foreign online piracy attempts that are directed towards the United States.

PIPA, S. 968 RS: ‘Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011’ or the ‘PROTECT IP Act of 2011’
To prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property, and for other purposes.

One of the bills, (H.R.3261) is the House bill, and the other (S. 968) is the Senate bill. The Senate version (PIPA) has been around longer, and is not quite as severe as the House bill (SOPA). However, when one looks at both bills, it is like asking if you would prefer permanent violent diarrhea over daily kicks in the groin with a steel-toed boot.

Both bills seem to serve a good purpose, protecting intellectual property and content protection are very important. The way these bills are attempting to do this, however, is not the correct way. It is making criminals out of everyone, and basically turning the Constitution of the United States of America on its head by now proclaiming that one is guilty until proven innocent. I encourage everyone to read both bills, even if you do not understand the legal-speak in these bills, it is important to familiarize yourself with the bill. I posted links to both bills above. And as I go through my thoughts, I will also link other sites that I read about the bills.

First, I want to express why I am adamantly against the bill in principle as a United States citizen. I love the Constitution and feel this country has strayed too far from the Constitution. I am not going to get all political about the destruction of this country by the greed of both parties, but I am going to focus this solely on the bills themselves. In one section of SOPA, section 103.5.ii it states:

In the case of an Internet site specified in the notification under paragraph (4) that is a foreign Internet site, a statement that the owner or operator, or registrant, consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, and will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under paragraph (4), or an agent of such person, for purposes of adjudicating whether the site is an Internet site dedicated to theft of U.S. property under this section.

This quoted section troubles me, because the United States is effectively telling other countries that it no longer will recognize their sovereignty and will go after individuals in their country without regard. if a site in another country is doing bad things, the US is wanting to throw out all international laws/agreements and will trample other countries’ right to rule as they see fit. How arrogant is this? In order for any website owner to challenge any accusations, they have to agree to be subject to US Jurisdiction. Now just what do you think the US would do if another country, say Iran pulled this type power play on US Citizens?

Second, why is Congress trying to criminalize the internet? These challenges only happen after action has been taken on the website owners. In an article by Brian Proffit on the site IT World, titled SOPA sponsors deride criticisms as ‘myths’, he examines the SOPA bill and points out some very crucial pieces of the bill. These are what I would consider grossly un-Constitutional. Once a site has been targeted as a “rogue” site, then it has five days to be removed. In his words:

A copyright holder need only accuse a website of infringement, and the search engine, advertisement, and payment system would be cut off in five days. The DNS filtering would still need the involvement of the Department of Justice to get a court order, but again, there would be no need to prove anything to obtain such an order from a judge.

So all that is needed is an accusation, and sites can be taken away from searches, ads, etc with no requirement to provide legal proof. And according to this bill, the only way a website owner may find this out is when the ad revenue no longer comes in, which could take up to three weeks. Again, this is against the very basics of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Site owners have no legal ability to block these accusations, as all it takes is an accusation with no legal cause, or no litigation with due process. This is one of those ideas that the Founding Fathers fought, bled and died for.

OK, two big major reasons that I do not support this bill, and we have not even touched the technical aspect of this bill. And I know we are kind of ignoring PIPA, but SOPA is such a drain that it deserves this level of scrutiny. The next great article I encourage everyone to read, is by Mashable’s Chief Architect, Chris Heald. The article, titled Why SOPA Is Dangerous examines the different technical aspects of this bill, and why it is bad. Heald does a great job conveying the point, and I strongly suggest you read through the entire article. Some main points that I agree with in the article:

  • Section 102.a.2 allows the US Attorney General (AG) to go after any foreign site that facilitates infringement. Comment boxes facilitate infringement. Furthermore, if the US government is not liking any foreign site, like Wikilinks, they now have the power to effectively shut it off to any US address.
  • Section 103 allows for the definition to be so broad that any site that allows user submission of content can be defined as one facilitating and enabling copyright violation. Imagine some of the most popular sites, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even StumbleUpon all become potential targets. It does not matter if you take it down, if you as a web site owner are not actively screening content for copyright violations, you can be liable.
  • Any site that is possibly infringing and already taken down now has to deal with likely loss of ad revenue, search placements, payment portals, etc. Not to mention any legal fees that are associated with recovering any lost time or availability. Now the government is going to tell non-government entities how to run their businesses when it comes to content protection. Never mind that the government still has no clue about technology to begin with, and most people in Congress today still do not know there is no “any” key.
  • The most troubling section is the one entitled “The Bulldozer”. I highly suggest everyone read this section and really take it in. If anyone thinks this will not happen, they need to remember that the RIAA went after a family with no computer, people who had no internet, or dead people or when they went after a 12 year old girl for using Kazaa

Another good article on the reasons these bills are not worth the trouble is from Paul Rosenzweig of the Heritage Foundation. In this article he states:

Adding to their other problems, SOPA and PIPA simply would not work. Even if the Attorney General obtained a blocking order that stopped Verizon from letting one go directly to a pirate website, it is relatively easy to work around the block. We can reasonably predict that a host of redirector domains would soon spring up, many of them linked to ISPs outside the United States and outside the Attorney General’s jurisdiction. And after that, there would be downloadable program applications to get to those redirectors. Indeed, one such program, known as “DeSOPA,” has already been developed and deployed as a proof of concept effort and can be downloaded as a Mozilla Firefox extension.

Would this really make you feel safe online?

The last source I used was a blog from Washington Post. The author, Brad Plumer, writes of five reasons these bills are being protested. Even if they do not do DNS blocking, it still limits free speech, it causes a huge overhead on free services now, no legal oversight on taking sites down, and most importantly, copyright owners already have the power to take down sites. From the blog post:

Copyright holders such as the the record and movie industries currently have the legal authority to force sites to remove infringing material under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown procedures. Now, the content industry says that it doesn’t have nearly enough weapons — every time it cracks down on a pirate site, five more appear in its place. But, if anything, there’s a case that the content industry currently has too much power. The Justice Department has often proven over-aggressive in taking down domain names — read, for instance, the gory details of the Justice Department’s botched attack on, a music blog that was taken down for a year after being falsely accused of infringement.

They already have the power, and they have abused it. And it is important to read the gory details as another example of how this power has already been over-stepped. And Congress wants to give them more power? I think it is important to quote parts of that article from Tech Dirt and author Mike Masnick:

ICE’s “investigation” was done by a technically inept recent college grad, who didn’t even seem to understand the basics of the technology. But it didn’t stop him from going to a judge and asking for a site to be completely censored with no due process . . .

evidence showing that the songs that ICE used in its affidavit as “evidence” of criminal copyright infringement were songs sent by representatives of the copyright holder with the request that the site publicize the works — in one case, even coming from a VP at a major music label. Even worse, about the only evidence that ICE had that these songs were infringing was the word of the “VP of Anti-Piracy Legal Affairs for the RIAA,” Carlos Linares, who was simply not in a position to know if the songs were infringing or authorized. In fact, one of the songs involved an artist not even represented by an RIAA label, and Linares clearly had absolutely no right to speak on behalf of that artist . . .

After continuing to stall and refusing to respond to Dajaz1’s filing requesting the domain be returned, the government told Dajaz1’s lawyer, Andrew P. Bridges, that it would begin forfeiture procedures . . .
the deadline for the government to file for forfeiture came and went and nothing apparently happened. Absolutely nothing. Bridges contacted the government to ask what was going on, and was told that the government had received an extension from the court . . .
He also asked for a copy of the the court’s order allowing the extension. The government told him no and that the extension was filed under seal and could not be released, even in redacted form.

He asked for the motion papers asking for the extension. The government told him no and that the papers were filed under seal and could not be released, even in redacted form.

He again asked whether he would be notified about further filings for extensions. The government told him no.

He then asked the US attorney to inform the court that, if the government made another request for an extension, the domain owner opposed the extension and would like the opportunity to be heard. The government would not agree.

After all of the examples of the government and certain entities’ egregious examples of over-stepping and abusing authority, Congress thinks that they should have more power, and with less legal oversight? Content protection is important, and we need to find a way that can protect content but not stifle creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation the internet has provided. These bills are very wrong, and do nothing to help curb content piracy.

Please take some time, read through the articles I posted. Comment if you feel I am wrong. Comment if you agree. Comment because it is a right you have, to speak freely. SOPA and PIPA are not solutions, they are problems. They create more problems. Some sites are “black” today in protest to SOPA and PIPA. Do not let Congress get away with this power grab. Read up on the bills, read up on the positions for and against. Form your own opinion and create your own voice. Do not let anyone ever take away your voice. SOPA and PIPA are looking to do exactly that.

New Year, New Views

As the past year ends for most people, and as the new year picks up, many people are hopeful. Some more so than others. Some of the people that are focusing on a great New Year is the workers at Facebook, with their soon-to-be IPO, which they are hoping the company is valued at $100 B. And why not? Saw this on one of the news sites, but according to a ZDNet article, Facebook is now a primary cause for a third of all divorces in the UK. Communication methods are changing, and social networks are taking over the main avenue of interacting. Emails and texts still play a role, but more people are interacting with social media. But it does not need to be all about the negative aspects of the new communication streams.

For the end of the last year and going into this year, we are visiting family in another state. We have friends here and we always like to get together. When we set up the dinner re-union, it is done via Facebook. Not email, not texts, not even phone calls. Facebook is the main mode of communication and coordination. Everyone is part of the message, or post (all tagged so everyone can provide input), we all can comment and then we can go back to the message for reminders or directions.

Social Media has been around for a while now, but it is still in its infancy. Much like the internet boom and bust of the early turn of the century, we still have a lot to learn on this new front. We are still struggling to come to know what to do with all of these new avenues, and use them properly. We are most likely experiencing the same effects that happened when the telephone came to popularity and the TV took over.

WWDC: New Ideas or Something Else

So today is the WWDC kick off, and we learned that Apple is going to release the new OS and mobile OS later this year. Why should this be important to anyone? Because it is starting to get the thought that not everything should be static and stuck at one location. While OSX Lion does sound cool, what interests me more is the iCloud. The world is evolving more and more each day. Remember when computers were something you only used in some jobs and always at the office? Now we are at cell phones and mobile devices being able to do almost everything you could do at a traditional workstation. And this really does change things.

I am not an Apple fanboy, although I do use almost everything Apple. I do not have an unhealthy allegiance to Steve Jobs, and I do not wait outside at midnight to get the latest Apple device. I like Apple because it provides many things I have wanted and did not get with a Windows machine. But I also hammer the hell out of my devices too. I use them all the time, to code, to develop, to play and to browse the web. So I do demand a lot from my devices. And Apple has always been good to me. However, I do not ignore the Microsoft patterns either. As I type this, I have a VM for Windows 7 running (and a VM with CentOS running too).

One thing I think that has been missing, is being able to move from device to device and keep everything without having to re-sync all the time. This is not just music and apps, but documents, and flowcharts, and other items. Now I will want to see how iCloud addresses this problem. It seems to be pretty good. But only time will tell if Apple hit the nail on the head with this one, or if it hit its thumb like it did with MobileMe.

Time to take a break

For this weekend I am going to take a break. But here are a few articles I have viewed and read today:

Google and the new Wallet and Offers – does anything really need to be said?

AltLy – Now this one I find really funny. This is a supposed alternative to Facebook, yet is using Facebook for Likes and Pages. I signed up anyway, figure why not, give it a try when it comes out.

Urban Outfitters steals yet another artists design and work – Is it just me or does this place really wreak. And I have to say, every time I walk by one of their sister stores in the mall, it stinks to high heaven of pretentiousness and poser-ness.

iPad 3 News about the screens – Yes, that is right, already the iPad 3. Apple’s motto? Never miss an opportunity to market products via rumour that do not exist. I honestly think they really have a whole department that does nothing but start rumours and help perpetuate them.

Crisis Communications from An Unlikely Source – Really great article for how Twitter helped in the storm ravaged area.

Microsoft’s Ballmer must go, says hedge fund tycoon – Alot of what this covers I agree with. And as full disclosure, I was a Microsoft person, heavily. And they seemed to lose sight and touch with actual reality. Remember when Ballmer said the iPhone would do nothing. Yeah because Apple’s other previous product the iPod was such a disaster right Ballmer? And how about that Zune, where is that now?


Today I am going to break from the schedule and post about something different, jobs.

In this country (and I am sure around the world), jobs are hard to come by. What is even more difficult is finding the right kind of job where one is happy and challenged. Not every job is glamorous, and not every job will make you a millionaire. There has to be something out there that will make one happy, challenge them and make it not seem like a job. Too many people are out there working 80 hours a week out of fear of losing the job. Do more, cost less, and be more productive seems the be the sense in businesses today. Salaries are going lower for the regular every day worker, while the hours have gone up. Fear of being out of a job for months can drive that person to work a ton and kill themselves in the job.

Yes, I speak from firsthand experience. Getting downsized, or re-structured, from a business you put your life into really sucks. And when you do get a job after that, sometimes there is a fear that drives the person to work harder (not always more efficient mind you), work longer hours, not cost as much, and more like this. In the past, businesses were more loyal to the worker. Today, they are not. As much as we build strong relationships with the people at the job, when it comes down to the bottom line, everyone is a number, figure against the balance, and can always be expendable. Which is sad.

I think more people would be dedicated, and take ownership of their work if they knew that they were not expendable, and at any downturn in the economy, they would be safe. And I know this does not apply to everyone, but I feel that it would be a lot better. We all want to do something cool with our lives, and have a legacy. Too many times we misplace that legacy as a product of our work, instead of family and service. We put all our effort, time and energy into the job, one that many of us dread going to every morning, and then spend maybe 1 hour a day with family.

Sure, I am writing this from the perspective of a father and husband. And I know many out there are either single or have no intention of having children. And that is fine, there is no problem with that as well. But there are other legacies out there. Service and helping others out. Taking time to help others is huge, and touches more lives than we will ever know. It provides a sense of self worth and confidence. And if nothing else, it helps one maintain perspective.

Yes we all need to pay bills and provide for ourselves or our family. I am not saying go quit your job and live like a hippy. In fact, I am saying just the opposite of that. Find something that makes you happy, and does not suck your soul. Make it so that you can be excited about the day, instead of watching the clock for the end of the shift.

Will you really know what it takes

So I am entering week three of this month and trying to get things completed. So here is the latest in the line of items that will be done this week:

Monday – Will you really know what it takes; Planning ideas and thoughts
Tuesday – PHP Web Service Example; focusing on coding
Wednesday – Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter oh my!; ideas and code segments for people like me, social lepers
Thursday – I am Here; examinations on location services, social integration and strategy
Friday – Funny quotes; fun stuff to finish up the week

For today, it is going to be short, and more of something to think about. Someone asks you to do something. You have this project in which you need to rely on other groups and other people to help complete the project. Will you really know what it takes? Sure, we may really be in tune with what is out there, and we may understand our part in this, but when we start to get more people and other groups involved, it can become a little confusing as to what it will really take. These other groups may not have the time or resources to work on this project right away, so that may introduce more meetings and political suave to convince a different set of executive management to understand your project. Time allowed for the work to be completed may be a question that comes up as well.

What about your own personal time? How much do you have on your plate, and how interesting is your work? Is this new project something you see as wonderful, and a challenge that is good? Or is it more of a mundane routine you are seeing yourself increasingly doing more often? Is your heart in the project, if it is not, how will that affect the effort you put in? When everything is said and done, your name will be associated with this project, in some way shape or form. Is this something you will be proud of, or will it haunt you later in your career?

400 Words to Madness

So ends the week, on Friday the 13th no less. I have less than 400 words to sum up the week:
Monday: work
Tuesday: work
Wednesday: work
Thursday: work
Friday: work

Not really a big change or variety. However some very interesting things happened this week in other news. And relating a story that came to me at work this week. Life is full of randomly boring events happening independently. But put all those items together, and it becomes a really interesting and fun experience. And that is what life should be, fun and entertaining. So while I finish this post off for this week, I am just going to remind everyone that life is worth living and experiencing.

Items to possibly watch this weekend:
The Office episode this week (DVR’d)
Hot Tub Time Machine
Easy A
Harvey (you can never ignore the classics)
The Seventh Seal (one of the best art house movies)

I also need to get outside and get some sun, clean my motorcycle, etc. But what movies would you watch if you could?

Following the Yellow Brick Road

Location services, another word for allowed electronic stalking. Yet it is something that is getting more traction. Sure it may not seem like a big deal to some, to others it is the lifeblood, and still to others, it is an answer to a question no one asked. So what is so amazing about social media/location services and why should anyone follow this yellow brick road?

Well, first off, lets answer that with some common sense. First off, I do not really care to know if you checked in at your bathroom. I also really do not care if some vending machine is giving you your favorite drink. I think the movie “Easy A” sums it up best:

Mr. Griffith: [to Olive] I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought…but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds. “Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.” Who gives a rat’s ass?

Exactly! Some social media use goes way overboard and way too much information. It is like everyone in a room talking extraordinarily loud saying nonsense and spouting the first thing to come into their mind. Yes it can be funny at times, but it soon becomes annoying. People turn this off, and soon ignore all other information coming from these sources, even if it is important and pertinent. Make it worth the time to read/listen.

Restaurants are already seeing the value of this. Checking in at the place can give you a discount, free appetizer, etc. Movie theatres would be wise to step up with this as well, maybe even distribution companies too. Imagine this: Checking in at a theatre with a mention of which move you are seeing = free popcorn. Heck, my wife would tweet that without hesitation. And what does it really cost the theatre for the popcorn? (Besides, I am convinced that they make all their money on soda anyway, you pay $8 for a large cup that contains mostly ice and maybe a teaspoon of actual soda). Not only would the theatre be getting basically free advertising, so is the movie!

Not sure how to start this up? Try Mashable: HOW TO: Set Up a Foursquare Special. Great information in that article. Make it worthwhile, and make it relevant. Remember Mr. Griffith’s very astute observation.

Two People Get On an Elevator

This week it is going to be a little different for all posts. I am still going to follow the format from the past weeks, but all posts this week will be 400 words or less. Including the code posts I will be doing.

Up for this week:
Monday – Two People Get On an Elevator; Planning ideas and thoughts
Tuesday – Count the Number of Cakes; focusing on coding
Wednesday – Who Do You Like; ideas and code segments for people like me, social lepers
Thursday – Following the Yellow Brick Road; examinations on location services, social integration and strategy
Friday – 400 Words to Madness; fun stuff to finish up the week

Some of the best ideas are planned in 400 words or less. At one company, this was called the elevator pitch. You have that short of a time to sell someone on your idea. Have you planned it through? Do you even know what it will do beyond your own comprehension? These are things to remember when trying to plan for the pitch. Not everyone is able to just quit their job, work on their own project and be able to fund their ideas, equipment to get up and going, and market this thing. Many people need to have some kind of investor(s) backing. So how would you sum up some of the greatest products in less than 400 words.

One semester I had to come up with ideas to do this. We had to take products that already existed, examine what they did, what benefit they provided, and why they were in demand. These products were not necessarily ones that we knew of. And we had to present these benefits to the rest of the class, and had to do it in under 4 minutes. We could not talk fast, and we had to be coherent. Our grades were going to be determined by anonymous feedback from the rest of the class. If the pitched worked, we would get good grades. If not, we would fail.

In the real world, it is much the same. You have about 400 words to sell your idea. You have made the plans, models, diagrams, etc. Now you need to get someone to back this idea. Much like everything else, you must plan for this. Highlight good points, ROI, and ease of use. Practice on other products. In 400 words, describe the product and your vision.