Tag Archives: career

Technology Jobs in Smaller Communities

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I grew up in Iowa, and I was a big Evangelist in Iowa as far as helping to bring small businesses to Iowa. Mike sent me an email, asking what I thought about Iowa enticing Microsoft into building a DataCenter in DesMoines … especially in light of the recent Class Action Lawsuit against Microsoft.

I think it’s a great idea for any business to go into a location that is stateside which doesn’t necessarily have… well. Maybe DesMoines isn’t as “sexy” as San Fransisco, LA or Chicago. However, that weakness is also the strength. The costs are much lower for nearly everything. The people are more down-to-earth in general. This makes it easier to attract and keep good employees for the long-term.

Microsoft has said it must have a good supply of energy, water, workers and certain fiber optics. So the location would have to be near a power plant, have an available network of “dark fiber,” have a substantial water supply, and be along an interstate. Iowa lawmakers are trying to fast-track a set of tax breaks for Microsoft through the Iowa House this week. The legislation would offer a state sales and use tax exemptions on purchases of computers, equipment and electricity necessary for use in a Web portal business with an investment of at least $200 million in Iowa. And the technology equipment inside the building would be exempt from property taxes. The tax breaks are the same as the ones lawmakers passed last year to lure high-tech giant Google.

Overall, I think ANY big business would benefit greatly by opening up off-shoots in smaller communities.


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Making an Investment in Yourself for Business

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Robert has sent in some excellent tips for going into business, saying: “I will say I have learned all this and more since opening my first business in the Philippines which was a Drinks shop and I’m only 19. Its been open for just under a year and I’m soon to open my second one.”

  • Market Study – See what your local and Global markets desires,wants and needs are. If you introduce a business that delivers a product or service for the minority of people that have money you will either fail or have a seasonal income.
  • Dont put all your eggs in one basket – Simply you believing that your business will work is by far not enough. Have thoughts and considerations to alternative business lines you would be happy breeching into. Sure business is going to put a big hole in your pocket but this is exactly the one reason why you should have more than one pocket. Putting all your money into that one business and then leaving your self financial broke without any backup plan or way of ever continuing life without that business is why many early entrepreneurs fail and leave them selves in worse off conditions than before they ever began.
  • Mind your own Business – I will give credit to the title of this tip, a Robert Kiyosaki the author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and it is simply about minding your own business. Not in the sense that you shouldn’t know or take interest in what peoples personal affairs are but more that when you have already established your business, Never for one moment let your mind slip on how your business is being run. Small errors and little mistakes end up being big hassle when it gets to you. Then at the end of the day your the one loosing and your the one to sort it out. Keep records and keep track of everything that happens with your business. Money transfers, incoming stock, out-going stock the list is endless and the list depends on your line of business. The success of your business starts with the correct management and since its your business you have to be the manager.
  • Reinvestment – Although at the end business is about money never expect to make fast money in your first opening years. Another top reason for entrepreneurs to fail or quit is the unclarity of the return investment. Most inverters expect a fast return and this simply cannot be. What you should be doing in your first year is reinvesting in your business. For example the profit you make out of your products or service should go into: a) Expanding the range of products or services you have to offer, b) Promoting and advertising your business to places that may not know already, c) General maintenance to your equipment/Building etc, d) maintaining a reliable service for your regular and non-regular customers.
  • Staff / Employee’s – Just picking up anyone from the street that wants work and doesn’t mind what they get paid is asking for trouble. Also the adverse of that, finding an over qualified individual can be just too much hassle. Here are a few pointers in finding the right staff:
    • Check their history before employing them, most times if there is a criminal record attached to them they don’t tend to loose there trade
    • Check their personal appearance, if your gut reaction is bad imagine how your customers will feel being greeted by that person
    • Trust, this one is urned over time but one mistake of bad trust and there should be no hesitance for you to get rid of that person straight away
    • Have them trained in the way you would like your customers to be treated and make sure this training is thorough to every little detail. For example if one of your customers accidentally leaves his wallet in your shop, your staffs standard procedure should be to take that wallet and pass it to the front desk, most likely that customer will come back and wont have to worry about his wallet ending up in the wrong hands
    • Lastly keep your staff happy and let them enjoy working for you, keep an open mind of being equal with them but also letting them know your still the boss and should be respected. Happy staff can equal a satisfied customer so keep this in mind when it comes to the personalty of your staff, although you can never really change the personality, you can always change the person.


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Technology Career Advice

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Brian emailed me to ask my advice on getting into a Technology career. He states that he doesn’t have the capacity to learn physics and math in order to get a degree in Computer Science. He is wondering about possibly programming, networking, or even system building.

I’ve talked with several friends who are in the Technology field before about this same thing. All of us say the same thing to each other: College helped us get to where we are, but not in a classroom capacity. It’s the things we learned outside of the classroom that helped us the most. My degree is actually in English Education. I had planned to become an English teacher. One day when I was student teaching, it just suddenly hit me. I said out loud “what am I doing? I should be working with computers”. My seventh-grade class sitting in front of me were all like “DUH!”. I was the last to know.

You are your own person. Follow your heart. Take small or temporary jobs, and see what just clicks for you. If your dream job doesn’t exist, then create it. Will that be easy? Of course not. But in the long run, it’ll be the most rewarding path, trust me on this. I cannot tell you what to study, or even where and how to study it. That has to come from within yourself.

If you’re interested in programming, though, I’d like to recommend Squeak. Squeak is a modern, open source full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable – even its virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk making it easy to debug, analyze, and change. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications, educational platforms to commercial web application development. It’s an excellent beginning point for learning programming, aimed at kids and teens. Don’t want to learn something for “kids”, eh? Remember… start slowly. Baby steps are key.

If you have OS X, another good program to try out is Automator. Start creating workflows more easily than ever. Starting Points automatically displays a sheet in new workflow windows, from which you choose categories representing the things you want to do. Then select options from contextual pop-up menus.

I’m not the person you should be asking for career advice. The person you should be asking is the one you look at in the mirror. Take control of your future, and your destiny.

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How To Pursue A Career in Technology

http://live.pirillo.com/ – How do you get a career in the field of technology? Chris answers this question, and it turns out there may not be any really easy answer.

One service you may consider is GetTech.org:

GetTech, through its gettech.org web site and collateral materials, will help you prepare students (in fun ways) for tomorrow’s great jobs. Every element of the GetTech campaign, from the upbeat television and radio spots, to the posters, flyers and specialty items we urge you to distribute to the kids, is designed to introduce them to the many “cool” career opportunities they otherwise might overlook.

Job Search Affiliate Programs

You can generate RSS job searches through a single TagJag OPML pull: http://tagjag.com/jobs/keyword/opml (obviously, you’d want to replace the word ‘keyword’ with your own search term. I think I’ve uncovered just about every job search site that outputs RSS for search queries (if I’m missing any, please let me know). I only bring this up after being approached by at least four companies in the past month to start doing co-branded job search portals. While I’m sure this works well for some, it’s never really worked well for me in the past.

Even though I’ve just set job listings at $5 for 60 days through Simply Hired’s Jobamatic, I’m really not expecting a single bite. Why? Oh, maybe because I’ve set up job affiliate sites before and (despite sending good traffic) have wound up making far less than it costs me to buy a cup of Peet’s coffee.

When you join an affiliate program, you’re doing THEM the favor – NOT the other way around. I remember being impressed with Amazon’s affiliate revenue back in the day, and then millions of publishers came online during the dot-com boom. I’d have been lucky to score $20 in a quarter for sending traffic to Amazon after that. I’ve had a few small Amazon Web Services ideas brewing in my head, but have been waiting for a few more things to click before jumping on them (literally and figuratively).

It was suggested to me that the design of these co-branded affiliate programs may have been keeping people from clicking and posting. Page design has absolutely nothing to do with – and if it did, Craigslist would’ve failed before it started.

If I can’t hyperlink directly to specific back-fill job offers without losing the affiliate credit, success will be severely hampered (and I’ll be sending you even more “free” traffic). I understand I’m supposed to promote these links to my community, but do they understand that the same people (you) belong to 100 other communities that have job listings that are extremely similar (even if they’re not from the same service)?

Job search / job listings are a commodity – to an extreme degree. I could plug anybody’s URL for a year and maybe eke out one new customer and make a few bucks in affiliate revenue. These things simply DO NOT WORK without a hook, and hooks do not apply if everybody’s given the same set of tools. This is one of the reasons why having an API is a great start – but don’t leave those of us without extra developer cycles hanging.

It’s the classic affiliate conundrum.

My Career is Over

Or, has it only just begun?

Think Small

People are just now returning home and uploading their Gnomedex photos to the Internet (a lot of them to Flickr, and some elsewhere). However, I believe that Josh is in the lead with at least two “classic” shots. Kris Krug’s, Scott Beale’s, Steve Lacey’s, and Ted Leung’s shots should prove to be breathtaking. I’m finding several favorites from several Gnomedexers!