Time to DE-code, perhaps?

Nowadays, the most in-demand coding skill in the world is not the one that empowers you to build a startup that boosts national GDP, it’s the ability to perform advanced analysis on data that creates rich meaning from raw numbers.

Our educational system may be overweight in producing top coders. That’s been the emphasis in recent years in the curricula at universities worldwide. There is no doubt, nor argument from us, about the importance of developing this skill. But…

The lurch from employer-centric computing education to one driven by programming means the middle ground of tech skills – between basic computer proficiency and advanced code creation – has thinned out.

The two quoted call-outs, above, are pulled from this short article published by  VentureBeat. The author suggests a danger of a widening gap in the talent landscape shaped by the ‘code or die’ oath that dominates our collective mindset. The talented pool of programmers, today and upcoming, are servicing our insatiable appetite for finding and capturing data. The question the writer poses is, ‘Do we know what all of this data means?’. A good question!

WTIA DRAFT DAY SSScorrrree!

Prepping the playing field:

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The field markers are in place where the action is.

Final game notes for the players are given on the sidelines.

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The players were warmed up at Training Camp and learning the game plan.

Game rules are reviewed and questions answered.

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Hiring partners have taken their positions.

Game time!

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Every candidate meets every hiring partner. Every candidate has the same amount of time with every hiring partner. WTIA did #leveltheplayingfield on Draft Day.

If you’re interested in recruiting talent, speaking at the next recruiting initiative event, or sponsorship opportunities, contact: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org or let us know here.

The Road to WTIA’s Draft Day, June 25

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The turnout at Training Day on June 15, was tremendous and we enjoyed meeting and helping all the enthusiastic candidates that participated. It was an afternoon that was rich with insight and information from caring industry mentors and professionals. The one-on-one sessions gave new dimensions to approaching a job search for attendees. And if that wasn’t enough, there was a pop-up photography studio on site! Everyone was provided with a professionally produced headshot to use in their social media professional network platform of choice! How cool is that?!

Learn more about the selection process.

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Application Process

  • Candidates must be nominated by a tech educator
  • Eligible tech educators: University, Community College or tech program instructors (ie, Code Fellows, Dev BootCamp, Coding Dojo, etc)
  • Job types: QAE, SDET, TPM, PM, Information Security Analyst

Tech Educators
{Each instructor may submit up to 10 nominees}

  1. Submit an online Draft Day Nomination Form to refer a former or current class participant
  2. Provide Nominee with the Candidate Application Essay form

Nominees Must Submit

  1. Draft Day Candidate Application form: provided by the nominating tech educator
  2. Resume (resumes must be submitted as a word doc. PDF’s will not be accepted)

HELP WTIA #LEVELTHEPLAYINGFIELD

Nominate a candidate
Volunteer
Recruit Candidates
Sponsor

Contact Heather Craig: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org

Pilot Recruiting Program: DRAFT DAY — Yay!!

Washington Technology Industry Association will launch their Pilot Recruiting Program this month.3.16.16_Draft-Day-Heather-Craig-1-680x380
Brett Greene, Gina Phillips, and Eric Osborne participated in the Diversity & Disruption brainstorming session during FullConTech 2015, where the idea for WTIA Draft Day was first conceived.

We are pleased and excited to share Heather Craig‘s post from the Washington Technology Industry Association’s blog about the WTIA‘s pilot recruiting program, artfully titled, Draft Day. What’s the ‘big deal’,  you ask? Read on and consider the possibilities for talented candidates, from all backgrounds, when their career and life skills and experiences are presented anonymously. Need I say more? Read on.

Tech Recruiting is at a crossroads.  With startups and mid-size companies face stiff competition from big budget tech giants, companies of all sizes face budgetary, logistical and need constraints that have forced them into to an increasingly shallow talent pool. When discussing how they invest in recruiting, many companies admit to the unsustainable practice of sourcing from a limited pipeline of ‘trusted’ schools such as Stanford and MIT.

Meanwhile, a deep pool of talented students, veterans and candidates with non-traditional backgrounds are going unnoticed. To bridge this gap, WTIA is playing matchmaker to these two ships passing in the night, by building a unique Recruitment: Draft Day and Interview Prep Program: Training Day – to connect a diverse tech talent from underrepresented schools and training programs with local tech employers.

Draft Day aims to introduce candidates to a wide variety of tech companies; increase viability of under-represented schools as recruiting sources; and expand the talent pipeline for industry.

THE BLIND ROAD to DRAFT DAY, June 25: As the unifying voice for the tech community, WTIA assembled an impressive Advisory Council from local tech companies to help guide the application and future candidate selection process.

WTIA is partnering with regional Tech Ed program leaders who will nominate potential Draft Day participants. Nominators will submit an online questionnaire detailing why the candidate was selected, while candidates will submit resumes and answer three brief essay questions.

Here’s the twist. Applications will be stripped of the names of both the candidate and their respective college or training program before being reviewed by the Advisory Council. Neither the applicant review panel nor the potential employers will be privy to the information prior to the interview process. #LevelThePlayingField.

Top candidates will be selected to enter Training Camp. A one-day intensive interview-prep program providing resume review, mock interviews, panel discussions and other perks. After weighing resumes, essay questions, nominator testimonials and Training Camp performance, final candidates will then be selected to move on to Draft Day.

AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE: On Draft Day, candidates will rotate through employers in a speed-dating format. At the end of each round, both candidates and employers will score each other. Concluding final rounds, all will be revealed as names, evaluations and matches will be shared at a networking reception.

If you’re interested in recruiting talent at Draft Day, Speaking at Training Camp, sponsorship opportunities, volunteering or keeping up to date on our progress please contact: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org or let us know here.

What do you think about this idea? We want to know that, too!

Resume Reboot – Boot the Cover Letter

So the debate that used to rage about yes cover letter, no cover letter, elevator pitch cover letter, blah blah blah… is starting to calm down. If you have been in the job hunt for awhile you are already pretty knowledgeable about what falls into the ‘will not read, don’t bother’ pile. On top of the short list, without debate, is the cover letter.

Recall our discussion about Application Tracking Systems (ATS)?  The velocity and volume of applications that hiring managers receive simply cannot all be read so what could possibly make you think that a cover letter is going to get you through? This is an incontrovertible fact. And recruiters, especially those who work with third party recruiting software (and that means nearly all of them) confirm it.

So how do you distinguish yourself  within the four corners of your resume? Take a couple of minutes to check out this recent Fast Company article and then check over your resume.

Don’t agree? I would love to hear from you especially if your cover letter is what got you the job!

Be Rare and Remembered.

feedback225AM encourages developing mentors. 225AM believes that cultivating a strong social and professional network is an important, if not critical, dimension in how you build and strengthen (or lengthen) your career path. I have referenced opinions and called out advice that supported the same. So this leaves room for Steve Tobak’s recent post on Entrepreneur. He summarizes what generally appeals to us, as a society and community, in the relationships and associations that we make — our coterie of friends and business colleagues. Then he offers his observations.

He laments that what he sees trending now are people who behave or appear one way to the public but are completely different personalities on the inside. He doesn’t take a deep dive into the theory of ‘why’ and I get that because THAT is a much bigger question and Entrepreneur is not the proper forum for such a discussion. But I like that he has made a call for ‘authenticity’ in our collective engagement with each other.  I believe introducing that practice into ones own life, for the most part, is good. I am not advocating, nor is he, any extremes here. In other words, being genuine or authentic shouldn’t narrow or reduce your social graces to the point where you tend to offend. But such self-awareness may be an invaluable quality that in time and practice will make you stand out from the crowd in your private and professional life.

Tobak gives his opinion of the 10 Behaviors of Genuine People. How many of these describe you? Do you think he has overlooked one? Let me know.

 

The ‘Double Whammy’ in Employment

v2_1pagerDo we, in America (and worldwide), have a people or a talent shortage? This is not a simple question to toss off now that baby boomers are slowly but surely exiting the work force and the fresh faces coming on board seem to only aspire to join the over-served and very crowded service economy. These same job seekers seem to ignore or may even deride the skilled trades sector — which, according to ManpowerGroup, has taken the No. 1 spot for U.S. jobs most in demand, for the fourth straight year. This year’s incoming college freshmen may want to take note of this.ManpowerGroup_jobdemandWhat the heck? Why is this even important to bring up? Just consider this. Manufacturing Institute (MI) predicts that 2 million factory jobs will go unfilled because of a shortage of manufacturing engineers and experienced skilled trades and production workers. MI did some math to support their assertion that effort should be made to address why there is a manufacturing skills shortage. They claim that every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy. Every 100 manufacturing jobs creates another 250 jobs in OTHER SECTORS. That, on its face, is an obvious benefit to our economy and our future.

Of course there are a host of related political issues and structural causes for this apparent mismatch of people and skills and this is not the forum for such analysis. But are you at all interested in going a little further in thinking on this subject? Then check out this Ticker Tape to read some more, not as market investment research but, perhaps, for the investment in your own career.