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!

The Road to WTIA’s Draft Day, June 25

WTIA_trainingday

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.

Route_2_DraftDay

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!

Ashton’s strategy for building a life.

TRANSCRIPT: Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Award Acceptance Speech 8/2013

SceneSetting:

“What’s up? Oh wow. Okay okay, let’s be brutally honest — this is the old guy award, this is like the grandpa award and after this I gotta go to the geriatric home.

Personal View:

Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t get to do any of the things I get to do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.

My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life.

1. Opportunity

I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.

2. Being sexy.

The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.

3. Living life.

The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in.

Message:

So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”

Work [for] Your 2016 Network

Who doesn’t know about networking and how critical it is to learning about job prospects, developing mentor relationships or even earning a job interview for a position that you covet? You may know some folks that are very skilled at it. You may have some friends who are not-so-much. You might even include yourself in the ‘not’ group.Networking is a contact sport.

Whether you are in the ‘I got this’ group or the other, I encourage to check out an Entrepreneur.com article written by proclaimed network guru, Darrah Brustein. Your read will go quick and your skill-building understanding of how to develop or improve your networking skills will deepen. It might provide you some much needed momentum into 2016 and beyond.

Happy New Year!

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.

 

Stop networking…is one person’s opinion.

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I have met many millennial junior, senior and post-graduate students who are so enthusiastic, capable and eager to throw themselves into the workforce. Juniors are anxious to land that summer internship and seniors and post-grads (as well as new alums) are singularly focused on finding a living-wages job. One expects that with such determination and drive our gatherings would be a lively discussion and sharing of networking experiences and ideas for developing industry mentors or employee referrals. (A recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY reported that candidates who are referred to the hiring manager are twice as likely to get an interview — the holy grail of the job hunt — with 40% more likely to be hired over other applicants — winning!)

Instead, dead air filled the room and the enthusiasm was replaced by tentative silence. What I discovered is that most millenials think that the invitation/acceptance of connecting or friending someone on LinkedIn or Facebook is all there is to ‘networking’. There seemed to be no recognition that the very term ‘networking’ defines exchange of information, in short, communication. What I saw in the room was anxiety and puzzlement.

orgchartNetworking is fundamental to the art of getting a job. The silence was ultimately replaced with a question that was, apparently, common to the group: ‘But how do you network with someone in your network?’  So, I thought I would share a post I recently stumbled upon that attempts to answer that very question. Keeping in mind that it is one person’s opinion but I think that it is worthwhile to take it in and use it to introduce some self-awareness toward your next networking opportunity. In fact, it may take the anxiety out of networking.