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Archive: March - 2013 (18)

  • Women in Tech: Leadership Panel

    Last Thursday evening, Tech in Motion NYC held their first panel discussion: Women in Tech. With over 200 attendees and 7 brilliant panelists, the event was a huge success. 

    The event kicked off with a special guest appearance by Rachel Sklar, one of the founders of Sheryl Sandberg's new movement: Lean In. Not only was Rachel one of the founding editors at Huffington Post and Mediaite, but she is also the co-founder of Change the Ratio and TheLi.st (in beta). 

    After Rachel spoke about the Lean In movement, the highly anticpated panel kicked off.

    Panelists included:

    Some of the audience's favorite discussions were as follows:

    Carol Mirakove, the head of quality assurance at link-shortening site Bitly has worked as a leader in the tech industry for more than a decade, and though she says her current job is a great place for women, others have been the opposite. At previous jobs, office chat rooms and email lists would be filled with sexual and misogynistic jokes and images, she recalled.

    Merrill Beth Ferguson, the VP of technology as Jirafe, agrees. "There are so many incidents in my career of guys saying stuff like that," she said. "It does occasionally go too far. It's the rare occasion that I have thought there was anything going on other than cluelessness."

    Nikki Stevens, Director of Engineering at Refinery 29, addressed another hurdle that women deal with in the workplace: negotiating their self worth. Prior to starting with Refinery 29, Nikki was able to negotitate herself a $20,000 raise. She suggests, "Nobody wants to tell you how much they make, but they're willing to tell you how much you should make." So she approached people (particularly men) she worked with and asked, "How much do you think I'm worth?", and they gave her numbers. 

    Want to learn more about the event? Check out the highlight video! 

    Tech In Motion | Women In Tech from David Alex Films on Vimeo.

    Stay updated with Tech in Motion by becoming a member at http://www.meetup.com/techinmotionnyc/

  • Building a Personal Brand for Your Job Search

    By Brian Carey, Division Manager of Jobspring Philadelphia

    Companies spend millions of dollars every year creating their corporate brand. They strive to create a name that stands for something in prospects’ minds when they hear it or see it.  When you hear Google you think of “search”, or McDonald’s you think of “fast food.”  When most people think of personal brands, they think of celebrities like Tiger Woods or LeBron James, yet everyone has a personal brand.  As you look to build your personal brand you can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably already developed a personal brand. People recognize your name, what you’re working on, what you offer, and what you’re about.

    The keys to successfully building a personal brand are defining who you are, your unique abilities, and understanding other's perception of you. The biggest mistake people make is that they either brand themselves just for the sake of doing it, or that they fail to invest time in learning about what's in their best interest.  With the evolution of social media, a key place to start is building a powerful brand online. This will be the cornerstone of how you will get recognized.  Create profiles on networks like GitHub, Twitter, Google+, and maybe even Pinterest, to share your perspective and establish credibility within your community. When you develop your online profile, make sure people can find you when searching, by using key words that are the most relevant, and make sure your profile reflects those key words. Be sure and publish the recommendations and accomplishments that highlight your successes.

    Look at your personal brand as an investment.
    Your personal brand has the potential to last longer than your own lifespan. If you consider yourself to be in a particular game for the long-haul, whether it’s an online business, art, or selling cars, a good personal brand is an invaluable investment.

    Your personal brand is composed of three main areas:

    • What you’re ‘about’. Think about the key ideas that you would want people to associate with you. What’s your expertise or niche, or are you a jack of all trades?
    • Expertise. Every good brand involves the notion of expertise. Nike brands itself as an expert in creating quality and fashionable sportswear. Warren Buffet brands himself as an expert on investments. Even if you’re not interested in marketing your advice, you need to create the perception that you are very good at what you do.
    • Your style. This is not so much what you communicate about yourself, but rather, how you do it. Are you kind and unusually enthusiastic? Are you witty and raw? Are you confident and crusading? Your style of delivery should be as unique as any other aspect of your personal brand. This doesn’t mean you need to sit down and brainstorm how to be different; it’s something that is naturally who you are. 

    If you are a job seeker, you need a strong, positive personal brand to attract prospective employers, to be able to present who you are and get interviews.  As an employee, you need a good brand at work to make the best possible impression, define how you can contribute to the organization, and advance your career.

    Take some time to think about how you would like to be perceived to employers. This isn’t one of those things that simply takes a well-designed resume and catchy LinkedIn bio. The more effort you put into building a reputation online, as an authority in a certain field, the better your chances of sticking out in a sea of job seekers. Be original, be fresh, and be proactive!

  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report 3/26

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers!

    Here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:

    Boston

    Windows Blue Update Leaks Online With Tile Changes (Mashable.com)

    The newest  version of Windows Blue, said to make it even easier for users to multi-task, was leaked online earlier today.

    Submitted by: Adam Salk

    Smartphone app will now connect consumers to athenahealth’s network of doctors (Boston.com)

    In conjunction with a Colorado company, AthenaHealth has developed a mobile app that allows consumers to contact their doctors directly to solve medical problems.

    Submitted by: Lindsay Houle

    Chicago

    Who is Chicago’s Hottest Showcasing Startup? [Poll]  (Tech Cocktail)

    Vote on Chicago’s top up and coming start-up!

    Submitted by:  Brad Marek

    Former NFLer’s Tech Startup Aims to Connect Pro Athletes With Gamers  (NBC Chicago)

    Ever wanted to play Words with Friends against a famous athlete? This could be your chance!

    Submitted by:  Kevin McNamara

    Los Angeles

    CSS3 Introduction  (CSS Matter)  

    This article shares the new features of CSS3, what it can do, and resources!

    Responsive Web Design With Physical Units  (Smashing Magazine)

    Discusses ways to design while knowing the physical characteristics of your device.  

    Both Submitted By: Paul Cutter

    New York

    NYC Subways to Get More Touchscreen Travel Kiosks (ABCnews.Com)

    Technology continues to merge itself with New York City, now expanding into more public transportation than ever.

    Submitted by: Neal Singh

     

    Luring Young Web Warriors Is a Priority. It’s Also a Game.  (NY Times)

    Department of Homeland Security is now starting to look for children who know how to hack.

    Submitted by: Ryan Kincaid

    Silicon Valley

    Three soaring Silicon Valley IPOs in nine days, so what's next? (SiliconValley.com)

    With the recent IPO successes from 3 companies in Silicon Valley, several companies are planning to go public since the “IPO window is still open.”

    Submitted by: Danny Cavero

    Yahoo Buys Summly, 17-Year-Old Nick D'Aloisio's News Summarization App  (Huffington Post)

    Yahoo acquired a London based start-up, Summly, for just under 30 million making Nick D’Aloisio, the 17 year old founder, Yahoo’s youngest employee in history.

    Submitted by: Ouliana Trofimenko

     

    Don't see something on this list that you read about recently?  Comment below and share market information that's a must know!

  • Tech In Motion Silicon Valley: UX Meetup!

    On Thursday, March 14th, Tech In Motion Silicon Valley held a UX Meetup in our Jobspring Silicon Valley office.  It was a great night, bringing the UX and tech community of Silicon Valley together with lots of networking and lively discussion.

     

    We hosted guest speaker, Wendy Johansson.  Wendy is the Sr. Director of User Experience at Tout, a video social networking start-up and considers herself to be a UX generalist. 

    Before joining Tout, she was the User Experience Manager at Oolaya.  When she joined Oolaya at just 20 employees, she grew UX not only to be a team, but a user-centered design strategy for the company when she left at 350 people.  She spoke to our crowd about "Making UX Matter to Your Company" and her thoughts on making UX a strategy within your company and not just a deliverable.

     

    The energy in the crowd was infectious! UX professionals and tech enthusiasts came together and everyone seemed to agree that UX should matter to any company.  The presentation became more of a discussion amongst the audience and Wendy, which was great!

    We were able to ask Wendy a few questions about User Experience after the event.  Check out what she had to say!


    JS:
    A lot of Silicon Valley companies are building out in house design teams from scratch. I know that you were the first designer at Ooyala and helped build that team out. What is some advice you can give these companies when building out a team from the ground up?

    WJ: Don't just hire a bunch of UX folks and expect great UX to be the result! You need to have every team in the company understand what value UX will bring to the success of your product and be inviting and inquisitive in integrating UX into the company. Without everyone on board, you'll have a frustrated UX team that focuses more energy on fighting for their voice to be heard, instead of fighting for the user's voice to be heard. Second key is to stop seeking a unicorn - you want a UX designer that also front end codes? That's like asking your hairdresser to also design your wardrobe because they both concern outward appearance. It's not the same thing!

    JS: When and how should companies incorporate UX researchers into their team?

    WJ: At Ooyala, we didn't have a dedicated UX research team until we were ready to start building brand new products based on discovery and exploration of the industry. So we hired a really smart UX researcher to join the team and she started working directly with the Account Management team to set up a Customer Database to define what customers we talk to and when. This really helped us as a Product team to build trust with customers by not overloading them with research requests, and by ensuring we work with the same customers through the life-cycle of a product (from exploration to beta to release).

    JS: How have you seen UX design evolve in the last 5 years?

    WJ: The definition of "UX" varies wildly among different sized companies, different regions, different teams. However, I'm seeing UX becoming more of a "catch-all" term that incorporates user research, usability, information architecture, interaction design and visual design. So to a lot of people, UX is a generalist who can do all of those things.

    JS: What are some qualities you feel are essential to have to be a great UX leader?

    WJ: A great UX leader needs to be able to take a step back and see the bigger picture - not just the business case for a product, but the business case of the company. Not just the best user experience for a given product, but the best user experience that will scale as the product evolves. And a great UX leader sees the people.

    JS: What do you do to motivate your team and foster creativity?

    WJ: I think of my team as people, not as designers. People need to be challenged, need to have room to breathe and do what they're passionate about, and need to have work/life balance. So I'm incredibly concerned about how my team members are feeling as people and like to have very open communication with them about what's exciting or demotivating them. I also want each team member to feel accountable and proud of the quality of the user experience they're creating, so I enjoy "show and tell" of work to other designers (or the entire company!). This gets feedback from your peers and colleagues that you respect and pushes you to always do your best.

  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report: 3/18/13

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers!

    So here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:

    Boston

    This robot chimp turns into a tank (CNN.com)

    With the recent influx of natural disasters, the DARPA Robotics Challenged, backed by the U.S. Department of Defense is encouraging scientists to develop robotic first-responders to enter situations that are too dangerous for human first-responders.

    Submitted by: Kieran Carr

    MA to Pay Half the Cost of Tech Company Interns (Xconomy.com)

    To encourage tech talent to stay in the area post-graduation the MA government is offering to reimburse tech companies ½ of their interns’ salaries to ensure tech interns no longer go unpaid.

    Submitted by: Shane Tomlinson

    Chicago

    This 9-Step Checklist Will Sell Your Brand  (Tech Cocktail)

    Figure out your unique selling point with these 9 steps.

    Submitted by:  Lindsey Jefferson

    Zynga jumps on Yahoo takeover speculation  (Chicago Tribune)

    Zynga’s stock priced jumped to the highest since July amidst Yahoo buyout rumors.

    Submitted by:  Kevin McNamara

    Los Angeles

    The Coming Merger of Google Chrome and Android  (TIME)

    Are Android and Chrome on the path to a merge?

    Submitted By: Joe Vassel

    Smaller Tablets Gain Ground; Android Stealing Share from iOS  (LA Times)

    iOS is losing share to Android, while the sales of small, affordable tablets increases.

    Submitted By: Charlotte Haun

    Orange County

    BlackBerry CEO says iPhone UI is old, lacking innovation (www.intomobile.com)

    Thorsten Heins was very outspoken about the Blackberry 10 and its place in the smartphone market. It hasn’t taken off just yet but has had some early adapters.

    Submitted by:  Jason Shotwell

    Computer science enrollments soared last year, rising 30% (www.computerworld.com)

    Computer Science major applications rise by 30%.

    Submitted by:  Simon Asraf

    Philadelphia

    Top 15 Cities for Tech Startup Investments  (Mashable)

    A quick highlight and summary of the top 15 cities for tech startups.

    Submitted by:  Krissy Klignes

    Philly is the 9th Best City for Venture Capital Investment in Startups (Startup Roundup)  (Technically Philly)

    Highlights the startup ecosystem in Philadelphia community through the different types of startups and what they’ve added to the Philly startup community.

    Submitted by:  Kevin Maas

    Silicon Valley

    BlackBerry 10 OS review: Polished look, with plenty of kinks  (CNET)

    Blackberry 10 to be released in March to target the enterprise mobile market.

    Submitted by: Viet Nguyen

    Meet Feedly: The startup most likely to replace Google Reader  (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

    With Google shutting down its Reader services in July this year, Palo Alto based startup Feedly is already gaining usage and seems to be the front runner for Google Reader’s replacement among users.

    Submitted by: Caitlyn Williams

    Don't see something on this list that you read about recently?  Comment below and share market information that's a must know!

  • Tech in Motion Boston Hosts It's First Tech Mixer

    In a city as tech savvy as Boston it's not hard to join a group that will meet after work to discuss the latest technology developments or host a presenter who will evaluate the "next big thing." This month, Tech in Motion: Boston decided to break the mold and try something new- a Tech Mixer at Lir on Boylston street.  With the help of three fantastic start-ups we hosted an event that kept socializing as the main attraction but allowed for an entrepreneurial education for those who sought it.

    The three start-ups we hosted were Fashion Project, Studifi, and ZeroTurnAround- below are descriptions of the great things each company does.

    1. Fashion Project is a company that works predominantly with non-profit organizations.  They offer consumers the chance to donate and shop designer labels, sounds pretty basic right? Not quite. What really makes this company innovative is that a portion of every sale goes to the charity of the donator's choice. This philanthropic company was founded by Anna Palmer and Christine Rizk, two Harvard Law students who found camaraderie  in their love of fashion and charity.  
    2. Studifi is a cloud-based solution to the ever hectic lives of students who need to participate in and complete group projects.  The program allows students to schedule meetings, exchange files, and chat all from the comfort of their laptops.  The program is designed to increase productivity for students, instructors and institutions. 
    3. ZeroTurnAround is enhancing the lives of Java developers worldwide with their JRebel and LiveRebel software. Both programs assist in the development, testing, and running of Java applications and run on Hotpatching technology.  The work they've poured into these programs has revolutionized how Development and Operations teams approach Java projects.

    Overall it was a great night full of new connections, new business, and fun!

    Have an idea of what our next event should be? Comment below and let us know what you think!

  • While the Government Sequesters, Washington D.C.'s Commercial Tech Industry Thrives

    By Del Crockett, Division Manager of Jobspring Washington DC

    I know what you’re thinking, “If it has to do with Washington, D.C. we must be talking about the government”. Well guess what? You’re in luck because this time we’re not!

    Having worked in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia technology markets prior to running our D.C. office, I am often asked to compare the federal government and commercial technology scene. People are curious to learn how the government’s colossal shadow impacts the commercial market locally, often times assuming that the effect is negative. With all the recent sequestration news surrounding D.C. it is fair to assume that this might be the case, but in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The D.C. commercial technology market is on fire (in a good way)!

      First, let me clarify what I mean by ‘commercial’:

    1. Product companies, non-profits and start-ups alike.
    2. Not federal consulting or government cleared jobs.

    Historically dwarfed by neighboring big city New York, Washington D.C. has quietly become a major player in the technology space over the last decade. Located close to some of the top engineering universities on the east coast, the D.C tech scene has always had the capacity to be a vibrant technology environment. Not surprisingly, as the D.C. Metro area has grown (Virginia ranks as a top transient state in the nation) so has the number of organizations opening satellite D.C. offices, not to mention a major injection of new start-ups and subsequent VC funding!

    This year alone, D.C. has four companies being represented in South by Southwest’s interactive accelerator finals. Proudly Made in D.C. is an organization devoted to the thriving entrepreneurial tech community in the D.C. area, supporting a large number of companies that have developed roots here. On a national scale, #DCTech is the largest active community to date on Meetup.com, religiously meeting every month to discuss the latest trends in the tech space. Currently they have over 6,600 members!

    From a tech staffing standpoint, in 2013 alone we have seen an explosion in the amount of job openings within these commercial companies. So how are candidates with a commercial background benefiting from this growing D.C. market?

    Well first, you may have noticed that I referred to candidates with a ‘commercial background’ as if they are a different species. Well in D.C. they are in their own right. With so many government consulting centric candidates in D.C., those who have been able to remain commercial centric for a majority of their career are treated with the same demand that Twinkies had when Hostess threatened to stop production. It’s this demand that’s resulting in offers that are starting to rival New York City salaries. It is not uncommon for us to get a commercial heavy candidate 2-3 different offers within 5 days of teaming up with us on their search.

    So where does that leave government consulting-centric candidates who desire a change into the commercial space? Well, all is not lost! At the end of the day, it still comes down to your technical capabilities and overall culture fit. Having placed a number of candidates out of the government scene into the commercial space, I always give the same advice; think like an entrepreneur, sound like an entrepreneur and do your best to tech out like an entrepreneur! Similar to the gridlock we see in Congress, many candidates complain (and get used to) the same rigid technical environment in the federal space. Most commercial companies operate more freely (not to mention quickly) and it is critical you prove you can fit that ideology/methodology.

    As a recruiter who has worked in the California tech scene, I have to admit that what I’m seeing happen before my eyes here in Washington, D.C is truly refreshing. When we think D.C. tech, we no longer just think federal thanks to the growth in the commercial product scene. If you’re looking for that cutting-edge, entrepreneurial feel for your next job, you don’t necessarily have to relocate out west or to the Big Apple… look no further than the District!

  • Tech in Motion NYC Holds Inaugural Speaker Series

    On February 28th, 2013, New York's Tech in Motion held their Inaugural Speaker Series, featuring Pete Miron, the Senior Vice President from Bitly

    The event was a huge success; it consisted of a 45 minute interview where Pete described his background, a general direction on how he became a SVP, behind the scenes of being a SVP at Bitly, and advice to aspiring CTOs and VPs.

    Check out a few of the questions Pete addressed:

    Where did you get your start, and what specifically got you interested in computers?

    I actually got my start with old Commodore computers when I was just a kid tinkering around at home. I was fascinated at what I could create on the computer, even simple and rudimentary programs. When I got to college, I realized I just wanted to get out of college as quickly as possible and get into the tech and internet industry, so I majored in Art History. I learned a lot about art and philosophy, which actually helped me a bit over the course of my career because it gave me different perspective. 

    Talk us through your first career challenge and how you solved it.

    Well, the first problem I solved wasn’t very interesting. However, I do have a funny story about when I was over at Datek. I was TRYING to solve a problem, but I actually ended up CAUSING a larger problem in the process. It was a simple enough idea of allowing people who were using the system to save their stock portfolios on our server. Back at this time, every morning when our clients logged in, they would have to manually enter all of their stock symbols each and every day. It was laborious and time consuming, but the technology to save it on the server was new. Bottom line is that I deployed my code the night before and the next morning all of Datek’s servers seized up for several hours while angry stock brokers called our service line threatening to cancel their service. It was a stressful experience, but my CTO at the time was incredibly understanding and helped me through it. That taught me about responsibility and leadership.

    What are some of the necessary skills that you needed to get to this point in your career?

    I think the most important skill is to know when to get involved and when to step back and let your developers just do their work. Managing developers requires a lot of finesse, and that has taken years to develop. I tried to pull lessons from each and every experience of my life and learn from them and then put those lessons learned into practice.

    Pete's Background:

    Pete Miron, SVP of Engineering at Bitly since May, 2012 where he's expanding the team to move from an essential piece of internet infrastructure to building great social media sharing, saving, analysis and discovery products customers love. Pete builds teams focused on quickly delivering products and features to large numbers of adoring fans.

    Prior to Bitly, Pete joined Knewton as CTO in 2008, where he built a team that delivered a continuously adaptive education system for test prep, math readiness and now integrated with major education publishers. The Knewton team delivered products that helped students get into the schools of their dreams, and vastly improve the likelihood that other college students will graduate. In 2011, Knewton was named: a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, one of the World's 50 Most Innovative Tech Companies by FastCompany and in 2010, one of Crain's 50 Best Places to Work in NYC.

    Pete also led teams to deliver innovative products in Telecom (Vonage) and Brokerage (Datek).

    Pete holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History from Syracuse University.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/petemiron

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/petermiron

    Interested in attending a Tech in Motion meetup? Watch this short video to get an idea of what our events are like! http://vimeo.com/61030811

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