Career

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In fewer than 24 hours, I’ll be lining up on the start line for the Surf Coast Trail Marathon. This is my second marathon and my preparation has been less than perfect. When I ran this event last year, I had a solid 16 week preparation with lots of long runs that were planned with a specific cycle of three weeks of increasing distance followed by an easier week. This year, has been a different story and it strikes me that there are some lessons that can be applied to project management.

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Over the last few weeks, I've been speaking with a number of senior IT managers and there seems to be a consensus that the pace of change, both in technology and the business, is starting to become overwhelming. By and large, these were experienced practitioners, often with two or more decades in senior IT roles so you'd think they be well-equipped to deal with whatever comes their way. But many seemed overwhelmed and were struggling to balance the need for 24/7 availability, highly secure systems and the ability to be flexible and pivot rapidly. What does it take to be a great CIO today?

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SEEK has updated their mobile app for iOS and Android with a bunch of new features. As well as being able to manage your job seeker profile, and upload and edit a CV or personalised cover letter, you can now apply for job in less time than it takes to tell your boss what they can do with your current job!

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Pretty much every week I receive a research report, often sponsored by a large IT vendor, telling me about the IT skills shortage. Most of them are focussed on infosec but today's instalment of the "Great IT Skills Shortage" came from AWS.

At the AWS Summit being held in Auckland, analysis from job site Indeed shows job listings for AWS-related roles has increased by 153% over the last three years. It's time for IT employers to do something about it. There's no IT skills shortage. But I think there's a massive shortfall in career investment by incumbent and prospective employers.

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After 20 years at Intel, with the last five of those as CEO, Kate Burleigh is moving on from the world's most well-know chip maker to pursue new opportunities outside the company. Kate Burleigh has led the Australian and New Zealand businesses, having made the shift from sales and marketing roles.

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New research from the University of Sydney suggests the differing biorhythms of team members should be considered when putting together an optimal team. We all know some of us are “morning people” while others are "night owls”. But how many of us consider that when putting together a team?

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Management consultant Perter Drucker once said: "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it". That quote lead to a business revolution that took us through the era of Kaplan and Norton's Balanced Scorecard through to the world today where every interaction is measured, evaluated and optimised. Unlike other complex measurement systems, the Net Promoter Score is all about answering one simple question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?

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During the opening address to Veeam's channel partners and resellers, Co-CEO and President Peter McKay discussed the company's recruitment plans for the next year. The privately owned company, which is pursuing some very rapid growth as it strives to push past the US$1B sales mark over the next couple of years, from today's US$607M, they plan to add a lot of new staff, bolstering the 1000 they've added over the last year or so.

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We've all heard about the skills shortage facing the tech industry. So, it's not surprising that people who have lost jobs in "legacy" industries are seeking to retrain and transition into what IBM calls "New Collar Jobs". The company has put together a short list of three things their hiring managers look for when bringing new people into Big Blue.

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Recruiting the right people is one of the toughest jobs a manager has to accomplish. Somehow, based on a CV, a letter and a couple of interviews you're meant to ascertain whether a complete stranger has the skills, temperament and personality to not only complete the work you need but fit in with an existing team and complement their skills. It's little wonder we can, unconsciously or consciously, apply some bias in the process. Hays Recruitment has released some research finding ageism is a real issue - but not just against older employees.

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A few years ago, I decided to ditch working the corporate life, in favour of freelancing. There were a number of factors in that decision. Things like not enjoying my job, wanting to know if I could make it on my own and freedom to pursue passion projects and spend more time with my kids. The cost of that was the reassurance of a steady pay-packet each month. Telsyte's Australian Digital Workplace Study 2017 suggests more than half of Aussie workers would trade cash for more flexible work arrangements.

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Recruiting the right person for a role is hard. When I spoke with Dr Hugh Thompson, who was with Blue Coat Systems at the time and is now the CTO at Symantec, he told me one way his business went about recruiting infosec professionals was to find people with great analysis skills and curiousity first and then worry about teaching them technical skills later. Finding people who could learn was more important than finding people with ready-made skills.

Over at Elegant Code, David Starr gives some thought to the most important attributes of a great development team member.