Category: Technology

“Poor Requirements Gathering and Analysis”: The Project Management Death Knell

“Poor Requirements Gathering and Analysis”: The Project Management Death Knell

Since 2012, in an effort to understand what problems the PMP hiring market is looking to solve, so that I can better position my clients in the marketplace, I have been running an annual poll on Polldaddy asking this question of my connections in tech:

[polldaddy poll=”6142495″]

Year after year, without fail, the number #1 response is “Poor requirements gathering and analysis.” Currently, it is running away with ~48% of the vote.

What say you? Do you agree with the 48%, or do you think there are other more pressing reasons?

If poor requirements gathering and analysis is consistently the main problem, then what steps do most PMs need to take to resolve it? Love to have you contribute!

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. Some people just write résumés; he cares about the whole job search. Servings as a Job Search Recruiting Agent, he provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and innovation leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy. Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreedeTo see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, text “STUCK” to 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free 30-minute résumé assessment:

 

The Real Skinny: What You Need to Know About Diversity In Tech Hiring

The Real Skinny: What You Need to Know About Diversity In Tech Hiring

workplace diversityHighlighted by the recent Re/code conference, the tech industry right now is buzzing about a crucial issue that affects workers across the board: Diversity.

Despite the fact that diversity has been a major issue in the tech and IT fields for years, reports show that progress has been sluggish. But, in part due to the media attention attracted by Ellen Pao from her gender-discrimination lawsuit earlier this year, industry voices are piping up once again to work through some of the complicated issues that prevent women and minorities from entering, succeeding, or rising to executive-level roles. Pao, who claimed that she failed to be promoted in her company due to her gender and then was fired for complaining about it, lost the suit to former employer Kleiner Perkins. Taking her loss in stride, she has been leveraging the media attention to further important discussions about workplace diversity, and has recently decided to appeal her case.

For tech workers of both diverse and non-diverse backgrounds, the conversation sparked by Pao and many others is one that’s crucial to each and every company, team, and employee. As the Houston Chronicle elegantly puts it, “Access to a larger talent pool is one of the biggest advantages of having an employment recruitment policy that values diversity.” Diversity means equitable hiring and treatment regardless of race, class, creed, religion, age, sexuality, political views, abledness and any other differences that don’t affect an employee’s skills and workplace performance. A successful diverse workplace means a better workplace on all levels, including both profitability and positive work culture.

This is why it falls to all of us to take part in the conversation.

Reactions from the Re/code conference indicate that the needle is moving on workplace diversity, but there’s still more work to be done. While some celebrated the coup of even talking about diversity in the first place at this year’s conference, others noted that the conference itself was problematic, bringing on board only 6 female speakers out of a total of 27.

Leaders across the most important tech companies are trying to solve the diversity issue with varying degrees of success. Chief Business Officer at Google Omid Kordestani proclaimed of diverse hiring practices, “We’re all terrible at it.” And indeed at Google, a whopping 70 percent of employees are men, 60 percent are white, and 31 percent are Asian. However, Kordestani and others are using innovative new methods such as “bias training” to teach employees how to account for the unconscious biases that can lead to hostile workplaces for diverse employees. At this time, over half of Google’s workers — some twenty-thousand people — have attended these seminars.

Other companies are investing large sums of money into hiring programs that will help them build stronger, more diverse workforces. Intel, for instance, announced a $300 million campaign at the start of the year that has already increased diversity by 9 percent. To a lesser extent, Ebay — also a non-diverse workplace — has increased their diversity by one percentage point as of Q2.

Even some of the world’s brightest minds haven’t cracked the code for workplace diversity yet. There may be a long road ahead of us, but it would seem that we’ve at least taken the first step. As Google’s Kordestani put it, “There’s not a silver-bullet answer here.”

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

 

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says It’s Never Too Late To Start A Career In Tech

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says It’s Never Too Late To Start A Career In Tech

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede encourages professionals interested in transitioning into tech careers to hop right in and start learning — there are plenty of high-paying jobs to go around.

Rochester, NY — June 17, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new article titled “How to Transition to a Career In Tech.” In the article, he explains that due to the tech industry boom, many working adults are starting and succeeding at second careers in tech through dedicated learning, work, and practice, but not necessarily another degree.

Van Vreede says, “Today, everybody is getting a lot more techy — from young students to senior managers. Jobs that were once clearly non-technical are being filled by qualified candidates who know how to code in addition to the other skills they bring to the table … This is why if you are interested in tech, it’s a great idea to pick up new skills and learn how to use them on your current job. And if you really like using your tech know-how in a professional environment, you can start plotting a career transition that will allow you to use your new skills full-time. All it takes is a little planning.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/kick-in-the-pants-how-to-transition-to-a-career-in-tech/

About ITtechExec:

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

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Kick in the Pants: How to Transition to a Career In Tech

Kick in the Pants: How to Transition to a Career In Tech

Brian Tracy career adviceIf you’re a full-fledged adult in today’s world, you probably didn’t spend your youth dreaming of working in tech.

Your parents, teachers, and mentors were from a generation or two before you — one where the tech industry was full of niche specialists with computer science degrees, hidden away from the public eye. You may have never even known what a tech job really looked like up until the past ten or fifteen years. But today, all you ever hear about is how well-paid, rewarding, and stable tech jobs are. Admittedly, you’re maybe even curious to see if you’d like it or be any good at it.

But you already have a career, a college degree, and a life. Is it too late to make the switch?

Never!

Today, everybody is getting a lot more techy — from young students to senior managers. Jobs that were once clearly non-technical are being filled by qualified candidates who know how to code in addition to the other skills they bring to the table. And that’s not to mention the young boys are girls who are being actively groomed for tech careers by their schools, as well as the seemingly infinite available resources online.

This is why if you are interested in tech, it’s a great idea to pick up new skills and learn how to use them on your current job. And if you really like using your tech know-how in a professional environment, you can start plotting a career transition that will allow you to use your new skills full-time. All it takes is a little planning.

Here’s how you can get started making a career change into the tech sector:

Understand the Tech Universe

If you’re coming from outside the tech world, there’s a daunting amount to learn. Start slow and divide information into manageable chunks. A great place to begin is by learning how websites work and what programming languages you’ll need to do the type of projects you’re most interested in. You can also try installing Linux to boost your familiarity with the way your computer’s operating system works.

Get Educated

Just because you don’t need a formal CS degree doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get more education. There are myriad classes, “bootcamps,” and online resources to help build up your skills from scratch.

Give Before You Receive

Practice your burgeoning skills by contributing to open source projects, or volunteer for other types of projects so you can test what you’ve learned and get valuable feedback and experience.

Start Working Right Now

Most employers are thrilled to have tech-savvy employees on staff, regardless of the nature of their full-time role. Look for creative ways you can use your skills at your current workplace, where you can later leverage your successes for a new role at your current job or elsewhere.

Keep Your Eye On the Prize

One thing common to all tech workers is dedicated motivation. Think in terms of innovation, experimentation, progress, and amassing knowledge, and you’ll find yourself in an exciting tech role before you know it.

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

 

 

 

 

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says The Switch To Cloud Is A Workplace Culture Issue

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says The Switch To Cloud Is A Workplace Culture Issue

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede explains how, rather than a pragmatic or financial issue, debates over switching companies to the cloud all begin as culture issues.

Rochester, NY — June 10, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “How To Get Your Company to Move to the Cloud.” In the post, he addresses the difficulties many tech employees have in getting their companies to switch to cloud computing, citing the underlying misunderstandings, fears, and disagreements as the result of an inhospitable company culture.

Van Vreede says, “How do you get your company into the 21st century and into the cloud? You have to realize that it’s more than just a pragmatic issue. In fact, it’s a company culture issue. Companies go through major structural transitions all of the time, and the move to the cloud is no different. But like other major changes — office location, software, organizational hierarchies, and so forth — it must be handled with delicacy and care. The first and most important step is to get your team on board with you is by making it clear why moving to the cloud is necessary before you explain how you will accomplish it.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/real-skinny-how-to-get-your-company-to-move-to-the-cloud/

About ITtechExec:

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

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Real Skinny: How To Get Your Company to Move to the Cloud

Real Skinny: How To Get Your Company to Move to the Cloud

toon_103_0It is a truth universally acknowledged that tech workers who are road-blocked by senior management from succeeding at their jobs are frustrated workers, indeed. One major instance of said road-blocking is still fairly commonplace — the transition of companies into cloud computing. Even CIOs lock horns with their support staff over this issue due to the misunderstanding, fear, and reluctance to change.

How do you get your company into the 21st century and into the cloud? You have to realize that it’s more than just a pragmatic issue. In fact, it’s a company culture issue.

Companies go through major structural transitions all of the time, and the move to the cloud is no different. But like other major changes — office location, software, organizational hierarchies, and so forth — it must be handled with delicacy and care. The first and most important step is to get your team on board with you is by making it clear why moving to the cloud is necessary before you explain how you will accomplish it.

Author Rachel Roumeliotis at O’Reilly breaks down the benefits of the cloud into an easy-to-explain model: speed, safety, and scale.

Speed

Time really is money. When your company uses the cloud, you save the precious seconds, minutes, and hours that allow you to work better and create more innovative solutions.

Safety

Security is often the biggest concern when transitioning over to the cloud. Create a bulletproof data safety plan and be ready to make a convincing argument to doubtful colleagues and managers.

Scale

Moving to cloud computing frees your company to expand — or contract — as necessary to efficiently achieve the results you’re looking for. Hardware will never compare.

Remember, any big company transition is a culture issue before it becomes a practical issue, so work within the bounds of your company’s culture to bring your computing practices up to speed and into the cloud.

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Startup Jobs Are Harder — And More Rewarding — Than How They Are Portrayed In Media

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Startup Jobs Are Harder — And More Rewarding — Than How They Are Portrayed In Media

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede explains what it’s actually like to work in a startup, from the long working hours to the amazing workplace perks.

Rochester, NY — June 3, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new article titled “What It’s Really Like to Work At a Startup.” In the article, he reveals what startup careers look like in reality, busting the media myths of big perks and paydays and showing instead that startups provide major opportunities to share tech talent with other experts in the field.

Van Vreede says, “You can’t open a book or flip on the TV without coming face-to-face with startup workplaces these days. For the techies among us, the tidal wave of startups poses a mysterious allure. We know that in real life, they can’t possibly be as non-traditional, amusing, back-breaking, and downright absurd as they appear in the media. Or can they?”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management
experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/the-real-skinny-what-its-really-like-to-work-at-a-startup/

About ITtechExec:

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

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The Real Skinny: What It’s Really Like to Work At a Startup

The Real Skinny: What It’s Really Like to Work At a Startup

startupYou can’t open a book or flip on the TV without coming face-to-face with startup workplaces these days. For the techies among us, the tidal wave of startups poses a mysterious allure. We know that in real life, they can’t possibly be as non-traditional, amusing, back-breaking, and downright absurd as they appear in the media.

Or can they?

First thing’s first — let’s get clear on what a startup is, anyway. When we think of the term, certain images come to mind, like small teams, lack of corporate hierarchies, and usually a pretty unique culture, too. TechCrunch uses the “50, 100, 500 Rule” to define startups in a more quantifiable way. If your company has less than a $50 million revenue run rate, fewer than 100 employees, and is worth less than $500 million, you’re probably working at a startup. In looser terms, as Wikipedia puts it, startups are newly created companies still in the research and development phase, looking to scale their business model.

Now that we know what a startup actually is, let’s look at what it’s like to work in one.

You’ll Make a Difference

When you’re working with fewer than 100 people, you have a major opportunity to shine in your work. Startups don’t have time for traditional business structures, or sometimes even job descriptions, so there’s no red tape preventing you from bringing your “A game” to work every day and getting your ideas out there.

There’s Nowhere to Hide

In contrast to the above, a small company size means there’s zero coasting or hiding away if something goes wrong. With the extra responsibility comes extra opportunities, but it can also mean dealing with more than your fair share of challenges.

You’ll Work More

Think you work a lot now? Think again. Startup employees have a strong tendency to work “crazy” hours to bring their collective dream into reality. This is why so many startups offer free meals and other perks — they expect you to be on the clock around the clock. After all, if you don’t do the work and put out fires, who else will?

Get Used to Change

There’s a reason why the term “agile” is used so often, in software development and beyond. In a startup, you need to stay on your toes because everything is a moving target, from your job description to your workflow to your product.

It’s Risky

Ever noticed how excitement and risk are two sides of the same coin? Startup companies aren’t established yet, which means you could be on the job hunt again sooner than you’d expect. However, many people thrive in the energy and excitement of startups, so don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk.

You Won’t Be The Big Fish

Oftentimes startups are created by experts in their field who hire other experts to take on the work they just can’t accomplish alone. The standards are higher and there’s no fluff; if you’re usually everyone’s go-to guy or gal, you might have to take a back seat to your colleagues once in awhile. But in turn, you may get to lead your team in ways you’d never have the opportunity to otherwise.

Working at a startup has a lot of pros and some serious cons, and only you know if an opportunity is right for you and your career. But if you love wearing multiple hats at work and giving your all to projects you believe in, give it some thought. The startup work experience is like none other, and if you don’t walk away with a healthy sum of money, you’ll at least retain your valuable experience.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

 

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Strive For Workplace Equality Systemically And Personally

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Strive For Workplace Equality Systemically And Personally

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede discusses gender equality in tech workplaces, explaining that changes must happen at both individual and structural levels.

Rochester, NY — May 27, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Women in Tech: Top 5 Career-Building Tips.” In the post, he shares with readers five ways they can build better careers in tech and IT as the world of work determines — though not quickly enough — how to hire, promote, and compensate women equally.

Van Vreede says, “There are few more important questions in tech right now than how to correct the gender imbalance in the workplace … While ideally all women in tech would be afforded equal opportunity, advancement, and compensation by their employers, that’s not everyone’s reality quite yet. This is why we’ve assembled our top five tips for women already in tech or just starting to build their careers.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/kick-in-the-pants-women-in-tech-top-5-career-building-tips/

About ITtechExec:

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

 

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IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says High Paying Tech Jobs Are Becoming More Widely Available

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says High Paying Tech Jobs Are Becoming More Widely Available

The Tech Job Search

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede talks about TechHire, the Obama administration’s answer to the 500,000 high-paying job openings in the tech and IT fields.

Rochester, NY — May 12, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Why Higher-Paying Tech Jobs Are Just Around the Corner.” In the post, he uses TechHire, the government initiative to fill tech jobs, as a jumping off point to encourage tech and IT workers to build their skills and seek out challenging, great-paying jobs in their tech job search.

Van Vreede says, “Are you staying sharp? When was the last time you added to your skill set? Are you thinking ahead in terms of not months, but years? As IT and tech workers, you have the good fortune of having some of the best job opportunities in our nation regarding your tech job search — if, that is, you do everything you can to be the best candidate you can be.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/the-real-skinny-why-higher-paying-tech-jobs-are-just-around-the-corner/

About ITtechExec:

Not just your typical technical recruiter or technical recruiters…

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

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